December 20, 2017

December 19, 2017

Winter Spice Soetkoekies ~ #CreativeCookieExchange

Winter Spice and everything nice, that's what these cookies are made of.
Geseende kersfees en voorspoedige nuwe jaar wense!

December 12, 2017

Whole Wheat Stollen ~ #BreadBakers

Life is better with fresh baked bread, especially if that bread is Weihnachtsstollen/Christstollen.

November 21, 2017

Apple Cranberry Jammers ~ #CreativeCookieExchange

"If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share". W. Clement Stone.  These cookies are the perfect dessert to share.

November 20, 2017

Nutella Babka - #TheCakeSliceBakers

If we are what we eat, I am awfully sweet and would not have it any other way.

November 16, 2017

Brown-Sugar Ripple Bundt Cake ~ #BundtBakers

"Cake baking has to be, however innocently, one of the great culinary scams: it implies effort, it implies domestic prowess; but believe me, it's easy". Nigella Lawson

November 14, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pull Apart Bread ~ #BreadBakers

Pull Apart breads are the perfect bread for sharing - fair warning, you probably should make two as these breads have a habit of disappearing before your very eyes.

October 20, 2017

Scandinavian Cardamom Coffee Cake ~ #TheCakeSliceBakers

"Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness! 
If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!" C. JoyBell C.

October 19, 2017

Butternut Squash Chai Bundt Cake ~ #BundtBakers

Autumn is my favorite color.  The red, the gold, the orange a combine to
put on one of the greatest shows on earth.

October 17, 2017

Milo Brownies ~ #CreativeCookieExchange

My mum gives me Milo to go, and go, and go.  This won't mean much to anyone in the US,
but if you were a kid growing up in Australia this was the theme song for one of favorite drinks - Milo.

October 10, 2017

Pai Bao with Tangzhong ~ #BreadBakers

“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight.” —M.F.K. Fisher

September 21, 2017

Morning Glory Bundt Cake with Yogurt & Granola Topping ~ #BundtBakers

"I love breakfast, and I don't see any reason it has to be cereal and eggs and toast." Ruth Reichl.  I totally agree and this Morning Glory Bundt with Yogurt Granola Topping would be the perfect something else.

September 20, 2017

Turkish Tahini Cake ~ #TheCakeSliceBakers

The Cake Slice Bakers is an amazing group to be a part of.  Not only do I enjoy baking with this group of talented bakers, but it is the first group that I joined, so it will always have a special place in my heart and I love that each month's choices allow me to grow as a baker.

September 19, 2017

Hazelnut Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ #Creative Cookie Exchange

Sometimes me think, “What is Friend?” Then me say, “Friend is someone to share the last cookie with.” - The Cookie Monster.
These gluten-free Hazelnut Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are definitely share-worthy.

September 12, 2017

Bauernbrot ~ #BreadBakers

"The art of bread making can become a consuming hobby, and no matter how often and how many kinds of bread one has made, there always seems to be something new to learn" - Julie Child

August 22, 2017

Chocolate-Dipped Sesame Nut Bars ~ #CreativeCookieExchange

Summer went by in the blink of an eye.  Make going back to school a little easier with these easy-to-make and even easier to eat Chocolate Dipped Sesame Nut Bars - you won't be able to stop at just one!

August 20, 2017

Hummingbird Cake ~ #CakeSliceBakers

With the sweetness of pineapple and banana, this cake would be sure to have 
the hummingbird buzzing around it.

August 17, 2017

Neapolitan Zebra Bundt Cake ~ #BundtBakers

If you can't choose between vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate make 
a bundt that combines all three flavors!

July 20, 2017

Raspberry Financiers ~ #TheCakeSliceBakers

Financiers are the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon tea.  They are delicate, buttery, French almond tea cakes that are made with browned butter which gives the cake an extra layer of flavor.

Classic Vanilla Flan Bundt ~ #BundtBakers

So, we all know that bundt pans are great for making cakes, but have you ever wondered
 what else you could make in a bundt pan?

July 18, 2017

Ginger-Chile Caramel Cookies ~ #CreativeCookie Exchange

Boom! Pow! Bam! When you add a chile pepper to a cookie the result is an in-your-face
explosion of flavor. And with these cookies, the ginger and chile is a match made in heaven.

July 11, 2017

Braided Rum & Raisin Buns ~ #BreadBakers

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with 
fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” – James Beard

June 28, 2017

Homemade Twix Bars (Paleo, GF + Refined SF)

I'm still experimenting with various gluten-free and paleo-friendly flours so that my daughter can enjoy sweets too. Almond flour has a wonderfully nutty flavor that pairs really well with these Homemade Twix Bars.

June 25, 2017

Blueberry Sour Cream Crumb Cake

It is berry season, and this crumb cake definitely takes advantage of the beautiful blueberries that are making their appearance at farmers markets and supermarkets.  A soft crumb, juicy berries, and a sweet-tart drizzle all add up to an amazing cake.

June 22, 2017

Orange-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

My family loves pull-apart bread, and the last time I made this particular flavor was way back in April 2014.  I am way 
overdue to make it again, so I remedied that today.

June 20, 2017

Marco Pierre White's Harvey's Lemon Tart ~ #CakeSliceBakers

A Lemon Tart may just be my all-time favorite dessert.  I am always searching for the perfect recipe, and that is 
why I chose it as my cake to bake for this month's #CakeSliceBakers.

Anytime Tarragon-Apricot Cookies ~ #CreativeCookieExchange

 A cookie that is equally at home with a glass of wine as it is with a cup of tea or coffee is 
a recipe that you need to treasure.  That is what I realized when baking these 
Anytime Tarragon-Apricot Cookies.

June 16, 2017

Chocolate Espresso Coconut Cake

This cake is basically everything you look for in a chocolate loaf cake - delicious, tender,
moist, and chocolatey. And it is gluten-free.

June 15, 2017

Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bundt ~ #BundtBakers

Carrot Cake is taken to the next level when it has a cheesecake filling
and a lovely tangy orange glaze.

June 06, 2017

Blueberry Jam Rose Buns

These beautiful Blueberry Jam Rolls are shaped like roses, and not only
are they delicious, but they are so easy to make!

June 02, 2017

No-Bake Golden Crunch Bars

Fun fact - Rice Krispies are called Rice Bubbles in Australia.  It took me a while to convert to the American name for them, but it happened, and my girls just grew up knowing them as both and translating for their friends when necessary.

May 23, 2017

Sand Dollar Snickerdoodles ~ #CreativeCookieExchange

What does summer mean to you?  For me it has always meant time at the beach, and even more so now since I live on an island.  It also means easy dinners and cookies that are easy to make and easy to eat.

May 20, 2017

Genoise with Raspberries and Cream ~ #CakeSliceBakers

A Genoise may just be the ultimate afternoon tea cake.  Who could say no to a slice of a delicate, light, ethereal sponge cake traditionally filled with berries and cream?

May 18, 2017

Black Forest Bundt Cake ~ #BundtBakers

Chocolate cake, cherries, kirsch, and whipped cream.  All of these add up to a Black Forest Cake, and as this is my husband's favorite cake I turned it into a bundt for this month's #BundtBakers theme of Dad's Favorite Cake.

April 20, 2017

Turkish Yogurt Cake ~ #CakeSliceBakers

The Turkish Yogurt Cake is a cake that puffs up like a soufflé before it subsides and is then liberally dusted with powdered sugar, and it was my choice for this months #CakeSliceBakers.

Midori Splice Bundt Cake ~ #BundtBakers

I remember the joy of eating a Pine Lime Splice popsicle as a kid.  Then I discovered the joy of a Midori Pine Lime Splice cocktail - which has the same flavor profile as the popsicle - as an adult, and fell in love with the flavors all over again. Both are still favorites of mine, and that is why are decided to turn these flavors into a bundt cake for this months #BundtBakers.

April 18, 2017

Creamsicle Meringue Melting Moments ~#CreativeCookieExchange

Orange Creamsicle's are a classic frozen summer treat.  Look what happens when you turn them into a cookie made from meringue for this month's #CreativeCookieExchange.

March 21, 2017

Lilikoi-Lime Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies ~ #CreativeCookieExchange

#CreativeCookieExchange is baking Cookies for Tea this month. As a big tea drinker and a cookie lover, this theme is perfect for me. The only trouble I had was narrowing it down to just one cookie. There are so many great cookie recipes out there waiting to be baked.

March 20, 2017

Banana Loaf ~ #CakeSliceBakers

The #CakeSliceBakers are back with their next cake from World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey. As always there were some great choices again this month, and I'm looking forward to seeing which cake my fellow bakers chose to make.

March 16, 2017

Hot Cross Bundts ~ #BundtBakers

The theme for #BundtBakers this month is Yeasted Bundts. We were challenged to bake a bundt with yeast as the leavening agent, and our bundt could be sweet or savory.

February 21, 2017

Mardi Gras Macarons ~ #CreativeCookieExchange

#CreativeCookieExchange is celebrating Mardi Gras! this month. Instead of handing out beads we are handing out cookies.

The traditional dessert for Mardi Gras is King Cake, which is made from a cinnamon-filled dough. It is glazed and then sprinkled with three colored sugars - purple (representing justice), green (representing faith) and gold (representing power). I decided to take these colors and use them to make macarons.

This was my first attempt at macarons and they turned out to be a little easier than I expected, although I will say that you need to have a few bowls handy.  Having a macaron silicone mat made the shaping a lot easier but I still found that they stuck slightly - I didn't think anything stuck to these mats.  I managed to pry them loose by using an offset spatula to gently lift them. The filling was a vanilla buttercream, which was a bit too sweet for my liking, but it did suit the theme.  The recipe makes way more buttercream than you need for the macarons, so you could either halve it or keep it to be used on another cookie.

If you would like to know more about #CreativeCookieExchange and see what the other bakers made for the Mardi Gras! theme please scroll down below the recipe. Thanks to Laura from The Spiced Life, who is our host & fearless leader, and Karen from Karen's Kitchen Stories who did the links for us this month.

Mardi Gras Macarons

Macaron shells ~
  • 95g almond flour
  • 100g powdered sugar
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar
  • 100g extra-fine sugar
  • violet and green gel food coloring
Buttercream Filling ~
  • 225g butter 
  • 360g powdered sugar 
  • 5ml vanilla extract 
  • gold sanding sugar 

Macaron shells ~
  1. Preheat oven to 190℃.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  3. Sift almond flour and powdered sugar together 2-3 times, and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg  whites until foamy.
  5. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
  6. Reduce speed and gradually add extra-fine sugar, then increase speed and beat until stiff peaks form.
  7. Sift flour mixture over whites with a fine sieve.
  8. Fold mixture together with a rubber spatula until just combined, note that the batter will be very stiff. 
  9. Divide batter into two bowls and place a small amount of green food coloring in one bowl and violet in the other.
  10. Fold each batter until it loosens considerably (when batter is ready, it should fall from the spatula in a thick ribbon).
  11. Transfer each color of the mixture to a piping bag.
  12. Pipe 2.5cm to 3cm rounds on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
  13. Let piped macarons stand uncovered for 15 minutes to form a crust.
  14. Decrease temperature to 160℃ just before placing the baking sheet in the oven.
  15. Bake pans one at a time for 10 minutes, turning halfway through (after the first batch has baked, the oven temperature should be increased to 190℃ then decreased to 160℃ just before the second baking sheet goes in).
Buttercream Filling ~
  1. Cream butter and powdered sugar together in a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer.
  2. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. If mixture is stiff, use 1 or 2 tablespoons of cream to loosen.
  3. Add vanilla. Beat until flavor is thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Transfer icing to a piping bag and pipe onto the green macaron shells; sandwich with the purple shells.
  5. Place the gold sanding sugar in a small bowl and roll the edges of the sandwich cookies in the sugar.
  6. This recipe make 15 sandwich cookies, keep macarons refrigerated in an airtight container.
Recipe from HGTV
For US measurements please click here

Are you ready for Fat Tuesday? The theme this month for the Creative Cookie Exchange group is Mardi Gras! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes--be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). We all post on the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made ~

February 20, 2017

Victoria Sponge - #CakeSliceBakers

The #CakeSliceBakers are back with their next cake from World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey. There were some great choices again this month and I am looking forward to seeing which cake my fellow bakers chose to make.

February 16, 2017

Berry UpBeet Bundt Cake - #BundtBakers

The theme for #BundtBakers this month is Red, which could be incorporated as the bundt cake batter, the drizzle or frosting, a filling or decorations. We were challenged to be creative but think RED.

January 20, 2017

Lemon Drizzle

The #CakeSliceBakers are back with their next cake from World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey. There were some great choices again this month and I am looking forward to seeing which cake my fellow bakers chose to make.

January 19, 2017

Banana Bundt Cake with Vanilla Caramel Glaze ~ #BundtBakers

Our theme this month for #BundtBakers is Birthday Bundts.  I am one of those unfortunate people who have a December birthday, and it always seems to be an afterthought, or just forgotten altogether.  I really like the idea of celebrating in January instead. I can't wait to see what everyone has chosen as their Birthday Bundt.