Zucchini Brownies

It’s that time of the year again when kids and parents are getting ready for a new school year. Two month of summer break sound awfully long at the beginning but then it goes by so quick. My daughter is going to start her last year in high school, grade 12, and my son will be in grade 10. We’ll also use this long Labor Day weekend to make some healthy treats to go, like cereal bars and cookies…

Fall is definitely in the air, it’s been much cooler, especially during the night. We still have plenty of veggies to harvest in our garden, but I believe this was one of our last zucchini we’ve used for these fudgy, chocolicious, yummy brownies. These happen to be egg-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free (Feel free to use regular sugar). The chocolate frosting is optional but totally worth it!

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Zucchini Brownies

  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3-5 tsp water

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

-In a medium bowl mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix well, then fold in the zucchini. You may have to add some water at that point. The batter should be very thick for fudgy brownies.

-Spread into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Top the warm brownies with the chocolate frosting if desired.

Chocolate Frosting

  • 3/4 cup maple syrup, or more if you like it sweeter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • pinch of Himalayan salt

-In a small saucepan, over low heat, mix together the oil and maple syrup, add cocoa powder and salt and whisk until smooth.

 

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I hope you’ll give it a try!

Enjoy!

Ursula

 

Follow me on Instagram: @littleswisslittlecanadian

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Brownie Heart Cupcakes

 

Can’t decide if you want to make Brownies or Cupcakes? How about a Brownie Cupcake?!

This is a cute Valentines treat for all those chocolate lovers out there!!

 

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(Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)

 

Brownie Heart Cupcakes

Makes 24

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temp.
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

 

-Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Line a 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

-Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring until chocolate melts.

-Attach bowl to mixer, add sugar and whisk on medium-high speed until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture.

-Divide batter among muffing cups, filling each 2/3 full. Spread remaining batter in square pan. Bake until set but still soft, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins and pan on wire racks.

-Frost cupcakes with buttercream. Cut out 24 hearts from brownie in pan. Top each cupcake with a heart.

 

Basic Buttercream

  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temp.
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

 

-In a medium bowl sift together confectioners sugar and cocoa powder. Add butter, milk and vanilla. Stir until smooth and free of lumps.

–Buttercream can be stored in refrigerator up to two weeks–

 

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Squares (Studentenschnitten)

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year!!

It can be very tricky to translate a German word/sentence, because if you do translate word by word it often does not make any sense. This cake is called Studentenschnitten, which means student slice. This does not sound so great, therefore I will call it simply, Chocolate Squares. You can buy it ready made in Switzerland, and that is what my Mother and everyone else I know used to do-we never made it ourselves…

This recipe is a great way to use up any leftover Christmas cookies and chocolate. I used a simple recipe from a Swiss chef, Annemarie Wildeisen. The base crust, which is similar to a pie crust, is from my Tiptopf cookbook. (She is using a store bought dough)

 

Chocolate Squares

 

Base crust (Pie crust):

  • 150g flour
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 90g butter, cold
  • 2tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg

-Mix together flour and salt. Add butter and with a fork or pastry blender mix until it resembles fine crumbs.

-Add whisked egg and mix dough only until it holds together. Wrap in plastic foil and chill for 30 minutes.

 

Filling:

  • 300g cookies, finely ground
  • 6 eggs
  • 175g sugar
  • 100g bittersweet chocolate or milk chocolate
  • 175g butter
  • 100g flour
  • 150g hazelnuts or almonds, ground

 

Chocolate Icing:

  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 40g butter
  • 3tbsp icing sugar

 

-Whisk together eggs and sugar. In a double boiler melt together chocolate and butter, add to egg mix.

-Combine flour, nuts and cookie crumbs. Add slowly to wet ingredients.

-Roll out base crust to fit into a 30cm square or round pan.

-Cover with the filling. Bake in a 350F/180C oven for 40-50 minutes.

-In a double boiler melt dark chocolate, add butter. Sift the icing sugar and mix well. Spread onto the cooled cake.

-Cut into squares.

(You could spread some Strawberry jelly onto the cake first, and then add the chocolate icing)

Can be kept in refrigerator for 3-4 days

 

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Love, Peace and Happiness!!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Toblerone Tart

Happy 4th Advent! Only one week till Christmas-my kids are very excited:) It also looks like we will be having a white Christmas this year, with all the snow squalls we had so far I can say we do have enough snow for the rest of the winter;)

I have not been posting recipes for the last two weeks because I was not feeling so well. First I had a gum graft surgery done which left me with eating only soft foods (pureed foods actually) and then we had the FLU visiting our house…I have been making cookies and posting them on Instagram. That must have been funny to watch me baking, I had one cheek very swollen and when I am on medication I am not really myself;) That might explain why I can not find my measuring cup anymore…

I found this Toblerone Tart recipe in a older German Magazine. I kept a few of those Magazines because they have really nice Christmas/Holiday recipes in it. Toblerone chocolate always brings back one specific memory from my teenage years. When I went to college I had to take the streetcar in Bern, Switzerland. On the way there was a stop at the Tobler Factory. It always smelled so good there…:)

Toblerone was created by Theodor Tobler and his cousin Emil Baumann in Bern, Switzerland, in 1908.

 

Toblerone Tart

For the dough:

  • 1 organic orange, zest
  • 125g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 50g almonds, ground
  • 200g flour
  • 1/4tsp baking powder
  • 2tbsp whipping cream

For the Mousse filling:

  • 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
  • 200g Toblerone, chopped
  • 70g butter
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 2 eggs, fresh
  • 2tbsp honey, liquid

 

-Whisk together butter, sugar, egg and orange zest until foamy. Add almonds, flour and baking powder mix well. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease a 28cm tart/pie dish.

-On a floured surface roll out dough. (it is a very soft dough, so I ended up rolling it in the dish). With the rest roll out and cut out stars in different sizes if you have, then place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix together egg yolk and cream and brush cookies. Bake for 5 minutes.

-The tart shell has to bake without the filling. Place a parchment paper on the tart and fill with dried beans/legumes, (or put a slightly smaller dish on the parchment paper). Bake for 15 minutes, Remove paper and beans and bake for another 5 minutes. Let cool.

-In a double boiler melt chocolate, Toblerone and butter. Brush cooled tart with 3 tablespoons of the chocolate mix.

-Whip whipping cream only halfway, not completely stiff. Whisk eggs and honey until foamy.

-Fold chocolate mix and cream gently under the egg/honey mix until well combined. Fill into the tart shell. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Decorate with the star cookies.

(If concerned about the use of uncooked eggs in the filling, it might be possible to leave the eggs out, just using the honey. We have our own chickens, so we have very fresh eggs indeed:)

 

 

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The filling is perfect for my post surgery diet;) So smooth!!

 

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Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

Sweet Domino Stones

We bake every year several kinds of Christmas cookies. Most of them are traditional Swiss and European cookies that I know and have liked since my childhood. I find most of the recipes in my old Swiss baking book that my mother had already before I was born.

A few weeks before I start baking, I take out my books and magazines and look through all the yummy cookies…and then all the amazing recipes online! If we could only eat that much, I would definitely like to bake way more varieties:)

So I settle on my usual ones and then I will add one or two new cookies. I found these Domino stones in an older German Magazine.  With European recipes I sometimes have to change things up a bit, just because I can not find the exact ingredient here.

Let your kids help with the decorating;) These are also cute just plain without the chocolate icing.

 

Sweet Domino Stones

  • 125g          butter, soft
  • 100g         sugar
  • 1tsp          vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
  • 2                eggs
  • 50g           corn starch
  • 150g          flour
  • 3tsp          baking powder
  • 1tsp          orange, zest
  • 30g           almonds, ground
  • 50ml        milk
  • 3tsp          cocoa powder

Almond filling:

  • 150g         almonds, ground
  • 150g         sugar
  • 1                organic orange, zest
  • 1-2            orange, juice

 

  • 500g        dark chocolate
  • 50g           icing sugar
  • 1-2tsp     lemon juice

 

-Preheat stove to 350F/180C. I used a 12×8 inch (30x20cm) baking dish.

-In a bowl mix butter, sugar, vanilla sugar, eggs until creamy.

-Mix in corn starch, flour, baking powder, orange zest, almonds and milk. Mix well.

-Divide batter into two. In one bowl mix in cocoa powder until well blended.

-In a third small bowl mix together almonds, sugar and orange zest. Add orange juice until mixture is moist.

-Spread vanilla mix into prepared dish, top with almond mix and last add the cocoa batter, spreading evenly.

-Bake for about 15 min. or tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool.

-Cut into domino stones.

-In a double boiler melt the dark chocolate. Carefully dip in dominoes, (or only the top).

-Mix together icing sugar and lemon juice and decorate with dots.

 

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The almond filling tastes like Marzipan!

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Aren’t they cute…

 

Happy baking!

 

 

 

 

Gingerbread Brownies

This morning I started decorating our house for Christmas. Hanging up lights on the windows and bringing out Candles…I know I am probably late compared to most people…I saw lots of decorated Christmas trees and such in November but that is just a little to early for me. Now it is December and I am finally getting into the spirit;)

I just love the smell of spices, especially Cinnamon. It is such a warming comforting smell! I do use it every day, all year-in my muesli, tea, coffee… Cinnamon is a very healthy lovely spice.

What better way to get into the holiday spirit then with some Gingerbread smell in the air:-)

 

Gingerbread Brownies

  • 1/4cup    butter
  • 1cup        dark chocolate, chopped or bittersweet choc. chips
  • 1/3cup     molasses
  • 1cup         brown sugar (the recipe calls for 1c sugar and 1/4c brown sugar)
  • 2 large    eggs
  • 1cup        flour (I used spelt flour)
  • 1/2tsp     sea salt
  • 1tsp         cinnamon
  • 1tsp         ginger, freshly grated

 

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease a 9×9 inch baking dish, or line with parchment paper.

-Melt butter and chocolate, remove from heat.

-In a bowl whisk molasses with sugar, whisk in eggs. Add butter and chocolate, mix well.

-Add flour, salt, cinnamon and ginger until just incorporated.

-Pour in prepared dish and bake for 20-30 minutes.

-Let cool in dish. Cut into squares and dust with some icing sugar.

 

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(recipe adapted from ihearteating)

 

 

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin-Chocolate-Muffins

Living in the Country is just so beautiful! I love seeing all the animals and be able to spend a lot of time in my garden. It is just so relaxing. Besides my beloved flowers I have a large herb garden, different berries, two apple trees and our vegetable garden. Growing your own fruit and vegetables is very rewarding and healthy and good exercise;)

 

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Pumpkins are a good source of vitamins like beta-carotene and contain lots of minerals. I really like muffins and I just had to try this recipe out. Years ago I received this little recipe book from my niece who lives in Quebec. It contains recipes from class mates at her school. I am using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, less sugar and part whole wheat flour. Delicious!

 

Pumpkin-Chocolate-Muffins

  • 4               eggs
  • 1cup        pure cane sugar
  • 2cups      pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2cup  coconut oil
  • 1 1/2cup  whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2cup  unbleached white flour
  • 2tsp         baking soda
  • 2tsp         baking powder
  • 1tsp          cinnamon
  • 1tsp          sea salt
  • 2cups       dark chocolate(chopped) or semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

-In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Add coconut oil and pumpkin puree, mix until smooth.

-Combine whole wheat and white flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

-Add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips.

-Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full.

-Bake at 350F/180C for 15-20 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean.

-Yield:24

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Happy baking!