Peanut Butter Cream Pie

Peanut Butter Cream Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

Peanut Butter Cream Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

For Christmas dinner at the in-laws I departed from my usual desserts. Typically I make Christmas desserts, with candy canes, peppermint, pumpkin, chocolate, molasses or cranberries (those common Christmas flavours), but this year the in-law Christmas was on December 27th and I was tired and not feeling making an elaborate dessert. I decided to make only one dessert and hoped it would turn out and taste good. This quick and easy almost no bake dessert (only the pie crusts) is a light, fluffy and complimented a filling Christmas dinner.

Slightly altered From Joy the Baker – Homemade Decadence

Yield/Serving: 1- 9” pie & 2- mini pies
Prep Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
• ¾ cups chocolate cookie crumbs
• ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
• 1½ cups heavy cream
• 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
• ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup smooth all-natural peanut butter
• Caramel drizzle
• Bittersweet chocolate drizzle
• Chopped peanuts
• 1½ cups heavy cream
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Assembly
Pie
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Have a 9” pie plate and two mini pie plates at the ready.
2. In a small bowl melt the butter in the microwave.
3. Using a large bowl pour in half of the melted butter in and mix the graham cracker crumbs until moist.
4. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of pie plate.
5. Using a medium bowl pour in half of the melted butter in and mix the chocolate cookie crumbs until moist.
6. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of two pie plates.
7. Bake the pie crusts in center of the oven, covered with aluminum foil, for 10 min and let cool.
8. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream until it holds soft peaks, 4 to 5 minutes and then transfer to a medium bowl.
9. In the same bowl of the electric mixer (you don’t have to rinse it out) using the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
10. Add the brown sugar, salt, and vanilla extract and beat well.
11. Add in the peanut butter until smooth.
12. Gently fold in a quarter of the whipped cream and then continue to gently fold in another quarter of the whipped cream. Add in the remaining whipped cream until the mixture is well incorporated but still fluffy.
13. Using a spatula spread the filling into the prepared crusts.
14. Refrigerate pie for at least 4 hours.
15. Once pie has chilled, melt caramel and bittersweet chocolate and drizzle over the pie using a fork and sprinkle peanuts over top.
Whipped Topping
16. Just before serving, using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream and vanilla extract until it holds soft peaks, 4 to 5 minutes and top pies and serve.

Tips
• The pie will last, well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
It was enjoyed by all and I was a fan of the light and creaminess of the pie. This was my first time ever having a cream pie, so I don’t have a comparison but I know I enjoyed this.

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DIY Stocking Stuffers: Homemade Soaps

DIY Stocking Stuffers: Homemade Soaps - Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Stocking Stuffers: Homemade Soaps – Candy Coated Culinista

This year for stocking stuffers I decided to make some homemade soap for my friends. I enjoy soap-making so much I thought this would be a great stocking stuffer that was made with love. I don’t have any recipes yet as these are all experimentation for me at the moment. The smell of the Sandalwood Vanilla Chia Scrub soap was so relaxing and I hope that the Chia seeds do having the exfoliating effect to them that I desire. I found an amazing mold and wanted to see if I could make a soap that didn’t look like a soap and I think it came out quite well.

Sandlewood Vanilla Chia Scrub Soap
Ingredients
• Double Butter Soap
• Sandalwood Oil
• Vanilla Oil
• Purple colorant
• Green colorant
• Chia Seeds
• Sparkly soap glitter

Vanilla Coconut Biscuit Cookie Soap
Ingredients
• Double Butter Soap
• Orange colorant
• Coconut Oil
• Vanilla Oil

DIY Stocking Stuffers: Homemade Soaps - Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Stocking Stuffers: Homemade Soaps – Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Stocking Stuffers: Homemade Soaps - Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Stocking Stuffers: Homemade Soaps – Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Stocking Stuffers: Homemade Soaps - Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Stocking Stuffers: Homemade Soaps – Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Stocking Stuffers: Homemade Soy Candles

DIY Stocking Stuffers: Homemade Soy Candles - Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Stocking Stuffers: Homemade Soy Candles – Candy Coated Culinista

I was in the arts & crafts store looking at the soap supplies and I couldn’t help but take a peek at the candle making supplies to my right and so it began. I wanted to try and make a few soy candles for stocking stuffers this Christmas. These were as simple as melting and pouring the wax and letting them set. The candles smell great and beside a few uneven tops, they still look like a candle and hopefully burn like one also. This is a fast, simple and creative stocking stuffers that comes from the heart.

Candles
Ingredients
• Soy Wax
• Sage Citrus Scent
• Warm Cookies Scent
• Pumpkin Spice Scent
• Caramel Latte Scent
• Christmas Tree Scent
• Pomegranate Scent
• Green Dye
• Caramel Dye
• Coral Dye

Maple-Honey Upside Down Apple Cake & Mango-Orange & Passion Fruit Tequila Sunrise

Maple-Honey Upside Down Apple Cake & Mango-Orange & Passion Fruit Tequila Sunrise - Candy Coated Culinista

Maple-Honey Upside Down Apple Cake & Mango-Orange & Passion Fruit Tequila Sunrise – Candy Coated Culinista

For the first time since my childhood I went trip to a book fair and it was just like I remembered it. I went to the Toronto International Book Fair and visited many independent publishers and writers. I even came across Scholastics; publishers that I used to love as a child and still do today. There were authors and artist on hand having book signings and workshops and after a few hours at the fair I of course came home with a few more cookbooks and Robert Muncsh stories. One of the books that caught my eye was the lovely cover of Homemade Decadence.

Slightly Altered from Homemade Decadence – Joy The Baker

Maple-Honey Upside-down Apple Cake

Yield/Serving: 12” cake
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 40 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Apples
• 4 golden delicious apples, cored and cut into ½” wedges
• ½ cup Canadian maple syrup
• ½ cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
• ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
• ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Cake
• 1½ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• ½ teaspoon sea salt
• ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 2 large eggs
• ¼ cup organic honey
• ½ cup packed golden brown sugar
• 1 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and grated

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease the cast-iron skillet with unsalted butter.
3. Fan the apples wedges in a circular fashion on the outside part of the skillet.
4. In a medium size saucepan over medium-high heat, combine maple syrup, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until butter melts and let simmer for 4 minutes.
5. Pour half of the syrup over the apples and set aside the remaining.
6. Using a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt.
7. In a medium size bowl combine the melted butter, eggs, honey, sugar and the grated apple.
8. Pour the wet mixture and whisk into the dry mixture until just combined.
9. Dollop mixture over top of the apples and smooth out.
10. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
11. Let cool for 5 minutes and then run a knife along the edges of the cake to loosed and then turn out onto a platter.
12. Drizzle with the remaining syrup and serve.

Tips
• The cake will keep for up to 3 days

Please Enjoy
Mango-Passion fruit Tequila Sunrise

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 2 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1cup mango orange juice
• 1 oz tequila
• 2 tbsp grenadine
• 1 cup passion fruit juice
• 6 ice cubes
• 1 pint glass
• 1 drinking glass

Assembly
1. In a drinking glass mix together the mango orange juice and tequila and set aside.
2. In the pint glass pour the grenadine in and top with ice cubes.
3. Pour in the passion fruit juice.
4. Slowly pour in the mango tequila mixture.
5. Serve immediately.

My thoughts
Both Mr. C and myself found that the recipe lacked some flavour I also found it was a little dry and I would want more syrup. The tequila sunrise was lovely fruity, bright and punchy casual cocktail. I scaled back on the amount of alcohol to suit my liking and I loved the layers of colour. I will be making these again for sure.

Maple-Honey Upside Down Apple Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Maple-Honey Upside Down Apple Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Soap-Making – Tri-Layered Orchid Blossom Heart Soap with Tuberose

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After taking a soap-making class I have officially caught to soap-making bug. I spent a couple hours making my first unsupervised handmade soap at home. I am no stranger to handcrafted soap, as I am in love with Demo Soap in Toronto and I strictly use their soaps. I have seen many types and patterns of soap and decided to not take it slow and easy on my first attempt. My end result was a lovely scented Tri-Layered Orchid Blossom heart soap with Tuberose. The Peach coloured heart was Orchid Blossom scented and made from Olive Oil Glycerin Soap. The pink and white portion was made with Double Butter Soap – enriched with mango & Shea butters soap. I used a purple colorant, but the soap was so dense it seems that the soap on turned a pink colour. I also left a layer of white and sprinkled some gold glitter on the soap. I enjoyed making this soap so much and I really didn’t have a design planned out, I just played and experimented and look how lovely the soap turned out.

Ingredients
• Olive Oil Glycerin Soap
• Double Butter Soap
• Orchid Blossom oil
• Tuberose oil
• Purple colorant
• Gold soap glitter

DIY Soap-Making - Tri-Layered Orchid Blossom Heart Soap with Tuberose - Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Soap-Making – Tri-Layered Orchid Blossom Heart Soap with Tuberose – Candy Coated Culinista

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission – Candy Coated Culinista

“Gourmet-style handheld savoury pies born and baked in Toronto.”

Place: The Pie Commission
Location: 935 The Queensway (Entrance at rear – located off Queen Elizabeth Blvd), Toronto, Ontario, M8Z 1P3
Phone: 416-848-7427
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11am – 7pm, Friday 11am – 8pm, Saturday: 11am – 6pm

5” individual round pies are made from scratch in-house, using natural ingredients – premium cuts of Canadian meat, the freshest produce and homemade beef, chicken and vegetable stock all placed in an all butter crust. Pies can also be purchased hot (to eat now) or frozen (to eat later) at a later time.

When I drove up to the Pie Commission, I was expecting a smaller store footprint as the directions were at the rear, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was also very bust and the 7 or so parking spaces were full and customers were parking across the street in a factory’s side lot. (This is a good sign to me)

Before entering I read the menus outside. The standard menu includes: Braised Beef Rib Pie, Beef ‘n Beer Pie, Butter Chicken Pie, Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash Pie and Veg-ilicious Pie (Vegetarian). Also visited there was a seasonal menu that consisted of: Hog Squash, Lobster + Shrimp, Caplansky “Reuben” Pie and Marky + Sparky’s Pulled Pork and Jerk Chicken. I believe the Caplansky’s is named after Caplansky’s Delicatessen & Marky + Sparky’s Smokehouse. I’m not sure if they use their meat or the pies are just inspired by them, but I loved the Toronto reference and keeping it local. It gives me the feeling there is a sense of community within the food industry.

I selected the Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash Pie – Chicken along with cheesy bacon mashed potato in the pie and for Mr. C. I got him the Pulled Pork BBQ from their seasonal menu. We split everything so we could get a good sampling of their offerings. I also served the pies with a side of organic baby romaine, grape tomatoes and green onion with lemon poppy-seed dressing to give us a balanced meal.

The crust for these pies were to die for, they were buttery and so flaky. I found that I couldn’t taste the bacon in the Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash, but that didn’t make me dislike the pie in any way. It was so so good and the cheese added creaminess to the mashed potatoes. The Marky + Sparky’s Pulled Pork was saucier that I expected and I welcomed that, as I love anything with a sauce. I found this pie was much denser as it was packed with a lot of pulled pork.

For dessert we split a Lemon, Lime Orange Chess Pie. It tasted like pie I have made before, but it was still delicious. A chess pie is a simple pie with a crust and filling made from, eggs, butter, sugar and vanilla and was originally an English pie said the cashier.

Sides on the menu included fresh hand cut fries, gravy, chipotle lime mayo, mixed green salad, coleslaw along with the soup of the day, and desserts like pies, fresh fruit crumbles and cookies and a selection of canned or bottle drinks.

The 3 items came to $25.36 – not the cheapest considering the size of the pie, but quality ingredients go into the pies and it was so filling I couldn’t eat my slice of pie and had to wait until the next day. I would definitely visit them again.

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission – Candy Coated Culinista

Eggnog Trifle

Eggnog Trifle - Candy Coated Culinista

Eggnog Trifle – Candy Coated Culinista

I made my first trip to Honest Ed’s that I can remember, even though I know my parents used to frequent there when they first came to Canada as the prices couldn’t be beat. I’d say that today prices still can’t be beat as I know many a university student who frequents Honest Ed’s. When I went in it probably looked the exact same way as when parents shopped here and that’s fine with me. I came to Honest Ed’s to see what deals were to be had and I found something I always wanted. Mr. C. went one way and I of course gravitated to the cooking section where I found my Trifle Bowl. I remember trifle from my childhood and of course that episode of Friends “The One Where Ross Got High” where Rachel messes up the Trifle for Thanksgiving Dinner. I never thought to make one myself because two people can’t finish off a trifle themselves; but now I had mini trifle bowls along with the regular size one and no excuse but to make a Christmas trifle.

Yield/Serving: 2-4
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Amaretti Cookies – makes 24 cookies
• 1& 1/3 cups ground almonds or whole almonds
• 2 egg whites
• ¾ cups granulated sugar
• ¼ tsp almond extract
Custard – makes about 1 cup
• 1 ¼ cups egg nog
• 2 large egg yolks
• 2 tbsp cornstarch
• 2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
• 1 tbsp dark rum
• ¼ tsp vanilla extract
Pastry Cream – makes 2 cups
• 4 egg yolks
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ¼ tsp cornstarch
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• 1 ½ cups eggnog
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Trifle
• Raspberries
• Blueberries
• strawberries

Assembly
Amaretti Cookies
1. Pre-heat oven to 300°F.
2. Place whole almonds in a food processor and grind until a fine consistency is achieved, if you don’t have or can find ground almonds.
3. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
4. Add in the sugar a little at a time until stiff peak form.
5. Add in the almond extract.
6. Gently fold in the ground almonds.
7. Place the mixture into a piping bag and pipe cookies into a lady finger shape and bake for about 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch.
Eggnog Custard
8. Pour the eggnog into a saucepan and heat, but not boil.
9. Using a medium size bowl put in the egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar in and whisk together until well incorporated.
10. Pour the warm milk over the egg mixture and whisk until combined.
11. Return to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens, but do not let boil.
12. Pour mixture into a boil and add in the rum and vanilla extract.
13. Let cool.
Eggnog Pastry Cream
14. Using a medium saucepan whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt.
15. Whisk in the eggnog and cook over medium-high heat whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened to a consistency of pudding. 2 to 4 minutes.
16. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and then the butter until melted and smooth.
17. Cover pastry cream and refrigerate until completely cool, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
Trifle Assembly
18. Place amaretti cookies along the side on a trifle bowl.
19. Pour a small amount of pastry cream in. (enough to hold up the cookies)
20. Place in a layer of blackberries.
21. Layer more pastry cream.
22. Place a layer of raspberries.
23. Make a layer of amaretti cookies.
24. Layer more pastry cream.
25. Place a layer of blueberries.
26. Layer the final layer of pastry cream and decorate with additional berries.

Tips
• If you let the custard sit for more than one day I noticed it was harder than I expected. Add in a little custard or eggnog and thin a little to get it back to that pudding consistency.
• You can layer this anyway you like and also using any of your favourite fruits.
• There will be leftover amaretti cookies.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts

I found my ground almonds weren’t fine enough from the food processor as they still seemed too big for the cookie. Next time I will buy ground almonds which will be a finer consistency.
The recipe I followed said to use a custard for the trifle but I found the custard was too runny for the trifle, however if you prefer a custard to a pastry cream use that. I use the custard recipe to help thin out the pastry cream when it got too thick for me.
This was not a pretty looking trifle to me and I had already cast it off when Mr. C. said he wanted to taste it and he said “it’s taste great, why are you so hard on yourself”. I took a small piece and it did taste great. The creaminess of the pastry cream mixed in with the crunch of the cookies and the freshness of the fruit it was delightful and with the taste of eggnog it’s a great Christmas dessert.

Macaron Diaries: Aren’t We Sweet Chocolate

Macaron Diaries: Aren’t We Sweet Chocolate - Candy Coated Culinista

Macaron Diaries: Aren’t We Sweet Chocolate – Candy Coated Culinista

I managed to find my favourite candy; Haribo Orangina locally, instead of ordering them from Europe. I went in to Aren’t We Sweet Chocolate in St. Lawrence Market to pick up five packages of my expensive candy. I was told by the French owner “you really love the orangina” to which I agreed and I grabbed two macarons to taste test.

Place: (St. Lawrence Market) South Market- Lower Level)
Location: 95 Front Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M5E 1N1

I purchased today Rose and Red Velvet macarons. The selections they had on hand were:
Black Currant, Mango , Red Velvet , Pistachio, Vanilla, Raspberry, Lemon Rosemary, Rose, Caramel Sea Salt, Coconut, Mocha Coffee, Dark Chocolate.

Upon tasting them Mr. C. concurred that these weren’t the best macarons we ever had. There was no shininess to the shells; which gave me the impression they would be soft and they were. Also Mr. C. didn’t like the rose flavoured macaron at all. “Yeah don’t ever by the rose flavour again.” He was not a fan of these at all, it tasted like he was eating a bouquet.

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