Category Archives: Baked Goods

Pre-Holiday Craziness

So it is the week before the official holidays, and you know what that means… BUSYNESS. Holy busyness. This entire week has just been crazy.

On Monday after work I had a meeting with the Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association’s executive board (which I sit on), and I don’t really have anything to report from that except it included dinner.

swiss-chalet

YEAHHHHHHH Festive Special! I wait all year for this from Swiss Chalet. Basically it is the same as the quarter chicken meal, except it comes with stuffing and Lindor chocolates, so obviously it is one million times better. I die for their sauce. And don’t even tell me how bad it is because I don’t even care. I could drink it.

Also this week I had my work’s client Christmas party at the Spoke Club on King West, and that was a fun time!

coworkas

There were some pretty delicious appetizers floating around, so I spent the night eating those and mingling with my coworkers and our clients.

coworkers

I may have made a new BFF with one of our clients Georgia.

photobooth

She was a good time.

There was an after-party, but I was already exhausted so I decided I should probably skip that if I didn’t want to be dead the next day. I have a hard time partying on a school night…

I was excited all week for Wednesday, as I had something big to look forward to. Stephanie from Clay Baboons was in the city, and we had plans to meet for coffee! This is a big deal, as Steph is from Nova Scotia and we tried to meet up last year during the holidays when she was visiting, but things just got too busy and it didn’t end up happening. It is funny because we have only read each other’s blogs and emailed back and forth a bit (and we are Facebook friends) but I already felt like we were friends. Meeting her for coffee felt just like meeting an old friend. She is just as sweet and hilarious in person as she comes across on her blog! I really had a good time and I probably could have spent the entire day just talking with her.

Sadly I forgot to take a picture of us. I don’t know what I was thinking. But here is what it probably would have looked like:

linds-steph

Exactly like that. Only I was wearing a black dress and Steph was all trendy in a gray sweater. If you haven’t read her blog you should check it out. She is hilarious and her clay is amazing.

My work is having a big cookie exchange party today, and I am incredibly pumped, because as you know I am a cookie connoisseur.

tumblr_mbbkdzpe1V1rqhpfwo1_400

That’s going to be me.

I signed up to the cookie exchange planning on making my Nana’s Christmas cookies!

christmas-cookies

I basically gave myself all night last night to make them, as they are time-consuming little suckers. I had to run some errands after work, and while I was out I realized that I was out of decorating bags for the icing, so I dropped by the Bulk Barn to pick some up. It was not until about 9pm when I was getting ready to do the cookie thing that I realized the decorating bags I bought were not in fact decorating bags.

This is what I bought:

decorating-bags

And this is what they were:

triangle

WTF Bulk Barn?! Holy false advertising! I am a visual person. I know it clearly says “Parchment Triangles” on the package, but if you put a picture of a decorating bag icing a beautiful cake on the box I am going to assume I am buying a decorating bag! What am I supposed to do with a triangle of parchment paper? That does not equal a decorating bag.

I assumed the cookies were going to be a disaster. I thought I was just going to have to sloppily spatula icing on them and hope for the best. But I made myself a little spontaneous decorating bag using a Ziploc bag (because I am a resourceful little minx like my Nana), and guess what?! They actually turned out!

cookies

So I am bringing those puppies into work today, and if all goes well I will be leaving work with about 50 various types of cookies. Hooray for that!

Today is also kind of our unofficial office party, so we are all supposed to dress festively and there is a social with cocktails in the afternoon (probably to replace beer cart), so I am excited for that as well.

Just a lot of things going on, and I am really looking forward to the holidays. It’s going to be leisure city up in here.

I hope all of your busy weeks are going well, and I will catch you guys later!

Nana’s Christmas Cookies

Merry Christmas Eve!

Yesterday was my last day of work until January 9th! I am so pumped for two weeks off. Ando and I are about to head to my dad’s for Christmas dinner, possibly followed by our friend Cameron’s parents Christmas ham bun party (a tradition, and always so much fun), and then tomorrow we are celebrating with Andy-roo’s family. Fun times. My stretchy pants are laid out and ready for me.

So today I have been busy making my Nana‘s shortbread Christmas cookies!

My Nana made these every year when I was growing up, and I couldn’t get enough of them. These cookies taste like childhood to me :). I use her exact recipe, use the same cookie cutters she used to (well the stockings and the gingerbread men are new), and I try to ice them exactly how she used to.

Remember when I made them for Easter?

And I told you guys I was going to share the recipe, and then I never did? Yeah. Sorry about that.

Anyway, today I am sharing the recipe. They are seriously the best cookies I have ever tasted. Everyone who eats them also says they are the best cookies they have ever tasted. Even Andy’s grandma, and she is not the easiest to please.

They are a bit of work, but so, so worth it. I hope to make them every Christmas for the rest of my life, and hopefully one day my grandchildren will rave on about my Christmas cookies.

Please note, these are not healthy at all. I thought about healthifying them up slightly by using whole wheat flour and light butter or something, but I can’t bring myself to mess with them. They are just too perfect. They need to remain indulgent.

Nana’s Shortbread Christmas Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla (Nana says this is very important for flavour)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Cream together butter and sugar using an electric mixer.

2. Slowly sift in the flour.

3. Mix until dough “sqeaks” (Nana is very adamant that the dough must squeak!) Once I get to this point I usually use my hands to get the dough squeaking.

4. Roll out dough in 1 cup (ish) increments. This is very important: roll out your dough between two sheets of parchment paper. If you do not do this, your dough will stick to EVERYTHING. It will just be a big annoying mess. I was so frustrated the first time I made these, and then I found the beauty that is parchment paper, and all is well.

5. Once your dough is rolled flat (not too thin), put it in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. I always find it’s easier to work with chilled dough than warm dough, because warm dough, again, sticks to everything. It’s hard to get it out of the cookie-cutters when it’s too warm.

6. Bring a slab of dough out from the freezer and go to town with the cookie cutters!

(I usually put the scraps in a bowl and repeat the process so it doesn’t go to waste.)

7. Place each cookie on a baking sheet. I like to prick my cookies a few times with a fork, because my Nana used to, but I don’t know if that actually does anything.

Bake for about 9 minutes, but you should watch them after 7 minutes or so because they will brown really quickly and you do not want brown cookies.

8. Remove cookies from oven. Allow to cool.

While your cookies are cooling, you can make your icing! It is a very important part of the cookie.

I use my Nana’s recipe for this also:

Buttercream Icing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (do not melt your butter, the icing will be too runny)
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • splash of milk (I do not measure this, but I would estimate maybe 1/4 cup. You don’t want to use a lot [I used too much in my above Easter cookies pic, and notice the icing looks a little runny], so I typically just use enough to get things moving).

Directions

1. Just mix until you have beautiful looking, delicious tasting icing.

Yes oh yes.

Once your cookies are cooled, ice them!

And then you eat them. 🙂

Enjoy! And let me know if you try them!

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Apples and Sheep and Llamas, Oh My

Yesterday in the late morning, Ando and I headed out to the grocery store, but since the weather was nearly 30C with beautifully sunny skies, we decided grocery shopping could wait – we wanted to be outside in the sun!

Instead we drove to a nearby apple orchard for some apple-picking action.

It felt weird to be doing such a fall activity in such summery weather (I was sweating hardocre, it was HOT!), but it was an amazing time.

I have not been apple picking in years, and I don’t think I have ever been to this particular orchard.  Even though it was late in the season, there were still a ton of apples.

And beautiful views.

There was also a corn maze, which I was pretty excited about since I also have not been in a corn maze in years.

Can you spot Alejandrew?

He was trying to sneak up on me, but I was watching him like the big creeper I am.

And we made some new friends.

Sheep! They were actually extremely cute. It made me want a sheep for a pet. They reminded me a bit of Winnie (our cat, if you are new around here).

But any cute animal that is a bit chubby and on the slow side reminds me of Winnie.

And then…

Llama time!

The llama’s were not quite as nice as the sheep. And actually, I thought they were quite snobby.

But somehow we lured that little llama out of his snobby shell and got him to smile.

It was an awesome little impromptu trip to the apple orchard, and I am pretty sure we are going to have to make this a fall tradition.

We went a little crazy on the apples though…

I have no idea why we got so many, or what in the name of pizza I am going to do with all of them… But apple crisp sounded like a good start.

I love apple crisp, it is one of my favourite desserts, but for some reason I have never made it before.

My friend Joanna‘s mom makes the best apple crisp, and she knows how much I like it, so when we were in high school, whenever she would make apple crisp she would send a little plate of it to school with Joanna just for me. I will always remember that.

Anyway, I have always assumed that apple crisp was really difficult to make, but after doing some googling and checking out recipes, I saw that it actually looked super easy! I ended up settling on this recipe from AllRecipes, but I did change a few things to slightly healthify it up (a bit, there is still quite a bit of sugar and butter, so don’t get too excited).

Here is the recipe with my modifications.

Apple Crisp

Ingredients

Apples

  • 6 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water

Topping

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the sliced apples in a 9×13 inch pan. Mix the rest of the apples ingredients (white sugar, flour, ground cinnamon) together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
  3. Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes.

Mine turned out beautifully.

Seriously addicting though.

Andrew told me that is what he ate for lunch today, haha.

I will be back with regular eating stuff tomorrow, but tonight I am feeling lazy after my busy day at work.

Have a great night!

Saturday Bakefest (Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal Cookies + Healthy Blondies)

Hey, remember that time I said I didn’t like pumpkin?

I lied. I like it, and I like it quite a lot.

This morning after a 9:30 BodyPump class (which I loved, I always leave BodyPump feeling so strong!), I wandered into the Superstore on a super schweaty mission for pumpkin pie spice for a pumpkin cookie recipe I wanted to try out today.

I couldn’t find it anywhere! After consulting with my favourite baking guru

Having blog friends is so helpful!

I realized that this was not a case of just being blind to the pumpkin pie spice (like how I missed the canned pumpkin), it probably wasn’t available in the Superstore at all.

I headed home to make my own, following Dawn’s advice. I googled a recipe to get the exact quantities of each spice, and found a good one on AllRecipes that I ended up using.

When I was raving on about pumpkin in my v-log, I asked you guys to post your fave pumpkin recipes. Meg from PinkGiggles posted one for Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal Cookies that looked yummily intriguing to me.

She was not wrong. After making these cookies, they are truly the perfect amount of pumpkin spice-y goodness.

I followed SkinnyTaste’s recipe exactly, so check it out if you want to see it. Let me tell you, these cookies turned out amazing.

I loved them! Ridiculously yummy.

If (WHEN) I make these again the only change I’d make would be swapping whole wheat flour for white flour, but the other ingredients were bang-on. I loved these little cookies.

Bake-fest was not quite over just yet. I have a little dinner party tonight with my friends from college Fran and Lisa, as well as our respective lovers, and I am bringing the dessert.

So next up were Chocolate Chip Blondies that I made from Chocolate Covered Katie‘s recipe.

Chocolate Chip Blondies

They look pretty decadent, don’t they? They are DELICIOUS. Would you believe me if I told you they are also healthy?

Healthy Blondies?

It’s true. The main ingredient is chickpeas.

Chick Peas!

No lie. An entire can of chickpeas.

Mix

And peanut butter, brown sugar and flour. I had to sub the flour instead of ground flax into my mix, as I didn’t have any ground flax on-hand, but otherwise I followed Katie’s recipe exactly.

The most difficult part was mixing the chick peas, I would say, as the little peas wanted to stay in ball form and it was tricky to get them smoothy-smooth.

But after several minutes of mixing with an electric mixer, I was successful!

Mix, Pre Choco Chips

This recipe is genius. I can’t even explain to you how impressed I am with it. These blondies are moist, chewy and chocolatey. They taste like the real deal, and I could eat the entire pan and I wouldn’t even have to break out my fat pants. That, my friends, is a win.

Ando has already eaten four of them.

I’m excited to see how my pals like everything tonight! I’ll let ya know.

And I am off to get ready! Have a great Saturday!

LL Cookies (Lindsey Loves Cookies)

When I arrived home from work yesterday afternoon, a big package from Enjoy Life was sitting on my doorstep.  I cannot express to you how much I enjoy receiving even a letter in the mail (that’s letter, not bill).  Getting a package is kind of a big D, and makes me giddy with excitement!

I opened it immediately and saw possibly the most glorious sight of life.

Enjoy COOKIES!

Oh hello FREE COOKIES!!!!

Four different kinds of Enjoy Life cookies.  Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, Sugar Shortbread, and Vanilla Honey Graham.  Oh sweet baby cheeses, I thought I was dreaming.

I am a self-proclaimed cookie connoisseur.  I have no shame in admitting that cookies are my ultimate weakness.

In fact, when I was deciding on a name for my blog, Lindsey Loves Cookies (or LL Cookies for short, haha) was one of the names I was tossing around in my head.  Because I do LOVE cookies.

But I think Happy or Hungry is a better fit.  I love many different kinds of food and I don’t want to discriminate.  And I think it describes me better.

Anywhoozle, I have been known to be kind of a cookie monster, so what do you think happened when I opened the box?

Yep.

(Please ignore the sad state of my nails, yikes)

I busted into all of the boxes and tried all four kinds of the cookies immediately.  Honestly, they were all delicious.

Let me just say that Enjoy Life is not paying me to write this.  They asked me if I would be interested in trying out their cookies, and I basically said “Free cookies?!  Um, YUP.”  Only more professionally.

Let me also just say that I don’t typically like packaged cookies.  Well, I’ll never say no to President’s Choice Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies, but that’s about it.  Soft, chewy homemade-tasting cookies are my very fave.

Since these cookies are all called “Crunchy Cookies”, I knew soft and chewy wasn’t the texture I should be expecting.  But they were good, and surprisingly the inside of them was a little chewy.  Not in a homemade sort of way, but almost in a toffee sort of way.  I was a big fan.

Normally my fave cookies are always chocolate chip, but I was favouring the Sugar Shortbread and Vanilla Honey Graham flavours of these – loved them!

As with all of Enjoy Life products, these babies are gluten-free, and free of the most common allergens like nuts and dairy.  If you have food allergies, or even if you don’t, check these out!  They’re available at Superstore and Loblaws.

Well, I am off to the vet.  Please say a prayer for this saucy little minx for me!

Little Winnie Muffin

Winnie is feeling under the weather so I am taking her in to get checked out.  She is the best little kitty in all the land, so fingers crossed that all is well.  She may be almost 16, but she is still spry and I know she has a lot of life left in her.  Positive thinking!

Have a great Saturday!

Girls’ Night (Plus Some Recipe Action)

Last night my friend Dawn hosted a girls’ night to watch the finale of Jersey Shore.

All The Ladies!

You may remember in my Mr. B post I mentioned that when we were in high school and lacking in the common sense department we did silly things like pretend fried frogs legs were mustaches and unibrows?

Yeah, well…

Twizzler Mustaches + Unibrows

Looks like nothing has changed, actually.  And it looks like Julie on the far right missed the twizzler memo…

Fuzzy Navel?

It’s alright, we still love her.

We enjoyed some eats…

Some Eats

And a bit of this…


Jersey Shore is my guilty pleasure…

It was a fun night, and that is an understatement.  I actually laughed so hard I almost had an accident in my Lulu pantalonies.

I should mention that Dawn has THE BEST dog.

Dawn + Bolt

He is so cute and fluffy and snuggly.  Her and her boyfriend Mark rescued him a couple of months ago from a pet adoption organization.  Someone actually didn’t want him!  This is unbelievable to me because he is so super awesome, and everything I want in a dog.

He is very well-behaved, yet also kind of bad-ass.


He likes the glasses, also.

Before I left for girls’ night extraordinaire, Jandreusse and I had a delicious dinner including quinoa and shrimp, and some other goodies.

Holy Yumfest

It was SO. GOOD.  Dawn commented with this recipe the first time I tried quinoa and I finally tried it out.  Andy-roo’s exact words were: “This is friggin’ amazing.”  If I thought my quinoa and chickpea salad was good, this was 10 TIMES BETTER!

Here is the recipe, although Dawn basically just mentioned what she threw into the mix so I kinda improvised.  I don’t know what to call it, but let’s try…

Shrimp and Quinoa Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 18 large shrimp (this is what I added, but next time I might add more shrimp, so this is improvisable)
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • feta cheese (I did not measure my feta cheese, but I added a LOT)

Directions

  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan or wolk.  Add garlic and shrimp.  Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add spinach and sundried tomatoes.  Continue to cook until shrimp are pink (about 4 minutes)

    Stir Fry Pre Quinoa

  3. Add cooked quinoa and stir everything together.
  4. Add feta cheese.

All Together Naw!

And done!

Easy and speedy!  Speasy?

Speasy Deliciousness

This was seriously so, so good.  I cannot rave on enough about this dish.  I will be making this again FOR SURE.  Thank you Dawn for your fab recipe!  And for hosting last night!

I also made some peanut butter cookies to bring over to Dawn’s house (and for mine and Android’s eating pleasure).

Peanut Buttery Goodness

I will post this recipe, but it was really just the recipe on the Kraft peanut butter label!  My cookies were awesome.  Here it is:

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy PB)
  • half cup sugar
  • 1 egg

(That’s IT!)

Ingredients

(I doubled the recipe)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 C.
  2. Throw everything into a bowl
  3. Mix well.
  4. Roll batter into 24 balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten with a fork.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.

Yumballs!

EAT!!!

Everyone raved on about these, and they were so easy!

I’m off to enjoy my Sunday!