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Jack Harding

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Sprinkle Donut Holes

If you’re an American friend, the term “TimBit” isn’t going to mean much to you which is why this recipe was called “Sprinkle Donut Holes” instead of what any Canadian would call it “Sprinkle Timbits.” If you grew up in Canada you’ll know that the term donut hole never caught on because the chain Tim Hortons sold “TimBits” (their version and branded with their name) and heavily marketed them for years. Now you can tell a Canadian traveller quite easy when they step into a bakery and ask for one. I’m really excited to have created a great recipe for these that not only fries well, but has a great mouth feel and are delicious! I guarantee that you’re going to love these!

Ingredients:

Donuts:
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Cup Milk
1 Large Egg
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Salted Butter, melted
1/3 Cup Sprinkles

Glaze: 
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/3 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Sprinkles (for coating)

Instructions:

  1. Whisk flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl, make sure it’s well mixed.
  2. Combine the milk, egg and vanilla extract in a smaller bowl and add into the flour mix. Add in the melted butter and the sprinkles and mix until a dough starts to form.
  3. In a large heavy bottom pot, heat at least 2″ of vegetable oil to 350F. Aside, line a wire rack with paper towel.
  4. Using an two spoons, spoon the dough into the hot oil. Fry until they’re golden brown (about 1-2 minutes per side) depending on how quickly your oil starts to cool. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the rack andlet cool. 
  5. Once the donuts have cooked and are cooling: whisk powdered sugar, sprinkles, lemon juice, milk, vanilla extract, and salt together in a bowl to make the glaze. It should be smooth.
  6. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet. Dip each donut hole (one at a time) into the glaze and place on the rack; allow excess glaze to drip off before serving. (I add some extra sprinkles while they’re drying, but this is totally up to you).

How to Make Cornmeal Muffins

Cornmeal muffins! These are so easy to make- and so delicious.
Why people don’t think of cornmeal muffins I don’t know- but they’re wonderful.
They’re one of those few recipes that don’t require a million ingredients, and don’t take half a day to make. They’re simple, delicious, and great for you!
Here is my recipe for easy to make, easy to eat, jalapeño cornmeal muffins.

Ingredients:

1 Cup Cornmeal
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup White Sugar
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Egg
1/3 Cup Canola Oil
1 Cup Milk

Instructions

In a glass bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine beaten egg, and wet ingredients.
Pour wet ingredients into dry slowly, and mix gently.
Pour into whatever tin, muffin tin, cake pan, etc… that you like.
Bake at 400 for 15-17 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy!

Note: You can add things like chives, jalapeños, honey, etc.. to make these even better!

Let me know if you make these, and as always, tag me @JackDHarding and let me know how they turned out!

Easy to Make: Salted Caramel Chocolate Cups

This is going to become a new household favourite for you once you’ve had it. It definitely has for me! These are not only easy to make, but they’re really easy to eat (hah). I was excited to make use of the Sea Salt Flakes I got at an event celebrating Windsor Salt’s 125 Year Anniversary! 

On August 16th, Windsor Salt hosted Table for 125, an exclusive culinary celebration with Canada’s cultural and community leaders, held around a single communal table. Hosted by celebrity chef Eden Grinshpan, more than 125 guests shared an inspired, curated meal featuring signature dishes created by Grinshpan to celebrate all Canadians who bring joy and positive change to their local communities. At the event, Windsor Salt also honored their first-ever Joy Squad, a group of ten local heroes and role models who are making a difference in their communities.

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 cups caramels, chopped, unwrapped
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons milk 
  • Course Salt/Flake Salt

Instructions:

  1. Place cupcake wrappers in muffin tins (these are going to be big cups, not small like a traditional chocolate cup (think Reese’s)).
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, add your chocolate chips and microwave at full power in 30-second intervals, stirring between blasts until smooth.
  3. Scoop an ice cream scoop worth of chocolate (~2tbsp) into each liner. You want to make sure about 1/4-3/8 of the chocolate is left for the top. Use a brush (pastry brush is best) to then spread and brush the chocolate up to the top of the liners. This will be a bit tricky so be patient. Place in freezer.
  4. In a medium sized microwave safe bowl, combine the caramels and milk and microwave on high for 120 seconds. Stir. Blast at 30 second intervals after that stirring each time until smooth.
  5. Remove muffin tin from freezer. Pour caramel into chocolate cups until about 2/3 full. Return to the freezer for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove muffin tin from freezer and use the pastry brush to brush the remaining melted chocolate over the top of the caramel being sure to cover all of the caramel (you don’t want any gaps). Sprinkle the salt on each cup and freeze for about 20 minutes.
  7. Remove muffin tin from freezer and peel away the cupcake wrappers from the chocolate cups (don’t put too much pressure on the cup- you don’t want to break them). Store in an airtight container or in the fridge for up to a week.

Let me know if you make these and if you do, tag me @JackDHarding and let me know if you made any changes.

Super Fudgey Chocolate Cake Cookies

These are the kind of cookies that make you change your outlook on cookies. I typically love a thin, crisp cookie, and these are NOT those. They’re cakey, they’re thick and they’re delicious and you will thank me after you’ve eaten one.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (level) + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tbsp dark cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (heaping- you want less than 1/2, but more than 1/4)
  • 2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons soy milk 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325F. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In  a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together, making sure to mix well.
  • In a larger bowl (microwave safe) combine one cup of the chocolate chips and all of the butter. Heat them on high for 20 seconds at a time, mixing between each blast to ensure even melting and that they don’t burn. Once they’re melted and can be whisked together smoothly, add in the vanilla and the sugars. Once that is done, add the eggs one by one and finish with the soy milk.
  • Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet and stir- you do NOT want to over-mix this as they’ll end up way too tough. 
  • Add the remaining chocolate chips by folding gently. 
  • Using an ice cream scoop (about 1/4 cup) scoop the batter and place the cookies on the tray one by one, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between each cookie (better to err on the side of caution and give more space).
  • Reduce the heat to 300 and bake for 17-20 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they tops get dark and have a bit of a shine.
  • Remove from oven and let completely cool on tray. Use a spatula to remove once cooled.

These will store for about 5 days in fridge or in an air tight container, but I doubt they’ll actually last that long with how delicious they are. I hope you enjoy these! Make sure to tag me @JackDHarding and let me know if you make them!

Sweet Potato Pie with Quinoa Crust

I LOVED pumpkin pie when I was younger. The spices, the consistency, the crust, it was everything for me! As I’ve grown older it’s taken me quite some time to find that perfect flavour and I never would have thought it wouldn’t have had pumpkin at all. This sweet potato pie checks a number of boxes for me, gluten free, vegan, and nut free! 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups Organic White Royal Quinoa, cooked and cooled to room temperature
1⁄2 cup Brown Rice Flour
2 heaping tablespoons Ground Flax
4 tablespoons Vegan Butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons Maple Syrup
3 1/2 cups Sweet Potato (approx 2 medium sweet potatoes)
3/4 cup Vanilla Soy Milk
3⁄4 cup Cane Sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1⁄4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
Flax Eggs (2 Tbsp ground flax + 6 Tbsp warm water)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F (do this well before you plan on baking to ensure a consistent heat).
  2. In a large bowl, stir together quinoa, brown rice flour, flax and maple syrup.
  3. Using a fork, fold in the butter and combine evenly.
  4. Then, use a fork to fold in the room-temperature butter. Be sure to combine evenly.
  5. Grease a pie plate with coconut oil or cooking spray and press the quinoa mixture into the plate to form the crust.
  6. Bake the empty crust for 10 minutes.
  7. Peel, chop and boil the sweet potatoes to soften them for about 20-25 minutes.
  8. Drain the water from the potatoes and put the softened potatoes into a medium mixing bowl.
  9. Add the soy milk and use an immersion blender to make smooth and then add in the remaining ingredients.
  10. Pour the mixture into the pre-baked crust- do not overfill, the filling will rise when baking but set when it is nearly done.
  11. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre.

Note: Keep an eye on the crust while baking, if it starts to brown too quickly, add aluminum foil around the edges to keep it from burning.

Let me know if you make this and make sure to tag me @JackDHarding if you do!

How to Make Homemade Biscuits

There is something really fulfilling about making your own bread. Watching your creation go from a bunch of flour and sugar and salt to rising in the oven, and finally something delightfully warm and delicious you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner is amazing.  However, the thought of spending a day of your time to *hopefully* have a loaf of bread turn out is something most people aren’t ready for (I mean, honestly, I’m not ready for that most of the time and I LOVE baking).

So what’s the next best thing? Homemade biscuits! No yeast needed, simple and easy to make, and devour-able for a few days with jams, jellies and spreads.

Ingredients:
3 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1  cups cold milk (plus up to 3 Tbsp) (whole milk while make your biscuits more tender, I made mine with skim milk which made them  a bit more dense)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F with a rack in the upper portion. Get out a baking sheet and line with parchment paper.
  2. Measure your flour by adding it spoonful by spoonful into a measuring cup and adding to a large bowl.
  3. Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
  4. Add the butter to the flour mixture using a food processor (you can use a fork or pastry blender as well, but I find the even consistency from the food processor is best) until has a bread crumb like consistency.
  5. Start to add the milk, table spoon by table spoon, over the flour mixture. You’ll want to do this quickly for about 10-15 seconds until a dough has formed. If the texture is dry and won’t come together, keep working it (and add up to the other 2 Tbsp of milk if it needs it to be cohesive).
  6. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Pat it into a rough rectangle about 3/4″ thick. Fold it into thirds like a letter and roll gently with a floured rolling pin until the dough is 3/4″ thick again.
  7. Using a biscuit cutter, or the rim of a glass, cut the dough into circles (I like round biscuits) or if you’re scared of waste, cut the dough into squares with a sharp knife.
  8. Place the biscuits with the bottom side up onto the baking sheet and brush them with a bit of milk to help them brown nicely in the oven.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes (keep an eye out, they’ll go from lightly browned to burnt fairly quickly).
  10. These will keep for 2-3 days if wrapped and stored at room temperature. You can also freeze for longer periods of time.
  11. Bake the biscuits for 15 to 20 minutes, until they’re lightly browned. Remove them from the oven, and serve warm.

I hope you enjoy these! If you decide to make them, feel free to tag me at @JackDHarding and let me know how they turned out!

Baking with Goat Butter

I have always liked experimenting with my baking. Taking old family recipes and making them new or taking cookies I’ve found in a cookbook and turning them into something entirely different and one hundred percent my own is something I love to do. I’ve switched up spices (Chinese Five Spice Holiday Bars for example) and even created better fillings for pastry desserts (Powdered peanut butter and jam pop tarts)! So when I got the opportunity to try baking with goat butter, I was excited to say the least. Woolwich Dairy sent me some of their Mornington Goat Butter to bake with and I’m excited to share what I was able to come up with!

Zucchini Bread

This is a favourite of mine and is a recipe I’ve made multiple times in the last few weeks. You can whip this entire thing up in about an hour and 15 minutes (including baking time) and you have a fragrant, delicious loaf to have at home, or to bring with you to friends and family. This recipe will give you enough for (2) loaves in a regular loaf pan.

Ingredients:
12cups sugar (cane or regular)
eggs (at room temperature)
cups all purpose flour
teaspoons vanilla
cup softened Unsalted Goat Butter
cups zucchini, grated
1teaspoon salt
teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon baking powder
teaspoons cinnamon
1 heaping teaspoon nutmeg
1 heaping teaspoon ginger
3/4 tsp cloves

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine all ingredients
Pour into two greased loaf pans
Bake for one hour
Remove from heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes and bang pan against counter to loosen loaf before removing from pan

Campfire S’Mores Cookies

What’s better than a day spent camping? Well, honestly, a lot of things if you’re asking me. (Why lay on the ground when you can lay in your bed, right?) If you’re like me and prefer the luxuries of living in your day-to-day home, these cookies will give you the camping feel with none of the mosquitoes.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted goat butter, cold
1/3 cup granulated sugar (plus more for rolling)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg (cold)
2 Tablespoons milk (cold)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 large marshmallows (cut in half)
24 chocolate squares or chocolate drops

Instructions:

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and both sugars until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes (shorter if you’re using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.

Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla. Gradually add in flour mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. (This is important or the cookies will spread extremely thin when baking).

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line 2-4 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Pour some sugar into a small bowl. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, roll them in the sugar, then place them on the trays. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Once removed from oven, place the half marshmallow cut-side down into the centre of each cookie (not hard enough to make the cookie spread though). After 5 minutes, move to a cooling rack.

Turn the oven to broil. Place the cookies back onto the cookie sheets and broil until toasted. (Be careful, most ovens don’t have consistent heat so you may need to turn your tray). Otherwise, you can use a kitchen torch to toast each marshmallow). Once toasted place the chocolate on top and serve!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed these! Thanks again to Woolwich Dairy for sending me their amazing products!

 

The Ultimate Summer Party Menu

I love to host parties- there’s something really satisfying about hosting a good get together at my home. Whether it be a birthday party (mine or otherwise) a New Year’s Eve bash, or something as simple as a dinner on a weeknight with friends. Having my place be the gathering place has always been important to me. It’s why I’ve always made sure to be prepared for a guest or two to stop over, and more importantly, it’s made me know how to put together a menu for when I’ve invited people over.

This week I had a few friends over to celebrate the beautiful weather and more importantly- just get together! Knowing I wanted to put together a menu that would be tasty, would sit out well, and would be fairly easy to make (who wants to be slaving in the kitchen while you’ve got people over, right)? What made this fun was I got to work with Woolwich Dairy to help put together this summer feast and share my menu for the Ultimate Summer Party.

Here is the menu I put together and the food I served on the day:

Appetizer: Oven Roasted Corn with Chilli Lime Butter and Woolwich Dairy Chevrai Soft Unripened Goat Cheese Crumbles
Main: Hot Italian Sausages with Woolwich Dairy Chevrai Soft Unripened Goat Cheese Crumbles, Pickled Hot Peppers and Fresh Greens
Dessert: Woolwich Dairy Triple Creme Goat Brie and Cranberry Jelly Pops

Now before I start listing the ways to make these, you may be wondering- why only goat cheeses? I, along with many of my friends, are becoming increasingly picky about what we want to put in our bodies. It is important that we not only know where our food is coming from, but that we’re making the best choices to help fuel our body and keep us healthy. I personally prefer Goat Cheese for a lot of my meals using cheese because it has less naturally occurring sugars and contains more potassium, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Iron. It’s also higher in protein and most importantly, has lower lactose levels than normal milk. That last one is a big deal for me- I’m very sensitive to lactose, and whereas I may not feel as great after eating traditional dairy products, I don’t notice the same feeling after goat milk products! Always an added bonus! Now, onto the menu!

Oven Roasted Corn with Chilli Lime Butter and Woolwich Dairy Chevrai Soft Unripened Goat Cheese Crumbles

Corn on cutting board

Nothing says summer better than corn on the cob! Super sweet, can be dressed savoury and always a crowd favourite. This is a go-to recipe of mine and I make it every year. I play around with the amount of spices and seasonings (it’s not an exact science to say the least). So have fun with these and see what works for you!

Ingredients: 

Ingredients: 

Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Grill the corn in their husks until the husks start to blacken, about 3 minutes per side. (If you don’t have a grill, or you bought your corn without husks, you can simply bake these on a roasting pan for about 20 minutes at 400F.

Mix together the butter, chilli powder, cayenne pepper, lime juice and some salt and black pepper in a bowl until incorporated.

Peel back the corn husks or remove entirely. (If pre-husked, ignore)

Rub the chilli-lime butter all over the corn. Garnish with the goat cheese.

Hot Italian Sausages with Woolwich Dairy Chevrai Soft Unripened Goat Cheese Crumbles, Pickled Hot Peppers and Fresh Greens

Ingredients:

To serve: ketchup, mustard, relish, etc…

Instructions

Cook your sausages according to the instruction when you buy (typically around 350F for 25-30 minutes).

While your sausages are cooking, on a grill or grill pan, heat to hot, and place your buns inside faced down until lightly toasted.

Once your buns are toasted, prep your condiments (cut olives in half, put everything into bowls, etc..)

Once the sausages are cooking, start with a bed of greens in your buns, top with the sausage, and add your condiments, finishing with the goat cheese.

Woolwich Dairy Triple Creme Goat Brie and Cranberry Jelly Pops

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F

On a lightly floured surface, roll out your first sheet of puff pastry to about 1/4″ thick. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, divide into 6 equal sized squares. Place aside and do same with second sheet.

With the first set of pastry squares, place ~2 tbsp of jelly in the middle of the square and place your brie in the middle of the jelly. Skewer the brie with your popsicle or lollipop stick and then repeat for all 6 squares.

In a bowl, whisk your egg and water together and brush the egg wash around the edges of the of the pastry square you have the brie and jelly in, and top with the second set up pastry squares (this will help them stick) and then use a fork to seal the edges by crimping around the whole square (being extra careful to seal around the stick).

Brush the egg wash over the top of each square and bake on a baking sheet with parchment paper for 12-15 minutes (depending on your oven, mine took 13).

Cool for 5 minutes and serve!

I hope that you enjoyed this summer party menu and are able to use some of these for your next get together! It’s an easy, stress free way to have a feast for your friends and family! Thanks again to Woolwich Dairy for sending me great product and being just as excited to work with me on this.

Chocolate Chewy Vegan Bites

A few weeks ago a friend was asking me what kind of healthy “cheat” snacks I could make that were vegan. I thought about this- I mean, you could go with a potato based anything, and a lot of candies and junk foods are vegan, but I wanted something that could be easily made at home and be picked at for a few days. I tried out a few variations of these bites and are thrilled to say these are the winners! My chocolate chewy vegan bites!

Ingredients

1 Cup Cooked White Quinoa
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup agave nectar (or maple syrup)
¼ cup naturally sweetened peanut butter (with cane or coconut sugar)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
½  teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of fine grain sea salt
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes (divided into 2)

Instructions

  1. Line a small baking sheet or any flat surface with wax or parchment paper.
  2. Add all ingredients to a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir well to combine.
  3. Scoop tiny bite-sized spoonfuls onto the baking sheet (about 12 total). With the remaining coconut, sprinkle over the bites. Place baking sheet into the freezer and allow to set for 3 hours until bites are fully hardened.
  4. Enjoy straight out of the freezer. The fudgy bites will start to soften at room temperature after about 7-10 minutes.

How to Make Empanadas

There a lot of different types of empanadas. The way I view it is that a lot of countries have their own sandwiches, and this is no different. Many countries and different cultures have different types of empanadas. Some made with white flour, some with cornmeal, some fried, some baked. My favourite to date would have to be Colombian empanadas. I love the flavour of the dough made with yellow cornmeal, and the pork and beef fillings are always so perfectly spiced that you want a lot more than one (and in fairness, these are small, so it’s not terrible to have 3 or 4, at least that’s what I’m going to tell myself). I’ve played around a lot with this recipe, so I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients: 

Dough:
1-1/2 cups precooked yellow cornmeal
2 cups water
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 Tsp Cumin
1/2 Tsp Salt

Filling:
1 3/4 Cups peeled and diced white potatoes
1 Chicken Bouillon Cube (reduced sodium)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Chopped White Onion
1/4 Cup Chopped Green Onion
1/2 Cup chopped tomatoes
2 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Chopped Chives
2 Tbsp Jalapeno
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
1/4lb ground pork
1/4lb ground beef

Instructions:

  1. To make the dough, place the cornmeal in a large bowl. Add the cumin, garlic powder and salt and mix. Add water and oil and mix together to form the dough. Pat it into a ball and knead it for about 2-3 minutes (make sure it is nice and smooth). Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 20-30 minutes while you work on the filling.
  2. Cook the potatoes in a pot with water and the bouillon cube for 20 minutes (or until the potatoes are tender). Drain and very gently mash the potatoes and set them to the side.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet. Add the white and green onion and cook on medium low for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, jalapenos, chives, garlic salt and pepper and cook for about 15 minutes.
  4. Add in the ground pork and beef and cook. Break up the meat into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon. It should take about 15-20 minutes to cook the meat (it should be dry).
  5. Add the meat mixture to the bowl with the mashed potatoes and mix well to combine them all together.
  6. Breaking off about 1- 1 1/2 Tbsp sized pieces of dough, form them into balls and place them between two pieces of plastic wrap and roll them until they form a very thin circle. Remove the plastic off the top and place 1 Tbsp of the filling in the centre of each. Using the plastic on the bottom side, fold the dough (carefully, and this will take a few tries on your first time making these) enclose the filling, forming a crescent. Seal the edges with a fork.
  7. In a heavy bottom cast iron pan, add vegetable oil (about 1″ deep) and heat to about 350-360F. ( I suggest using a thermometer for this).
  8. Place a few empanada in the oil, flipping as the bottom side starts to crisp up. This will take ~1 minute per side.
  9. Carefully remove them from the oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil. Serve with lime and aji and you’ve got the perfect snack!

 

I hope you like these as much as I do, and if you try your hand at them, please tag me and let me know if you made any changes!