Earl Grey Ice-Cream

Over the past couple of years cooking has become a growing passion of mine. I love playing with different flavours and techniques and, while I am by no means a professional chef, it’s extremely satisfying for me to see my skills developing. Last Christmas my boyfriend got me an ice-cream maker and I’ve had an absolute blast trying out different flavour combinations. Red velvet, salted caramel chocolate, orange and white chocolate – I can’t stop coming up with ideas. One of my most recent flavours was earl grey. I made it this past weekend and I was amazed at how easy it was and how delicious the finished flavour was. It’s zingy yet creamy with a touch of lemon and caramel along with that unmistakable bergamot flavour we all know and love. This is an elegant dessert that is delightful on its own, but goes especially well with cozy, spicy desserts – for example, poached pear cake or apple pie. Are you addicted to both tea and ice-cream like me? Give this tasty confection a whirl.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Cups Whipping Cream
  • 2 Cups Homogenized Milk
  • 1.5 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Caramel Extract
  • 1.5 Tsp Grated Lemon Zest or Lemon Extract
  • 4 Earl Grey Tea Bags

DIRECTIONS

1 // In a large saucepan, add your milk and cream with your four tea bags. Heat up the milk until you can see that the tea has dispersed and infused with your milk/cream mixture.

2 // Pour your milk/cream mixture into a large bowl and add your sugar and extracts. The lemon and caramel extracts are optional, but they really enhance the sweetness and citrus freshness of the earl grey. With a whisk, blend well until it all gets a bit frothy and everything is well mixed.

3 // Wait until your earl grey ice-cream mixture is completely cool and then freeze it according to the manufacturers instructions.

4 // Once your ice-cream has finished churning, scoop it into an airtight container (it should be the consistency of soft serve) and put it into the freezer until it’s as firm as regular ice-cream (approximately 5 hours, although overnight is best).

5 // Pile it high, add some caramel sauce and shredded coconut (or whatever your favourite add-ons are), dig in, and enjoy!

Have you made homemade ice-cream before? What’s your favourite flavour and recipe? Sweet talk me in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

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Double Chocolate Butter Scotch Chip Cookies

There are so many amazing desserts out there that it’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose, I would have to pick chocolate chip cookies. Let’s face it, it’s hard to beat this comforting classic. Unless, of course, you not only pack them full of extra chocolate chips, but also white chocolate and butterscotch chips! This recipe is what chocolate/caramel dreams are made of. They are chewy and soft and are jam packed with chocolate goodness. They are also incredibly easy to make. Even if you’re a total baking novice, you’ll be able to whip these up in no time without a problem! So go ahead. Pour yourself a glass of milk (or merlot), preheat that oven and get to baking! These are seriously too good to not make.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/4 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup Butter (Or Coconut Oil)
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Tsp Caramel Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Butterscotch Chips

DIRECTIONS

1 // Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2 // Measure our your flour, baking soda, and salt and mix together in large bowl.

3 // In a separate bowl, cream the butter (or coconut oil) with the sugar. Add the eggs, caramel extract and vanilla and mix well, either with a fork (it’s a workout) or an electric mixer. Beat until the mixture looks fluffy or like snow.

4 // Add your dry ingredients to your butter and sugar mixture and mix thoroughly. Slowly add the chocolate and butterscotch chips and combine until they are distributed through the dough.

5 // Use an ice cream scoop to spoon out balls of dough and place them about 2 inches apart on a greased baking tray or a baking sheet lined with waxed parchment paper.

6 // Bake the cookies for approximately ten minutes. The cookies should be golden and crispy around the edges but soft in the centre.

7 // Cool the cookies before transferring them to an airtight container where they will keep for about 1 week.

If you try making these cookies, let me know what you think of them! They are definitely decadent and are truly a chocoholic’s dream.

xoxo,

Alicia

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Chai Snickerdoodles

We all have our weaknesses, and while I am usually equipped with strong willpower when faced with baked goods, there are a few treats that I simply can’t say no to and am willing to spend an extra hour or two in spin class for. A few examples? My grandmother’s juicy apple pie, a flaky cheese croissant from a really good bakery, and these spicy-sweet snickerdoodles.

This recipe is from Vegetarian Times, but I tweaked it slightly with sweet pumpkin purée and fragrant chai tea to make it extra delicious and fall-like. This recipe is super easy and can be customized totally depending on the season. For example, you could add some almond extract in the summer, mint in the winter, coconut in the summer – you get the picture. For the perfect cozy fall evening treat, whip up a mouthwatering batch of these tasty cookies and prepare to impress everyone with your crazy dessert chef skills!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 stick (4 oz.) vegan margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 sachet of chai tea
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup soy, almond, coconut or cashew milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbs. cinnamon


DIRECTIONS

1 // Preheat your oven to 350°F and evenly coat your baking sheet with vegan margarine or cooking spray to prevent sticking.

2 // In one large bowl, mix together your dry ingredients (apart from the sugar). Tear open a packet of chai tea and mix it in with the flour.

3 // In a separate bowl, use beaters or a fork to cream margarine until it is light and very creamy. Add the sugar and pumpkin purée, and beat until it has a snow-like, fluffy texture.

4 // Add soymilk and vanilla extract to your creamed sugar and margarine and beat until smooth. Next, add the dry ingredients and beat until it is thouroughly mixed.

5 // Scoop out and roll little balls of your snickerdoodle dough. Coat each cookie in cinnamon and sugar before placing them on the baking sheet.

6 // Put the cookies in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies should be lightly browned on top but still soft and chewy.

7 // You can keep the cookies in an air tight container for about two weeks.

These cookies honestly taste like everything good about autumn! Enjoy these decadent treats with a hot chai tea latte or steaming cup of coffee. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!

xoxo,

Alicia

Healthy Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I, like most normal human beings, love indulging in a frosty bowl of ice cream. Unfortunately it has been harder for me to enjoy my favorite treat as I have recently become a vegetarian and I’ve learned about all of the horrors that animals endure within the dairy industry. While there are quite a few great vegan ice cream brands and shops out there, I took it upon myself to create my own version – one that is healthy, delicious and free of sketchy preservatives.

This recipe is ridiculously easy. Seriously, it requires 9 ingredients and you don’t even need an ice cream maker. It also has the creamiest most decadent texture that is pretty much identical to the real thing. I chose to make mint chocolate chip ice cream because it’s my favorite, but you could totally customize this depending on your tastes. For example, you could swap out the banana for strawberry, add more vanilla and forgo the mint to make classic strawberries and cream! The options are endless and oh-so delicious. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Can Sweetened Coconut Cream
  • 2 Cups Coconut or Cashew Milk (I find that almond milk has too strong of a flavour that distracts from the mint and chocolate.)
  • 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tbsp Mint Extract
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 tsp Stevia 
  • 3 tbsp Matcha Powder
  • A Few Drops of Green Food Colouring


DIRECTIONS

1 // Measure out all of your ingredients apart from the chocolate chips, vanilla and mint extract, and food colouring.

2 // Blend the avocado, banana, coconut cream, coconut milk, stevia and matcha powder until the consistency is rich and creamy – the avocado should make the consistency similar to whipped cream.

3 // Pour the contents of the blender into a mixing bowl and add the extracts, food colouring and chocolate chips. Stir until the ice cream is a pale mint colour and the chocolate chips are evenly distributed.

4 // Pour the ice cream mixture into a freeze-safe container and freeze it uncovered for 6 hours. The ice cream should be firm but easy to scoop.

5 // Scoop, top with sprinkles, shredded coconut, chocolate flakes or whatever you feel like. Enjoy your cruelty/dairy/guilt free frozen treat! 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you give this a try, let me know how it turns out! 

xoxo,

Alicia

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

Fancy Pants Smores

fancysmores

When it comes to summertime treats, there is nothing more nostalgic than the smore. This comforting campfire dessert evokes memories summer barbecues and family camping trips. As a child there were few things that were more satisfying than watching my pristine white marshmallow turn golden brown over the fire, before smashing it between two graham crackers with a chunk of chocolate in between and I feel the same way now. With molten chocolate and gooey marshmallow, its hard to go wrong this timeless treat. That being said, there are always ways to update and elevate even the most classic recipe. Here are a few fancy pants smores recipes that are still nostalgic but with a dose of gourmet elegance.

Roasted Berry Smores

Salted Caramel Smores

Strawberry Shortcake Smores

Dark Chocolate Passion Fruit Smores

Banana Nutella Smores

xoxo,

Alicia