STUFF + THINGS

Easter Eggs || creamandhoney.ca

LISTEN || YOUNG FATHERS, Edinburgh hip hop/pop group. Their                 beats are addictive and fun and make you feel things.                     Songs: Shame, Only God Knows, Rain or ShineSoon                     Come Soon

 

READ ||  DARK MATTER by Blake Crouch. OMG this book felt like               new relationship infatuation. I desired it every moment I               was away from it. Parallel universes, quantum physics,                   suspense and action. What's not to love?

MAKE || Easter eggs with natural dyes. 

 

PLANT || Spring has sprung. Fact– Plants make us happy. So go get                a new plant, indoor or out. If you lack a green thumb,                    this article has hard to kill plants that also purify your                  air. win-win. 

 

FOLLOW || This Instagram account Urban Jungle Blog that makes                     me swoon. Surprise, it's MORE plants!

 

Tell me, what are you daydreaming about this Spring?  

Have a lovely plant-filled week! 

Meg xx

BROWN BUTTER + MINI EGG ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

Brown Butter + Mini Egg Ice Cream Sandwiches || A delicious frozen dessert for Easter, Spring or Summer!  || creamandhoney.ca

Ice cream sandwiches.

I’d do pretty much anything for a good one. Ice cream plus cookies makes more sense to me than almost anything out there. They're incredibly nostalgic and perfect for summer (or any season in my opinion).

They remind me of standing on a sidewalk with freshly drawn hopscotch squares while the sun caresses my skin. The ice cream begins to run down my hands and I must eat quickly before it turns to vanilla soup. Strategically licking and biting in various places to prevent total collapse–it’s like a game, I try not to lose one single drip. Sometimes I win, sometimes mother nature does. It’s the perfect treat after working up a sweat playing double dutch and sucking down a bag of Capri Sun. Sugar highs for all!!!

Brown Butter + Mini Egg Ice Cream Sandwiches || A delicious frozen dessert for Easter, Spring or Summer!  || creamandhoney.ca
Brown Butter + Mini Egg Ice Cream Sandwiches || A delicious frozen dessert for Easter, Spring or Summer!  || creamandhoney.ca
Brown Butter + Mini Egg Ice Cream Sandwiches || A delicious frozen dessert for Easter, Spring or Summer!  || creamandhoney.ca
Brown Butter + Mini Egg Ice Cream Sandwiches || A delicious frozen dessert for Easter, Spring or Summer!  || creamandhoney.ca

Anyone who lives in downtown Toronto knows that ice cream sandwiches are a big deal here. A number of years ago a place called Bakerbots opened down the street from my home. It was a tiny bakery, very quaint and had the most delicious desserts including their homemade ice cream and ice cream sandwiches which immediately became my favourite treat. They were open only a few days a week to the public and often from just 6 to 10 in the evening since they mostly did catering. My roommate and I were frequent patrons and it’s likely we tried every kind of cookie with every flavour of ice cream. Bakerbots became very popular over the next few years. People were mad over their ice cream sandwiches so they opened up a place solely focused on them called Bang Bang Ice Cream. There is an insane line every day during summer and can spread down the street for blocks. I'm not a waiting-in-line type of person so I go on Mondays, when there's no line… because they're closed... which I always seem to forget. So then I go back Tuesday. 

You pretty much have to go the minute it opens if you don't want to wait. One time I decided to be the first person in line so I wouldn’t have to wait at all. I arrived a few minutes early and there was no one there. I was ecstatic, dreaming up which flavour combinations I would have (because you can choose multiple ice creams for one sandwich!). Heaven. I decided I'd quickly run up the street to use the bathroom so I could thoroughly enjoy my treat with no distraction. I returned just as they were opening and was abruptly surprised to find an 8 person line up that developed in the three minutes I was gone. WHY GOD WHY?!?!! 

I survived though. The wait made it all the more worth it. Or at least that's what I tell myself when I have to wait in line. I also tell myself that patience is a virtue. Because I'm not naturally a patient person, but I think patient people are good people. I dislike waiting in lines, but I realize they're just a part of life, so I try and make them more bearable by telling myself these things.

(I was just thinking about the word bearable after I wrote it and realized how cute it would be if it referred to actual bears in some way. Say if you were, “liked by bears", then you’d be “bear-able”. I wish I was bear-able. I'd love to hang out with a bear. But only if we were buds, like he thought of me as his younger bear sister. He would take me salmon fishing in the river and to the best back scratching trees and would tell the other bears, “don't worry, she's cool”, so they wouldn't kill me.)

Brown Butter + Mini Egg Ice Cream Sandwiches || A delicious frozen dessert for Easter, Spring or Summer!  || creamandhoney.ca

I’m pretty sure mini eggs are more addictive than crack. Or at least close. They should do a study. The pretty spring colours, milk chocolate and that candy coating! Why is it so much better than all the other candy coatings!? Crack. That's why. During Easter I bought a TWO POUND bag of mini eggs. Was it a bit much? Yes. Yes it was. So I made these brown butter mini egg cookies, smeared a big spoonful of vanilla ice cream between two and dipped the sides in crushed mini eggs. Life is good. I still have too many mini eggs. Please come take them from me. I can't stop.  


MINI EGG ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

t h e   m a g i c

i n s p i r a t i o n :         mini eggs, mini eggs, mini eggs!                                                                                                                                          ice cream, ice cream, ice cream!

f e e l s :                            crunchy + chewy with a hint of nostalgia

e a t   w i t h :                  a smile, a glass of milk (any kind will do), coffee (if it's cold outside), iced coffee                                              (if it's hot).

m i g h t   l i k e   i f   y o u ' r e   i n t o :       park hangs, sitting on city stoops, jump rope games, skip-it,                                                                                    red rover, sticky hands, public pools, Klondike bars,                                                                                                  Drumstick ice cream cones, sprinkles, summer crushes,                                                                                            cream soda, sugar comas.

 

t h e   s c i e n c e

makes 24 cookies    

Brown Butter Mini Egg Cookies   

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • 225 g unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1 cup)
  • 1 standard ice cube  (approx. 2 Tbsp) 
  • 280 g unbleached all-purpose flour (approx. 2 cups)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp kosher salt 
  • 140 g granulated sugar (approx. 3/4 cup)
  • 2 large eggs (100 g)
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 140 g brown sugar (1/2 cup tightly packed + 2 Tbsp)
  • 225 g mini eggs (approx. 1 cup), roughly chopped (use as many or as little as you like depending on how chocolatey you like them)

m e t h o d :

  1. Over medium-high heat, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Constantly swirl pan while cooking until you start to see little golden brown flecks in the butter and it smells nutty (approx. 5 minutes). Remove from heat and keep swirling for another 15 seconds until the butter is a rich brown. 
  2. Transfer butter to a medium bowl and whisk in the ice cube. (This adds moisture back into the butter that was removed during the browning process). Place bowl into refrigerator and allow to fully cool (approx. 20 minutes). You will know it is fully cooled when it starts turning opaque and firm around the edges of the bowl.
  3. While the butter cools, whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. 
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Fit mixer with whisk attachment and whisk on medium-high for about 5 minutes or until mixture is pale brownish-yellow colour and falls off the whisk in thick ribbons when lifted above bowl. (You can also use a hand mixer or a regular whisk and some arm strength if you like). 
  5. Fit paddle attachment to stand mixer. Add cooled brown butter and brown sugar to egg mixture. Beat on medium speed to combine (approx. 15 seconds). 
  6. Add flour mixture and beat on low until just combined with a little dry flour remaining (approx. 15 seconds). 
  7. Add mini eggs and fold in with spatula until evenly distributed. 
  8. Cover and place bowl in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (I can never seem to wait long so a minimum of 30 minutes is good but really, the longer the better to increase the flavour. You can wait a few hours, overnight or even up to 3 days before baking. If waiting days then put into a sealed container. The flavour gets better and better.) 
  9. Preheat oven to 325°F. Adjust oven racks–one upper middle and one lower middle position. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, place balls onto baking sheet (approx. 3 Tbsp for each ball). 
  10. Bake for 13–16 minutes, (rotating pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through) or until golden brown around edges but still soft.
  11. Let cool on a wire rack

*Cookies will keep for up to 5 days in a sealed container, ziplock or cookie jar.                                                              

Cookie recipe adapted from Serious Eats

Ice Cream Sandwiches

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • brown butter mini egg cookies
  • vanilla ice cream
  • handful of mini eggs, chopped to desired roughness/fineness

m e t h o d :

  1. Lay one cookie top side down on plate.
  2. Scoop a heaping ball of ice cream onto cookie bottom.
  3. Place another cookie on top of ice cream scoop and push down a little.
  4. Smooth out edges of ice cream.
  5. Put crushed mini eggs in a shallow bowl and roll the side of the ice cream sandwich in the them.  

*I made a bunch at once and froze them so I could have them ready whenever I felt like one. I put them in a sealed tupperware container with parchment paper between each before freezing. 

CARDAMOM + BLOOD ORANGE TSOUREKI: GREEK EASTER BREAD

Cardamom + Blood Orange Tsoureki: Greek Easter Bread || Cream + Honey
Cardamom + Blood Orange Tsoureki: Greek Easter Bread || Cream + Honey
Cardamom + Blood Orange Tsoureki: Greek Easter Bread || Cream + Honey

Braided Easter egg breads are common this time of year in many European countries. Recently I couldn’t get them off my mind so I chose to make a variation of the Greek tsoureki. First I thought it was such a odd concept, but soon realized it was perfection because…. well, eggs and bread. Nestling eggs into a bread dough and baking it all together charms me in that old cottagey type of way. Two foods that have always given people nourishment and are staples in most homes–together, as one. Both the dough and eggs go into the oven raw and return fully baked, ready to be broken and shared. I love this idea. How ingenious and strange all at once. It is traditionally topped with eggs dyed red to represent rebirth, renewal and the blood of Christ, but I chose to keep these beautiful eggs nude.

As I pressed the eggs into the raw dough, I immediately thought of the green fairy in Sleeping Beauty who bakes her a birthday cake. Watch it. Or don't. I'll tell you what happens anyways. She reads, “fold in the eggs” and literally folds them whole into the dough. Then she makes a 15 layer cake, frosts it and puts the lit candles on before baking it. It's great. 

Ahhhhh Disney. You never let me down... Until I got older. And realized I couldn’t model real relationships after Sleeping Beauty who meets a strange man in the forest who she sings a duet with for 2 minutes (both natural musicians I guess). And without even having a conversation they're immediately in love. I never met a man in a forest that I felt even remotely comfortable with because, AHH! YOU SCARED ME! WHY THE F#*$ ARE YOU OUT HERE ALONE IN A FOREST? Creepy!

easterbread-solo.jpg
Cardamom + Blood Orange Tsoureki: Greek Easter Bread || Cream + Honey
Cardamom + Blood Orange Tsoureki: Greek Easter Bread || Cream + Honey
Cardamom + Blood Orange Tsoureki: Greek Easter Bread || Cream + Honey
Cardamom + Blood Orange Tsoureki: Greek Easter Bread || Cream + Honey
Cardamom + Blood Orange Tsoureki: Greek Easter Bread || Cream + Honey
Cardamom + Blood Orange Tsoureki: Greek Easter Bread || Cream + Honey
Cardamom + Blood Orange Tsoureki: Greek Easter Bread || Cream + Honey
Cardamom + Blood Orange Tsoureki: Greek Easter Bread || Cream + Honey
Cardamom + Blood Orange Tsoureki: Greek Easter Bread || Cream + Honey

But truly, this was such a joy to make. It is my first plaited bread which seemed intimidating at first but it wasn’t hard. I chose an easier three strand braid so not to confuse myself too much. The taste is amazing and I’ve eaten this bread with pretty much everything in my fridge. It’s delicious with it all–from cheeses to jams to the eggs baked on it. My personal favourite is a smear of blue cheese topped with marmalade. Heaven!

And coffee. Always coffee. 

Cardamom + Blood Orange Tsoureki: Greek Easter Bread || Cream + Honey

CARDAMOM + BLOOD ORANGE TSOUREKI

t h e   m a g i c

i n s p i r a t i o n :     Easter + breaking bread

f e e l s :                        crisp outside + tender inside.                                                                                                                                                savoury + sweet.                                                                                                                                                                         zesty + exotic.                                                                                                                                                                               cozy + comforting.

e a t   w i t h :            coffee, black tea, butter, jam, honey, soft cheeses (brie, cream cheese, labneh, blue),                                      marmalade, chai latte, nutella, lemon curd (or any curd for that matter).

m i g h t   l i k e   i f   y o u ' r e   i n t o :      holiday feasts, family recipes, the simple things, traditions,                                                                                     bread for breakfast, lunch or dinner, all-in-one meals, pull                                                                                       apart breads, challah, brioche.

 

t h e   s c i e n c e

makes 1 loaf (about 8 servings)        

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • 500 g unbleached all-purpose (2 2/3 cups)
  • 21 g dry active yeast (2.5 Tbsp)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 100 ml warm water 
  • 50 g sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 6 eggs total: 2 (for dough) + 1 (for brushing) + 3 (to lay on top)
  • 75 g butter, softened  and cut into small chunks  (1/3 cup)
  • 2 tsp salt    
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom    
  • zest of 2 blood oranges 

m e t h o d :

  1. Proof the yeast: mix the dry active yeast, water and pinch of sugar together. Let sit for 10 minutes. The yeast will dissolve and the mixture will become foamy. 
  2. Mix together the flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Make a well in the centre of the mixture. Add milk, eggs, sugar, orange zest, cardamom and yeast mixture to the well.
  3. Attach dough hook to stand mixer and mix on low until a soft dough forms (about 5 minutes). 
  4.  Add butter one piece at a time while dough is still mixing until it all comes together as a soft dough (about 5 minutes).
  5. Remove dough and gently form into a ball with hands. Place into lightly greased bowl. Cover bowl with saran wrap and place on counter to proof until the dough is double in size. (Depending on how warm your kitchen is, time will vary between 40 minutes to 2 hours. If your kitchen is on the colder side you can place on top of your fridge or in your oven with only the oven light on to speed up proofing process.)     
  6. Remove dough onto lightly floured surface and form into ball. Cut into 3 even pieces. Roll out each evenly into long cylinders about 45 cm in length. Plait (braid) pieces together then overlap and pinch ends in together to form a wreath. (It's okay if looks messy where the ends meet, you can hide it with an egg). 
  7. Place on parchment lined baking tray, cover with dishtowel and let proof slightly for 20 minutes.            
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush dough wreath with generous egg wash all over. Press remaining 3 raw eggs into dough evenly spaced. Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. Cool on rack. 

*best eaten the day of but will keep for another couple days in plastic wrap.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller