I tend to cook at home because I have to and not really because I like it but baking is a different story. I’m not one who can “wing it” at cooking so I’m always on the lookout for new cookbooks when it comes to finding recipes for after school snacks, lunch treats or even the occasional dessert but does the cookbook hold enough ideas that interest me (and that I can make)?
I was sent a copy of the latest cookbook from the Canadian Living Test Kitchen, Sweet & Simple focusing more on loaves, scones, squares, and cookies. Sounded perfect for my needs. I discovered not only a number of different dishes that interested me but they were recipes I could make, including accessible ingredients. I’m not looking for something fancy but something I can make last minute and the kids will love.
Try this Apple Pecan Bundt Cake with Caramel Sauce:
Bundt cakes are deliciously retro, and this one is no exception. Tender apples, crunchy pecans and sticky caramel sauce make it a divine dessert for relaxed entertaining.
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and grated
1 cup chopped pecans
2⁄3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp lemon juice
5 tbsp whipping cream (35%)
- In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in sour cream and milk.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir into butter mixture. Stir in apples and three-quarters of the pecans. Scrape into greased and floured 10-inch (3 L) Bundt pan, smoothing top.
- Bake in 325°F (160°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 1 hour. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack; let cool completely.
- Caramel Sauce: Meanwhile, in saucepan, cook sugar, butter and lemon juice over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Cook, without stirring, until light amber colour, about
- 5 minutes. Remove from heat; standing back and averting face, stir in cream. Return to heat; cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Pour into large bowl; let cool to lukewarm.
- Pour half of the caramel sauce over top of cake; sprinkle with remaining pecans. Serve cake with remaining caramel sauce alongside.
Makes 16 servings. Per serving: about 434 cal, 6 g pro, 25 g total fat (12 g sat. fat), 50 g carb, 2 g fibre, 84 mg chol, 310 mg sodium, 130 mg potassium. % RDI: 5% calcium,11% iron, 18% vit A, 2% vit C, 20% folate.
The recipes in the Sweet & Simple cookbook are organized by type. So when I was looking for cookies I found their Sweet ‘n’ Salty Cookies. Using pretzel pieces gave a nice crunch like peanuts but these were school safe. The kids loved these treat in their lunchbox.
I also found a tasty Pumpkin Chocolate Bread as a replacement for the standard banana bread I tend to make for an after school snack.
There are even a few scone recipes in the Sweet & Simple cookbook from the Canadian Living Test Kitchen. This was perfect timing for my February challenge of learning to make scones and I tried my hand at their Milk Chocolate Scone recipe (though I used dark chocolate instead).
I even substituted the sugar ingredient with Truvia’s new baking blend, requiring half the sugar listed in the recipe, and no one noticed the difference. I loved that I found so many achievable recipes in the Sweet & Simple cookbook, enabling me to bake up a few school treats without too much fuss. Substitute a sugar substitute without any recipe fails is also a bonus. Giving the kids a baked snack is a nice surprise especially if I can do it with less sugar.
Recipe and lead image reprinted with permission from Canadian Living.