Raspberry Peach Crumble Bars

It’s like raspberry peach crisp in an easy to go bar form - what could be better!

raspberrypeachbars2.jpeg

Ok, so I don’t know about you guys, but I think apple crisp is a seriously underrated dessert. It’s one of those things that gets served when you don't have time to make a pie, and it’s often downplayed - but I think that this is a travesty and that any type of crips should be celebrated.

So while this recipe isn’t exactly the same as traditional crisp it’s pretty darn close. Now while this one is made with raspberries and peaches you could use any fruit that you love or is in season. Right now peaches are so ripe and sweet that it was perfectly balanced with the tart raspberries.

Now the one thing that you need to do it make sure you allow these bars to cool completely before you cut them. If you are impatient like me just know that you won’t get a solid bar that holds together. If you throw caution to the wind and cut them right away you might as well throw it in a bowl and eat it like a crisp, because that is what it will be.

But, if you are patient it will so be worth it! Having these as a treat in your lunch or to serve at a picnic or bbq will be absolute perfection and leave you wanting to make them day after day!

raspberrypeachbars.jpg

prep time 20 minutes

cook time 50 minutes

total time 1 hour 10 minutes

servings 10 - 12 bars

Ingredients

2 cups oats

1 1/2 cups flour + 2 tbsp

1 cup brown sugar + 2 tbsp

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup cold butter

3 cups fresh raspberries

1 peach

2 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup raspberry jam

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine oats, 1 1/2 cup of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Add in butter that has been cubed then using a pastry cutter cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a crumble. Pour 1/2 of the crumble into the baking sheet and press down evenly. Bake for 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl add in raspberries, remaining flour, brown sugar and vanilla. Toss so that all of the raspberries are evenly coated in the flour (I like to use my hands so that the raspberries do not get crushed).

To the baked crust evenly spread out the raspberries then add on 1 tsp dollops of the jam. Top with the peach that has been thinly sliced then sprinkle remaining crumble over the top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing into bars.

raspberrypeachbars3.jpg

Soft Pretzels with Beer Cheese

Soft Pretzels with Beer Cheese - the perfect thing to serve Dad this Fathers Day weekend!

pretzels.jpeg

It’s almost Fathers Day so what better way to celebrate than with pretzels and beer cheese! I mean what dad doesn’t love bread and cheese right!

So let’s talk about making pretzels. I have made them a few times and yet they always make me a little bit nervous. As you can see from my photos I certainly am not a pretzel forming expert, but truly you could make them in any shape and they would taste just as delicious.

So if you are a pretzel making novice like me I highly recommend looking up "how to form a pretzel" on youtube, visually seeing someone else do it just helps it to make more sense and have saved me on more than one occasion.

Now, when it comes to the beer cheese I absolutely think this is necessary, especially if you are making this for Father Day. You can use any type of beer that you love because if you love the flavour of the beer your using you will love the flavour of your beer cheese. But if you are not wanting to go the extra step these pretzels are also really delicious with your favourite grainy mustard.

So go ahead and treat dad this weekend - we all know he deserves it!

pretzels2.jpg

prep time 2 hours

cook time 12 minutes

total time 2 hours 12 minutes

servings 6 pretzels

Ingredients

1 cup milk

1 pkg active dry yeast

3 tbsp brown sugar

2 1/4 cup flour

6 tbsp butter

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup baking soda

2 tbsp coarse salt

Instructions

In a small saucepan heat milk until it is about 110 degrees. Pour into a medium sized bowl the sprinkle on yeast and allow to sit for 2-5 minutes or until yeast is frothy.

To the yeast add in sugar and 1 cup of the flour and stir to combine. Stir 2 tbsp of the butter that has been softened into the mixture then add remaining flour and 1 tsp of salt.

Our the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until dough is smooth but still slightly tacky.

Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a towel. Allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450 and prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down your dough to deflate then turn your dough out onto a floured surface. divide into 6 pieces then roll each piece into a 30-inch rope. Form each rope into a pretzel shape by making a U shape then crossing the ends of the U. Cross again then flip the ends down to form the pretzel shape (I highly recommend checking out a youtube video if you haven’t made them before).

Once you have formed each of your pretzels bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling add in baking soda - 1 tbsp at a time being careful not to let the water boil over. Carefully place the pretzel in the water and cook for 2 minutes then flip. Using a slotted spoon remove from the water and place on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle liberally with coarse sea salt. Continue will remaining pretzels.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown then brush with remaining melted butter and serve immediately.

Beer Cheese

1 cup cheddar cheese

1/4 cup cream cheese

1 tbsp worshishire

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp garlic

1/2 tsp paprika

salt to taste

1/4-1/2 cup beer

In a food processor combine all ingredients and pulse until fully combined. Pour ingredients into a saucepan of microwave safe dish and heat until melted and smooth.

pretzels3.jpeg

Caramelized Onion Skillet Focaccia

Warm pillowy focaccia with sweet caramelized onions and chunky salt flakes = bread perfection!

focaccia2.jpeg

To dip or not to dip - that's the question! Me - I’m a major dipper, I mean how can you eat focaccia without balsamic and olive oil? I seriously don’t understand when restaurants bring this style of bread with nothing to dip it in - butter doesn’t work for focaccia, and that is coming from a butter lover.

So if you are on team no dip you are in luck with this one. Since it has the caramelized onions on top it has so much flavour you almost don’t need the balsamic - almost.

Now if you are not a big bread maker this is a great one to get you started. It’s super easy and if you have a stand mixer, it doesn't require you to do all that much work. If you have made bread in the past but not focaccia the biggest thing that may seem unusual is that finger poking that you do before you put it in the oven. This is what gives it it’s traditional look and it's a must. Don't be afraid to poke it too much - you want to do it a lot and you want to press your fingers all the way down to the bottom of the pan - trust me.

This bread is also best served warm and the day that you make it. While you can certainly store it in a ziplock bag you will lose that good crust that makes this bread so delicious. So whip this up mid-afternoon and treat your friends and family to this bread for dinner tonight!

focaccia3.jpg

prep time 1 hour 40 minutes

cook time 40 minutes

total time 2 hours 2 minutes

servings 8 pieces

Ingredients

1 1/3 cup warm water

2 tsp sugar

1 pkg active dry yeast

3 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup olive oil + more for for the top

2 tsp coarse sea salt + more for the top

2 sprigs rosemary

1/2 white onion

2 tbsp butter

Instructions

In the bowl of your stand mixer pour warm water and sugar then stir until the sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit for 10 minutes or until mixture is frothy.

To the yeast mixture add in flour, olive oil, and sea salt. Mix on low/medium for 5 minutes or until the dough has come away from the sides and is forming a ball (adding more flour if needed). Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball then place in a clean greased bowl and cover for 45 -60 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat oven of 400. Once the dough has doubled remove from the bowl and place in a cast iron skillet - pressing dough into the pan so that it is evenly distributed. Cover again and allow to rest for another 20 minutes.

While the bread is resting place butter into a medium frying pan and allow to melt. Add in the sliced onions and cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until onions are golden brown and caramelized (being sure to stir often so they do not burn).

Remove the towel and press your fingers firmly into the dough - being sure to press all the way to the bottom of the pan. Top with caramelized onions, a generous sprinkle of sea salt, rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until bread is light golden brown.

Remove from oven and give another small drizzle of olive oil. Allow to cool before removing from the cast iron skillet.

focaccia.jpeg

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Monster Cookies

Monster cookies elevated with peanut butter, oatmeal and peanut m&m’s - a childhood favourite that everyone loves!

monstercookies.jpeg

Happy Thursday!!! For some reason today just felts like the kind of day that called for a recipe that is a blast from the past - so what better than Monster Cookies right! These were defiantly one of those things that were the things that childhood dreams were made of, or maybe that was just me.

Now while the classic recipe may be a basic chocolate chip cookie with M&M’s instead, this recipe is upgraded with oatmeal, peanut butter, and peanut M&M’s rather than the classic ones. They also don't have any flour so if you're gluten-free you can use gluten-free oats and enjoy this classic cookie.

Plus how can you not love the combination of oatmeal and peanut butter - it gives that chewy texture that is so perfect in a cookie. The other great thing is that this recipe makes a bit batch but if you don’t need quite that many cookies the dough also freezes great - just roll them out in advance and freeze so that you can have cookies any time you want!

monstercookies4.jpg

prep time 20 minutes

cook time 12 minutes x 4 batches

total time 1 hour 8 minutes

servings 48 cookies

Ingredients

3 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup softened butter

2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

4 1/2 cups oatmeal

1 1/2 cup peanut m&m’s

1 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. In the bowl of a food processor place eggs, brown sugar, white sugar and softened butter - beat until smooth. Add in baking soda, vanilla, peanut butter and oatmeal and stir until fully combined.

Remove from the mixer then stir in m&m’s and chocolate chips until equally distributed. Drop teaspoons of the cookie dough onto a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

monstercookies2.jpeg

Apple Pecan Streusel Muffins

These apple pecan streusel muffins are better than what you get at the bakery. Whip up a batch and make your mornings yummy all week!

applestrusel.jpeg

Are you team breakfast or team no breakfast? For most of my life, I have been absolutely team no breakfast, but that certainly doesn’t mean I haven’t always enjoyed a yummy muffin.

Lately, I have been having a tough time figuring out muffin flavours and combinations. I’ve infused with tea, filled with chia seeds but nothing has really been all that spectacular. I guess my lesson for today is that sometimes you just need to stick with the classics, I mean if people have been making things a certain way for hundreds of years perhaps there is a reason.

Now, this is certainly not to say that I’m going to stop trying all the weird combinations because we all know every once in a while one works and when it does - it’s so good. But for today we're staying old school.

Apple Pecan Streusel Muffins - such a classic right! The tart apple and crunchy nuts are perfect and with the streusel top, it’s that perfect bit of sweetness. So if you usually hit up a bakery or coffee shop on your way to work in the morning switch it up and make your own - the bakery may miss you but those few extra minutes of sleep you can enjoy makes it totally worth it!

applestrusel3.jpg

prep time 20 minutes

cook time 20 minutes

total time 40 minutes

servings 12

Ingredients

Muffins

2 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup butter melted

1 1/2 cup grated apple

1/2 cup chopped peacans

Streusel

3 tbsp flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp cold butter

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 then prepare a muffin pan with 12 paper liners.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, sugar and salt. Toss in grated apples and chopped pecans until fully coated.

To the dry ingredients add eggs that have been lightly beaten, melted butter and sour cream and stir until just combined. Evenly divide the batter between your paper liners.

In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the streusel using a pastry cutter or 2 forks. Sprinkle streusel over the muffins then bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the muffin pan then allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

applestrusel2.jpeg