Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thin Mints

I made my first attempt at homemade thin mints (or peppermint patties) around Christmastime. They were edible but, being made primarily of coconut butter, had a bit of an odd texture. So, I tinkered around with the recipe and, while it still needs a bit of work, I think I have developed a pretty tasty additive-free and minimally processed replacement for thin mints.

Thin Mints
(Warning: I did not measure so all quantities are approximate)

(1) Melt 1/2 cup semi- or bitter-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave. Coat the bottom of each section of a silicone mini muffin pan/candy mould with 1/2 teaspoon melted chocolate. Place in fridge to set.
(2) Boil 2 tablespoons maple syrup on the stove until slightly thickened.
(3) Add 1/3 cup coconut butter, 1/3 cup coconut cream and 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract to hot maple syrup. Once melted, whisk until a caramel like consistency is attained. Allow to cool.
(4) Spoon 1 teaspoon of cooled filling into each section of the muffin pan, over chocolate. Place in fridge to cool and harden.
(5) Melt another 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in microwave and allow to cool. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate over hardened filling. Tap tray on countertop to remove bubbles.
(6) Place in fridge to harden overnight. The next day, pop the chocolates from the mould and enjoy!

Objects in this picture are smaller than they appear.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Is it just me or was last week a universally bad week?

I wasn't feeling well with some weird fluish-probably-allergy-type symptoms. The whole internet was annoying me. And then, the world stomped her feet. I am not one to anthropomorphize*, but I am starting to feel like the earth would say "stop messing around and get it together people!", if she could talk. Sheesh.

By the time the weekend arrived, I decided it was time for some serious detox. For me, this meant (1) no internet**, (2) Gilmore Girls and (3) smoothies.

* That's a lie, I totally am
** I tried very hard and only surfed the net after 8:00pm

The Smoothies were delicious. I don't have formal recipes, but this is what I made:

Vanilla - cashews (soaked overnight), soy milk, banana, maple syrup, ice cubes and vanilla bean seeds.

Chocolate - Banana, frozen grapes, soy milk, coconut tofu, cocoa and honey.

Beetnik - Cooked beets, frozen grapes, cashews (soaked), raspberry juice and cinnamon.

Wintergreen - Spinach, mint, green apple, frozen green grapes, honey and soy milk. Mmmm green is good!

By the end of the weekend (and about 8 episodes of Gilmore Girls), I felt much better. If only Monday hadn't come so quickly!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chocolate Chews

I am not sure how I came across the recipe for these cookies, but I had a craving for chocolate and limited ingredients in the cupboards.

As I was going for something light and sweet, I omitted the filling the recipe calls for and shaped the cookies into disks. The final product was a winner - easy to make, grain free, chewy and delicious.

I will be making these again. Soon.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I attended an Oscar party last Sunday (yay Colin!) and, of course, I brought dessert. It was supposed to be a tasting party, but I am not well equipped to make small bites of things. I do not have small pans or small dishes or small ideas. Only my cupcakes are miniature and, having just baked a batch of those, I was ready for something different.

First, I was going to make French Macarons, but I soon discovered that a food processor was required. My food processor died recently in a terrible fall. No Macarons for me.

Then, I was going to make Pavlova, but quickly decided that Pavlova is more appropriate for a sunny spring day, not a wet and dreary winter day.

Finally, I decided on Schmoo.

Mmmm, Schmoo. I love you.

Schmoo, trifle style.

I had my first bite of Schmoo when living in Manitoba over 10 years ago. Every time I went into the city, I'd HAVE to track down a restaurant or cafe serving my beloved Schmoo. At the time, I thought Schmoo was a newfangled dessert sweeping the nation as I toiled out in the wilds of northern Manitoba. However, it turns out that Schmoo existed in Manitoba long before 1999 and, in fact, it still seems to exist only in central Canada.

Once you try Schmoo, you will wonder why everyone, everywhere is not eating this dessert.

Layers of an pecan studded angelfood-like cake, sweetened whipped cream and butterscotch sauce might all seem a bit run of the mill but, in combination, I can assure you that they are anything but.

I followed a recipe from the Food Network, but was inspired by Mennonite Girls Can Cook to serve it trifle style. Much better for transportation. It was an absolute and complete hit.

If you have never made or tasted Schmoo, go make it right now. You won't regret it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Snow Day

Last Wednesday was a snow day.

Actually, it was a snow-can't get out of parking garage-transformer explodes at work and catches trees on fire-power outage-cars crashing all over the place kind of day. Work was cancelled.

In other parts of the country, this might be par for the course but, in my neck of the woods, it was a pretty big deal. In fact, it was a pretty big deal for me. Despite having lived from coast to coast to coast and a few spots in between, I think that I have had a total 3 "bad weather days" requiring school or work cancellation over the course of my 34 years. Even after moving to Halifax for three year specifically for snow days (and graduate school), they eluded me.

It's been sad.

So, last Wednesday, I celebrated. With brownies!

It's a rule to bake on snow days, right?

PS Happy 100th post!