Category Archives: Squares

Christmas Countdown- Maple Squares

Well, Christmas is getting closer and I for one am becoming increasingly excited. Today I finished work for the holidays and I am looking forward to the next five days where the focus will be on festive fun! Earlier in the week I was looking for something quick and delicious as I was pressed for time. When I was at a loss for what to make I headed over to the good folks at King Arthur Flour. Ever since they provided me with excellent online chat assistance, I have been a fan. When I saw these squares I knew that KAF once again hadn’t let me down.

Nine maple squares on a red christmas plate with a gold plant pot in the background

What I loved about these squares was that they were super easy and super delicious. You can’t really ask for much more than that when you still have shopping, wrapping and more baking ahead of you. Head on over to King Arthur for the recipe.

Caroline

Close up view of nine maple squares on a red Christmas plate

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Christmas Countdown – Lime Coconut Squares

Hello again! Less than a week to go until Christmas and Caroline and I have decided to bring back the Christmas countdown that we had last year. Over the next few days, we will share some of our baking that we are doing to prepare for the holidays.

As I write this, I am in the midst of making another recipe that has already been featured on the blog and I have already messed it up but hopefully it will come together! I hope this is not a sign for future baking over the course of the week!

My first contribution are lime coconut squares from The Globe and Mail. I had great success with the these cookies from last year from The Globe and Mail and so I was excited to try this recipe. Since our mum is not a big fan of chocolate, I decided these would be a nice addition to my usual chocolate based desserts.

I just popped these into the freezer for safe-keeping. These squares are very lovely. They are tart but the coconut and shortbread base offer a great balance. These will definitely be something I make again and would also be nice in the middle of summer for a light fresh treat!

Dulce De Leche Cheesecake Squares

I have been waiting to make this recipe from the moment I saw it on Annie’s Eats. It combines so many things I love. However, it has been put on the back burner a few times because of the time required for cooling, chilling, etc. Thankfully, keeping my New Years resolution in mind, I was a little more organized when it came to the time requirements for this recipe.

I took these squares to a New Year’s Eve party and they didn’t disappoint!  I made a few modifications (low fat cream cheese and 1% milk) to avoid buying things I didn’t have on hand. You can find the recipe on Annie’s Eats and if you have never visited her site before, you should, it’s great!

Peanutiest Blondies TWD

I hosted a tea this past weekend and I whipped these up for the dessert course. My friend Robin takes amazing photos and that is why this week’s photo looks so good.  I made a bunch of other yummy treats and I hope to get them up here if my life ever slows down.

I liked these squares but didn’t love them. That was mainly because I had to cook them for quite a while to get the insides done. That resulted in the edges being a bit hard. I used Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups and I didn’t have salted peanuts. If I were to make them again, I would definitely try the salted variety and I would have added even more chocolate (teehee).

Thanks to Nicole of Bakeologie for choosing this recipe. Head on over to her blog for the details and to check out her blondies as they look amazing!

Caroline

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie

I made this recipe last week for the bf’s birthday. When I first saw this recipe in The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, I knew this was the perfect birthday treat for him. It combines 3 of his favourites, brownie, cheesecake and raspberries. Plus it is easy to cut up and take to work (or if you are the bf, eat for breakfast!).

Once again, I was not disappointed with The Hummingbird Bakery. This recipe was so tasty and the bf said this was a “make-again” recipe, which is a definate sign of success:) Even though this recipe has 3 layers, it was fairly quick to make and didn’t use a lot of ingredients. I halved the recipe because a 9X13 pan seemed a little big!

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie

Source: The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

Brownie
200 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
200 g unsalted butter
250 g icing sugar
3 eggs
110 g plain flour (I used all purpose)

Cheesecake
400 g cream cheese
150 g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
Cream topping
300 ml whipping cream
100 g icing sugar
150 g raspberries, plus extra to decorate

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 33 x 23 x 5 cm baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. For the brownie: Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth. Put the butter and sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Gradually beat in the flour, mixing well after each addition, then turn the mixer up to high speed and beat for a little longer until you get a smooth mixture. Slowly pour in the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly. pour into the prepared baking bray and smooth over with a palette knife.

3. For the Cheesecake: Put the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until smooth and thick. Add one egg at a time, while still mixing. Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bwol with a rubber spatula after each addition. The mixture should be very smooth and creamy. The mixer can be turned up to a higher speed at the end to make the mix a little lighter and fluffier, but be careful not to overmix, otherwise the cheese with split. Spoon on top of the brownie and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the cheesecake is firm to the touch and light golden around the edges. The centre should still be pale. Leave to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight if possible.

4. For the cream topping: Put the cream, sugar, and raspberries in a freestanding mixer with a whisk attachment and beat until firm but not stiff. Turn the brownie out onto a board and turn the right way up. Spread the topping evenly over the brownie and decorate with more raspberries.

Chewy, Chunky Blondies

Things have been a little slow around here. I have been on vacation. The beauty of working in an academic library is having the summer off. Despite the free time I haven’t been baking much and I just managed to squeak this one in. In fact, I am writing this while on a girls vacation in Mexico. We are in the Mayan Riviera. Beach vacations are my absolute favourite. I just can’t get enough of them.

So onto the recipe. I made this for S. and his parents. I am trying to woo them with my baking. It worked for S. so I am hoping it will work on his parents;) If these don’t work I may have to bring out the big guns, cakes, Irish breads etc. I didn’t have the skor pieces so I substituted with white chocolate chips. I also used peanuts. I would say these were tasty treats but in the grand scheme of things I am not likely to make them again. They were good but not great. I am way more into our standards of caramel squares and a new favourite the baked bars.

Chewy Blondies

Thanks to Nicole of Cookies on Friday for selecting this recipe.

Well I guess I should go off and drink another fresh banana daiquiri. I know it’s hard to be me.

Caroline

PS S. took the photo for post. I would have cut them a bit bigger so you really got a sense of them. Of course then I would have had to eaten big ole squares. Thanks S for being the best kinda boyfriend, the one who takes photos for his gallivanting gal:)

White Chocolate Brownies TWD

I made these on the weekend to take with me for a Sunday lunch with friends. Sunday was beautiful in Waterloo and we spent the afternoon eating yummy bbq and enjoying the sun. This seemed like a great recipe for a summer-ish day. I was all over this recipe as I love white chocolate and raspberries. But I have to admit I really didn’t dig these. I made the coulis which was delicious, but otherwise found them a bit bland and dry. S. on the other hand dug them quite abit so maybe I am not the best judge. If I made them again I might add chocolate chips or something else to jazz them up. (Note: I didn’t make the meringue as this made a big pan and you can’t freeze meringue).

 

Image Credit Pamela Fane

 

Head over to Marthe’s blog for the recipe and check out other TWD bloggers to see if they had more success than I did.

Caroline

Baking night with the girls

Last weekend, I got together with a few friends for a night of baking and wine. This night had been suggested because the girls seem to think I have some baking skills to pass along. I’m not so sure about that, but I was all for a night of baked goods and wine drinking:)

Requests were made for few things that have been posted previously, including the caramel squares and mini-egg cookies. I was in charge of the caramel squares while the girls did a fabulous job with the mini-egg cookies. My request for the night were these squares. I have wanted to make these for a while, but a 9×13 pan of squares is not just something you whip up any night of the week!

Theses squares were everything I imagined, and a little bit more:) They may look familiar to many of you because there are many recipes that use this combination of ingredients. What I liked though, was that instead of putting the coconut with the chocolate chips and condensed milk, they are toasted and mixed in with the graham crumbs. I managed to keep a few to take home with me this weekend and Caroline and everyone else agreed that this was a nice twist. I have already had requests to make another batch and bring more home:)

Thanks to the girls for a great night and allowing me to try this recipe. A special thanks to Leah (and Rhys!) for hosting and cleaning up after us. Hope you all enjoyed the evening:)

Cheers,
Claire

Happy Mother’s Day!

This weekend I was fortunate enough to go home for Mother’s Day and celebrate the day with my mum. We had a relaxing day just lounging around and went out for dinner just the two of us.

For Mother’s Day, Caroline had bought our mum an Everyday Food cookbook and while looking through it, my mum and I both ended up admiring these creamy lemon squares. So I figured I would give this recipe a try for her this weekend.  To be perfectly honest,  I think I have made these squares or something very similar before, but since I have never blogged about them, I thought this was a perfect opportunity.

These squares were a cinch to whip up and came out looking great. My mum and dad both liked them but I have to admit the taste was a bit off. This has NOTHING to do with the recipe which I will definately make again and more to do with a baking dilemma I am having. For some reason, a couple of things I have made recently have come out of the oven tasting just a tad off. I have it down to either flour or some funky smell in my oven. In future posts, I plan on figuring out what the problem is, so that I can remedy the situation ASAP. First step will be buying new flour and secondly, cleaning the oven (which will be a new adventure for me). Wish me luck and do try these squares, they are great! Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums reading this blog. In particular, my mum and sister:)

Creamy Lemon Squares
Source: Everyday Food Fresh Flavour Fast

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
4 large yolks
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup lemon juice (from 4 lemons)
1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter an 8 inch square baking pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, and mix until cominbed. Press dough into the bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of prepared pan; prick all over with a fork. Bake until lightly golden, 15-20 minutes.
3. Whisk together egg yolks, condensed milk, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour over hot crust in pan; return to oven, and bake until filling is set, 25-30 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
4. Refrigerate, covered, until filling is firm, about 2 hours (or up to 3 days). Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a cutting board and cut into squares. Dust with confectioners’ sugar prior to serving.

p.s. This issue is not just in my head, my mum noticed it as well. Oddly (or not so oddly), neither males who tasted the squares seemed to notice anything wrong with them!

Chocolate Cheesecake Squares

A couple weekends ago, one of my co-workers had a potluck at her house. I was quick to offer to make dessert and chose this recipe right away. I had previously tried to make this recipe the weekend before but had a few mishaps (including using the wrong appliance to mix and rushing too much!). Thankfully, the recipe turned out for the potluck (not so great for my company the weekend before who had no dessert!).

This recipe comes from the bf’s mom. She is a great cook and baker and I have been meaning to make this recipe since having them at her house. It combines my love for squares and cheesecake.

Chocolate Cheesecake Squares
Source: Neil’s mom

1 1/4 cups oreo crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup cocoa
2 tbsp corn starch
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Mix together oreo crumbs and butter and pat into 8×8 pan. Set aside.
Mix cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine cocoa, corn starch and sugar together. Add dry ingredients and eggs to cream cheese mixture. Pulse to combine. Pour over base. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.