January 2010

Reese's Peanut Butter Biscotti

I only have 8 days before I fly out to New York… and, as promised here are a few more details of the event:

As I mentioned before I’m one of 15 bloggers who was invited to participate in a culinary fundraising event with Kelly Ripa on behalf of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund which is being organized by Foodbuzz and Electrolux.

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I’m so excited to be giving away one of my favorite dessert cookbooks!

So here it is… last but certainly not least in my OCRF Giveaway Series::

The New York Times – Dessert Cookbook (hardcover)
Edited by Florence Fabricant

In slightly longer than an NY second, one of you will also enjoy having a copy of your own!

In order to be eligible to enter the contest, all I ask of you is the following:

  1. Become an OCRF Fan on Facebook
  2. Follow @OCRF on Twitter
  3. Retweet this post and make sure the tweet contains @DaydreamerDsrts & #OCRF
  4. You must have a US Mailing address due to shipping limitations.
  5. Leave me a comment stating you’ve met criteria 1-4, and don’t forget to enter your email address in the comment form (it will not be published) so that I am able to contact you if you win.
  6. Last but not least if you are so inclined and are able to please donate to this very worthy cause. (Not required to be eligible to enter the giveaway.)

One winner will be chosen at random for this giveaway.

Deadline to enter: February 2, 2010 11:59 PST
Winner announced: Februrary 3, 2010

Thank you so much for your participation, and stay tuned for more info on my trip to NYC where I will be joining Kelly Ripa for a little cake decorating to help raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund!



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Gluten-Free Nanaimo Bars

January 2010 – Daring Baker’s Challenge

Shhh… I’ve been hiding out.

Apparently, these little fellas (Nanaimo Bars) have caused quite a stir inside my “circle of trust”. I don’t really get what the fuss is all about? I mean, OK… so, you have three layers of deliciousness.

A base layer comprised of crumbled graham cracker (gluten-free in this particular case), shredded coconut, chopped pecans, and chocolate no big deal right?

A middle layer made up of a bit of cheesecake pudding mix, butter, sugar, a little heavy cream and toffee bits.

Then finally the whole thing simply gets topped with melted chocolate… whoopdie doo!

Honestly I don’t get it…

So, if anyone wants to point any fingers. I suggest you point them at our lovely host of this month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge Lauren of Celiac Teen.

And, actually I’m sure she had the best intentions, probably just wanted to celebrate the fact that this year’s winter Olympics will be held in Vancouver and at the same time share a very classic Canadian dessert with us.

Her Nanaimo recipe was based on a combination of 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca.

Gluten-Free Nanaimo Bars
from Lauren of Celiac Teen

Gluten-Free Graham Wafers

1 cup (138 g) (4.9 ounces) Sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
3/4 cup (100 g) (3.5 ounces) Tapioca Starch/Flour
1/2 cup (65 g) (2.3 ounces) Sorghum Flour
1 cup (200 g) (7.1 ounces) Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly packed
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Baking soda
3/4 teaspoon (4 mL ) Kosher Salt
7 tablespoons (100 g) (3 ½ ounces) Unsalted Butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
1/3 cup (80 mL) Honey, Mild-flavoured such as clover.
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Whole Milk
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Pure Vanilla Extract


In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the
flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate.


Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If making by hand, combine aforementioned dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.

Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.

Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of sweet rice flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.

Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).

Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.


Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.

Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, and the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.


When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups (300 mL) of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.


Nanaimo Bars

*Bottom Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup (50 g) (1.8 ounces) Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup (55 g) (1.9 ounces) Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 cup (130 g) (4.5 ounces) Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

*Middle Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups (254 g) (8.9 ounces) Icing Sugar

*Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter

*Daydreamer Desserts Substitutions:
Bottom Layer: pecans for almonds
Middle Layer: 1.4oz box of cheesecake pudding mix for custard powder + 1/2 cup toffee bits
Top Layer: I added 1/2 teaspoon of espresso powder

For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken.



Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.


For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder (or Daydreamer Dessert Version: 1 small box of cheesecake pudding mix), and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.



For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill. (* I added 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder to my melted chocolate)



Nothing to get excited over… right??

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You didn’t think I had forgotten to announce the winner of my second OCRF Cookbook Giveway did you?

Congratulations Megan Carroll of Megan Carroll Ceramics!!

You won a copy of:

All Cakes Considered (Hardcover)
by Melissa Gray

Thanks to all who participated and everyone who RT’ed!

The countdown has begun for my trip to NY, read more about it here. That means I have one last book to give away before I leave!

So, stop by tomorrow and check it out… perhaps you might like to add it to your cookbook collection? I personally love it…



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I don’t know what it is, but raining gloomy days just bring me down… I guess I love sunshine way too much. Or, I’m just a spoiled California brat.

Either way, to help me get through this minuscule moment of bad California weather, I opted for a little baking therapy, let me tell you it did wonders! (Big smile on my face)

Oh, but before I walk you through my baking therapy session. It’s time to announce the next dreamy OCRF book giveaway!

Drum roll please…

All Cakes Considered (Hardcover)
by Melissa Gray

In order to be eligible to enter the contest, all I ask of you is the following:

  1. Become an OCRF Fan on Facebook
  2. Follow @OCRF on Twitter
  3. Retweet this post and make sure the tweet contains @DaydreamerDsrts & #OCRF
  4. You must have a US Mailing address due to shipping limitations.
  5. Leave me a comment stating you’ve met criteria 1-4, and don’t forget to enter your email address in the comment form (it will not be published) so that I am able to contact you if you win. Note: If you are already an OCRF Fan on Facebook and are already following them, just retweet this post and leave me a comment saying you did.
  6. Last but not least if you are so inclined and are able to please donate to this very worthy cause. (Not required to be eligible to enter the giveaway.)

One winner will be chosen at random this giveaway.

Thank you all and good luck!




Chocolate Raspberry Macarons
adapted from Tartelette

For The Shells:

3 egg aged whites (see notes below)
50 gr. granulated sugar
200 gr. powdered sugar (minus 2 tablespoons)
110 gr. almonds (I used ground almond meal)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder


Line to baking sheets with parchment paper.

For the whites: the day before (24hrs), separate your eggs and store the whites at room temperature in a covered container. If you want to use 48hrs (or more) egg whites, you can store them in the fridge.


In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry and your macarons won’t work.


Combine the almonds, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground, or if using ground almond meal until all ingredients are well combined.


Pass through a sieve. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like magma or a thick ribbon. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes.


Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.


I definitely need to improve my piping skills… I was hoping the heart shaped macarons would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day dessert, but they didn’t turn out as lovely as I hoped.


Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper baking sheets.


Preheat the oven to 300F. Let the macarons sit out for an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on their size.


Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don’t let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy.

Note: For an alternative method to age the egg whites, microwave fresh egg whites for 20 seconds on medium high.

For the filling:

Lazy Raspberry Buttercream

4oz unsalted butter
1/2 cup raspberry jam
2 cups powdered sugar


In a mixing bowl cream the butter, add raspberry jam and mix well to incorporate. Finally slowly add powdered sugar until desired consistency is achieved.

Pipe or spoon some buttercream on one shell and sandwich with another one.


Now, aren’t you glad I self-medicated myself with this little therapy session?

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