Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies

Squares and Cookies | November 23, 2016 | By

I know everyone is singing the same song right now.. but – CHRISTMAS IS COMING! How? I’m not sure. But it’s definitely coming. We’ve got a few lights up, a couple decorations. I’ve hacked at the holly bushes in my backyard (the red berries are so pretty against brush, and in a vase, and wherever else I can think to put them).

We’ve had amazing weather until this past week, so it has been kind of hard to feel like the holidays are upon us.  But this week brought rain.  Literally, for a week so far, it’s been raining.  And it’s not a warm rain.  It’s a very cold rain, and the air is damp.  Like, chill-in-your-bones damp.  Blech.  

I know lots of people won’t agree with me, but I think I’d much rather see a little bit of snow in there with that rain.  It’s so much prettier.  I do love a good rain.  But not a whole, solid week of it.  The kids are starting to drive driving me crazy.  Since last week.  
Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons
I love blondies! They’re so yummy. Brown sugar yummy-ness.

I’ve had this recipe as a brain-child since summertime, but I knew I wanted it to be a winter/Christmas thing.  So I held off.  It took me two tries, but I got them just right!  

The first time, I tried to squish them in an 8×8 pan.  No matter how long I baked them,  how brown they got on top, or how done the edges became – the middle was still gooey.  So.  We traded the smaller pan for a 9×13, and VOILA!  So much better.  And not falling-apart-gooey in the middle.  Don’t get me wrong, I like gooey, but this was wayy too much. 

Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons dsc_9144 Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons

Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies
Picture your traditional blond brownie (all that sugary goodness), and then throw in some awesome bursts of flavour, and that toffee crunch. Coated in brown sugar frosting. Oh-so-good.
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Blondies
  1. 3/4 cup butter, softened
  2. 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  5. 2 1/4 cups flour
  6. 2 tsp baking powder
  7. 1/4 tsp salt
  8. 1/2 cup Skor bits
  9. 1 medium apple, peeled and diced
  10. 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  11. 1/3 cup oats, optional
Frosting
  1. 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  2. 1/4 tsp vanilla
  3. dash salt
  4. 2 1/2-3 cups icing sugar
  5. 3-4 Tbsp milk
Blondies
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13 pan - set aside.
  2. Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add in eggs and vanilla - beat well.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Fold in Skor bits, apple, cranberries, and oats.
  5. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until the middle is set (a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean). Let cool before frosting.
Frosting
  1. Beat together butter, vanilla, salt and brown sugar.
  2. Add in icing sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate milk and icing sugar until you get a good consistency.
  3. Frost cooled blondies and top with those extra dried cranberries
Notes
  1. These blondies are super easy to mix up with a wooden spoon, but a mixer works too!
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/

I hope you’ll be adding these to your holiday baking list!
Bon Appetit!

If you’re looking for more apple or cranberry recipes, check out these Apple Ginger Scones, or this Pumpkin Cranberry Bread!

Linked up on Honest Mum, Buns in My Oven, Reasons to Skip the Housework, Lamberts Lately
Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Cran-Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons

Apple Ginger Scones

I sometimes wish that I had the time to jot down what I’m thinking about writing for a post right when I think of it.  Truth is – I don’t.  Saturday, when I was making these scones, I had great ideas about what to write in the post.  However, I was also doing laundry, refereeing children, trying to get them all dressed and ready to go, and making the house semi-presentable.  Oh, and making the best scones ever.  All I can remember about what I was going to write is that is was pretty good!  Maybe it’ll come back to me as I go along. 

I think it had something to do with the strong flavours that I seem to have a tendency to love.  I’ve mentioned before that I love all things peanut butter, anything with lavender in it, and ginger.  Ginger, oh ginger.  You are so yummy.  I normally keep a container of crystallized (or I call it candied) ginger in my cupboard.  It’s a great sweet treat every once in awhile.  Spicy and sweet.  Guess who else likes it?  My boys!  I think it’s pretty great that they share some of my loves.  Especially this one, because wow!  Sometimes that stuff is REALLY spicy.  

Apple Ginger Scones

Apple Ginger Scones

Apple Ginger Scones

There is a bakery in town that makes apricot ginger scones.  And I LOVE them.  The mellowing flavour of the apricot and the spicy kick from the ginger come together to make a bonkers awesome scone.  And I love those chewy chunks of both.  I don’t really like spending $4 for one scone though.  I wanted to try to recreate for at home, but using a seasonal fruit.  

Enter:  Apples. 

We went apple picking last weekend, so I had some really great ones on hand.  I think I used a Cortland.  It was a pretty big apple, but I used the whole thing – if you want less of an apple party in your scone, I’d suggest using a small apple, or only using half a large one.  It’s definitely customizable.  

Apple Ginger Scones Apple Ginger Scones Apple Ginger Scones

 

Apple Ginger Scones
Serves 8
Great scones, with sweet apples, and spicy ginger.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1/4 cup sugar
  5. 3/4 cup butter
  6. 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp buttermilk
  7. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  8. 1/3 cup candied ginger, chopped
  9. 1 medium apple, peeled and diced
  10. 1 Tbsp butter, melted (for brushing)
  11. Sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the first four dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers, until the crumbs resemble small peas.
  3. Pour in buttermilk and vanilla, and stir lightly, until just combined.
  4. Add in ginger and apples.
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a circle (about 9-10 inches diameter, 1 inch thick, or so). Cut into 6-8 pieces. Transfer to cookie sheet, leaving at least a 1/4 inch between scones. Brush tops with melted butter, and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. Let cool on cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes, and then either EAT or transfer to a cooling rack.
Notes
  1. You can most certainly cut these smaller, if you just want bite-sized scones, or cut them out into rounds! Whatever you're looking to do. Just note that they might have a shorter bake time if they're smaller.
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/
 I so hope you make these scones!  They’re pretty dang easy.  Just don’t over-mix them (you don’t want tough scones, do you?!).  I would highly recommend making these on a Saturday morning after one coffee, and then [trying] to drink a second cup leisurely as they bake in the oven.  So good. 

If you want to check out some other scones, here are some Lavender Berry Scones, and Raspberry Scones.

**Linked up on Naptime Creations, Honest Mum, Buns in My Oven, Lil Luna, Dear Creatives

Apple Ginger Scones Apple Ginger Scones Apple Ginger Scones

 

For the Love of Lists Week 10

Lists for Days | October 12, 2016 | By

Week 10 – Wut! Wut!  10 consistent weeks.  That calls for a party or something, right?  

I hope all you Canadians had a fantastic weekend, with lots of friends, family, and food!  We sure did.  I love the influx of people meandering through our house, and the ample quantities of caffeine consumed.  Tea and/or coffee with every visit.  Not to mention the excuse to get together with family members that we just don’t see often enough, even though we live withing easy driving distance.  It’s so great to spend some time with people. 

For the Love of Lists - Week 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess I could do a little jig about what I”m thankful for, huh?  

Starting off, I’m thankful for my Saviour, and the sanity & peace He grants me each day.  My wonderful hubby, and the smile he [almost] always puts on my face.  We’ve been best friends for so long, I’m still amazed that we got married 6 + years ago.  It’s pretty cool.  And then we had three crazy kids together!  And I’m so thankful for each of them, though they drive me to the brink of insanity every day.  πŸ˜‰  I’m thankful for all of our extended family, for putting up with us, and always being there.  For our house, where we can have lovely people over, and make memories together.  I’m thankful for fall, and the beautiful colours we have here.  It’s so gorgeous right now, and my kids are oohhing and ahhing every time we go for a walk.  I love that they appreciate it too.  I’m thankful for good food.  And lists.  They keep my scattered brain on track.  

I’m sure I’m thankful for much more, but I’m sure y’all have heard a lot of that this past week, so I’ll spare you past the lists…  Ha.

On that note – your weekly list!  I’ve been on a pinning spree in the sewing department (let’s see if I ever actually get anything sewn), so you’ll see some of that, some foooood, and some other random stuff!

  1. I made this cake for Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house.  I thought I may have killed about 10 of my sibling/cousins, due to all the groaning going on in the living room.  It was over-the-top amazing.  Super rich, and filling, but oh!  So worth it.  
  2. I get emails from Style Sweet CA (she’s amazing!!), and she compiled a bunch of her apple recipes in an email.  They all look so great I thought I’d share.  Her Honey-Apple Layer Cake, Apple Blackberry Pie, Salted Caramel Pie, Apple Toffee Crunch Cake, Cinnamon Caramel Apple Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting (<–WOW!), and Easy Cinnamon Apple Galette.  She writes for so many huge websites!
  3. I thought I’d throw in one of my own apple recipes.  It’s from the old blog and not quite reformatted yet, but these Apple Jelly Tea Rolls are SO good.  I’ve gotta make them again!
  4. I hate shower curtains.  They cling to you, they’re just super annoying and kind of gross.  But I’d consider getting this one.  (Not to mention how beautiful the bathroom is that it’s styled it!)
  5. In university, I had a prof in a Cooking 101 class that was VERY  adamant about NOT putting your knives in the dishwasher.  She was so passionate about it that I listened to her.  (And I REALLY don’t enjoy doing dishes.)  I still try not to put knives in the dishwasher.  This is why you shouldn’t.   
  6. I thought this article was pretty interesting.  He had a stroke at 26.  Take time to slow down.  You are special to people around you.
  7. Re-purposing things for you kids, some really great ideas!
  8. I’ve been really wanting to sew something for Briar, and I’m not good at following direction, so I just pin ideas of things that I may be able to do without instruction.  This dress, and these dresses.  So adorable.  

Have a great end-0f-your-week!

**Me holding that amazing cake mentioned in #1.  It was so yummy.  Forgive the tired eyes.  A migraine was in progress in this picture…

Coming soon:  A Month in Pictures – September installment.

Apple Jelly Tea Rolls and a Breakdown

Okay, so have you ever reached that point where you just don’t know what to do?  I have.  Many times.  And today was a perfect example.  Imagine moving into a house, but only moving half of you belongings.  The house is completely full, and very neat.  All of a sudden, the rest of your belongings arrive (with no prior notice).  You have nowhere to put them, and your neat, new house is going to be in shambles and busting at the seams.

Sigh.

This actually happened.

Except it really wasn’t all bad, just completely overwhelming at the time.  My house is coming together!  I love it.  (The top floor anyways, as the other half of my belongings – plus much of the first half – are down in the basement thrown everywhere.  I’m surprised there is room to move!)  Apparently, I am was a packrat.  I have changed, I promise!  My mother will never believe me after everything she found in my bedroom, but give me a break.  I’ve been in the same room my whole life.  Of course there is going to be a lot of junk stuff.  πŸ™‚  Right?

And these rolls make me feel better either way.

Anyhow.  That was how my afternoon went.  The rest of the day was great.  Awesome sunshine, walks, a big brunch with my family, BBQ hamburgers for supper…  Can’t complain about that.

But.  You guys can complain.  I’ve relapsed into my ‘no posting syndrome’ from a few months ago.  Thing is, I just didn’t have the umption in my gumption (as some older lady in my family would say..)  But I’m trying to overcome this awful disease.  I would have you know that I baked the first thing ever in OUR house Thursday.  It was great.  Until I remembered I had no eggs.  And the recipe called for 3.  I had already started…  *Sigh, AGAIN.  But it turned out okay.  I’ll post those soon.  (Keep your eye out for Peanut Butter Cream-wiches – super yummy, especially if you’re a sucker for peanut butter anything, like moi.)  You know.  There are too many things I really want to post, and too little time (especially when I’m not posting… haha.  I’ll get my act together, okay?)

So.  This recipe.  I hope it’s going to BLOW.  Your.  Socks.  OFF!  πŸ™‚  I thought they turned out really good anyways.  Coulda eaten the whole lot of em.  My brother Caleb even said that they were a keeper (so they must have been good…)!

A few weeks ago, I posted my grandmother’s awesome recipe for Cinnamon Rolls.  This is my twist.  They are still rolls, but less the cinnamon, and add many other yummy, wonderful ingredients.  Like tea.  And jelly.  Mmmmm…

Apple Jelly Tea Rolls

(Or Absolutely Divine Yummyness – whichever you prefer)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup margarine, softened

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk, warmed

4 tea bags (I used breakfast tea, but really any black tea will work great)

1 tsp vanilla

Salt

3 cups flour

3 1/2 tsp baking powder

Before you do anything else, but your tea bags in the warmed milk to steep.  You want to get as much flavour out of them as possible.

(Do it.  Seriously – the more tea, the more awesome.)  Then preheat your oven to 350 and get baking!  Beat together sugar and margarine.  Mix in eggs, vanilla, and salt.  Discard tea bags, and add the milk to your mixture.  Mix until combined.  Add flour and baking powder, gradually.  The dough should look something like this:

Next, roll out your dough into a rectangle.  Spread on 1 cup of apple jelly, evenly.

I used homemade apple jelly from our very own apple trees.  It is so good.  If I make some this summer, I’ll most definitely share the recipe!

Sprinkle with brown sugar, and a slight dusting of cloves.  I was so proud of my addition of the cloves.  They add a wonderful aroma, and it just goes so well!

Next, roll the dough along the long edge.  Cut into 12 rolls.  Place on a greased baking sheet, and bake for about 20 minutes.

While they are baking, you can make the glaze.  (I know, it just gets better and better all the time, eh?)

You will need to steep 3 more tea bags in a 1/2 cup of warmed evaporated milk.  After they have steep for a good while (at least 10 minutes), mix in a pinch of salt and cloves, and 3 cups of icing sugar.  Mix until smooth.  Drizzle over cooled tea rolls, generously.

*Note – You will definitely have leftover icing.  Save it.  You will want to dunk every piece into it.  Even after you’ve drowned them in drizzle…

{I may have made a slight mess…}

And you will love them.

Again, please forgive my tardiness for posting.  I’m ashamed of myself.  Disgusted really.  But, it happens.  So.  There you have it.  A post.  Long awaited by many…  I hope.  πŸ™‚

Will this picture make up for it?

Hope so.

Have a great rest-of-your-weekend!

What is your favourite kind of tea?  (I love too many kinds to make a decision… but anything vanilla, or peach… )

Berry Trifle

Dessert | March 20, 2012 | By

This post is going to be a smorgasbord of many things.  Just to warn you.

The last 24 hours have been pretty great.  It started out last night with an apple crisp.  We got home from our Bible study, and I needed something to eat.  Something half sweet and half healthy.  Apple crisp was my answer.  It was pretty darn good.  And cute too.

I’ll share this recipe with you some other time.

Then today, we (as in me and Mom) made a blueberry streusel coffee cake (minus the steusel, adding cream cheese icing).

She made the cake, I made the icing and iced it.  Combined effort.  It happens a lot around here.

I thought it looked really pretty, so I just couldn’t resist the urge to photograph it.  πŸ™‚

I forgot to mention that it was an absolutely beautiful day today.  The most excellent first day of spring.  23 degrees, sunshine, clear skies – wow.  I just wanted to find as many chores outside as possible, so that I could spend as much time soaking up the sunshine as I could.  And soaking in the good mood it puts me in.  I love what a good, pretty, day-in-the-sun kinda day can do.  It really lightens my spirit.  I am always so thankful for the beauty around me on sunshiny days.  So pretty…  that we went for a walk.  Or two.  The second walk took my little family downtown.  Such a pretty little town, with cute, obnoxious ducks, and friendly people.

We started with the ducks.  Cael loves to watch them.

Then we walked.  And visited the store.

It was really just a great all-around day.  I enjoyed it.  I hope tomorrow is just as great.  I pray that I would just really appreciate every day, more and more.  Each one is special.

To the recipe.

Caleb.  He’s my biggest little brother.  He has finally gotten taller than me, he’s blonde, and he’s REALLY good at making a mess. …. .  Especially in the kitchen.  He’s actually quite notorious for it.  He never follows a recipe (he tries, it just never happens), and always makes the biggest mess physically possible ever time…  And leaves the mess for someone else to clean up.  I must say though, he’s gotten better.  I’ll give him that much.

Just a disclaimer before I start…  Caleb has informed me that the next time he makes this, I am to take better pictures as this one ‘is not pretty’.  (He kind of tried to squish too much into a little bowl…)  So, I’ll give you better pictures sometime in the future.

Berry Trifle
Creamy filing with a fluffy cake and berries! Best trifle!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 angel food cake (a cake mix works, but if you really want to make your own, that's cool)
  2. 500 ml whipping cream
  3. 2 pkg cream cheese, softened
  4. 2 Tbsp sour cream
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 1 cup icing sugar
  7. 1 pkg vanilla pudding mix
  8. Mixed berries (a mix of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc - whatever you like, however much you like)
Instructions
  1. Prepare angel food cake. Cut into cubes (about 1-inch cubes)
  2. Blend cream cheese, sour cream, and vanilla together. Add icing sugar and pudding mix.
  3. Whip the whipping cream.
  4. Fold into cream mixture.
  5. Stir cake cubes into the cream mixture. Β Put half of mixture into a trifle dish. Β Top with berries. Add the rest of the cake/cream mixture, and top with remaining berries.
Adapted from Caleb
Adapted from Caleb
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/

This is delicious.  I can never help but take at least two servings.  Even when my belly feels like it might just explode.  I have GOT to eat more.  Mmmmm…  If you are on a diet, sorry, but you need to try this.  Please.  It’s just so good!

He enjoys it….  πŸ™‚

Do you have fun in the kitchen?  Do you make a mess? 

{I know I do!}

**Linked up on Lambert’s Lately, Honest Mum