Category: baking


Cookies are a brilliant form of snacking – fun to make, fun to eat, fun to dip, fun to sandwich. Paula Deen was surely channeled when this cookie was first baked and posted on the interweb by way of the Picky Palate blog. Part insanity and part genius, this delectable treat is two cookies in one – a double-stuff oreo crammed in the middle of a gigantic super sweet ooey gooey chocolate chip cookie. My blood sugar is rising just describing them. Unfortunately, I can’t eat them until after I give birth, but I can serve them to a few of my friends at our last baby-less Friday games night (with insulin at the ready!).

Double stuff oreos are the only way to go! 
Ready for assembly.  
One ice cream scoop per side and an oreo in the middle. 
After baking – the largest cookies I have ever baked. 
Voila! The finished product.

*Please excuse the poor photo quality  – my good camera is packed away in my hospital bag! 

To make these sugar-love-bombs in your kitchen, the recipe can be found here.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Christmas is almost here! In my house, baking starts today. Sugar, flour, eggs, ginger, sprinkles and vanilla are about to explode all over my kitchen. Vanilla is the cornerstone of any great baked good, a hint of flavour or a booster for other flavours. In June, inspired by Jacqui, co-founder of the Cross Country Baking Club, I started my own batch of vanilla extract. It is extraordinarily simple to make your own vanilla extract and a great gift for the bakers in your life.
June 2010 – Vodka & Vanilla Beans

December 2010 – Vanilla Extract! 

Vanilla Extract

5 vanilla beans
1 cup vodka, brandy, rum

1. Cut vanilla beans lengthwise to reveal seeds. Cut into 1.5 inch pieces. 
2. Place vanilla beans in sterilized jar. 
3. Top with alcohol of your choice. 
4. Tighten lid and wait 6-8 weeks, until alcohol has changed colour and vanilla has steeped.

Yield: One cup vanilla extract.

bumper crop & punk rock bakeries

I have only one zucchini plant in my backyard. One is enough. Mammoth zucchini appear overnight, forcing me to use them at a pace that I would never voluntarily eat zucchini at. I made a delicious zucchini relish earlier in the Summer, we have been grilling it and eating it ribboned in salads.

This past week, inspired by an amazing bakery I visited in Chicago, I made zucchini cupcakes. The bakery, Bleeding Heart Bakery, was everything a bakery should be, fun, quirky, delicious and hot-pink!

zucchini explosion.
At the bakery I had a wonderful peach cupcake topped with tiny corn kernels. Very tasty. 
I loved the wire whisk light fixtures, tin roof and hot pink walls. 

I think my favourite zucchini application so far is the spiced zucchini cupcake. Any cupcake iced with cream cheese, candied walnuts and crystallized zucchini is okay by me.
I thought the cupcakes needed some colour on top, so I candied finely julienned zucchini skin. 
Zucchini Spice Cupcakes with Candied Walnut & Zucchini