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Posted By Erin Bolger
My husband's father does not like sweets I repeat he does not like sweets ... I know I'm just as shocked as you all are. Although this does baffle me I enjoy coming up with a savoury birthday dessert for him to enjoy.

This past year I made Grandma's infamous meatloaf into cute little cupcakes topped with some mashed potato icing and some fancy ketchup drizzle.

Needless to say the birthday boy was super excited.

Now on to planning next year's dessert I'm running out of crafty ideas:)

I love how all my old school recipes passed down from Grandma's and Great Aunt's never say how long to cook a recipe. Just put in the oven and bake ... so I baked this recipe at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes until the meat was cooked thoroughly. Use a meat thermometer to further guide you as every oven is different! If you are making a meatloaf I would bake it for one hour.



Top with some yummy mashed potatoes. I kept it simple by using some from a box. I waited until the potatoes were cool and then filled my piping bag. Use whatever icing tip you would like. Be crafty!



MMMMMmmmmmm .... and don't forget to top with a ketchup drizzle just before serving! i served these bad boys cool and they were a huge hit.




 
Posted By Erin Bolger
Join me as a guest speaker for the Books & Needles week-end this Saturday at Brentwood on the Beach. Tickets are $30 and include a fabulous lunch overlooking the water. To learn more about this event click on this LINK for contact info.



 
Posted By Erin Bolger
Hey All this Saturday I will be baking up a storm at the 10th annual Womens Lifestyle Show in London Ontario. Ill be on the main stage at 11am doing a baking demo and chatting about everything Happy Baker. Right after the demo we will be in the courtyard signing books and for a chit chat:)

Hope to see everyone there! For more information about the event at The Convention Centre please visit WOMENS LIFESTYLE SHOW WEBSITE





 
Posted By Erin Bolger
Happy St. Paddy's Day Everyone!! One of my favourite holidays full of all my favourite things ... booze, green and shenanigan's! Not to mention I love my name being mentioned a million times! I hope you have a fun, safe festive week-end! Don't eat and drive these cupcakes have some serious punch.

"ERIN GO BRAGH"

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.
May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.
May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.
~Irish Blessing~

CUPCAKE:

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar


2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract


1 ½ cups flour

1 ½ tsp. baking powder


¼ tsp. salt


3/4 cup Irish Cream Liqueur

Preheat oven to 350*F . Line cupcake tins. Makes 16-18.

Sift or whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.

In another bowl cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.

Add a little flour mixture to butter alternating with Irish cream mixing well after each addition. Beat until smooth.

Fill muffin tins about ¾ full and bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool before icing.

IRISH CREAM ICING

½ cup butter, softened
2 tbsp. Irish Cream Liqueur
App. 2 cups icing sugar

Add a little Irish cream and then a little icing sugar to the butter; mixing thoroughly after each edition. Continue until you achieve a smooth and creamy texture. Ice cupcakes and enjoy. Store covered in a cool dry place.



 
Posted By Erin Bolger
COOKIES:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1 cup butter, softened
1 ¾ cups sugar

2 eggs
4 tbsp. of fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 ½ cups flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda

You may also add a few drops of red or fuchsia food colouring to colour the cookies if so desired.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light & fluffy. Add the eggs and lemon juice; mix until combined. Gradually stir in the flour, salt and baking soda until just combined.

Roll into 3/4 inch balls and flatten slightly on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You may need to put the dough in the fridge for easier handling.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until edges are lightly golden brown. Let cool on cooling racks.

PINK LEMONADE ICING:

½ cup butter, softened
3 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 tbsp. super concentrated cranberry juice
2 ½ - 3 cups icing sugar

Cream the butter and lemon juice together. Add 1/2 cup of icing sugar ... add 1 tbsp. cranberry juice. Alternate the 4 tbsp of cranberry juice & icing sugar until you get a creamy texture.

Place a heaping table spoon of icing in between 2 cookies gently press together and enjoy! Store in a cool dry place or the fridge.




 
Posted By Erin Bolger
A sweet and spicy fudge perfect for Valentine's Day!

5 1oz. squares of semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup milk
3 tbsp. light corn syrup

¼ cup butter
2 tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. cayenne pepper

Grease an 8-inch square dish.

In a heavy bottom saucepan that has high sides place the chopped chocolate, milk, and corn syrup. Over medium heat bring to a boil; stirring often.

Clip a candy thermometer on to the side of the saucepan making sure the tip doesn’t touch the bottom. Continue to boil without stirring until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F.

Gently remove from heat and gently place the butter on top. Let the mixture get to room temperature app. 110-120 degrees F.

Stir in the cayenne pepper and cinnamon.

Using a hand mixer mix until it thickens up and loses its gleam (about 3 min)

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth down top. Let set in the fridge. Once it is set you can cut into 1-inch squares. Store fudge in an airtight container for up to one week in the fridge.





 
Posted By Erin Bolger
1 ¼ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed

2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder

2 cups pretzels, broken into small & medium pieces
150 g. milk chocolate bar, cut into small chunks
1 cup beer nuts aka candied peanuts
110 g of plain potato chips, crushed into small & medium pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a large mixing bowl cream together the sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs; mix well. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder & baking soda.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture; stir until combined.

Stir in the pretzels, milk chocolate chunks, chips & nuts until evenly combined.

Roll the dough into 1 ½ inch balls place at least 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet and flatten slightly with your fingers. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes until the edges are lightly golden brown. Cool on cooling racks and store in an air-tight container. Enjoy!!



 
Posted By Erin Bolger
Ok I must admit I am not a huge tea drinker but I have been dabbling a bit using tea in my recipes. I love matcha green tea powder mixed in some vanilla frozen yogurt and now I love these Vanilla Chai Cupcakes. First time I tried Chai was in this recipe. I may not drink tea but I sure will eat it! FYI my Chai Latte friends loved this cupcake!

CAKE INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup Masala Chai Concentrate (I used Teopia it's a pre-mixed liquid)
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Makes 22-24 cupcakes.

Whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the oil, eggs and vanilla;mix together. Using a hand mixer gradually add the chai;mix until smooth. Stir in the milk and then spoon the batter into cupcake tins. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown. Let cool on cooling racks.

VANILLA CHAI CREAM CHEESE ICING:

1 8oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
about 4 tbsp. Masala Chai Concentrate
about 3 cups of icing sugar.

Using a hand mixer mix together the cream cheese and vanilla. Gradually add the icing sugar and liquid chai; alternating. Until you have a creamy and thick consistency. Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with a little cinnamon
I store the cupcakes in the fridge and just bring them out to soften for a few minutes before I serve them.




 
Posted By Erin Bolger
This recipe takes longer to make then most of my relationships have lasted but if you are stuck inside this winter why not warm up the house with the sweet spicy smell of apple butter.

You will need:

3 pounds of sweet apples I used a mix of McIntosh (my fav) and Golden Delicious.

Wash the apples and then cut them into medium-small pieces including the core and skin. There is a lot of pectin in the core and skin this will help thicken up the apple butter. Place the cut apples into a large stock pot and add about a cup of water bring to a boil and let simmer until the apples are soft.



We are making applesauce first and then on to the apple butter.



Once the apples are soft push them through a fine mesh sieve. Trust me this takes a while I watched an episode of Bones while I was doing it. I'm sure there are many easier ways to do it but my arms didn't mind the work out. Once you push it through the sieve you will have a thick apple liquid aka apple sauce. You can also skip this step and just use store bought applesauce but since I make this about once a year I'm going to do it from scratch!



In a crock pot add:

Apple sauce
2 tsp. cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp. cloves
to sweeten it I added agave nectar about 1/2 cup (I had a container of it that I have been meaning to try out). You can also sweeten it with sugar or honey whatever you prefer add more or less of the sweetener depending on your taste buds.

Cook it in the crockpot on low heat for hours I mean for hours until it thickens up (6-8 hrs). I stirred it occasionally.When it is the consistency you like you can then carefully puree the apple butter until it is smooth. Careful not to splatter the mixture will be HOT! You can either can the apple butter which is a whole other process quite frankly I was exhausted from making it so I let it cool and then I froze portions in ziplock baggies.



I love to spread my apple butter on some yummy toasted banana bread ... mmmmmmmmmm
 
Posted By Erin Bolger
Here is a recipe for those of us who can't go on a trip down south to shake off the winter blues this year ... I may be stuck in the cold but this hot chocolate warms me up.

Makes 2 cups.



1 heaping tbsp.of cocoa
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. sugar



2 cups milk (I used 1%)
marshmallows

Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Over medium heat whisk and heat the mixture until thoroughly combined and heated all the way through. Do not boil.



Pour into a mug and top it off with a yummy marshmallow.

 
Posted By Erin Bolger
Toffifee Smores

Base:
2 cups app. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp. brown sugar

Filling:
12 x Toffifee
12 milk chocolate squares (app. 40 grams) i.e. Jersey Milk, PC milk chocolate bar

Topping:
24 x jumbo marshmallows

Cupcake Tin; makes 12.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a microwave safe bowl melt the butter; stir in the brown sugar. Gradually add the graham crumbs until the consistency is crumbly yet still sticky. Evenly distribute the crumbs into the tin pat down allowing some of the crumbs to come up the sides.

Place one Toffifee and one square of chocolate on top. Split the marshmallows in 2 and stick on top.

Bake in the preheated oven until the marshmallows puff up and are golden brown 7-10 minutes.

Let cool and enjoy! Store at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to a week.

 
Posted By Erin Bolger
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed

2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. cocoa
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

100 grams. milk chocolate, chopped into small pieces
12 Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Freeze chocolates overnight, unwrap and place into a Ziploc bag and smash into small or medium sized pieces. I like to use my baking hammer☺

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine the sugars and butter; blend until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs and vanilla; mix well. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients and whisk or sift together until thoroughly combined.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture; stir until combined. Stir in the chopped chocolate and Ferrero Rocher’s.

For better handling let the dough cool in the fridge for a few minutes. Roll 1-inch of the dough into a ball place on a lined cookie sheet and flatten slightly with your fingers. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.

Let cool and store in an air-tight container. Happy Baking!!


 
Posted By Erin Bolger


RECIPE-"CHRISTMAS WAS CHEAPER WHEN I WAS SINGLE BUTTERSCOTCH SHORTBREAD"

INGREDIENTS:
27 fingers or about 300grams of Shortbread FIngers




2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butterscotch chipits
1 1/4 cups sem-sweet chipits

METHOD:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place a piece of parchment paper in an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish let it hang over the sides;grease. Place the shortbread fingers to fill the bottom of the pan.




In a medium saucepan over medium heat bring the butter and sugar to a boil;stirring often. Continue to boil for 5 minutes stirring occasionally; the mixture will thicken up.





Pour overtop of the shortbread and spread evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven evenly distribute the chipits and place back in the turned OFF oven for a few minutes until the chipits soften.

Using the back of a spoon spread evenly. Some butterscotch chipits may not melt that is AOK they still taste yummy. Once cooled store in the fridge.

Remove the squares by lifting the parchment and cut into bite size squares and make sure you have a good ticker before you eat this stuff it may have a lot of butter in it!!




 
Posted By Erin Bolger
Since I mainly live in Toronto my family out in the boonies will ask me to help them with buying presents. After just spending two months living in the country I was reminded as to how hard it was to get anything. The closest big grocery store is 25 minutes away and my beloved HomeSense is 45 minutes. I am really spoiled living in the big city having the convenience of 24 grocery stores and malls 5 minutes from my condo.

As I was touring around one of my favourite outlet malls looking for gifts I ventured into Tommy Hilfiger. I am not a huge fan of his stuff but at this particular outlet store I have great luck. This time I was not shopping for myself though I was looking for gifts. Before when I was single I would buy a gift for my brother and then buy a gift for me … buy a gift for my mom and buy another gift for me. Of course this is when you find the best deals when you are shopping for someone else. And it didn’t matter I had just my family and myself to buy for.

But now after being in a relationship for the past year it takes Christmas to a whole new level not only do I have another family to share the holidays with but I also have to buy more gifts especially for my beau. Last year I got away with one gift for him but not this year now it’s about having a pile of gifts under the tree, waking up on Christmas morning together with over-flowing stockings. My budget did not allow for the “buy one buy one for yourself deal”.

Of course I see the perfect casual dark teal satin-ish dress for me. Perfect to pair with tights and knee high boots and my nice wide black leather belt I bought there last summer. I did not see the gift I was looking for but I did see some for me. I carried the dress around on my arm while I checked out the rest of the store. Keep in mind this dress was only $20 bucks super cheap but again it was not in my budget. I had another Christmas dinner to think about which equals more booze more food more desserts and more booze.

With a major fight with my inner self and onlookers thinking I was crazy as I put the dress back and picked it up again. I finally put the dress down and quickly left the store. I thought hey maybe ill get some money from Santa and ill pick it up after the Holidays? Of course at that price it just might be gone.

I may not have a nice shiny new dress to wear to Christmas but I do have a nice shiny new extended family to share the Holidays with. I would trade all the clothes in the world for them☺

PS. Santa here’s a link to the dress size medium and it’s cheaper at the outlet store (and is more teal in person) … hopefully your sleigh can fit in the parking lot. Erin's Little Teal Dress



 
Posted By Erin Bolger
Well the candy & chocolates should be rolling in now from holiday gifts. One thing I tend to get every year but I am not a huge fan of them on their own is thin chocolate peppermints. I thought what can I do to take these chocolates to the next level ... put them in fudge!!

This recipe has a shot of peppermint liquor and some candy canes to finish it off. A perfect recipe to enjoy with the season!





PEPPERMINT FESTIVE FUDGE

1 cup butter
8 1oz semi-sweet squares, chopped

4 cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
200 grams peppermint chocolate thin mints, cut into small chunks
1 shot of crème de menthe
6 candy canes, crushed



METHOD:
In a medium saucepan melt the chocolate and butter; stirring often. Remove from the heat and add the shot of crème de menthe.

Gradually add the icing sugar 1 cup at a time; mixture will become thick. Stir in the chopped chocolate mints.

Put fudge into an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish. You can put a piece of parchment paper in the bottom and let the sides hang over the edge to easily remove the fudge.
Smooth down top of fudge evenly and the sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Let set in the fridge and cut into small squares. Store leftover fudge in the fridge.

Happy Festive Baking Everyone!!



 


 
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