Shattering Glass Ceilings: Princess Sugar Cookie Bars

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. I was probably 8 when I first heard that quote recited in Princess Diaries and it remains one of the most powerful statements in my life.

I grew up with brothers and I previously spent 4 years working in an ‘old boys club’. I know what it is like to be a woman living in a world built by men for men. I quickly learned despite the injustice I would not allow this to stop me because I was raised by a woman who told me I could do anything. There was no such thing as girl jobs vs boy jobs, girl sports vs boy sports. My mom never let ‘being a girl’ fly as an acceptable excuse for me to not excel. My mother has filled her life with strong, kind, fashionable, and independent women who have raised young women like myself to never allow others to have the power to doubt ourselves and our abilities. My mother and her band of friends shatter glass ceilings and refuse to allow their daughters to do anything less than continue to shatter ceilings. When strong women empower other women the limit does not exist.

This recipe is dedicated to the Queen moms out there who both taught and showed their Princess daughters that Eleanor Roosevelt was right when she said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Thanks mom.

Princess Sugar Cookie Bars

  • 1 cup butter, cold
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
Vanilla Buttercream
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 package vanilla pudding
  • 3 tbsp whipping cream
  • 1 tsp magenta food colouring, optional
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles

Assembling the Bars

  1. In a stand mixer, whip butter until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing to combine.
  2. Mix in sugar until completely combined. Add vanilla.
  3. Gradually add flour until combined. Dough will be very sticky.
  4. Press dough evenly into pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
  5. While sugar cookie base is cooling, begin buttercream by whipping butter until fluffy.
  6. Add vanilla pudding powder and vanilla extract.
  7. Gradually add icing sugar alternating with whipping cream.
  8. If desired, add food colouring and mix until smooth.
  9. Spread thick layer of buttercream onto cookie bars. Add sprinkles. Regfrigerate for 1 hour.

Enjoy,

-Adele

The Banana Bread of Broken Hearts

One of my best friends just got out of a long term relationship; I am struggling to find a relationship with what seems to be an ongoing broken heart. We’ve both dabbled our feet back into the dating world and, like anything, it comes with super high highs and rock bottom lows.

He is better at taking the highs and cushioning for the lows. I get lost in the clouds and never brace myself for the falls.

A couple weeks ago, I called him with all my frustrations. His answer was short and sweet “You’re not missing out on him. Sure what you’re feeling right now may suck today, but in the long run you’re better off without”.

There’s something about your best guy friend telling you that you’re going to be okay that makes you actually believe you’re going to be more than ok.

When I hung up the phone, my phone flashed with a message, “Don’t let the world get you down. You’re better than them all, just like the banana bread”.

Heart Shaped Banana Bread

Yields 5 – 6  heart shaped muffins

  • 1 egg
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips, optional

Assembling the Banana Bread Hearts

  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a heart shaped muffin pan or normal muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat egg. Add mashed banana and Greek yogurt.
  3. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Gradually add flour and baking soda.
  5. Divide batter evenly into pan. Sprink chocolate chips, if desired. Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool.

Enjoy,

-Adele

Growing Up: Baby Showers and Cake Fillings

e.e cummings once wrote “It takes courage to grow up and become who we really are”. 

Today I had a grown up moment. Today I got to spend the afternoon celebrating a friend, who can only be described as my older sister. I got to see firsthand the beautiful courage and happiness that happens when we truly, honestly get to grow up. I was so honoured to call this Mama-To-Be my friend and my sister today. From the day she told me she was pregnant, I knew that her little bundle of joy had won the “mom” lottery. This baby would have a set of genetics that rivals Brad and Angelina, but more importantly this baby would have momma who was a fighter, a best friend, a joke when you need a laugh, and the perfect plan when you needed to get even or over that ex. 

I was honoured to spend the afternoon celebrating the woman she has become and helping her prepare for her greatest role, a mom. I was even more honoured to bake her a beautiful cake.

With love everyday. 

Strawberry Shortcake 

  

Strawberry Shortcake Buttercream Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1/4 shortening 
  • 1 vanilla pudding mix, dry
  • 5 tbsp whipping cream
  • 5 cups icing sugar 
  • 2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup sugar 

Assembling the Buttercream Filling 

  1. Blend butter and shortening until light and fluffy.
  2. Gradually add vanilla pudding mix.
  3. Add whipping cream and icing sugar, alternating. Stir until smoothing frosting. 
  4. In a food processor, process 1 1/2 cups of strawsberries until almost puréed. Chop remaining half cup of strawberries into small pieces.
  5. Stir sugar into strawberries. Fold strawberry and sugar mixture into buttercream frosting. Add additional icing sugar if necessary. 
  6. Chill in fridge for 15-20 minutes and fill cake layers. Any left over frosting filling can double as a crumb coat for your cake.

Enjoy,

-Adele 

Little Red Roaster Days: Raspberry and Coffee Muffins

I learned a lot in university. I learned about the panopticon and Canadian content regulations. I learned how to shorthand immaculate notes, how to sit in a three hour lecture with a hangover, and perhaps most importantly I learned to love coffee.

While at school at The University of Western Ontario (now Western University), I discovered Little Red Roaster coffee. For anyone living in London and reading this, please have a coffee for me. I would walk 30 minutes to the Covent Garden Market on Saturdays to get the coffee-to-end-all-coffee, or sometimes I would take 2 different buses to a library downtown for the brew.

Around this time each year, right as everyone begins to usher in Valentine’s Day, Little Red Roaster comes out with Chocolate Raspberry Coffee. Yes, it is as amazing as it sounds. It was the perfect treat for a weekend morning in the winter; it is rich and bold and perfect.

This morning I opened up my airtight container of Chocolate Raspberry Coffee Beans, grounded them up and decided to paid homage to a coffee shop that made me fall in love with caffeine. Thanks for making a coffee that reminded me a 20 page paper never even stood a chance against me and my Little Red Roaster.

Little Red Roaster Coffee and Raspberry Muffins

Yields 16 Muffins

  • 6 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp Little Red Roaster coffee grounds, not brewed (I used Chocolate Raspberry Coffee)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups raspberries

Crumble Topping

  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 tbsp Little Red Roaster coffee grounds, not brewed (I used Chocolate Raspberry Coffee)
  • 1/4 all purpose flour
  • 1/4 rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

Assembling the Muffins:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Line muffin tin cupcake liners.
  2. Melt butter and stir in coffee grinds. Let cool.
  3. Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and sugar. Add butter and coffee mixture.
  4. Gradually add flour and baking powder.
  5. Carefully fold in raspberries divide batter in muffin tin filling to be 2/3 full.
  6. While batter is settling, melt butter for crumble topping and add coffee grinds.
  7. In a separate bowl stir together flour, oats and sugar. Gradually add butter and coffee mixture.
  8. Spoon 1-2 tbsp of crumble mixture onto muffins.
  9. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Let cool.

Enjoy,

-Adele

The Cristina Yang to Your Meredith: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Comfort Cookies    

We’ve all had those days where we lose. We lose a job, a loved one, a little bit of innocence. Similarly we all have those day where we win. We get a free coffee, the promotion we worked for, we get exactly what we wanted. Most days I feel like I’m playing Russian Roulette; will it all work out or will it come crashing down? I’m Type A, I love routines and schedules and doing all I can in an attempt to flawlessly move along in life, but the fear of never knowing exactly what’s next scares and excites.

Behind each of those good day, bad days, anxiety and excitement for the future is your person. Cristina Yang said it best “She’s my person. If I murdered someone, she’s the person I’d call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor. She’s my person.”

Your person is the head cheerleader in the front row on your best day and crutch you need on your worst. It is never a question of why with your person it is just a nod in agreement. Your person is ease, grace, and your person is comfort.

So here is a recipe inspired by all the Cristina Yangs and Meredith Greys out there; especially mine.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Comfort Cookies

Yields 12-15 Cookies 

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Assembling the comfort cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine butter and sugars until smooth. Add egg and vanilla.
  3. In a seperate bowl, combine flour, oats, and baking soda.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients.
  5. Stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  6. Roll dough into 1 inch diameter balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 11 minutes. Let cool.

Enjoy,

-Adele

Swipe Right: Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

Let’s get one thing straight when it comes to perfect couples Peanut Butter and Chocolate have it on lockdown. I’m a hopeless romantic, as you can tell from the fact that I just called PB and chocolate an item. In a world of Tinder nightmares and ghosted relationships it is sometimes hard to believe there is a perfect, forever match for each and every one of us. It’s exhausting; all the swiping right or left, the small talk, the letting down easy, the building it up. And then all of a sudden it clicks, it isn’t work; it’s fun and exciting and makes you feel like you were eating plain chocolate all along and then someone gave you a peanut butter cup!

With Valentine’s Day (one of my favourite holidays) just around the corner I know finding the perfect match is on almost all of our single-people minds. If you’re lucky enough to have found your peanut butter, I wish you all the love. And if you’re still searching…Happy dating, keep your heads up, the peanut butter to your chocolate is out there.

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge


30 Reese Peanut Butter Cups

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1 cup dark chocolate chips

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus 1/4 cup for drizzle

1 1/2 cans sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup peanut butter, melted

Assembling the Fudge:

  1. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Line the bottom of the pan with peanut butter cups (approx. 15).
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat combine the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Stir until melted.
  3. Pour chocolate over the peanut butter cups in pan. Smooth the chocolate.
  4. Chop the remaining peanut butter cups and put on top of the chocolate.
  5. Melt the peanut butter and additional chocolate chips and drizzle over the layer of chopped peanut butter cups.
  6. Cover and chill in fridge. Once chilled cut into small squares.

 Enjoy,

-Adele

Mid-Winter’s Summer Dream: Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

Well it is here: January. It’s cold, I mean the bitter, hurts your face, never-going-to-get-warm-again cold. Okay, I’ll admit it, I love winter. I enjoy the cold, but not this. And if a Wednesday back into the full swing of work and the sub-zero temperatures don’t have you dreaming of summer and sun and all things hot (like Olaf), then you can just stop reading right now. There is nothing better on a sweltering hot day than the refreshing taste of citrus, and the taste of August in a raspberry.

So here’s to remembering when we complained about sweltering heat.

Lemon Cupcakes and Raspberry Buttercream

Yields 16 Cupcakes

 Cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup buttermilk

Raspberry Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup of raspberries

Assembling the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with liners.
  2. Mix melted butter with sugar. Add eggs and beat in vanilla extract, lemon juice, and zest.
  3. Combine flour and baking powder. Gradually add to wet mixture.
  4. Divide mixture into cupcake pan. Bake for 16 minutes. Let cool completely.

Raspberry Buttercream

  1. Cream together butter and shortening.
  2. Gradually add 1 cup icing sugar.
  3. Add whipping cream and remainder of icing sugar.
  4. Stir in raspberries. Place in piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Enjoy,

-Adele