Overnight Maple Hot Cross Buns

I wasn’t intending to develop a new recipe over the weekend, but I was playing around with these maplelicious hot cross buns and they turned out so well, I knew I had to share my notes and findings in a recipe.

On Friday evening I was in need of a little baking therapy (it’s a real thing, you know). Recent news and events from the week had left me floundering a bit; I needed to find my ground – and I aways find it in the kitchen.

I ground cardamom, cracked eggs, measured maple sugar and by the time I had the dough mixed up and in the fridge, I was already feeling better.

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Pesto & Ricotta-filled Asparagus and Radish Tarts

Spring is very much in the air. I can feel it, even if the garden still sleeps under a foot of snow.

The ice on the river near our place is breaking up and the tops of the trees in the yard have started to bud. Soon the sap will be flowing in the maples and we can tap their trunks for a new sugaring off season.

I’m anticipating the spring thaw as eagerly as my children awaiting their first batch of maple taffy on snow. It can’t come soon enough. In the meantime, Clara built another snowman on the first day of spring.

I warmed one of these tarts for my lunch while watching her play – they are like a promise of good things to come: our own baby radishes, local asparagus and the warm winds of spring.
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Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake with Candied Lemons

At the prompting of a few friends and one sister, we’re watching The Kindness Diaries on Netflix as a family right now. One of our family ‘mottos’ is “Above all, be kind.” so the series dovetails nicely with how we are endeavoring to live out our lives.

For me, showing kindness nearly always translates into food for others, whether it be a meal delivered, dinner around my table or, more recently, hunger relief. Today’s recipe for Meyer lemon bundt cake is exactly the type of cake to bake for a friend and leave it, wrapped in a tea towel, on their front porch.

Equally worthwhile is to invite a friend over to join you for afternoon tea and cake. As long as cake is shared  – between friends or strangers – the world will continue to become a better place. I’m pretty sure I read that on a t-shirt somewhere.

I was going to save this recipe for Easter, but Meyer lemons are available right now and this cake needs to be on your baking list long before April.

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Soft Maple Sugar Cookies + cookie swap recap

We’ve been on the Christmas cookie train longer than the tree has been up, since before the the first greeting card arrived, and well in advance of the deep drifts of snow blanketing our homestead.

‘Tis the nature of my work; I was developing recipes for a feature in Montreal’s French newspaper, La Presse, hence frosted, cut-out cookies were in abundance shortly after our Thanksgiving celebrations ended.

Early tryouts for the best holiday cookie meant that there was more time to narrow down a favourite and find that unique recipe to highlight for my annual cookie swap. This year, that cookie was a soft, maple-sweetened delicacy, cut into snowflake shapes, topped with a maple syrup glaze and dusted with sparkling sugar.

I wouldn’t tell you about these soft maple sugar cookies without sharing the recipe for your own baking project, so who is ready to dust off the cookie cutters?

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Pumpkin-Olive Oil Bread recipe from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

This week has been unusually busy for me and I’m five days away from a big deadline with my next book, so I am taking a break from recipe development.

That is sometimes how the business of blogging goes: freelance work and publishing projects ebb and flow, occasionally taking precedence over blog posts.

However, I can promise that I have big plans for the holidays and you are sure to love what is coming. New recipes, round-ups, cookbook recommendations, and perhaps even a giveaway or two are all in the works – just as soon as I make that pesky deadline.

To break up the long work days, Clara and I play in the kitchen together on an occasional baking project, like this lightly-spiced pumpkin olive-oil bread. Today’s recipe comes from a new cookbook I am thrilled to tell you about…

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