Category Archives: Bars and Squares

Chateau Lake Louise Granola Bars

This is a seriously addictive recipe. I have made it almost weekly, and pretty much eat it all myself. My favorite version was with no seeds just nuts, dates, and chocolate chips.  This recipe is adapted from February 2012 issue of Canadian House and Home.  And if you are wondering as I was, since I eat so many of these, that for 1/24 of the batch there are approximately 200 calories.  Meaning if you cut this into 24 pieces each one is about 196 calories, following the posted recipe.  If you change up the proportions of nuts/seeds, well then you are on your own.  But I think this is a good place to start.

Chateau Lake Louise Granola Bars

3/4 c honey
3/4c canola or vegetable oil
2 tbsp fancy molasses
3 c rolled oats (not instant, I used quick or regular)
1/4c sunflower seeds
3/4c pumpkin seeds
2tbsp sesame seeds
1 c oat or wheat bran
1/4 c chopped cashews
1/4 c chopped pecans
3/4 c sliced almonds
1/2 c raisins or dried cherries or cranberries
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4c ground flax seeds*

*recipe calls for 1/4c of milk powder, and I didn’t have any on hand the first few times I made it, when I finally got some and made it, I did notice that the milk helps to bind it, it is crumbly without it,  but I can sacrifice and have some crumbly squares and skip the milk, making it vegan (unless you count honey as not vegan).

Preheat oven to 350c.
Bring oil honey and molasses to boil, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Mix rest if ingredients any proportions here will work.
Pour liquid over dry ingredients.
Press mixture into shallow rimmed baking sheet line with parchment.
Bake for 12min.
Once cool cut into squares and store in air tight container.

Substitution that I have used: dates, chocolate chips, dried cherries, dried cranberries, and any combination of nuts and seeds.


World Nutella Day

I am a Nutella purist, and I have found in the past that recipes that have nutella in them do not taste “Nutella-y” enough for me.  So this year I decided to stick with what I like…
Nutella and Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Squares:  this was really good, we made the squares as per the Rice Krispies website, and then used the nutella as the icing, and it turned out really really good!

Nutella and Quinoa Pancakes

Nutella Martini:

From the Toronto Star I think, I clipped this one years ago:
1 ounce each Baileys, Frangelico, Creme de Cacoa (white or dark, doesn’t seem to make a difference)
rim the martini glass with some Nutella mixed with Bailey’s, throw in some icecubes and voila! Continue reading

Caramel Toffee Squares

Well, I feel like a stranger on here since I have been MIA from posting here since the fall, mainly due to getting carried away with Christmas, hosting guests and trying to get the finishing touches on yet another renovation, but here I am!

A week ago I realized that I still needed to share my cookie recipe for our 1st (hopefully annual) Christmas cookie exchange.  Here it is – Caramel Toffee Squares – these lovely little squares look pretty on the cookie try, and are a nice marriage of shortbread/toffee/chocolate flavour.  This recipe comes from the November 2006 Chatelaine issue, which was the year Chatelaine held a cross-Canada cookie contest and also when we finished our kitchen renovation.  After painstakingly bringing our 1950’s “Pepto-Pismo Pink” kitchen to the 21st century, I was a little zealous to try out recipes, so I made many of the cookies that were in this issue.  I am not stretching the truth when I say every cookie recipe in this issue is a keeper.  I guessing this is because 80% of the contest winners were family recipes passed down.  This particular recipe was submitted by Cara Kosie-Beeson from Port Colbourne, Ont, and every time I make these squares I love the read the story behind the recipe.  The recipe was passed down to Cara from her German-Grandmother who once owned a Tavern in Balmerton, ON., famous for its schnitzel, among other recipes.  I remember reading that at 11pm at night and I having to bake them immediately.  When I hear of a recipe that has been passed down generations and crosses an ocean, I must try it.  As a side note, I’ve tried using milk, dark and semi-sweet chocolate with this recipe – it’s all chocolate heaven to me.  Also, I recommend cutting them in small squares as they are sweet and make nice bite size treats.  Enjoy.


1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1/4 tsp each salt and cinnamon

1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cubed

Continue reading

Must-try Brownie recipe

Could this be the world’s best Brownie recipe?  Possibly. 

Back in February I went to visit my best friend in Calgary and since she was pregnant at the time (with twins!) we talked a lot about food!  She kept going on and on about the most amazing brownies she tried at a friend’s house and that she was going to get her hands on the recipe.  Now, I don’t just take recipe suggestions from anyone; however, I’ve known Murf since Christ was a cowboy, and the girl knows her baked goods.  I knew this must be a special brownie recipe. 

Well, here we are in May, I got my hands on the recipe – and low and behold – brownie heaven (insert angels singing here)!  So what is the secret with this recipe?  I think there are three important factors that make these brownies so special: 

  • Beat the crap out of the cream mixture.  This means beating the eggs/sugar for 15 mins.  This step gives the batter a thick creamy texture and helps to avoid the brownies that cook on the edges, but are raw/runny in the center.  Mixing for 15 min. is not a biggie if you have a stand mixer, but if you don’t, it can be more of a chore.  Trust me, do skimp on this step – so worth it – grab a book or your iphone and show those eggs who’s boss. 
  •  Allow the brownies to cool for 6 hours before cutting/eating (I know, pretty hard to do, especially when the house smells like warm brownies).  This allows the brownies to set properly, while still keeping a moist creamy texture.  
  • Use the best quality chocolate you can.  This brownie recipe uses chocolate rather than cocoa to give it the rich chocolate flavour.  If given the option to eat a spoonful of cocoa or a spoonful of chocolate, which would you choose?  These brownies made the same choice.

I’m not sure where this recipe comes from – as I said, it was given to me from a friend, who got it from friend.  I have a photocopy and it looks to be from a book, but I have no idea what book – so I’d love to give credit to the wonder who came up with this one, but I cannot.  I can be the messenger here though, and this is my all-time favorite Brownie recipe – and I’ve been looking for this brownie soul-mate for a long, long time.   Anyway, the super-easy recipe is below – enjoy!

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature (can be soaked in lukewarm water for 30 min.)

Pinch salt

5 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate

3 ounces best-quality unsweeted chocolate

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, or butter pan.  Melt the semi-sweet and unsweetened chocolates and butter in a double boiler over a very low flame .  When the mixture is about three-quarters melted, stir until the chocolates and butter are completely melted and the mixture is smooth (I actually just put the chocolate in the microwave at 50% for 2.5 min and stirred the chocolate until smooth – easier, quicker, less clean-up).  Cool to lukewarm. 

 Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the sugar, eggs and salt for 15 minutes.  Gently fold cooled chocolate into sugar-egg mixture.  Fold in flour and vanilla extract.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spread mixture into prepared pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 min – 30 min.  The closer to 20 min for creamier brownies, closer to 30 min. for drier brownie.  This is the most difficult part of the recipe – resist the urge to eat these brownies – Cool on a rack for 6 hours and cut into squares.

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