VALENTINE’S DAY TEDDY GRAHAMS

Are you ready for something super easy? Something super quick? Something deliciously good? Look no further! These cute little teddy graham conversation hearts are the best thing ever! I was on Pinterest and randomly came across this idea posted by Hello Wonderful. ย I saw it and immediately knew I had to make these at home! And I kid you not, they’re super super super easy to make. Like literally, you need three ingredients. THREE! All you need are teddy grahams (any flavour will do!), conversation hearts and icing.

teddy-graham-2Okay, here’s the easy part. Putting them together!! Simply take a teddy graham, add some icing onto the back of the conversation heart and stick onto the bear. See so easy! And it’s an fun treat to put together with your young kids! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are some of the cute messages

Or my favourite one that my boyfriend loves to call me

teddy-graham-4

They sort of remind me of the Care Bears. I’m not going to lie, but I did sing the theme song while making these ๐Ÿ™‚ Just do the Care Bear’s Countdown 5,4,3,2,1!

teddy-graham-3

Now to the hard part….eating them! I meanย how dare you eat them?!

teddy-graham-1

TURKEY CUPCAKES

Gobble gobble gobble! I just can’t stop looking at these cute little turkeys! I’ve been looking forward to fall so much that I didn’t even realize how close thanksgiving was. Here at the Nagla residence, we tend to have a big thanksgiving celebration. We even have our own top secret menu which takes quite some time to prepare

dontgiveup

Thanksgiving Menu

Since I love to take control of cooking the meal each year, I try to have a good variety of dishes to serve. I made my first turkey about 5 years ago and haven’t looked back since. My whole turkey preparation process takes about 6 days from start to finish…yes, 6 days you heard me right. I start off by defrosting the bird in the fridge. I then clean the bird and soak it in a dry brine for 2 days. Once that’s complete, I rinse off the dry brine and prepare my herb marination. All it is is butter mixed together with the Naglas herb blend. For about a 10 pound bird, I like to use 2 cups of butter for this. I know, I know it seems like a lot of butter but trust me it’s thanksgiving. You deserve this ๐Ÿ™‚ I like to spread the butter and herb mixture in between the skin and meat. It makes for the most moist turkey you’ll ever have! Once the turkey has been marinated, put it back into the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.

Dessert has always been a huge deal for me. Which is why I put together these cute little turkey cupcakes! They look so cute that I can’t help but just pop them into my mouth! And they were actually quite easy to make. I made mini cupcakes just because my family prefers them over the regular sized ones but you can make any kind that you like ๐Ÿ™‚

To prepare these cute little turkey’s you will need the following,
– A batch of your favourite cupcakes
– Melted chocolate
– Candy eyes
– Buttercream frosting
– Red, orange and yellow gel food colouring
– Piping bags
– Wilton round tip #2 & petal tip #124 (any flat tip will do though)

Start off by preparing your turkey body. For this, I melted some dark chocolate and piped it into a peanut shape on some wax or parchment paper. While the chocolate is still at the liquid stage, add some cute little candy eyes. Wait for the chocolate to set once the eyes have been added.

 

turkey-body

In 3 small bowls, divide the buttercream equally and prepare the red, orange and yellow frosting. Add the coloured frosting into 3 piping bags with the petal/flat tip. Using the red frosting, pipe fan like strokes on the top third of the cupcake. Using the orange frosting, repeat on the second third of the cupcake. Finally with the red frosting, pipe the bottom third.

Yay! now that the hard part is over, we can enjoy the fun stuff in life ๐Ÿ™‚ Carefully peel off the turkey bodies and put them onto the cupcakes. When I started this, I kept using my fingers and the heat kept melting the bodies ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Once the bodies have been put onto the cupcakes, take some yellow frosting and pipe out the beaks (using the #2 tip) and pipe out the snood/wattle with the red frosting. And voila! Your turkey is now complete!!!

turkey

APPLE CRISP

Holy smokes! I feel like I’ve been waiting FOREVER for summer to come to an end! Don’t get me wrong, I love patio season but fall and winter are where it’s at! I love wearing boots, layering on sweaters and jackets and of course did I mention the joy of hibernating? ๐Ÿ™‚

Since it’s apple season, I made sure I stocked up on our apples. I’ll find any excuse to make anything that has apple in it. I had an allergy test done a couple of months ago and I found it incredibly interesting how the doctor told me that I was allergic to apples. Like seriously? Me? The person who’s allergic to like a thousand things and counting? I literally laughed at him and said whatever, I’m still eating it anyway. I mean how can I say no to apple pies? Apple tarts? Sliced apples with soy butter? Yes, I know you probably think that’s disgusting but I’m allergic to peanut butter..Like actually allergic allergic..Like anaphylactic shock allergic.

No matter how full I am after a meal, I can’t say no to dessert. Better yet, I can’t say no to apple crisp!ย I’ve always had a vision of living on a farm and baking apple crisp. After baking it, I’d let it cool on the window sill while my husband rounded up all the cattle.

I used to bake many variations of apple crisp back when I was in middle school. That was how I came up with this wonderful recipe. Try out this delicious apple crisp and let me know what you think of it! I’m sure it won’t disappoint! ๐Ÿ™‚

APPLE CRISP

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 75 Minutes (Bake time is 60 Minutes)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS:ย 


  • 4-5 medium apples (peeled, cored and cut intoย ยฝ inch pieces)
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsp of ground cinnamon
  • ยฝ cup and 2 tbp of granulated sugar
  • ยผ cup and 2 tbsp of light brown sugar
  • ยพ cup of all purpose flour
  • dash of salt
  • 1 cup of old fashioned rolled oats (do not use the quick cooking)
  • ยฝ cup (1 stick) of salted butter (cut into small cubes)

DIRECTIONS:


  1. Preheat the oven to 375ยบF. Move the oven rack to the middle position in the oven.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the apples with the lemon juice, cinnamon, ยฝ cup of granulated sugar and 2 tbsp of brown sugar. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, combine the flour, ยผ cup of brown sugar, 2 tbsp of granulated sugar and salt. Cut the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the oats and mix together to form large clumps
  4. In a large baking dish, add in the apple mixture and add in the topping mixture on top. Bake the crisp in the oven for approximately 50-60 minutes. Crisp will be ready ย once it’s a deep golden brown.
  5. Let the crisp cool for about 8-10 minutes until topping with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy digging in!! ๐Ÿ™‚apple-crisp

BOMBASTIC BROOKIES

Brookie 1

This is what happens when cookies get confused

I had this insane craving for some fudgy brownies AND chocolate chip cookies. Since I try to teach myself some discipline and self-control over what sweets I indulge in, I had such a hard time deciding what to make. But then it dawned on me… why can’t I have a bit of both? I initially thought of making my classic fudgy brownies (Recipe will be up soon) and topping them with a chocolate chip cookie…..But however I wasn’t in the mood for a bar/square. I wanted a decedent cookie. Something to dip into my cold milk. I started brainstorming and it came to me. What if a brownie and cookie dated? What would it’s celebrity name be? That my friends would be called a BROOKIE!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

I knew the hardest thing when making these oh so delish brookies would be the consistency. It had to be in sync or else everything would be a mess and my dreams would be shattered and nobody wants to shatter my dreams. I started my quest and made both a brownie and cookie batter. I wish I could lie to you all and say 1/4 of it didn’t end up in my stomach. But oh well, a happy stomach = a happy baker. Once you’ve made both of the batters, you’re going to want to refrigerate them for a good 2-3 hours or overnight unless you want deformed unappealing brookies. Normally, I would use parchment paper but somebody (I won’t say who) forgot to buy some during their Costco run. So I had to make do with what we had which was good old aluminum foil ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next comes the fun part! Making the brookies..or I should I say hooking the brownie and cookie up. Take a mini ice cream scoop or a tablespoon and measure out the dough into little balls. Once all of the dough has been rolled into balls, take one of each and place together to form a bigger ball.
Note: ensure you wash your hands after forming each brookie unless you want to end up with a brownkie.

Bake the amazing brookies for about 8-9 minutes, remove from the heat and cool on a baking rack ๐Ÿ™‚ I received many compliments from my family and friends after making these brookies but of course it didn’t mean anything to me because my mind was already thinking about what would happen if the brookie had a love child….. ๐Ÿ˜‰

ย 

BOMBASTIC BROOKIES

  • Servings: 24 Brookies
  • Time: 30 Minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS


ย Brownie Dough

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

ย Chocolate Chip Dough

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

ย DIRECTIONS


  1. Start off by making the brownie dough. Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Add the milk next until just combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips. Set aside.
  2. Next make the chocolate chip dough. Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Add in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Slowly mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Wrap both of the doughs separately in parchment paper and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350ยฐF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Measure 1 tbsp or a mini ice cream scoop of the brownie dough. Roll into a ball. Repeat this with the chocolate chip dough.
  6. Take a brownie and chocolate chip ball and press them together to form a larger ball. Repeat for each cookie. Note, the brownie dough will get onto your hands so you will need to wipe them after each cookie is rolled.
  7. Bake the cookies for 8-9 minutes and Enjoy!!

Brookie 2

LUCKY CHARM SQUARES

Lucky Charms…they’re magically delicious! Here is a spin off on the traditional rice crispy squares and I thought St Patrickโ€™s day would be a wonderful time to do it ๐Ÿ™‚

We weren’t allowed too many sugary cereals while growing up. So naturally I’d be over the moon when a box of Lucky Charms magically appeared in our cereal drawer ๐Ÿ™‚ One of my favourite things to do was grab a big bowl of it and eat it while watching the usual after school shows such as Recess, Rugrats, Hey Arnold and of course Arthur! Which btw still records at 7am every day at our house ๐Ÿ˜‰

I used to love eating the cereal first and leaving the marshmallows until the end. My sister would always come up to me and demand me to give her half of my cereal. I would object and my mom would deny my request since too much sugar got me hyper active. By that time however the only thing remaining in the bowl would be the marshmallows so all my hard work pretty much went down the drain

I used a traditional recipe to create these treats. It’s super easy and a great way to get your kids involved too!

LUCKY CHARM SQUARES

  • Servings: 16 Squares
  • Time: 15 Minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:


  • ยผ cup of salted butter
  • 1 10 oz bag of marshmallows
  • 3 drops of green gel food colouring (can omit if needed)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 6 cups of Lucky Charms cereal
  • cooking spray

DIRECTIONS:


  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the marshmallows, food colouring (if desired) and vanilla extract. Once the mixture has melted remove from heat.
  2. Quickly stir in the cereal until evenly distributed.
  3. Transfer onto a 9×9 greased baking dish. Cool for about 45 minutes to an hour. Cut into squares and Enjoy!

Photo 2016-03-14, 8 04 22 PM

 

HONEY O CEREAL BARS

These amazing no bake cereal bars are literally the best! They are just so simple & easy to make and of course require no effort. The nice cherry on top is that they are completely nut, peanut and coconut free; making them lunch friendly when your children take them to school ๐Ÿ™‚

Growing up with a nut allergy was extremely hard when I was little. Not only did my parents have to read all the ingredients on every little thing I had, they also had to monitor everything I ate. Unfortunately dinner parties were the worst! We would arrive to our family friends homes and I would immediately be drawn to the nicely displayed food. I remember how the first thing my mother would do was ask the hostess if there were any nuts in any of the foods. And of course before they could answer, I’d have gobbled down anything in front of me. Within seconds I would start having a reaction and go into an anaphylactic shock.

One of the reasons why I started making these bars was because I grew tired of trying to find bars that were completely nut free. I had been to so many grocery stores and all I could find were ones that were peanut free. The downside with the peanut free bars was that they still would contain coconuts or other nuts. Overall, I was able to find completely nut free bars but unfortunately they ended up having way too much sugar

To make these bars, I start off by melting some butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. I then add some brown sugar, cinnamon and of course HONEY! Western Sage Glacier Creamed Honey is where itโ€™s at! Itโ€™s just so rich in flavour and I’m able to put it on just about everything. I then combine that liquid mixture with some cereal (any of your favourite will do) and I add some raisins as well.

The neat thing about this recipe is you can put just about anything you like into it! I’ve shared this recipe with some friends and they decided to put in some dried fruit and nuts instead of raisins and it worked completely well with them ๐Ÿ™‚

ย 

HONEY O CEREAL BARS

  • Servings: 16 Bars
  • Time: 15 Minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS


ย 3 Tbsp. of butter
– 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
– 1/4 cup of honey
– 1 tbsp. of cinnamon
– 4 cups of cereal (I used Multi Grain Cheerios)
– 1/2 cup of raisins

ย DIRECTIONS


  1. Line a 9×9 square baking pan with parchment paper
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, honey and cinnamon
  3. Bring to a boil and continue stirring for 2 minutes and remove from heat
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cereal, raisins and butter mixture.
  5. Pour the cereal mixture into the parchment lined pan and let the bars cool completely and then cut into squares

Photo 2016-02-01, 6 59 03 PM

MINI REINDEER CUPCAKES

Who doesn’t love cute little mini reindeers? I wanted to make these cute little guys for Christmas last year but as always, Christmas came and left in a blink of an eye.

Late one night, I was scrolling through Pinterest and an imagine captured my eye! I saw these cute mini reindeers that I just knew I had to make! I found them on Bakerella and I just love all of her ideas! Many of the things I bake are ideas that I’ve gotten from her site.

They may look hard and complicated to make but overall they are actually quite easy. All you really need are mini cupcakes (I used vanilla), chocolate, black and white icing and black jellybeans. Of course make sure you have one red one for Rudolph ๐Ÿ˜€

Steps on how to make these cupcakes are located here.

Happy Baking! ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_3156

CHRISTMAS TREE SUGAR COOKIES

The countdown to Christmas is on! I’ve been wanting to make these Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies since summer! They were super easy to make and you can ice them with any sort of candy/ chocolate that you can find ๐Ÿ™‚ For these cookies I used my favourite sugar cookie recipe. Just make sure the dough has been chilled to avoid your shapes from spreading…I had an absolute fail a couple years ago. I was using a very detailed cookie cutter and spent sooo much time perfectly cutting out the cookies. After a couple of minutes in the oven, the perfect snowman shape turned into a big round blob.

After your cookies have cooled, ice them however you prefer and top with your candy/chocolate. My boyfriend and I were in Langley on the weekend and if we’re in Langley, I absolutely NEED to stop at Scoop and Save. They have everything you can possibly imagine! I got some white sanding sugar, tri-coloured candy pearls and some white chocolate pearls. The only downside is that once you’ve made them they’re so hard to not eat. Trust me, I’ve had 4 already ๐Ÿ˜‰

Christmas Tree Sugar Cookie

SKELETON GINGERBREAD COOKIES

Gingerbread and fall just go so nicely hand in hand:) And of course when hearing the word fall…HALLOWEEN comes to mind! I thought of this cute gingerbread spin off while grocery shopping at Costco a couple of weeks ago. I’m still tweaking the gingerbread recipe but hopefully it’ll be good to go by Christmas time ๐Ÿ˜€

These cookies are so easy to make that even your kids will want to help make them! Simply prepare your favourite gingerbread recipe and use cookie cutters to cut out your shapes. For these cookies, I used my gingerbread man cookie cutter that I found on Amazon. I love the cute little grips on the Wilton cutters. They definitely come in handy when you make over 100 cookies ๐Ÿ™‚ Throughout the years, I’ve realized that after you cut our your cookies, refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes before putting them into the oven. This ALWAYS ensures the cookie shape is still intact. I learned this the hard way when I made Christmas tree cookies and ended up with a full sheet of just one melted cookie.

The fun part begins once the cookies are done baking in the oven ๐Ÿ™‚ Usually, I would use Royal Icing but I didn’t have the time to prepare some. Well, actually I was just plain lazy ๐Ÿ˜‰ Instead I sifted up some icing sugar and added some boiling hot water. Super easy and simple! Just ensure the icing sugar is sifted and the ratio used was 1 cup icing sugar with 1 tsp of hot water.

I ran out of piping bags at home so I just used a Ziploc bag and piped the design on ๐Ÿ™‚ I then coloured some of the icing black and made some eyes! Again so simple and easy to make!

skeletons

CINNAMON SUGAR BAKED MINI DONUTS

If there’s one thing you HAVE to eat this weekend, it’ll be these warm, delicious BAKED mini cinnamon sugar donuts! And of course you won’t be able to stop with just one ๐Ÿ˜‰ Donuts have always been my guilty pleasure. I remember going grocery shopping with my grandparents when I was younger and as a treat, they’d always let me have a donut. It was always be either a old fashioned glazed or a sugar donut and trust me, I was in heaven during that whole grocery trip!

There are many different variations of donuts all around the world. During our trip to the Dominican last year, I noticed our resort made these fresh Dominican donuts. And of course, I always had to go back for seconds ๐Ÿ™‚ The donut looked much different than the ones sold here but surprisingly it tasted the same!

I’ve stayed away from making homemade donuts just because I hated the fact that I would be deep frying them. A couple of years ago, I noticed donut pans hitting the shelves. My first thought was ‘Do I really need yet another baking pan that I’m never going to use?’. I wanted to get the pan but I really wanted a MINI Donut pan! I went online and found whole bunch but I really wanted to see the pan in person to look at the material and durability of it. My boyfriend and I were at Winners one day and magically found a mini one that I just had to get!

Donut Pan

Wolfgang Puck’s 12 Count Mini Donut Pan

This recipe is super easy to make! I pretty much took a cookie recipe and turned it into a donut recipe. It consists of butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, salt, flour and of course I added milk ๐Ÿ™‚ I mixed these ingredients up in my stand mixer and then added them to a piping bag. I found the piping bag helps a lot with filing the pan evenly without creating a huge mess!

Donut Pan Filling

Mini Donut Pan Ready For The Batter!

You can choose to butter your pan before adding in the batter. Once the donuts are done baking in the oven, remove them and let them chill on a wire rack. To top the donuts, I simply dipped them in melted butter and then then dipped them in a cinnamon sugar mixture!

CINNAMON SUGAR BAKED MINI DONUTS

  • Servings: 12 Mini Donuts
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:


BATTER:
–ย ยฝ cup of unsalted butter (room temperature)
–ย ยฝ cup of sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 tbsp of vanilla
–ย ยฝ cup of whole milk
– 1ยฝ cups of all purpose flour (sifted)
– 2 tsp of baking powder
–ย ยผ tsp of salt

TOPPING:
–ย ยผ cup butter (melted)
–ย ยผ cup sugar
– 1 tbsp of cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:


  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบF
  2. To prepare the batter, In a stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the vanilla, egg and milk. Mix until combined.
  4. Add in the flour, baking powder and salt until just combined. Ensure the batter is not over mixed.
  5. Add the batter to a piping bag and fill each cavity halfway.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the baked donuts and allow to cool.
  7. To prepare the topping, melt the butter in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar.
  8. Dip each donut lightly in the butter and then dip into the sugar mixture

Donuts