Maple Pumpkin Acorn Squash Soup with Warming Spices

Maple Pumpkin Acorn Squash Soup with Warming Spices – Candy Coated Culinista

Why didn’t I think to add maple syrup before…

Yield/Serving: 1 litre
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr to 1 hr. 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 1 pie pumpkin, cut in pieces
• 1 acorn squash, cut in pieces
• extra virgin olive oil
• 1 litre vegetable stock
• sea salt, to taste
• 1 tbsp cinnamon,
• 1 tbsp nutmeg
• 1/3 cup pure Canadian amber maple syrup

1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F
2. Wash pumpkin and squash and de-seed and cut into pieces and place in a large bowl.
3. Coat squash with extra virgin olive oil and place in roasting pan and roast for 60 minutes.
4. When pumpkins and squash is finished roasting immediately place in a bowl and cover with saran wrap. (Letting the squash remain warm in the bowl, so it will be easier to remove the skin)
5. Over medium heat, in a large Dutch oven pour in the vegetable stock and let cook.
6. Start peeling away the skin from the pumpkin and squash and add to pot.
7. Add salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg and continue to cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat.
8. At the 15 minute mark use an immersion blender to blend and let simmer.
9. Drizzle with some maple syrup and serve.

• Freeze a portion if desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Another soup that was a hit. I love making variations to all of my soups; and why it took me so long to add maple syrup is beyond me. It’s really so obvious in the autumn months. The maple syrup and warming spices added such a wonderful taste that this is high up on my list now as a go to soup.

Green Bean Maple Bacon Baskets

Green Bean Maple Bacon Bundles - Candy Coated Culinista

Green Bean Maple Bacon Bundles – Candy Coated Culinista

I believe maple and bacon go great with anything and I tested that theory with these green beans for Sunday dinner.

Yield/Serving: 5
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20 – 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from Williams Sonoma

• 3 slices of bacon, cut into half
• 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• ½ tsp onion powder
• 1 pound green beans, trimmed
• 1 tbsp pure Canadian maple syrup

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Using a frying pan, fry bacon until it just begins to brown and place on a paper towel to drain.
3. On low heat melt butter and add garlic and onion powder.
4. Once butter had melted add maple syrup and set aside.
5. Made green bean bundles and wrap with bacon and then brush butter mixture on green beans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
These didn’t look like the picture at all as the green beans were shriveled versus firm in the picture. This is probably because I didn’t blanche the beans first. Either way this was such a great side and so flavorful. I will make this again blanched first or not.

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

• 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
• 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

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.

• 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

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

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

Bourbon-Pecan Blondies with Maple Butter Glaze

Bourbon-Pecan Blondies with Maple Butter Glaze - Candy Coated Culinista

Bourbon-Pecan Blondies with Maple Butter Glaze – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been taking a break from the cooking club and baking for awhile. I have this policy when it comes to trying others recipes; show me something new or that I have never made before and I will always give it a go. This week there was something that fit the category and it’s blondies. Now I have a recipe for a white chocolate blondies that I use once and awhile, but this recipe caught my attention and I of course put a serious twist on the original recipe. I had the intention of actually sticking to this recipe from beginning to end, but then I got inspired. See my picture here in the Chateliane gallery.

Altered from Chatelaine

Yield/Serving: 12 squares
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 30-35 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

• ½ cup golden raisins
• ¼ cup bourbon
• ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
• 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ tsp baking powder
• 1/8 tsp salt
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup turbinado sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 tbsp corn syrup
• ¾ cup shredded coconut
Maple Glaze
• ¼ cup unsalted butter
• ¼ cup pure maple syrup
• ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray an 8” x 8” baking dish with cooking spray.
3. Line the dish with parchment paper and let excess overhang the sides.
4. In a small microwave safe bowl place raisins in and pour bourbon over top and stir.
5. Microwave for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring every minute until all the bourbon is absorbed into the raisins.
6. In another small microwave safe bowl melt butter and set aside.
7. Using a frying pan on medium-high heat toast the pecans. Ensure you watch the pecans as they will toast up fast and move from toasted to burnt in a flash.
8. Using a medium sized bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt.
9. In a large bowl, whisk the sugars, eggs and corn syrup together and then slowly pour melted butter over the mixture and continue to whisk.
10. Fold flour into the egg mixture until no streaks remain using a spatula.
11. Stir in the raisins, coconut flakes and a half cup of pecans.
12. Pour the mixture into prepared pan evenly and sprinkle the top with the remaining pecans.
13. Pressed down the pecans on top with the spatula.
14. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean; and start preparing the maple glaze and set aside once boiled.
15. Move pan and let cool on a wire rack.
Maple Glaze
1. In a small saucepan melt butter and stir in maple syrup & brown sugar.
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat for two minutes and let cool slightly.
3. Drizzle the warm glaze over the blondies.
4. Remove from pan and cut into squares and serve, preferably with vanilla ice cream.

• Kid Friendly – Replace bourbon with a ¼ cup water and 1 tsp vanilla.
• If you have leftover glaze, it can be kept in the fridge for up to a week and can be also drizzled on ice cream if desired.

Please Enjoy

Mr. C. said the moment a blondie hit his mouth. “Ooooo, Mmmmmm, Oh this is great hun”

The reviews at Mr. C’s office were glowing and everyone loved them, no leftovers.

“I just finished eating some cookies, so it brought my mind back to Wednesday. What lingers in my memory is the pecans, – the taste and the texture. they were toasted perfectly. They added a nice flavour to the blondie mixture which was already good.”

My thoughts
I haven’t really been in the mood to bake or cook for my blog recently; but I prepare for my blog in such a way that I always have a steady stream of recipes ready to post even when life gets in the way or I’m feeling unmotivated or in a rut. That being said this recipe rejuvenated me and I already have to make this recipe again for my co-workers. They asked how my baking turned out and saw the pictures and said, “Excuse me, but where’s our treats” and this makes me really happy and energized to start back again. I am gushing a little with this recipe to be honest. I loved how this recipe looked raw and if it looks appetizing raw it’s going to be a hit baked and drizzled with some glaze. This had the perfect amount sweetness and the shredded coconut added an extra note along with the drunken raisins. The raisins to me didn’t really taste to bourbon infused, but they tasted great just the same. I thought of adding a glaze of some sort to make sure this recipe had that extra something going on and it did. It was flavourful, sweet and not too heavy to feel like a typical dessert. My best recipes always come when I feel inspired and rejuvenated, and sometimes taking a step back is what’s needed to come back firing on all four cylinders.

Bourbon-Pecan Blondies with Maple Butter Glaze - Candy Coated Culinista

Bourbon-Pecan Blondies with Maple Butter Glaze – Candy Coated Culinista

100th Post – Candy Confetti Cupcakes

C.C.’s 100th Post - Candy Confetti Cupcakes - Candy Coated Culinista

C.C.’s 100th Post – Candy Confetti Cupcakes – Candy Coated Culinista

Wow 100 posts! To celebrate my 100th post I decided to make cupcakes from scratch. I have been apprehensive making cupcakes as mine never seem to get enough rise or lift and it’s quite vexing to me. I have been working on my cupcake decorating and piping techniques and I’m quite pleased with how my skills are growing. When I started I was using and offset spatula to decorate and now I have graduated to a proper piping bag and everything. So cheers to my first 100 posts and too many, many, many more to come.

Yield/Serving: 24
Prep Time: 25 min.
Cook Time: 15-18 min., cupcakes
Difficulty level is: Medium

• 1 cup 2% milk, at room temperature
• 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
• 1 whole egg, at room temperature
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 3 cups cake flour, sifted
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
• ½ cup sprinkles, or quinns
Maple Buttercream Frosting
• 1 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
• 1 cup pure maple Canadian maple syrup
• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
• Food colouring
• Non-pareils Sprinkles, coloured sugar, candy pearls, for decorating the top

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. Prepare two muffin pans and line with cupcake liners and set aside.
3. In a large bowl combine egg whites, egg, vanilla extract and ¼ cup of milk and whisk.
4. Using an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda on a low speed for half a minute or so.
5. Add in the butter and blend for another half minute then add the remaining milk and mix until just moistened.
6. Now increase the speed and continue to mix for one and a half minutes.
7. Slowly start adding the egg mixture stopping between ever so often to allow the flour to absorb the egg mixture.
8. Once all of the egg mixture has been added fold in the sprinkles by hand until just combined.
9. Pour mixture into cupcake liners about ¾ of the way add bake for 15-18 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted.
10. Remove from baking pans immediately and let cool completely on a wire rack.
1. Using an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment cream butter on high until light and fluffy.
2. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
3. Add confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time until well combined.
4. Slowly add in the maple syrup and the food colouring until desired colour is achieved
5. Transfer frosting to a piping bag, and pipe along the top of the cake.
6. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Please Enjoy

“You can tell your wife, I don’t like maple (but yes of course I still took a cupcake, I’m not stupid) and that she used the perfect amount of maple because it wasn’t overpowering…just a hint so it was yummy.”

Surprisingly there are many people, who don’t like maple syrup, and you call yourselves Canadians, it’s almost sacrilegious. They still enjoyed my cupcakes though as it wasn’t heavy on the maple syrup. It probably helped that the maple syrup I used is from one of my dad’s students as their parents own a maple syrup farm. You can really taste the difference when you have true & pure maple syrup versus the artificial brands.

My thoughts
I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I was putting a lot on this one recipe as it’s for my 100th post, but it came out great. Every time I looked through the oven window the cupcakes were doing its thing and looking great. The sprinkles in the batter added a lovely color to the cupcake and I made the icing it one of my favourite colours. Next time I will try to see if I can make the batter moister somehow. It wasn’t dry, but I just want to see if I can make is moister like the ones I get from the bakeries. I liked how it wasn’t too dense, as I prefer my cupcakes to be more light and airy versus dense. I think I have my scratch cupcakes recipe, now to start tweaking it.

C.C.’s 100th Post - Candy Confetti Cupcakes - Candy Coated Culinista

C.C.’s 100th Post – Candy Confetti Cupcakes – Candy Coated Culinista

C.C.’s 100th Post - Candy Confetti Cupcakes - Candy Coated Culinista

C.C.’s 100th Post – Candy Confetti Cupcakes – Candy Coated Culinista

C.C.’s 100th Post - Candy Confetti Cupcakes - Candy Coated Culinista

C.C.’s 100th Post – Candy Confetti Cupcakes – Candy Coated Culinista

Egg & Toasts Brunch Tartlets with Maple Fennel Bacon

Egg & Toasts Brunch Tartlets with Maple Fennel Bacon - Candy Coated Culinista

Egg & Toasts Brunch Tartlets with Maple Fennel Bacon – Candy Coated Culinista

I did another cooking club challenge of something I never heard of until I saw the picture; an eggs & toast tartlet. Breakfast isn’t breakfast for me without bacon so I had to add on the maple fennel recipe also. Just add a citrus and a glass of milk and to me this is a well-balanced breakfast. Here’s my picture in the Chateliane gallery.

Slightly Altered From Chatelaine

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 15-18 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Egg & Toasts Brunch Tartlets
• 4 slices of white bread
• 1 tbsp butter
• 1 shallot, thinly sliced
• 1 tbsp maple syrup
• 1 cup baby spinach
• ¼ cup shredded cheese, grated
• ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
• 4 large eggs
• 1/8 tsp salt
• Black pepper, to taste
• Sun-dried tomatoes, to garnish
• Green onion, chopped to garnish

1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
2. Cut of 5`x5`squares of parchment paper and press into each cup of the muffin pan and spray with cooking oil.
3. Cut crust off the bread slices and flatten using a rolling pin.
4. Press into muffin cups to make a shell and spray with more cooking spray.
5. Toast for 5-7 minutes in the oven.
6. Using frying pan melt butter over medium-high heat.
7. Now add the onions and stir occasionally until soft and brown 12-15 min.
8. Add in the maple syrup and spinach and stir; let the spinach wilt, about 1-2 min.
9. Spoon some of the spinach mixture into each bread shell and sprinkle the sun-dried tomatoes on top.
10. Add a little grated sharp cheddar.
11. Finally crack one egg on top of each tart leaving some egg whites behind and place egg yolk on top..
12. Season with black pepper.
13. Bake in the centre of the oven until the egg whites are set but yolks are runny, 15 to 18 min.
14. Garnish with dried tomatoes and green onion.

• I found the tarts looked better and keep their shape when I lined it with parchment paper.
• Small eggs are apparently impossible to find. I gave up on my third store search and held back some egg whites from each tart.

Maple Fennel Bacon
From Chatelaine

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 6 slices
• 3 tbsp maple syrup
• 1 tsp brown sugar
• 2 tsp fennel seeds
• Black pepper, to taste

1. Using a frying pan on medium heat, place bacon in pan.
2. Mix maple syrup, brown sugar and fennel together and brush over bacon.
3. Cook until done.
4. Sprinkle with additional fennel seeds and black pepper.
5. Serve

• The original recipe called for the bacon to be baked in the oven. Following the instruction given ended in disaster for me and after wasting 7 slices of bacon, I did this stove top and it turned out just as well and less messy.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
If I’m having breakfast or brunch I will always have bacon & eggs and since both can’t go in the oven at the same time. Stove top for the bacon makes sense to me. This is a great breakfast dish and I can see why it was suggested as a brunch meal. It looks high class but without too much fuss. I added cheese because I thought the tart needed that little something extra. The tartlets were hard to eat and I was debating between knife and fork or by hand. If it’s a brunch I gather knife and fork; a relaxed breakfast for two or with friends and family, hands all the way. The bacon was my favourite part. It was sweet and salty and caramelized and just delicious.

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