#HereWeGo: Kettle Chip Crusted Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

The World Juniors are my absolute favourite part of the holidays, after the holidays. As a Canadian, when the Christmas presents are all unwrapped and your still suffering a turkey-induced hangover from the night before, there is nothing better than World Juniors hockey.

Coming from Canada, we all understand hockey is a lifestyle. Likewise, cheering for Team Canada at the IIHF World Juniors is a lifestyle as well. You have to be dedicated to the cause; waking up at 4 am, or staying up until, to watch the game live  from across seas goes beyond the commitment of ‘catching the game with the guys’.

It doesn’t matter the time of the game; we are watching. This is the Stanley Cup of the Christmas holidays. Whether it is a heart breaking round robin loss to USA or it is January 2009 with 41.3 seconds left and Canada is trailing 4-5 to the Russians only to have Jordan Eberle bat the puck past the Russian goalie to tie the game with 5.4 seconds left, followed by an emotional shootout that saw Eberle and Tavares capitalize on the opportunity and secure the 6-5 Canadian victory. THAT WASN’T EVEN A MEDAL GAME AND IT IS INGRAINED INTO MY HEAD.

Hearts are broken, dreams are captured, and chips are eaten. Gold or go home. #HereWeGo

Kettle Chip Crusted Chocolate and Peanut Butter Tart

  • 1 bag Miss Vickies Kettle Chips (sea salt flavour)
  • 7 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
assembling the tart #herewego
For the Kettle Chip Tart
    1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
    2. In a food processor, crush chips until they are finely ground. Add the melted butter and flour and pulse.
    3. Press the crust into the bottom and sides of a long rectangular tart pan.
    4. Bake for 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
For the filling:
    1. Melt peanut butter in the microwave, about 45 seconds.
    2. Pour 1 1/2 cups into the baked crust. Freeze tart until peanut butter is firm, about 10 minutes.
    3. Bring cream to a boil; pour over chocolate in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth and pour evenly  over the peanut butter layer.
    4. Melt remaining peanut butter and drizzle over ganache. Using the tip of a knife or toothpick, swirl chocolate and peanut together.



Christmas Eve Breakfast: Eggnog French Toast

Merry Christmas Eve all!

I started a new tradition this year, Christmas Eve Breakfast. Yes I know what you’re thinking, another family gathering to add to the list, but I’ve decided it is not one of those you dread. It is a drop in and eat, wrap some presents if you have to, drink all the coffee in the house if you please, spike the orange juice with champagne.

It is the last morning we can all admire the lit tree with the presents perfectly wrapped before the mass hysteria ripped wrapping paper and untied ribbon is strewn across the room. A set so perfect needs an equally as eloquent breakfast.

Whether it is for your Christmas Eve breakfast, or for your Christmas Day breakfast this is a festive treat that brings a little more joy to those you love.

eggnog french toast

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 French bread loaf sliced very thick
1 cup eggnog
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
6 eggs, slightly beaten
assembling the french toast
  1. Combine brown sugar and melted butter and pour in a very thin layer on the bottom of greased a 9×13 pan. You may want to use two pans to keep the layers very thin.
  2. Arrange slices of bread in the baking dish in a single layer.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggnog,  vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add the beaten eggs and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture over the bread slices.
  4. Preheat oven at 350*F. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Top with your choice of fresh fruit, chocolate chips, icing sugar, syrups, candy canes.




Angel’s Kiss Shortbread

This is my first Christmas without my Manggie.

She was a feisty woman with the heart of a million angels. She stood her ground, she shared her faith, and she knew her way around the kitchen. If she wasn’t knitting bears for orphans in Peru or catching up on Coronation Street, around Christmas time you would find her in the kitchen whipping butter for the perfect shortbread. It was so perfectly whipped and slowly baked that the moment it touched your lips it would melt and disappear, just like an angel’s kiss.

So bake these cookies with the people you love and enjoy them among family and friends as they were intended to be enjoyed. If you’re missing someone this holiday season, I hope you find comfort in knowing there are angels all around us, every step or stir of the way; especially when we’re whipping butter and shifting flour for shortbread.


angel’s kiss shortbread

1 cup butter
1/3 cup fruit sugar
2 1/4 cups flour

5-7 chopped maraschino cherries

assembling the shortbread
  1. Cream butter very well. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy.
  2. Add 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix well after each addition.
  3. Turn dough onto floured board and knead in a 1/4 cup flour.
  4. Divide dough into 2 parts and knead each for about 5 minutes until all rough cracks disappear
  5. Roll dough out until it is 1/4 inch high and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 300*F for 25-30 minutes.
  7. If desired, add chopped maraschino cherries to the top.


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Trip Down Chocolate-Turtle-Memory-Lane: Salted Caramel Pecan Chocolate Bark

At my old job, I baked a lot. Baker was nowhere in the job description, but it was stress relief – an escape. I would come home after a day of endless phone calls and meetings, and I would retreat to my kitchen and whip up something to bring to the office the next day. It was a rotating door of cupcakes, brownies, tarts, pies, cookies, muffins and truffles; I guess you could say it was like I was feeding a football team.

One day, a few years back close to the holidays, one of my coworkers dropped off a homemade Turtle at my desk. He insisted I eat his treat immediately since I am typically the one baking for their enjoyment. It was decadent; filled with chopped pecans and caramel and coated in heavy, rich chocolate. It was his Christmas specialty, and although I would like to attempt to recreate 100 of them, I sometimes think that people own recipes as a part of them – he certainly did. So with that in mind and in heart, I decided to adapt the idea of the recipe to preserve his original and create something of my own.
Here we go, on a #ThrowbackThursday before Christmas I remember the decadent Turtles and my dear friends at my old office. Christmas just ain’t Christmas without you.

Decadent Salted Chocolate Caramel Bark

This decadent bark is perfect for any holiday party or gift giving. It is super easy and super rich.

image1 (1)

2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon whipping cream
12 vanilla caramels
2 tablespoons course sea salt

Assembling the Bark

1. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper
2. Melt 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chip using the double boiler method.
3. Pour melted chocolate into parchment paper lined pan. Spread evenly.
4. Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly over chocolate.
4. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine caramels and whipping cream until a smooth caramel sauce is created.
5. Pour caramel over chocolate and pecans.
7. Melt additional 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and drizzle over caramel layer.
8. Sprinkle sea salt on top
9. Leave at room temperature to set. It is important you do not place in fridge as the caramel will harden too much.

Yuletide Bliss Cinnamon Buns

Is there any better way to spend a lazy evening before the holidays than watching Christmas specials of your favourite shows? I mean come on, there’s Seth Cohen’s ‘Christmakuh’, Blair Waldorf’s giant candy canes, and Phil Dunphy on an elliptical!

And while I believe there is no better way to spend your holiday evening, I also believe there is no better treat to indulge in than the perfect, warm, sugary cinnamon roll! The buttery smell of cinnamon and pastry filling your house pairs perfectly with the calamity of Ross Gellar’s ‘Holiday Armadillo‘.

These are the perfect addition to your evening of Yuletide bliss that can double as mid-morning treat the next day.

Yuletide Bliss Cinnamon Rolls

Yield 12 Rolls.
Recipe slightly adapted from Top Secret Recipes


  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm buttermilk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup margarine (THIS IS THE GAME CHANGER: Margarine not Butter)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups flour


  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup margarine, softened

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 6 tbsp margarine
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Assembling the Rolls

  1. Dissolve the yeast in warm buttermilk in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, butter. Add eggs one at a time.
  3. Altenate mixing in portion of flour and milk/yeast until a smooth dough is created.
  4. Knees the dough by hand.
  5. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for one hour.
  6. On a floured surface roll out dough until 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Spread 1/4 cup of margarine on dough. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon to cover the entire dough.
  8. Carefully roll the dough very tightly length-wise.
  9. Cut the dough 1 1/2 inch slices. Place in greased 9×13 inch pan. Cover and place in warm room for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven 350*F
  11. Bake for 22 minutes or until slightly golden.
  12. While the rolls are baking make the icing by mixing all ingredients and beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  13. When the rolls are done, drizzle with icing.



Do you have a favourite TV Christmas special?

Christmas in Versailles: Chocolate Candy Cane Macarons

Nine years ago I fell in love with the Palace of Versailles from the comfort of my World History textbooks. I envisioned wandering the Hall of Mirrors, cascading down the grand outdoor stair cases leading to the various perfectly manicured gardens, and most importantly I envisioned a diet comprised solely of delicate French macarons.

Four years  and 5 months ago, I finally stepped foot into my history book dreams; I was at the Palace of Versailles! Every single step was overwhelming and glorious. The palace was large that I could have ever imaged, the gold was shiny-er that any printed book could portray, and the gardens were pristine oasis with stories hidden in each petal.

And the French macarons, Laduree Versailles, that is when I knew honestly and truly, I would forever be head over heels in love with Versailles.

With Christmas right around the corner here is to dreaming of Christmas in Versailles.


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Candy Cane Topping

  • 4 peppermint candy canes, crushed

Preparing the Macarons

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray macaron pan with non-stick spray, such as PAM Baking Spray.
  2. Sift almond flour, icing sugar, cocoa together. Set aside.
  3. Whisk egg whites with a hand mixer until foamy.  Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.  Reduce speed and gradually add extra fine sugar.  Increase speed and beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Slowly fold mixtures together. The batter will be very stiff and sticky, but continue to fold the mixture until is loosens.
  5. Transfer mixture to a piping bag. Pipe into macaron pan.
  6.  Once filled, tap the macaron pan a couple of times against your counter to release any air pockets.
  7. Decrease temperature to 325 just before placing the baking sheet in the oven.  Bake for five minutes and rotate pan for another 5 minutes.
  8. Let cool completely.

Filling the Macarons

  1. In a sauce pan, bring whipping cream to a boil.
  2. Pour over chocolate chips and stir until all melted.
  3. Set mixture aside until it has solidified and is spreadable.
  4. Gently spread a small amount of ganache on one macaroon and place another on top. Key is to be very gentle, these are extremely fragile.
  5. Pipe a dollop of ganache on to the top of the macaron and sprinkle crushed candy canes.



#tbt Cookie Dough Chocolate Cupcakes

#tbt to Cookie Dough Chocolate Cupcakes.

These decadent, cookie dough coma inducing cupcakes were inspired by someone pretty special *blush,blush*

In an attempt to wow a Mr.Wonderful, knowing his favourite dessert was anything cookie dough, I combined recipes and comprised the ultimate cupcake for cookie dough lovers across the world.

He devoured the cupcake while we drank black coffee, making plans for me opening a bakery and figuring out wild combinations of cupcakes, cookies, and squares. His eyes lit up with every bite of the cupcake, and he said my eyes lit up with every plan of my icing-sugar-chocolate-chip-covered future.

And while perhaps Mr.Wonderful didn’t turn out to be so wonderful, I’ll always have our cookie dough memories.

Cookie Dough Chocolate Cupcakes

Yields 16 cupcakes


Use your favourite recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes (I use Sally’s Baking Addiction Classic Chocolate Cupcake – with one adjustment: I ALWAYS put a package of instant pudding in my cupcakes)

Cookie Dough Centers

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups Chocolate Chips

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 cups powdered icing sugar
  • 1 package instant chocolate pudding

Cookie Dough Ball on Top

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips

The Assembling of the Cookie Dough Chocolate Cupcake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F and line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Fill each cupcake tin 1/2 way and add frozen cookie dough ball (see recipe below).

Cookie Dough Center 

  1. Combine butter and sugars until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Stir in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Roll into cookie dough balls and freeze for 30 minutes. Once the cookie dough has frozen place one cookie dough ball into the chocolate cupcake batter.

Bake at 350*F for 17-18 minutes.  

Chocolate Frosting

  1. Blend butter and vegetable shortening at high speed until fluffy and light (Butter will take on a lighter colour when whipped to perfection)
  2. Add in pudding and powdered icing sugar 1 cup at a time. Alternating with table spoons of heavy cream.
  3. Pipe onto cooled cupcake.

Cookie Dough Ball on Top

  1. Blend butter and sugars until smooth.
  2. Add heavy cream and vanilla.
  3. Slowly mix in flour.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Roll cookie dough into balls. Place on top of the frosting.