HOLIDAY BAKING: It’s A Candy Cane Christmas!

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Christmas is in full swing and the countdown is on to complete our lengthy baking list. Every year we bake our ‘classic family favourites‘ that have been in our family forever. You know, the Scottish Shortbread, Gingerbread and Pecan Tarts to name a few. This year we decided to step outside of the tried and true baking list and try something new and exciting. We like to live on the edge like that. 😉 We came across two new Holiday recipes by Ricardo CuisineCandy Cane Cookies and Candy Cane Hot Chocolate!

CandyCaneIngredients

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If ever there was a cookie that tastes like Christmas, these Candy Cane Cookies would be it! Made with crushed candy canes and white chocolate, these cookies are a perfect festive addition to any holiday dessert platter.

This was our first time making a baked good with candy canes so we weren’t sure what to expect. If you like candy canes, then you will for sure love these! Of course you can alter the measurements depending on your tastes. Add just a pinch of crushed candy canes for a hint of peppermint or more if you are a true candy cane lover. We decided to add a tiny amount of the candy cane pieces that weren’t crushed as much for a more intense peppermint flavour. 

At first bite, you immediately taste the unbelievable flavour of the cookie batter. This cookie batter is one of the best cookie dough recipes we’ve tried. The whole family agrees!  The batter mixed with the candy cane and white chocolate is truly the ultimate holiday treat. It is delicious! 
We’ll definitely be making another batch of these before Christmas Day.

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What goes with candy cane cookies? That’s right… Candy Cane Hot Chocolate! How perfect and festive! Nothing like a cozy crackling fire, watching Christmas Vacation the movie (again), sippin’ hot chocolate and snackin’ on delicious baked festive candy cane cookies. Delightful, don’t cha think?

We are big hot chocolate lovers especially during the cold winter months. There’s something about it that makes you feel happy. Probably because it reminds us of when we were carefree kids.

We are always game for a new recipe and wanted to jazz up the classic hot drink a little so we decided to make Ricardo Cuisine’s Candy Cane Hot Chocolate. Who can resist fine Lindt milk chocolate melted with milk and topped with real whipped cream and some crushed candy cane? Mmmmmm!

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For more delicious Holiday recipes and inspiration, be sure to visit Ricardo Cuisine!

What cookies will you be baking this year?! Let us know!

Happy Holiday Baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

Easter Coconut Cupcakes

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Easter is this weekend. It’s a holiday filled with family dinners, decorating eggs, baskets filled with goodies, lots of chocolate Easter bunnies and Coconut Cupcakes! Okay… Perhaps Coconut Cupcakes isn’t the first thing you may think of when you think Easter. But, these particular Coconut Cupcakes are a happy addition to our Easter baking. Just look at how perfectly festive these delectable cupcakes look. And the best thing is they taste AMAZING!

We’ve made these cupcakes numerous times and it has become one of our favourite recipes anytime of the year. Even though we both don’t particularly love coconut, these cupcakes are an exception. The coconut flavour isn’t strong and overpowering, it’s just right. Paired with the cream cheese frosting, it makes for the perfect combo.

Tip: Toast the coconut flakes in the oven to get a pretty golden colour. Or use green food colouring to get green coconut flakes to simulate grass. So cute! This time we decided not to colour the coconut and opted to add the coloured Cadbury Mini Eggs to the top. Kind of looks like fluffy clouds of delicious-ness!

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Easter Coconut Cupcakes
makes 20-24 cupcakes.
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For The Cupcakes
  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  5. 1 3/4 cups sugar
  6. 2 large eggs, room temperature
  7. 2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  8. 1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
  9. 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
For The Coconut Cream-Cheese Frosting
  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 6 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  3. 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  4. 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  5. 4 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  6. 72 Cadbury Mini Eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake pans with baking cups and set aside.
  2. On a large sheet of parchment or wax paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for 2-5 minutes, until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
  4. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, add the vanilla to the milk.
  5. Add one third of the dry ingredients followed by one third of the milk, mix thoroughly. Repeat & scrape down the bowl as needed. Add in the last third of dry ingredients followed by the last third of milk. Mix well. Gently fold in the shredded coconut using a spatula.
  6. Scoop batter into the cupcake pan until each cup is two-thirds full. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool for a few minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
For The Frosting
  1. Combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla & icing sugar in a mixer and mix together at high speed for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Using a spoon, scoop a large dollop of cream cheese frosting on top of the cupcake and spread to the edges of the cupcake covering the top completely. Next sprinkle shredded coconut on top of the frosting so that it forms a puffy cloud of coconut on top. Pat down and apply as much coconut as you'd like. Complete the cupcakes by placing 2-3 mini eggs on top.
Notes
  1. If you prefer a less sweet cupcake - Use shredded 'Unsweetened Coconut' instead of 'Sweetened' coconut for the icing.
Adapted from The Cupcake Diaries (slightly)
Rose & Lea http://roseandlea.com/
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These cupcakes add that extra special Easter pizzazz on your dessert table. The kids (and adults) will absolutely LOVE them.

Happy Easter! 
Natasha & Laura xo

Candy Corn Cupcakes

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To get into the Halloween spirit, we made these adorable Candy Corn Cupcakes!

These are definitely my favorite cupcakes that we’ve made in awhile. They are perfect for any Halloween get-togethers, and kids will adore them.

Not only are they cute and perfectly Halloweenish, they are also easy to make! Don’t let the yellow/orange ombre fool ya – these cupcakes are super simple and use white cake mix for the batter. They are nice & fluffy, and have a faint taste of almond, so nummy!

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We used a 1M Wilton star tip for the icing, and bought the cute little ghost toppers from Michaels.

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What the inside looks like.

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Candy Corn Cupcakes
Candy corn inspired, yellow & orange ombre cupcakes.
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Ingredients
  1. (yield: 15-20 cupcakes)
  2. 1 bag white cake mix (we used Betty Crocker)
  3. 1 cup sour cream
  4. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  5. 3 eggs
  6. 1 teaspoon almond extract
  7. yellow & orange food colouring (approx. 2 teaspoons of each colour)
  8. pre-made icing, or any icing of your choice (we used Duncan Hines)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the beater attachment, beat all the ingredients together (except for food colouring, and icing) for 1 minute on low speed. Scrape down the sides of bowl, and continue mixing on medium speed for another minute or so.
  2. Divide the batter into 2 medium bowls. There will be approx. 2 1/4 cups of batter in each bowl. Stir in approx. 2 teaspoons of food colouring in each bowl.
  3. Using a cookie scoop, scoop about 1 tablespoon worth of the yellow batter into each cup. It should be about 1/2 full. Hold the sides of the cupcake pan, and drop the pan onto the counter a few times to level out the batter a bit. Repeat with the orange batter.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to fully cool.
  5. Allow to cool completely, ice and enjoy!
Rose & Lea http://roseandlea.com/

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 Enjoy!
Xo Natasha & Laura

Get Your #CoffeeBuzz On This Holiday!

IMG_8269g52You guys… there are only 77 days left to go until Christmas Day. I can’t believe the most magical time of year is almost here already! Anyone else as excited as I am?

A Christmas song came on my ipod shuffle the other day and surpisingly, I let the whole song play and actually enjoyed it. Than while grocery shopping, we came across Eggnog already out in stores. It’s Christmas time people! (Okay, I know there’s this awesome thing called Halloween happening first, but right after that and on November 1st, it’s basically Christmas time in our house).

We had the pleasure of teaming up with Staples Canada & Keurig for their #CoffeeBuzz campaign and were asked to create a coffee drink. Originally we had planned on using pumpkin (tis’ the season!) but when we came across the eggnog, we decided to just skip right on over Halloween (for now) and head straight to the Christmas drinks!

I don’t know about you but when Christmas rolls around, one of my very favourite drinks is an Eggnog Latte. So lo and behold, I introduce you to Rose & Lea’s Eggnog Latte! We kept the ingredients to a minimum and added no unneccessary sugars. No need to break the bank at coffee shops this Holiday when you can make the same thing at home. 🙂 

Technically you need a shot of espresso for a drink to be considered a ‘latte’. Therefore, you can either use 2 shots espresso or do what we did and use strong concentrated coffee. We also added a shot of rum to our drinks but that is totally optional and tastes just as good without.

IMG_810ffThe new Keurig 2.0 was just recently released and has many new features that are incomparable to other at-home coffee brewers. My mom and I are both big coffee lovers and have another coffee machine at home as well. However, the new Keurig 2.0 is the first machine that can quickly brew a single cup of coffee or a carafe which allows you to brew 4-5 cups at once! There are plenty of other handy features including customizable drink options (you can pick the size – 4oz, 6oz, 8oz, or 10oz and choose the coffee strength), a 70 oz water reservoir, auto on & off and a colour touch display.

The Keurig 2.0 K400 is beautiful, sleek and modern & is super easy to use. There are a nice variety of different K-Cups available and the fact that you can brew 4-5 cups at once is a major plus.

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There are 250 K-Cup varieties of coffee, tea and other beverages available for Keurig brewers. We used Tully’s Coffee Italian Roast Extra Bold Coffee for our Eggnog Lattes and it was perfect for this recipe.

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Rose & Lea's Eggnog Latte
Serves 1
Delicious, Simple Eggnog Latte.
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
2 min
Total Time
4 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
2 min
Total Time
4 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup strong, freshly brewed coffee (or 2 shots espresso)
  2. 1/2 cup eggnog
  3. 1/2 milk
  4. optional: shot of rum!
  5. optional: whipped cream & nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Pour espresso/concentrated coffee into a mug.
  2. Pour eggnog & milk in a seperate mug and heat in microwave for approx. 2 minutes.
  3. (If you prefer your eggnog latte sweeter, add more eggnog as desired).
  4. Add the eggnog mixture to the mug with the coffee & mix.
  5. (Optional: add a shot of rum or top off with whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg!)
Rose & Lea http://roseandlea.com/
We had so much fun creating this Eggnog Latte with our new Keurig, that there may or may not be a Pumpkin drink recipe coming soon… stay tuned!

Happy almost Holidays!
Natasha & Laura xo (written by Natasha)