The Sweetest Crumb

Archive of ‘Recipes and Food Adventures’ category

Rum and Coke Cupcakes

How’s everyone’s weekend so far? Even though I only had a 3 day week at work, I was so exhausted by Friday. My biggest wish was just to get an early bedtime after watching an episode of Dr. Who (which has become my guilty pleasure lately). But now that I’m rejuvenated after sufficient sleep… I’m ready to share the rum and coke cupcake recipe I made for New Years!

Cupcakes! Yum!

I used a recipe I found for Jack and Coke cupcakes and altered it a bit, using rum instead (since I’m not a huge fan of Jack nor did I have any on hand). I also used a different icing recipe since I have a buttercream frosting recipe I have made dozens of times and know it makes perfect frosting.

The cupcakes were absolutely delicious! They are chocolatey cake (with the cola in it), filled with ganache (which is a creamy, smooth mixture of chocolate and cream, but this ganache also had rum in it) and topped with buttercream frosting (with more rum). However, despite being possibly the most delicious cupcakes I have made to date, I found they didn’t taste like cola and even the rum flavour wasn’t that strong. I think next time I would try using a rum extract as well as actual rum to increase the flavour. Either way these were decadent cupcakes which I will be making again. My favourite part was filling them with ganache inside which made me question why I don’t fill cupcakes with delicious fillings more often?! I will definitely need to start doing that more!

(more…)

Decorating with Royal Icing

Today I wanted to share my love of royal icing! It can be used to transform otherwise plain-looking cookies into those that are personalized, intricate and impressive.

Royal icing is so easy to make and can be tinted using food colouring. Decorating cookies with icing is a great activity for kids too – just put the icing in squeeze bottles (available at baking supply stores) instead of a standard piping bag to make it easier to handle and less messy for kids. Most often, I bake up a batch of sugar cookies for decorating, but you can use other recipes too.

Here are some step-by-step views of the Christmas cookies we decorated this year and the recipe is below:

Snow Globes

Cover the base of the snow globe with red royal icing, sprinkle with red sanding sugar and tap off the excess.
Cover about 1/3 of the bottom of the globe with white royal icing and sprinkle with white nonpareils to look like snow. Shake off any excess.
Flood the remaining top section of the cookie with blue royal icing.
Carefully attach edible decorations of your choice to the icing while still not dry. We used gingerbread men as well as snowflake and heart-shaped sprinkles.

(more…)

Decorating with Royal Icing

Today I wanted to share my love of royal icing! It can be used to transform otherwise plain-looking cookies into those that are personalized, intricate and impressive.

Royal icing is so easy to make and can be tinted using food colouring. Decorating cookies with icing is a great activity for kids too – just put the icing in squeeze bottles (available at baking supply stores) instead of a standard piping bag to make it easier to handle and less messy for kids. Most often, I bake up a batch of sugar cookies for decorating, but you can use other recipes too.

Here are some step-by-step views of the Christmas cookies we decorated this year and the recipe is below:

Snow Globes

Cover the base of the snow globe with red royal icing, sprinkle with red sanding sugar and tap off the excess.
Cover about 1/3 of the bottom of the globe with white royal icing and sprinkle with white nonpareils to look like snow. Shake off any excess.
Flood the remaining top section of the cookie with blue royal icing.
Carefully attach edible decorations of your choice to the icing while still not dry. We used gingerbread men as well as snowflake and heart-shaped sprinkles.

(more…)

Christmas Morning Beet Disaster

Today I had the brilliant idea of making red velvet waffles for Christmas morning breakfast – sounds good, right? Well you should know that the recipe involved pureed beets and quinoa flour. Also, you should know that I hate beets (I know, I’m probably the only Ukrainian out there who doesn’t love beets). But, since I love trying healthy meals and this recipe claimed that you wouldn’t even taste the beets, I thought I would give it a try – it looked great in the photo!

Step 1 was pureeing the beets – this is probably were things started to go wrong…

One more thing… quinoa flour has a bitter, earthy taste to it (which I did not know).

Step 2 was measuring the quinoa flour… that did not improve things

Needless to say, the waffles were largely a flop – you could taste the beets a little but mostly the bitterness of the quinoa flour is what ruined them. It gave the waffles an aftertaste which I just could not get past – the lemon cream cheese icing and the berries we topped them with is really what saved them.

Don’t be fooled – they look much better than they tasted

Afterwards, I read online that the bitterness of quinoa flour can be reduced if you bake your flour in the oven before using it. I also read that the bitterness increases the more fine your flour is – if you grind your own flour, the grain will remain more coarse and should have less bitterness.

Overall… not making this recipe again. However, the beets did give the waffles a great red colour so I still feel there is some hidden potential in the recipe. Does anyone have a red velvet waffle recipe they love? Or had success using beets in unlikely recipes?

Merry Christmas, everyone! Hope you didn’t spend it eating sub-par beet waffles!

 

Christmas is Almost Here

Merry Almost Christmas!

My family has Christmas dinner on the 24th every year so it’s almost time for the festivities to start at my place. Things have been very hectic with shopping and prepping for dinner and guests the last couple days. Also, if you’re from Edmonton, you know that we have been hit with a ton of snow (again) so the roads have been awful. Regardless, while I was out running errands the last few days, I couldn’t help but notice how nice people have been – cars letting each other in, people offering for you to go in front of them in lineups, etc. It definitely put a smile on my face since that’s what Christmas should really be about. Also, we have raised over $2,500 for Mark in Ukraine! I have been very impressed with how kind and generous everyone has been this holiday season.

In the spirit of Christmas, I wanted to share another cookie recipe for the holidays. Sugar cookies are a staple for me. I think they’re great for this time of year (and any time of year) since they make excellent gifts if packaged up in a nice tin. Decorating them can also be really fun with a group of friends or even kids (just put icing in squeeze bottles which makes it easier to handle for kids). For now, I am posting a basic sugar cookie recipe that you can either cut out using the cookie cutter of your choice and bake or you can sandwich the cookies with good quality preserves. I will post a royal icing recipe and some tips on decorating soon, so stay tuned.

Enjoy the cookies and have a wonderful Christmas!

Finished sugar cookie hearts with strawberry jam

(more…)

Christmas is Almost Here

Merry Almost Christmas!

My family has Christmas dinner on the 24th every year so it’s almost time for the festivities to start at my place. Things have been very hectic with shopping and prepping for dinner and guests the last couple days. Also, if you’re from Edmonton, you know that we have been hit with a ton of snow (again) so the roads have been awful. Regardless, while I was out running errands the last few days, I couldn’t help but notice how nice people have been – cars letting each other in, people offering for you to go in front of them in lineups, etc. It definitely put a smile on my face since that’s what Christmas should really be about. Also, we have raised over $2,500 for Mark in Ukraine! I have been very impressed with how kind and generous everyone has been this holiday season.

In the spirit of Christmas, I wanted to share another cookie recipe for the holidays. Sugar cookies are a staple for me. I think they’re great for this time of year (and any time of year) since they make excellent gifts if packaged up in a nice tin. Decorating them can also be really fun with a group of friends or even kids (just put icing in squeeze bottles which makes it easier to handle for kids). For now, I am posting a basic sugar cookie recipe that you can either cut out using the cookie cutter of your choice and bake or you can sandwich the cookies with good quality preserves. I will post a royal icing recipe and some tips on decorating soon, so stay tuned.

Enjoy the cookies and have a wonderful Christmas!

Finished sugar cookie hearts with strawberry jam

(more…)

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

With it being a hectic couple of weeks, Christmas coming up (4 days!) and all the baking and fundraising we did, I sadly don’t have time to post the recipes for all the cookies we made last week. I promise I will be posting them over time though, and if you have a specific one you want me to share just let me know. I figured for now I would pick one to share with everyone. It was really hard narrowing it down to just one. I ended up picking the chocolate caramel thumbprints. I’ve been making these for years from a recipe I got from a Holiday Cooking magazine and they’re one of my favourite cookies. This year, as part of our Christmas baking, we made 4 times the recipe – that’s how good they are! They’re loaded with everything that makes a cookie great – chocolate, nuts and caramel. I’ve had many people ask for the recipe so I’m sure you will love these!

chocolate caramel thumbprints ready to eat

(more…)

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

With it being a hectic couple of weeks, Christmas coming up (4 days!) and all the baking and fundraising we did, I sadly don’t have time to post the recipes for all the cookies we made last week. I promise I will be posting them over time though, and if you have a specific one you want me to share just let me know. I figured for now I would pick one to share with everyone. It was really hard narrowing it down to just one. I ended up picking the chocolate caramel thumbprints. I’ve been making these for years from a recipe I got from a Holiday Cooking magazine and they’re one of my favourite cookies. This year, as part of our Christmas baking, we made 4 times the recipe – that’s how good they are! They’re loaded with everything that makes a cookie great – chocolate, nuts and caramel. I’ve had many people ask for the recipe so I’m sure you will love these!

chocolate caramel thumbprints ready to eat

(more…)

Foraging For Tea

Good morning, everyone!

Green tea with sea-buckthorn berries and honey

I’ve been making a delicious sea-buckthorn berry green tea lately that I wanted to share with you! What’s sea-buckthorn, you ask? Well, you’ve likely never heard of it, so let me explain…

In a Ukrainian home, such as mine, sea-buckthorn berries are well-known. They are easy to find in Ukraine and, you might be surprised to learn, are fairly common in Alberta as well (the plants are resistant to frost). However, it seems few people here know of these tart orange berries. Even I have to admit, I had no idea what they were called in English and had to google a translation for the Russian word I know well. These small, bright coloured berries taste very acidic and tart. In Ukraine, they are known for having tremendous health benefits – a cup of tea with these berries and a spoonful of honey will soothe a scratchy throat. It also tastes delicious! You can get more info about these berries from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

(more…)

Foraging For Tea

Good morning, everyone!

Green tea with sea-buckthorn berries and honey

I’ve been making a delicious sea-buckthorn berry green tea lately that I wanted to share with you! What’s sea-buckthorn, you ask? Well, you’ve likely never heard of it, so let me explain…

In a Ukrainian home, such as mine, sea-buckthorn berries are well-known. They are easy to find in Ukraine and, you might be surprised to learn, are fairly common in Alberta as well (the plants are resistant to frost). However, it seems few people here know of these tart orange berries. Even I have to admit, I had no idea what they were called in English and had to google a translation for the Russian word I know well. These small, bright coloured berries taste very acidic and tart. In Ukraine, they are known for having tremendous health benefits – a cup of tea with these berries and a spoonful of honey will soothe a scratchy throat. It also tastes delicious! You can get more info about these berries from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

(more…)