Lavender Pear Almond Muffins

I love a good pumpkin muffin around fall, don’t get me wrong, but last week I decided to take a great muffin recipe and shake it up with other fall flavours instead! Pear is a subtle, but oh-so-delicious, flavour that pairs beautifully with the cherry-like aroma of toasted almonds and the herbaceous, floral flavour of lavender. These are absolutely delicious hot out of the oven and make a great on-the-go breakfast. Not to mention how sparkly and pretty they look with their crust of granulated sugar on the top. For a sweet fall treat that doesn’t centre around pumpkin or cinnamon, look no further!

Lavender-Pear-Almond-Muffins-Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1.5 Tsp Food Grade Lavender Essential Oil
  • 1Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 Tsp Almond Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Unsalted Almonds
  • 1 Can Pears (Chopped Into 1/4″ Pieces)

Lavender-Pear-Almond-Muffins-Recipe

DIRECTIONS

1 // Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin tin with cupcake foils or grease with a bit of butter or cooking oil.

2 // Mix the dry ingredients together (apart from the sugar) in a large mixing bowl until well blended.

3 // In a medium sized bowl, used an electric mixer or fork to cream the butter, sugar, honey and extracts together until they have the consistency of fluffy snow.

4 // Add your eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until light and creamy.

5 // Gradually your dry mixture to your creamed butter, eggs and sugar. Add your mix and mix with a spoon. The batter should be a little bit lumpy.

6 // Open your canned pears, drain them, and chop them into 1/4″ pieces. Mix them into your batter until they are evenly distributed.

7 // Scoop your batter into your muffin tin – each cup should be 3/4 full so they have enough space to rise while they are baking.

8 // Sprinkle the tops of your muffins with extra granulated sugar to create a delicious, sugary crust.

9 // Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from the over, let them cool and enjoy!

These are truly the coziest fall treat and are the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee or fragrant mug of tea. A little butter really makes these flavours sing, so don’t be afraid to use the real thing (let’s face it, margarine never made anything better). Let me know what you think about this recipe! If you love lavender and like your desserts on the floral and not-too-sweet side, I have a feeling this will be a hit with you.

xoxo,

Alicia

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Wino Forever | Wine Infused Treats

winoforever

There are few instances when I don’t feel like having a glass of red wine. And with evidence proving that wine is loaded with cancer preventing antioxidants and can even prevent heart disease and obesity (provided that one doesn’t over indulge), we all have even more reason to kick back with a decadent, relaxing glass of vin, with an occasion or without one. While it is nothing new to use wine in one’s cooking, I have come across a few recipes that have infused the drink into baked goods and unexpected desserts. I love baking, especially with unusual ingredients (floral waters, liqueurs and herbs take traditional flavors and desserts to the next level, like with my rosewater blondies) and these red wine infused treats have me intrigued.

1. Red Wine Chocolate Truffles

Truffle making is a fun but time consuming endeavor. I love playing with different flavor combinations (the banana white chocolate truffles I made last Christmas were really good) and there is something about the combination of velvety dark chocolate and rich red wine that is so elegant and decadent.

2. Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes with Berry Frosting

Cupcakes are a classic and nostalgic dessert that takes minutes to prepare and evokes all kinds of fun childhood memories. Simply add a little bit of wine into the batter for a much more grown up, sophisticated take on this traditional bake sale treat.

3. Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Is there anything better on a brisk Fall day than a creamy cup of hot chocolate? Maybe one with a kick of wine and spice. An adult take on the most comforting of all cold weather treats.

xoxo,

Alicia

Happy National Doughnut Day!

nationaldoughnutday

So for those of you who are not aware of the magnificent holiday that is today, today is National Doughnut Day. What better way to celebrate than by eating a wide and large assortment of the delicious baked goods? Doughnuts have become quite a versatile dessert. While most people associate doughnuts with sticky, sugary Krispy Kremes, gourmet patisseries have shown us (with exotic flavors such as salted caramel, green tea, and lychee-mango) that doughnuts can be pretty darn refined. Whether you like your doughnuts simple and comforting or extra fancy, here are eight doughnut recipes to help you celebrate today. My personal favorites are the Strawberry Buttermilk (No.2) and Salted Caramel (No.8). For those of you who try them out, let me know what you think in the comments!

Happy National Doughnut Day people!

xoxo,

Alicia

1. Baked Coconut Doughnuts

2. Strawberry Buttermilk Doughnuts

3. Baked Vanilla Doughnuts

4. Baked Lemon Blueberry Doughnuts

5. Baked Red Velvet Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Drizzle

6. Gluten Free Smores Doughnuts

7. Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

8. Salted Caramel Doughnut

Matcha Raspberry Pancakes

Photo Source | ohyellowfingers.blogspot.ca

Photo Source | ohyellowfingers.blogspot.ca

Anyone who knows me knows three things about me. 1) I love to bake 2) I have an deep rooted tea addiction and an extensive collection that fills an entire dresser and cupboard full of different teas (I could 100% stock a tea shop) and 3) I have a serious obsession with all things Titanic (not really relevant to this post but it is one of the top three things anyone who knows me even a little bit would know). My love affair with tea began with my mom. She has always loved tea and used to go as far as to dress me in clothing and decorate my childhood bedroom in materials that had tea inspired motifs and prints. As far as tea is concerned I can enjoy nearly every kind of tea. Lucky for me (and all of the other tea grannies out there), tea seems to be quickly gaining popularity as more than a delicious, healthy, healing drink but as something that is trendy. Tea shops such as Murchies, Teavana and David’s Tea (my favorite) are growing and expanding rapidly as people are becoming more and more aware of the drink’s health benefits, both physically, mentally, and emotionally.

One form of tea that has become more popular in particular is matcha tea. Matcha is a powdered form of green tea from Japan. Matcha is rich in nutrients such as chlorophyll, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. It is also high in caffeine but also contains something called L-theanine which has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety and promote an overall sense of calm and wellbeing. It is even said that monks have chosen matcha over other beverages to aid in their meditation, to create an calm sense of alertness and focus. Matcha is definitely a “superfood” of the moment but for good reason as it is filled with nutrients and antioxidants. It’s easy to enjoy on a regular basis. Even if you’re not a tea person, simply slip a spoonful in your smoothie or baked goods. I added them to my pancakes along with some raspberries and was very pleased with the results. The matcha and vanilla combined to create a flavor reminiscent of green tea icecream. The slight floral bitterness of the matcha complemented the sticky sweetness of the syrup and berries. There are a ton of recipes available for green tea pancakes but the one I used was this one here.

I love to eat pancakes any time of day, any day of the week. My boyfriend and I usually make milk chocolate chip pancakes on our mornings off together but I think next time we have a pancake breakfast I am going to have to make these and see what he thinks. Purely from an aesthetic point of view, green pancakes with dots of red raspberries are just gorgeous. Pair with an iced matcha latte for a pretty, delicious and somewhat healthy summer breakfast (or lunch, or dinner).

xoxo,

Alicia