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

Hot Cross Biscuits

Three months.  That’s all the time I have left before baby numero dos is due.  (Unless of course, he…  or she, comes early…)  It seems like a long time, but I know it will just fly by.  Especially with Christmas coming.  I know, I know – I shouldn’t even have mentioned the ‘C’ word, but it’s true.  It’s a’comin’.  And personally, I’m pumped for the shopping trips.  Buying things for people, baking = fun, fun, fun.  Busy, but fun.  And our little guy will actually be aware of everything this year.  I’m super excited to see how he reacts to all the hullabaloo.  And that means baby will be along shortly (and I can stop going to work! Not that I’m excited about that, or anything…).

Thanksgiving anybody?  It was great to have a turkey dinner.  I made my first ever yule log thingy (and it was awesome – and I’ll share it with you soon!).  Dark Chocolate Buche de Noel.   Yum.  It was the first dessert gone at our family gathering.

Anybody say cute?

Here he is:

{My cutest little boy ever…  I’ve got to say that as many times as I can in the next three months in case I have another boy!  Isn’t he just great though?}

So I’ve got three words for you.

Joy. the. Baker.

Check her out.  She is an inspirational food blogger.  Just your everyday Joe, but she’s amazing.  I love everything she writes, and cooks, and I don’t know the girl.  But I wish I did.  She recently came out with her first cookbook (SO awesome!). And here was the chain of events that followed:

Got her cookbook.

Loved it.

Wanted to bake everything in it.

So what did I do?  Went to her blog and made something from there instead.  Hot Cross Biscuits, to be exact.  But don’t worry, a few days later I made her Cinnamon Sugar Rice Pudding out of the cookbook.  It rocked world.  But not near as much as these biscuits.  They were awesome.  I would make them again, and again.  And eat them.  All.

Hot Cross Biscuits

These are just slightly adapted from Joy’s recipe:

**I used dried cranberries in half of the recipe, switched orange zest for lemon, and didn’t use icing

Makes 8 to 12 biscuits

Print this Recipe!

For the Biscuits:

3 cups  flour

2 Tbsp sugar

4 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup butter, cold and cut into small cubes

1 large egg

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 tsp orange zest

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease with shortening, and set aside.

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Using a pastry blender, cut in butter, until resembles flakes of oatmeal.

Add cranberries

Whisk together egg and buttermilk.

Slowly fold into butter/flour mixture, just until all the flour is wet.  Place on a floured surface and knead slightly.  Roll out until dough is 1 inch thick, and cut with a biscuit cutter (whatever size pleases you, really).

Brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bottom.  Remove from oven and let cool.

These are amazing served with butter and jam.  I omitted the cranberries from half of my recipe, and I loved them both ways.

Bon appetit!

30 Day Challenge

Day 10 – Discuss your first love and first kiss

Well.  That’s [fairly] early.  My first love would be my hubby.  I’ve had a crush (and then wayyy more than a crush) on him since elementary school.  Sure, we’ve had ups and downs.  But I never ever gave a thought to us not being together.  There were scary times, when it came close, but we got through.  He’s handsome, in a rugged (which is my favourite!) way.  Funny, sarcastic, great hubby, wonderful Daddy – these are only a few of the things that I love about him.  I’ve got to mention his little crooked smile, and the mischievous look he gets too.  They’re just too good to pass up.  He is the only guy I’ve ever kissed (other than my daddy, of course).  The first time was, well, messy.  And I thought about it for months…  Okay, maybe years.  Because we really had two first kisses.  The second time was… not so messy.  It made my heart flutter (literally, I think I could have had a heart attack), and I was so nervous both times, I could’ve thrown up.  But it was great.  I’ve kissed him a million times since.  Gets better every time.  So there’s the juice.  Now you know.

(You guys do realize it’s taking me about 30+ weeks to do this challenge instead of 30 days, right?  I’m slower than a tortoise!)

Peace out.

Cookie Dough Balls – 2 Ways

Squares and Cookies | January 21, 2012 | By

Hey, hope everyone has had a great January thus far.  2012 is flying by already.  My little guy is 6 months old today!  When people tell you that kids grow up fast, you nod, agree with them, but only half believe them.  Until…  your baby is born, then screaming, then laughing and smiling, then rolling, then eating solids, then cutting teeth…  and soon crawling, and now 6 months old!  It really does jet past.  My advice to others (and myself included), set down the laundry, stop doing the dishes, and spend time with your kids.  The dishes and laundry will always be there and never change, kids are different.  Enjoy them.  Every moment.  They’ll remember you spending time with them too.  Don’t get me wrong, you do need to get those things done, but in time.  It doesn’t always have to be done right away.

Our first family Christmas photo with our baby.

Okay, so I’m really proud of myself right now.  Second post in under a month.  Must be a record for me.  We went out this afternoon for lunch, it was awesome.  If you’re ever in NS, Canada, check out the Kiwi Cafe.  It’s sweet.

Today, I’ll fulfill my promise of sharing my cookie dough ball recipes with you.  I made these for a cookie exchange (one of two in two days… haha) over Christmas, and they were really great.  Sad thing was, I didn’t make extra for myself, and only got to sample half of each.  Guess it helped with my holiday weight gain that way…  sigh.  Oh well.  Next year, we’re making a triple batch!  😉  I made two different recipes for this exchange.  Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls, and Cranberry White Chocolate Skor Cookie Dough Balls (or CWCSCDB for… short?  Haha.).  Just a note – these recipes are especially for my friend Amanda, who tried these and loved them (I love hearing people enjoy food I make…!).

Don’t they look great?  Good enough to eat?

The chocolate chip balls were an idea I found on Pinterest, and adapted slightly to my own liking.  The other recipe was adapted from a cookie recipe given to me by a friend (they were actually supposed to be made into cookies for ice cream sandwiches, which I intend to try sometime!).

So!  First off, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
Yields 3
Cookie dough balls! Awesome for gifting, holidays, or just plain old eating whenever you want! Egg-free!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp salt
  3. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  4. 1 cup margarine, room temperature
  5. 3/4 cup white sugar
  6. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  7. 1 tsp vanilla
  8. 1/3 cup milk
  9. 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or mini chips)
  10. Coating: 1 pkg chocolate chips and 1/4 cup Parofin Wax.
Instructions
  1. Beat margarine and sugars in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla.
  2. Stir in flour, baking soda, oats and salt and mix on low-speed (or stir by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Form dough into 1" balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.
  4. Melt chocolate and wax in a double boiler.
  5. Using spoon, dip cookie balls into chocolate coating to cover. Tap on side of pan to remove any excess coating, and return to waxed paper-lined baking sheets.
  6. Chill until set.
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/

 

AND NOW, for the amazing Cranberry White Chocolate Skor Cookie Dough Balls.

Cranberry White Chocolate Skor Cookie Dough Balls
Yields 2
YUM! You must try this different take on cookie dough balls. So good.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup shortening, room temperature
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 3/4 cup milk
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 1 cup oats
  7. 2 cups flour
  8. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  9. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  10. 1/2 tsp salt
  11. 1/2 pkg white chocolate chips
  12. 1/2 cup Skor toffee bits
  13. 1 cup dried cranberries
  14. Coating: 1/2 pkg white chocolate chips and 1/4 cup Parofin Wax
Instructions
  1. Beat butter, and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla.
  2. Stir in flour, baking soda, oats and salt and mix on low-speed (or stir by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chips, Skor bits, and cranberries.
  3. Form dough into 1" balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.
  4. Melt chocolate and wax in a double boiler. Using spoon, dip cookie balls into chocolate coating to cover. Tap on side of pan to remove any excess coating, and return to waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill until set.
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/

 

They look good, inside and out.

So, I think these turned out wonderfully.

I stuck the recipes on them too.  

At the cookie exchange, there was a prize for the best packaging.  I had seen in a magazine a few ideas for food gifts.  One of them was to use an egg carton and scrapbooking paper.  I tried it – and it looked really neat.  It’s a great idea recycling-wise, and it won the prize too!  🙂  All you had to do was cut a strip of paper the size of the top of the carton (the part that lifts) and then cut out the holes where it closes, and glue it on.I put my cookie balls in the carton in small paper cups and then wrapped the carton with raffia and stuck in a sprig of a decoration thing that we’d picked up.

Hope you enjoyed the recipe.

Did anyone else try anything new this holiday season?  Have you guys discovered Pinterest yet?  

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Bread | November 10, 2011 | By

So, tis the season…  For pumpkin that is!  I love how the different seasons bring their own tastes, ingredients, aromas, and feels.  Right now, I could do with pretty much pumpkin anything.  The other day, I made a Dutch Pumpkin Apple Crisp (so good!), I’m currently craving a Pumpkin Spice Latte, I’m planning on making Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares this weekend, and TODAY I made Pumpkin Cranberry Bread.  As I said, pumpkin everything – literally.  If I had a pumpkin candle, you can be sure that would be lit in the kitchen too (what a good idea!).

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread | Whisks and Wooden Spoons

So, I thought I’d share my very first recipe on foreverfaithandfood (now on Whisks and Wooden Spoons)!  Hope you enjoy this Pumpkin Cranberry Bread recipe!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread | Whisks and Wooden Spoons

 

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
Fall bread. A punch of sour cranberries in a sweet pumpkin bread.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup canola oil
  2. 1/3 cup sugar
  3. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1 cup mashed pumpkin
  7. 1 ½ cups flour
  8. ½ tsp salt
  9. ½ tsp baking powder
  10. ½ tsp baking soda
  11. 1 tsp cinnamon
  12. ½ tsp each ginger, cloves, and nutmeg
  13. 1 cup dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan.
  2. In a bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, oil, sugars, and vanilla. Mix well. Add the flour, salt, baking powder & soda, and spices. Mix until flour is moist. Stir in cranberries.
  3. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.
Notes
  1. If you want to change it up a bit, substitute fresh cranberries for the dried. OR, you can omit the cranberries, and add raisins, chocolate chips, or pecans.
  2. If you want a slightly healthier version, use 1/4 cup apple sauce and 1/4 cup oil, instead of just oil, and cut back on the sugar by using only 1/2 cup total. You can also use a low-cal sweetener, but use less of it than you would sugar.
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/

 

If you like pumpkin, check out my Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares!

Hope you all enjoy it!!

Linked up on Lil Luna, and Buns in My Oven