Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream

Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Well, hello July!

The last few months have flown by in a flurry of boxes, trips to the eco-station and Good Will, buying furniture, and unpacking. I always forget just how much I detest moving until I’m right in the thick of it. It’s amazing just how much stuff one can accumulate after living in a space for a few years and how much crap can fit into the tiniest nooks and crannies of a home.

Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

However, all annoyances aside, we moved into our new home in the middle of May and we are completely in love with it! The house is still coming together, we are still organizing and setting up particular rooms, but we are slowly getting there. The new place has so much more space and light than either of us are used to, and it has been really fun (and a bit overwhelming) to start to make it our own. Blending the styles of two different people certainly has its challenges, but thankfully my love and I are both pretty laid back people. Plus, he can totally sense when he’s fighting a losing battle and leaves the final decision to me. (What can I say, the man is a saint.) The fur children are also adjusting, but I’d say overall they love their new backyard and don’t seem to be having any difficulties with making their mark on the new space (and by mark I mean pee spots on the lawn and scratches on the hardwood floors). They have certainly added a bit of, erm…character to our home.

Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

As soon as we moved in I was itching to make use of the kitchen. So much counter space, so much light! It’s wonderful. And just when I thought life couldn’t get any better, I discovered that our backyard has a rhubarb plant that is practically the size of a small car. Naturally, I am in heaven. I have already made several batches of rhubarb strawberry jam, rhubarb coffee cake, rhubarb compote, and several rhubarb berry crisps. And my latest creation: this rhubarb crumble ice cream. Aka. heaven on a spoon.

You start with a creamy vanilla base. I used this base from my peach cinnamon swirl ice cream from a few summers ago, but added a vanilla bean for a little oomph. Then you make a quick and easy rhubarb compote, bake up an addictive cookie crumble, and swirl it all together. The end result is basically rhubarb crumble à la mode, and you might just find yourself unable to stop eating the stuff. Plus, how pretty is that pink rhubarb swirl?!

Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

I know I’ve said it a million times over the past year or so, but now that we are finally getting settled, I really do hope to be able to pay a little bit more attention to this blog. I’ve got so many recipes that I’d like to share. It really is just a matter of carving out the time to do it. Wish me luck!

Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream (ice cream base slightly adapted from saveur.com by Jeni Britton, and cookie crumble from Take a Megabite)

For the ice cream:

2 cups whole milk
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, scraped out
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. cream cheese, softened

Combine 1/4 cup of the milk and the cornstarch in a small bowl and mix well; set slurry aside. In a large saucepan, whisk together the remaining milk along with the cream, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla bean, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes, then add in the slurry. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, for about 2 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese with about 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture and whisk until smooth, then whisk in the remaining milk mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until the mixture is chilled, or overnight. Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions until it has the consistency of soft serve (mine took about 25 minutes).

For the rhubarb compote:

6 cups rhubarb (approx. 8-10 stalks), chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine the rhubarb, sugar, honey, water and vanilla in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes (the rhubarb will break down). Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely.

For the crumble:

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon into a medium bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spread out, and bake for about 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely.

Layer the ice cream, rhubarb compote, and cookie crumble in a container. Use a knife or spoon to swirl the layers together. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the plastic to touch the ice cream – this will help prevent ice crystals from forming. Freeze for at least 4 hours. Scoop and enjoy!

What are your favourite rhubarb recipes? If you’ve got a good one, please send it my way!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Beurre and Sel Jammers

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Beurre and Sel Jammers | Once Upon a Recipe

Son of a bee sting, it’s that time of year again!  This year I had the pleasure of participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap for the third time. The swap is hosted by two lovely ladies, The Little Kitchen and Love & Olive Oil. If you have no idea what the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is, allow me bring you up to speed. It’s a worldwide food blogger cookie swap! Basically, you sign up, get matched with three other bloggers, and send each blogger a dozen homemade cookies. Then you must wait patiently to receive three dozen delicious cookies from the bloggers that received your name. The swap also raises money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer! Sending cookies around the world + supporting a good cause = Christmas magic and lots of fun.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Beurre and Sel Jammers | Once Upon a Recipe

This year I chose to make these Beurre and Sel Jammers from Dorie Greenspan. I actually received these cookies during my first year in the swap and have not been able to get them off my mind since! Imagine a buttery deep dish shortbread cookie topped with tart jam that has been nestled within a ring of buttery streusel. Have I got your attention yet?

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Beurre and Sel Jammers | Once Upon a Recipe

These cookies are absolute magic. Sweet, buttery, jammy magic. They do take a bit of work as there are several steps involved, but I promise you they are worth it! I used a tart cherry jam and an apricot jam, and loved both. You can use any jam you like, just make sure it’s a bit thick so that it stays in the centre of the cookie and doesn’t spread out too much. I am officially adding these cookies to my Christmas baking rotation. I’ve already made them twice this month and am tempted to squeeze in a third round! The cookies freeze beautifully, so they are perfect for baking ahead and taking them out when you need them.

Interested in participating in next year’s swap? Check the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap website for more details. Happy holiday baking!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Beurre and Sel Jammers | Once Upon a Recipe

Beurre and Sel Jammers (from Dorie Greenspan)

These beurre and sel jammers are a cookie lover’s dream. They can be made in parts if tackling the whole recipe in one day seems like too much. They freeze very well when stored in an airtight container, so make them ahead of time to have on hand for all your holiday celebrations! Makes about 36 cookies.

For the cookie dough:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

2 egg yolks, room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

For the topping:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

5 1/2 TBSP. unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

1/4 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup thick jam

For the cookies: Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the butter is smooth and creamy. Add in both sugars and the salt, and beat until well blended, for about a minute. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat on low speed until combined. Finally, add the flour and mix on low until just combined. Divide the dough in half. Place each half between two sheets of wax paper and flatten into discs. Roll each disc into 1/4-inch thickness. Place on cookie sheets and freeze between the wax paper until firm, for at least two hours (or overnight). The dough can be kept frozen for up to two days if you’d like to do this part ahead of time.

For the streusel topping: Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter and vanilla into the flour mixture until well combined and no lumps of butter remain. The streusel will be sandy in texture and will hold its shape when pressed between your fingers. Cover and chill.

To assemble the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the cookie dough from the freezer. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter (or a tall narrow glass, like me!), cut the dough into rounds and press each round into the bottom of each muffin cup. Gather the scraps and repeat the process until you have used up your dough. Doris’s recipe suggests freezing the dough in the muffin tin for another 30 minutes before baking, but I skipped this step. When mama wants cookies, she wants them now.

Spoon about 1 teaspoon of jam into the center of each round of dough. Using your fingers or a small spoon, sprinkle about a tablespoon of streusel around the edges of each cookie, trying not to get any in the jam. Bake the cookies for about 20-22 minutes, until the tops are golden. Cool in tins for 15 minutes. Run a small knife around edges of each muffin cup and gently remove cookies. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Store the cookies in an airtight container. Freeze if the cookies will not be consumed within a few days.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Beurre and Sel Jammers | Once Upon a Recipe

Looking for more amazing cookie recipes? Check out the lovely cookies I received from Marie at Food Nouveau (Maple Syrup Fudge cookies), Jane at Jane’s Adventures in Dinner (Jammy Pudding cookies), and Sharana at Living the Sweet Life (Cranberry Orange Dark and Stormy cookies). Also be sure to check out the bloggers that I had the pleasure of sending a box of these cookies to: Laurel at Wanna Come With, Claude at a la Claude, and Alicia at Bird House Diaries. xo

Butter Celebrates! Banana Pecan Caramel Cake and a Giveaway! {Giveaway Closed}

Butter Celebrates! Banana Caramel Pecan Cake

So I have this friend. She likes cake.

She likes cake so much that she eats a slice every. single. day. She takes her cake eating very seriously. If she’s out for dinner, she’ll order a slice of cake for dessert. If she’s eating in she’ll buy a slice of cake on the way home. If she comes over for dinner, she’ll always bring a cake. She’s a good friend to have.

(I seriously have a friend like this. I’m not talking about myself. Although you can usually count on me for sweet treats. I also really really like cake.)

And this banana pecan caramel cake is the perfect cake for cake lovers. Just look at it. First of all, the layers. There’s four of them. FOUR! Four layers of moist (yep, I said it) banana cake studded with pecans. And in between each layer is a thick schmear of caramel buttercream frosting. CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM. Also known as the lovechild of fluffy buttercream and caramel sauce. Four layers of cake means four layers of buttercream. It’s just math.

Butter Celebrates! Banana Caramel Pecan Cake

You can find the recipe for this luxurious cake on page 113 in the “Welcome Wagon” chapter of Butter Celebrates! Rosie Daykin’s latest cookbook. In case you don’t already know Rosie, allow me to introduce you. Rosie Daykin is the owner of the Butter Baked Goods bakery in Vancouver. Next time I find myself in Vancouver, you can bet I will be making a stop at Butter. Rosie’s first cookbook, Butter Baked Goods was released in 2013 and is a national best seller. Her latest creation, Butter Celebrates! A Year of Sweet Recipes to Share takes us through the seasons and shares recipes for delectable treats to enjoy during various holidays and special occasions. Rosie covers everything from Valentine’s Day to Mother’s Day to Summer Celebrations to Halloween to Christmas, and even shares a few recipes for our furry friends, inspired by her rescue pup, Zelda. (My girl Bella is already begging me to test out those treats). It might be the most beautiful cookbook I have ever owned, with 259 pages of gorgeous photos and mouthwatering recipes. And can I get an amen for a cookbook that includes a photo of every single recipe? I mean, how can I be sure that a recipe wasn’t a massive fail if I have no idea what the thing is supposed to look like when I’m finished? Rosie’s got us covered.

Butter Celebrates! Banana Caramel Pecan Cake

In her book, Rosie encourages us all to take the time to celebrate the little and big moments in life, preferably with cake. Now that’s a life goal that I can get behind.

Butter Celebrates! Banana Caramel Pecan Cake

Choosing a recipe to share was damn near impossible, as I flagged nearly every other page during my first flip through the book. I honestly cannot wait to try everything. Alas, I had to make a decision, and settled on this banana pecan caramel cake. My inability to consume bananas before they get too ripe for every day eating means I almost always have bananas on hand to bake with. The idea of an indulgent cake instead of my usual healthy banana muffins or banana bread just seemed too good to pass up. And holy heck, this cake did not disappoint.

The good news is that there is an opportunity for one of you lucky devils to win this glorious cookbook along with a box of goodies from Rosie’s bakery. If that isn’t an early Merry Christmas, I don’t know what is!

Butter Celebrates! Banana Caramel Pecan Cake

Good luck to all of you and happy holidays!

Please be sure to check out more incredible treats from my fellow Butter Celebrates! blogger pals in celebration of this gorgeous cookbook!

And now, for the giveaway!

One lucky reader will win a personally signed Butter Celebrates! cookbook from the lovely Rosie herself along with a delicious box of goodies from her bakery in Vancouver. Umm, yum! More details are listed below. Good luck!

Simply leave a comment below and tell me your favourite holiday tradition (mandatory). Be sure to click the widget options below for both mandatory and optional bonus entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to all legal residents of Canada who have reached the age of majority at the time of the contest in the province or territory in which they reside. Void in Quebec.

Winner must answer a skill-testing question.

No purchase necessary to enter.

Giveaway will run from Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 12:01am to Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 11:59pm. Winner will be contacted via email and name will be displayed on Rafflecopter widget. Email address will never be given out to any third party or anyone for that matter.

Prize value is approximately $125.

Butter Celebrates! Banana Caramel Pecan Cake

A big warm thank-you to Jenny Jack of the Brunette Baker for organizing this blog hop and Rosie Daykin of Butter Baked Goods for providing this super sweet giveaway!

Disclosure: The Butter Celebrates! A Year of Sweet Recipes to Share cookbook was provided to me by Random House of Canada Limited for review at no cost. All opinions are my own. I truly adore this book.

Candy Bar Popcorn (Happy Halloween!)

Candy Bar Popcorn | Once Upon a Recipe

Happy Halloween!

It’s the scariest day of the year. Also known as the day when it’s acceptable to eat as much candy as you want and definitely more than you should. I look forward to this day and dread it simultaneously. Not because of the candy part, but because of the costume part. Creating amazing costumes is not my forte. Every year I make a promise to create an incredible and creative costume for Halloween. I make a plan to start early and not leave everything to the very last minute, but my procrastination always gets the best of me and I find myself scrambling to pull things together. And repeat. I know what I’m good at, and making costumes is not one of those things.

Candy Bar Popcorn | Once Upon a Recipe

But not this year! No siree, this year I made it real easy on myself and decided to just nix the costume idea altogether. Don’t get me wrong, I think costumes are fantastic, and if I was any good at actually putting something amazing together, I would. But sometimes you just have to create realistic expectations for yourself, you know? Fortunately, not having to worry about a costume left me more time and energy for what I’m somewhat better at – the food!

This popcorn was created as a way to put leftover Halloween candy to good use. I don’t personally know much about having leftover candy as it seems to find its way into my pie hole before I have the chance to stop it, but if I did have leftover candy, hypothetically speaking, this is how I would use it. This candy bar popcorn comes together in minutes! Popcorn is mixed with melted white chocolate and peanut butter and loaded with chopped candy bars and candy corn. Halloween crack, if you will.

Candy Bar Popcorn | Once Upon a Recipe

In the midst of your last-minute preparations for tonight’s festivities – the costume-making, the pumpkin carving, the decorating, the party planning – I have one very important task for you. You must ensure that you save some of that Halloween candy so that you can make this candy bar popcorn. In fact, buy some extra candy so that you can make this twice. And truth be told, if you get a hankering for this stuff at another time of year, just chop up some regular size candy bars. Using the mini sizes is great because you can use an assortment of chocolate bars and then you get a nice variety of little bites. You’re going to love this stuff. You’re welcome and I’m sorry.

Candy Bar Popcorn | Once Upon a Recipe

Candy Bar Popcorn 

Any kind of candy works in this popcorn, so use whatever you have on hand. My favourite combination was Mars, Snickers, Reese’s pieces, and candy corn. The popcorn can be stored in an airtight container for several days, if it lasts that long!

8 cups of popped corn

1 cup white chocolate pieces

3 TBSP. peanut butter

2 cups candy (chopped chocolate bars, candy corn, Smarties, etc.)

1/4 cup milk chocolate pieces

Prepare a large baking sheet with wax paper. Put the popped corn into a large bowl, being sure to remove any unpopped kernels. In a double boiler over medium heat, gently melt the white chocolate and peanut butter, stirring until smooth.

Pour the white chocolate mixture over the popcorn, add the candy pieces, and stir to combine. Turn the mixture out onto the baking sheet and spread into a single layer.

Melt the milk chocolate pieces in a small bowl in the microwave (start with 30 seconds, then 10 second increments until melted). Drizzle over the popcorn. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 15 minutes until cool and set. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Candy Bar Popcorn | Once Upon a Recipe

Pumpkin Hand Pies

Pumpkin Hand Pies | Once Upon a Recipe

Hand pies. Mini pies. Pop tarts. Toaster strudels.

I wasn’t sure what to call these little gems of pastry stuffed with pumpkin and spice. Hand pies seemed most appropriate because they’re mini pies that you can most definitely hold in your hand. They’re flakier than pop tarts, and while they do remind me a little of toaster strudels, I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable putting one in the toaster. However, you most certainly should eat one of these hand pies for breakfast, alongside a strong cup of coffee or tea, because no day that starts with pie is going to be a bad one. It’s just science.

Pumpkin Hand Pies | Once Upon a Recipe

You guys, these hand pies are so flaky! Their flakiness is owed to the all-butter crust that has become my go-to crust recipe ever since I first tried it. The dough is so manageable and easy to work with. We have Deb from Smitten Kitchen to thank for that. Don’t fear the dough, it’s friendly and won’t give you a hard time. Oh, and there’s no need to be perfectionists here. I mean, take a peek at the photo below. The perfectionist in me was having a near meltdown, but I just had to tell her shut her face. The good news is that the crust layers will melt into each other and puff up a little during their stint in the oven and no one will be the wiser. Magic!

Pumpkin Hand Pies | Once Upon a Recipe

Now that we are really truly into Fall, a pumpkin filling felt like a must. However, I don’t doubt that these hand pies would taste delicious filled with whatever your little heart desires. So if pumpkin isn’t your thing, change it up. Do what you want!

Pumpkin Hand Pies | Once Upon a Recipe

I made these pies a couple of weeks ago when my cousin was visiting from Ontario. She’s kind of a pie crust junkie – meaning, she’d gladly eat the pie crust and leave the pie filling on her plate. I figured the crust to filling ratio of these pies would really float her boat and I was definitely right. In fact, everyone loved them. Sharing food that you made with your own two hands with people is super fun and amazing, but when they really love what you share, it’s kind of the best.

Pumpkin Hand Pies | Once Upon a Recipe

Pumpkin Hand Pies (crust from Smitten Kitchen, filling and process from Joy the Baker)

This recipe will make 9 pies. However, you may have some dough left over, in which case you can try to make a couple of extra pies, or bake up the pie scraps with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar. (Totally delicious). Feel free to change up the filling if pumpkin isn’t your jam. I think any fruit would work well here, and I’ve kind of been dreaming about a banana/Nutella combination.

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 TBSP. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter (cut into cubes)

Cold water

For the filling:

3/4 cup pure pumpkin

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup granulated sugar

+1 egg (beaten) for sealing the pies

For the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 TBSP. milk

To make the crust: Fill a one-cup liquid measuring cup with cold water and add a few ice cubes. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt, and whisk together. Add the butter and start cutting it into the flour mixture using a pastry blender. Once you have a coarse meal, add about 1/2 a cup of cold water. Using a spatula, start to bring the dough together. Add more water as needed – you’ll probably need at least another 1/4 cup, and gently knead the dough to bring it together. The goal here is to minimize the hands-on time on the dough, so as not to melt those lovely little chunks of butter that are dispersed throughout (they are going to make the dough deliciously flaky). Divide the dough in half, press into two discs, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour or two, but preferably overnight.

To make the filling: In a small saucepan, heat the pumpkin and spices over medium heat, just until fragrant. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk in the egg, salt and sugar and refrigerate while you roll out the dough.

To assemble the pies: On a well-floured surface, roll each disc of dough into a 9 x 12-inch rectangle. I used a measuring tape to make sure I had a uniform rectangle. Cut each side into thirds, creating 9 (3 x 4-inch) squares. Refrigerate the first set of squares while you roll out the second disc of dough. We gotta keep that dough cold!

Brush the first set of squares with the beaten egg. Spoon about 1 TBSP. of the pumpkin mixture into the centre of each square. Top with another square of dough, and seal the edges with a floured fork. Use the fork to create vent holes in the tops of each pie. Place the pies on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.

Put the pies back in the fridge while you preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Combine the glaze ingredients. Drizzle over the pies once they have cooled. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Hand Pies | Once Upon a Recipe

Rhubarb Apple Oat Breakfast Crisp (in a Skillet!)

Rhubarb Apple Oat Breakfast Crisp | Once Upon a Recipe

Well, hello September!

There is a definite hint of Fall in the air these days. The temperatures have been cooler, at least in the mornings and evenings, and on more than one occasion I have found myself turning on the heat in my car during my drive to work. I’m feeling an eagerness to pull out my boots and scarves and warm sweaters, and to start baking with pumpkin. Coffee shops are welcoming back the ever-popular pumpkin spice latte, and even though I don’t drink the things (fake pumpkin flavour ain’t my thing), the fact that they’re available again excites me. I’m weird, and I know it. Fall is my favourite time of year, and the thought of its imminent arrival gives me a little thrill each time I think about it. I don’t know what it is about this season that makes me feel all the feels – I mean, the beautiful colours of the changing leaves speak for themselves – but there’s something more that I can’t quite put into words.

Rhubarb Apple Oat Breakfast Crisp | Once Upon a Recipe

Despite my eagerness to bake everything pumpkin, right now I’m trying to use up the last of my summer favourites. I am lucky to know several people who were able to provide me with a steady supply of rhubarb all season long. At one point, I couldn’t keep up with the supply, and froze a big bag of the stuff for rainy day baking. As I was taking inventory of my freezer’s contents this past weekend, I came across that bag and decided that I’d better put it to good use before it reached the typical freezerburnt fate of many things that find their way into my little icebox of doom.

Rhubarb Apple Oat Breakfast Crisp | Once Upon a Recipe

In search of inspiration, I flipped through a few of my cookbooks. With the steady availability of recipes and food inspiration on the Internet these days, I find myself spending less and less time with my cookbook collection – something I hope to change. With a little bit of help from Megan Gordon’s Whole-Grain Mornings, this crisp was born. I managed to use up my entire supply of rhubarb, and threw in a few apples from my neighbour’s tree that had fallen into my backyard for some added sweetness. Full disclosure: I maybe might have possibly jumped up and picked a few apples off of the tree, but only from the branches hanging directly above my backyard.

Consider this crisp as a delightful little merging of two seasons: the rhubarb of summer and the apples of late summer and fall. I find rhubarb a little bit too tart to be used by itself in crisps and crumbles, and I didn’t want to have to add a boatload of sugar, so the apples were the perfect compromise. And while not entirely guilt-free, I do feel that this crisp boasts enough healthful ingredients to justify eating for breakfast, as I have for the past couple of days.

Oh, and I baked this in a cast iron skillet because I just love using my cast iron skillet. I’m a rustic gal, what can I say? You can certainly use a large baking dish (11 by 7-inch), if you prefer. Enjoy!

Rhubarb Apple Oat Breakfast Crisp | Once Upon a Recipe

Rhubarb Apple Oat Breakfast Crisp (in a skillet!)

Adapted from Whole-Grain Mornings. This recipe can easily be made gluten-free, as long as you make sure to use certified gluten-free oats. The almond meal adds a lovely extra bite to the crisp topping. I think if I make this again, I will add a little bit more cinnamon, so if you’re a fan like me, feel free to add an extra 1/4 teaspoon. Serve warm with ice cream for dessert, or with a splash of milk for breakfast. Serves 6 to 8. 

For the topping:

1 cup sliced raw almonds

2/3 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

2 TBSP. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Pinch of salt

4 TBSP. cold unsalted butter

3 TBSP. buttermilk

For the filling:

4 cups chopped rhubarb

2 cups apples, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup coconut (or white) sugar

Juice from half a lemon

2 TBSP. cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 375°F. If using a baking dish, butter or spray with non-stick spray. If using a cast iron skillet, skip that step.

For the topping: Put the almonds in a food processor or high-speed blender, and pulse or blend for about 30 seconds, or until you have a medium-fine almond meal. Add the oats, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and pulse or blend for a few more seconds, until combined. Add the butter and pulse/blend until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, about 30 seconds. Slowly add the buttermilk, and pulse/blend until the dough has come together.

For the filling: Mix together the rhubarb, apples, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Scoop the mixture into the baking dish/cast iron skillet.

Pile/spread the topping over the fruit in an even layer. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the juices are bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool a little before serving. Not too much though – I think this crisp tastes best when it’s still a little bit warm.

Rhubarb Apple Oat Breakfast Crisp | Once Upon a Recipe

Almond Shortbread Bars

Almond Shortbread Bars | Once Upon a Recipe

Only four days left until Christmas!

Every year, Christmas seems to sneak up on me. This year has been no different and despite the whirlwind of shopping, baking, and holiday-partying, I can’t believe we are so close to the big day. Nevermind the fact that 2014 is rapidly coming to a close. Seriously, where did the year go?

Almond Shortbread Bars | Once Upon a Recipe

I’m hoping to share a couple more recipes during this final countdown to the big day. If you’re looking for quick and easy sweets to add to your holiday dessert table, look no further. These almond shortbread bars are wonderful. They start with an easy shortbread base and are topped with sliced almonds that have taken a little swim in butter and brown sugar, creating a little caramel-y goodness.

Almond Shortbread Bars | Once Upon a Recipe

Every Christmas needs a little shortbread, in my opinion. Think of these bars as shortbread’s older, wiser, and hotter older brother. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.

Almond Shortbread Bars | Once Upon a Recipe

Almond Shortbread Bars (adapted from Love Write Now)

Shortbread bars that get a little extra pizazz from a caramel-almond topping. These bars freeze well when stored in an airtight container. 

1 1/2 cups butter, divided

1 cup icing sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

1 cup brown sugar

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 TBSP. water

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cream together 1 cup of butter and the icing sugar. Add the flour and salt and mix together. Press the mixture into an ungreased 9″ x 13″ pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

In the meantime, melt the remaining 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, lemon juice, and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add the almonds and vanilla. Spread the mixture evenly over the base and bake for another 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool and then cut into bars.

What are your go-to last-minute holiday treat recipes?

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

Well, hellllllllooo friends!

Insert apologies about my lack of posts lately. Hoping to change that in the coming weeks!

We have much more important things to talk about right now. Cookies, obvi. This year marked my second time participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by two lovely ladies, The Little Kitchen and Love & Olive Oil. In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a quickie on the details: It’s a worldwide food blogger cookie swap! Basically, you sign up, receive the addresses of three other bloggers, and then you send each blogger a dozen homemade cookies. And then you wait to receive three dozen delicious cookies from those that received your name. Oh, and the swap raises money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer! Sweet treats and supporting a good cause = so many wins.

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

My contribution to this year’s swap was the magnificent wafer-thin, chocolate-filled cookies you see above. They taste very similar to Almond Roca with their toffee-like flavour and addictive crunch. Each wafer is incredibly thin and delicate, but once sandwiched together around a layer of dark chocolate, these cookies become a little bit more sturdy (and clearly more delicious). I dare you to make a batch and not eat more than five one.

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

Next year, be sure to participate in the swap! Check the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap website for more details. Happy holiday baking! See you again real soon.

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies (recipe from Bakerita)

These cookies are incredibly addictive with their satisfying crunch and chocolate centers. Their flavour is similar to that of almond roca. A batch will make about 36 cookies (18 sandwiches). They take a little time to make, but are completely worth the effort. The cookies keep well in an airtight container in the freezer.

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
3 TBSP. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 TBSP. heavy cream
2 TBSP. light corn syrup
5 TBSP. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the almonds into a large bowl with the flour and salt and stir. Combine the sugar, cream, corn syrup and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a rolling boil and the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Add the saucepan mixture to the almond mixture and stir to combine. Place in the refrigerator to cool, about 30 minutes.

Scoop rounded teaspoons of batter and roll into (tiny!) balls. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 3 to 4 inches between each cookie since they spread a lot. I found it best to only bake six cookies at a time; otherwise they just ran into each other.

Bake 1 pan at a time, until the cookies are thin and an even golden brown colour, about 10-12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely. One other tip: If your cookies are misshapen when you take them out of the oven, use a metal spatula to gently reshape them (as they will be very malleable when they come out of the oven).

Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Pair up cookies of equal size. Spread chocolate onto one cookie (be gentle!) and press carefully together with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookie pairs. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container.

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

Looking for more amazing cookie recipes? Check out the lovely cookies I received from Sarah at Feasts For All Seasons (Chai Tea Shortbread) and Meg at Sweet Twist of Blogging (Mint Oreo Christmas Trees). Also be sure to check out the bloggers that I had the pleasure of sending these cookies to: Kristy at She Eats, Tina at What Taste, and Alicia at Bird House Diaries. xo

Brown Butter Cornflake Marshmallow Skillet Cookie

Brown Butter Cornflake Marshmallow Skillet Cookie | Once Upon a Recipe

Friendssssss! Happy October!

I’ve got a skillet cookie for yer face today! You’ve seen those cornflake marshmallow cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar around the interwebs, yes? The chewy, amazing, foodgasm-inducing, cornflake/chocolate/peanut butter chip/marshmallow-studded cookies as big as your hand. Yep, those are the ones.

Brown Butter Cornflake Marshmallow Skillet Cookie | Once Upon a Recipe

Well those cookies really are all they’re cracked up to be. In fact, they’re kind of like crack. Ridiculously addicting and really not good for you at all. Why is it that things that taste so good have to be so bad? You know me though – all about the balance. Eat some kale salad, go for a run, eat a skillet cookie. Yep, balance.

Brown Butter Cornflake Marshmallow Skillet Cookie | Once Upon a Recipe

Brown Butter Cornflake Marshmallow Skillet Cookie | Once Upon a Recipe

Basically I took that cookie and turned it into a no-bowl required skillet cookie. Skillet cookies are my jam. I mean seriously, a big, warm, gooey cookie that is best served with good friends and many spoons – it doesn’t get much better. And I browned my butter, ’cause brown butter is still the cat’s meow. Annnnddd, it’s ready in about 30 minutes. So grab a few of your faves, throw this bad boy in the oven, and dig in! Treat yo’ self!

Brown Butter Cornflake Marshmallow Skillet Cookie | Once Upon a Recipe

Brown Butter Cornflake Marshmallow Skillet Cookie (adapted from Shutterbean, which was adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar)

A gooey skillet cookie full of cornflakes, dark chocolate, peanut butter chips, and marshmallows. No bowl required! Serves as few or as many as you want! 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups cornflakes
2 TBSP. dark chocolate, chopped
2 TBSP. peanut butter chips
3/4 cup mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt and brown the butter, stirring until golden brown and fragrant (about 5-7 minutes). Remove from heat. Add the sugars and mix well. Add the egg and vanilla and stir. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and mix well. Fold in the cornflakes, chocolate, and peanut butter chips. Spread the batter out evenly in the skillet. Sprinkle with marshmallows. Bake for  20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Don’t over bake, as the goal is a gooey cookie! Allow to cool slightly and then eat straight out of the skillet. Bliss!

Brown Butter Cornflake Marshmallow Skillet Cookie | Once Upon a Recipe

Blueberry Lemon Shortcakes with Lemon Whipped Cream

If I was asked which baked breakfast good I would not want to live without, I think it would be a tie between cinnamon buns and scones.
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And that’s serious business because I love breakfast and all of its choices so very much. But…scones. They are just perfect little breakfast packages, whether made sweet or savory. You can eat them as is, slather them with butter or jam, or sandwich them around eggs and cheese and bacon. Scones are just a breakfast dream, waiting to happen.
And if you want to make a scone decidely breakfast-inappropriate, you could serve it alongside a cloud of freshly whipped cream and a pile of berries. (Although I totally wouldn’t judge you if you ate it for breakfast. In fact, I’d probably high-five you).
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Last week I had a bunch of blueberries that were about to go past their prime. I had also bought a giant bag of lemons the week before. Sidenote: I never seem to have a lemon on hand when I really need one, so I decided that it would be a great idea to buy a huge bag of them and use lemon in everything (fresh lemon water, homemade salad dressings, etc.). And of course, once I had a copious amount of lemons I failed to use them in all the ways I had imagined. Why does the world work this way? Anyways…so there I was with blueberries and lemons that needed a good home. The idea of fresh blueberry scones with a little lemon zip got me started. As the scones were baking in the oven, I got an invite to dinner that evening and offered to bring dessert. It was divine intervention, really. The only solution was to make the scones even better by turning them into shortcakes!
And dang, they did not disappoint. I added a little more lemon zest to the freshly whipped cream, which really brought out the lemon flavor in the scones themselves. These little shortcakes were the perfect summer evening dessert and were so easy to put together. They’re pretty too! I am envisioning many blueberry shortcakes in my future this summer! Maybe even for breakfast.
Blueberry Lemon Shortcakes with Lemon Whipped Cream 
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These scones are lovely on their own with a cup of coffee or tea, but the whipped cream and extra blueberries take them to a whole other level. Either way, try to enjoy them on the same day that they are made. Makes 9 scones/shortcakes.
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For the Blueberry Lemon Scones (adapted from Kitchen Trial and Error):
1 3/4 cup flour
2 TBSP. sugar
1 1/2 TBSP. baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Zest from one lemon
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For the glaze:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 TBSP. unsalted butter, melted
Zest from one lemon
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Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and zest. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the blueberries. Add the milk and vanilla and bring the dough together. Turn out onto a floured surface and shape it into a square. Cut into 9 pieces. One thing I did not do here but will the next time I make these is to brush to the tops of the scones with more milk (to help the tops brown a little bit more in the oven). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Whisk the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl and drizzle over the scones while they are still warm. Cool completely on a wire rack.
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To make the shortcakes:
1 cup whipping cream
1 TBSP. sugar
Zest from two lemons
1-2 cups fresh blueberries
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Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold in the sugar and zest. Slice each scone in half. Top the bottom half with a couple spoonfuls of the whipped cream, sprinkle with blueberries, and top with the other half.
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