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Jo-Anna Rooney

Easy Valentine’s Day Nougat Candy

This Easy Valentine’s Day Nougat Candy is an easy no-bake treat that is perfect for Valentine’s Day.  Perfect for parties and homemade gifts!

This past Christmas season I shared an easy recipe for nougat candy and it was such a big hit…I was thrilled so many of you loved it as much as I did!  So I thought I would share this easy recipe once again, but this time with a pretty Valentine’s Day twist.

Easy Valentine's Day Nougat Candy

We absolutely LOVE these nougat candies…I have to hide them or they’ll disappear in one day! They’re sweet, soft, chewy and so delicious.

Easy Valentine's Day Nougat Candy

Not only are they delicious, but they’re also so simple to make…the whole recipe can come together in just minutes.  The hardest part is having the patience while waiting for the candy to set!

Easy Valentine's Day Nougat Candy

And once these candies set, you’ll be happy you took the time to make them.  Cutting into the nougat is so satisfying…you’ll soon see how pretty these nougat candies really are…they’re like little stained glass treasures.

Easy Valentine's Day Nougat Candy

Easy Valentine's Day Nougat Candy

Gorgeous!  I’m always amazed at how nice the candies show in each bite.

Easy Valentine's Day Nougat Candy

Easy Valentine's Day Nougat Candy

Gift Giving Ideas:

These nougat candies are a great homemade gift!  Share them with friends, family, teachers or anyone who needs a little extra love on Valentine’s Day…they would look so lovely all wrapped up in this DIY Conversation Heart Wax Paper Wrapping.  Or host a Valentine’s Day Fondue Party and serve these sweet treats for dessert.  So many ways to love them.

Easy Valentine's Day Nougat Candy

Easy Valentine's Day Nougat Candy

Make sure to read to the bottom of this post for all kinds of tips and tricks that I’m sharing about how to make them, what kinds of candy to use and more!

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Easy Valentine’s Day Nougat Candy


  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: Minimum 3 hours, including refrigeration time
  • Yield: 60 candies

Description

This Easy Valentine’s Day Nougat Candy is an easy no-bake treat that is perfect for Valentine’s Day.  Perfect for parties and homemade gifts!


Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 bags white chocolate chips (2 of the 225 gram bags)
  • 2 bags of mini marshmallows (2 of the 250 gram bags)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red and pink gumdrops or jujubes (see notes below for where to buy them)

Instructions

  1. Prepare an 8×8 square baking dish by lining it with parchment paper.  This is a must…you HAVE TO line the pan or you will never get the candies out.
  2. Melt the butter, white chocolate chips and marshmallows together over indirect heat.  To do this I create a double boiler by putting a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (making sure that the bowl and pan fit together snug).  This ensures that the mixture doesn’t burn.  See the pictures below.
  3. Continuously stir the mixture until it is smooth and melted together, making sure not to cook the mixture…the goal is to just melt, not cook.
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool for about 2 minutes.
  5. Then stir in the chopped gumdrops.  Mix well.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  TIP!  The mixture will be very sticky, so I use a lightly greased piece of parchment paper to help spread and pat the mixture down into the pan.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting, overnight is best.
  8. Cut into 60 bite sized pieces.
  9. To store the candies, use parchment paper between layers so the candies don’t stick together.
  10. Enjoy!

 

Tips and Tricks for Making Nougat Candy:

After I made my Easy Christmas Nougat Candy I got a lot of questions about melting the butter, white chocolate chips and marshmallows together.  I prefer to use the double boiler method because it’s a lot more difficult to burn the mixture with the indirect heat.  A lot of people found this method hard because the mixture is very sticky and takes some time to melt down.  I realize that, but I still feel like it’s the better method.  You just have to be patient and keep stirring.  Here are some tips:

  • Put the butter and the chips in the bowl first and get them melting.
  • Then add in 1/3 of the marshmallows and get them melting.
  • Then the next 1/3 and stir them in, get them melting down.
  • Add the remaining marshmallows, stir them in and keep mixing until the mixture is smooth and there are no remaining marshmallows.
  • The whole process only takes about 10 minutes or less.

What kind of candy can I use?

I’ve had a lot of questions about the kind of candy to use for this nougat.  I use baking gumdrops or jujubes for this candy.

  • The gumdrops I use are called Baking Drops.  They’re small and don’t have any sugar on the outside of them. The ones I used were these Baking Gums from Bulk Barn.  They’re in the baking aisle, and they come in a mix colours.  I just sorted out the colours that I want, when I get home.
  • I couldn’t find pink gumdrops for this Valentine’s Nougat, so I bought red and pink jujubes and cut them into small pieces.  SO I think any kind of jujube would work, you’ll just have to cut them into pieces.
  • Some people have used DOTS with success as well.

More Tips for Making Nougat Candy:

  • This mixture is STICKY!  To get the mixture smooth once it’s in the pan, use a lightly greased piece of parchment paper to help spread and pat the mixture down into the pan.
  • You can freeze these candies.  Layer the cut pieces of nougat between pieces of parchment paper and place in an air tight container, and put them into the freezer.  When you’re ready to serve, let them sit for about 1 hour or more after freezing, to bring them to room temperature.

More Fun and Delicious Valentine’s Day Ideas:

Valentine's Day Ideas to Make

Happy Valentine’s Day!

DIY Winter Inspired Grapevine Evergreen Wreath

Embrace and celebrate winter with this Winter Inspired Grapevine Evergreen Wreath.  With just a few simple and inexpensive supplies, it’s so easy to make!

It’s definitely winter where I live, not a sign of spring anywhere to be seen.  After all, it is only the middle of January in Canada.  So decorating for spring is not going to happen here for at least a few more months, but that’s fine with me, I love winter.   So much so that I actually love to decorate for it.  It’s the perfect time to layer on pretty fleece blankets, snuggle up in cozy throw pillows, light some candles, hang some fairy lights and enjoy the season as it is…not as one might wish it to be.  And that’s exactly what I did…I got my living room all decorated for winter, then I decided to keep going and decorate my front door with a winter inspired wreath.

As I was putting away my Christmas decorations, the last decoration to go was this Evergreen Wreath I made. But instead of storing it away until next season, I decided to repurpose it for winter.

Winter Inspired Grapevine Evergreen Wreath

I wanted to keep this winter wreath very simple.  Since I had most of the evergreen stems from my Christmas wreath already, I really only needed a few more things to make it feel wintery.  So I made a quick trip to Michaels in search of wintery evergreen stems and ribbon.  Then I got to work…in all it took me about 15 minutes to put together.  It’s all about the stuffing of stems into the base, it’s SO easy.  And I love how it turned out.  This is one of those projects that really can’t go wrong, I promise.

Winter Inspired Grapevine Evergreen Wreath

I love how this wreath turned out!  It’s simple, matches the winter season we’re in, and it looks so nice hanging on my front door.  So now I’ll share all the details of how I made this wreath, so you can make one too!  Have fun with it, and tailor it to your tastes…there’s no wrong way to make it!

Winter Inspired Grapevine Evergreen Wreath

Supplies for a Winter Grapevine Evergreen Wreath:

  • 1 grapevine wreath base, in the size of your choice.  I bought the biggest one I could find at Michaels, but still small enough that it will fit on my door.
  • evergreen sprigs: fresh and/or faux evergreen sprigs, or both if you like.  For this wreath I used faux evergreen springs that I found at Michaels.  I bought about 6 large stems and cut them into pieces so I had more for stuffing.
  • pine cones: about 8
  • floral sprigs: I found some fuzzy white sprigs at Michaels…I’m not really sure what they are exactly but they looked wintery to me.  I found them in the floral aisle
  • ribbon: For one bow I used a cloth plaid ribbon that I already had, and for the second bow I used some large fuzzy knitting yarn
  • green floral wire or twine for securing the evergreen sprigs

How to make a Winter Grapevine Evergreen Wreath:

This is a very simple wreath to make, don’t be intimidated by it at all!  It’s all about stuffing the sprigs into the grapevine wreath base.

  • Hang the grapevine wreath base on a wreath hanger on an inside door.  I find this to be the easiest way to assemble a wreath because you can see what you are doing.  It’s much easier than trying to make a wreath laying on a table.
  • I started with 2 large faux evergreen sprigs as the base, and stuffed each one into the bottom of the wreath base…one on each side for balance, with the stem towards the bottom of the wreath, and the evergreen fanning upward.  I used a little bit of floral wire to secure them.
  • Then I tucked in more faux evergreen stems at random, securing with wire as needed. Basically, what I do to one side of the wreath, I do to the other, for balance.
  • Then I tucked in pine cones and the white fuzzy sprigs.
  • Step back, have a look and see if both sides mirror each other, and add and adjust as needed.
  • I then made one simple bow with a green and blue plaid ribbon, and made another bow with a piece of fuzzy large knitting yarn, and layered the two together, leaving long trailing ribbon from both of the bows.
  • Done!

I hope you make a wreath for your door…they’re such a nice way to embrace the season!

Have an inspired day!

15+ Bundt Cake Recipes to Try!

With so many fun pans to use, and so many great recipes, there has never been a better time for baking Bundt Cakes.  Here are 15+ Bundt Cake Recipes to try!

I LOVE Bundt Cakes.  Everything about them…the flavours, the possibilities, but especially the pans.  Who can resist a beautifully shaped cake made in the most beautiful pans?!  Not this gal.  I just love how the pan makes the cake look so gorgeous that it doesn’t even need frosting to finish it off.  Needless to say, I’ve made quite a few Bundt Cakes over the years, so I thought I would share all of my recipes here in one post, for you.  I’ve also included some Bundt Cake baking tips at the bottom of this post.  But for now, let’s get Bundt-ing!

15+ Bundt Cake Recipes to Try!

Chocolate Bundt Cake

This Chocolate Bundt Cake is a chocolaty and perfectly fudge-y chocolate cake! This recipe has yogurt in the ingredients, making it extra moist and delicious.  This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe.

Chocolate Bundt Cake

Lemon Bundt Cake

This Lemon Bundt Cake is moist and perfectly lemon flavoured.  The addition of the extra fresh lemon juice/sugar mix after the cake has baked, really takes this cake to the next level.  Bright, fresh and delicious.

Lemon Bundt Cake

Lavender Honey Cake

This Lavender Honey Cake is a perfect summer (or any time of the year) dessert.  The vanilla cake base is tender, with the subtle and delicious flavours of lavender and honey.

Lavender Honey Bundt Cake

Earl Grey Tea Bundt Cake

This Earl Grey Tea Bundt Cake has hints of lavender and bergamot orange mixed into a delicious vanilla cake.  It’s such a nice bundt cake.

Earl Grey Tea Bundt Cake

Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake

This Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake is a must make!  Warm vanilla cake with a sweet cinnamon sugar swirl through the centre.  Delicious!

Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake

Apple Coffee Cake Bundt Cake

This Apple Coffee Cake Bundt Cake is a delicious cake for dessert, coffee dates with friends, or as a snacking cake! Tasty vanilla and apple flavours.

Coconut Bundt Cake with Coconut Sugar Glaze

This Coconut Bundt Cake is a delicious moist cake with a light coconut flavour.  The coconut sugar glaze elevates this cake to the next level.

Coconut Bundt Cake

German Chocolate Bundt Cake

This German Chocolate Bundt Cake is a subtle chocolate flavoured cake with a gooey coconut, pecan and caramel frosting.

German Chocolate Bundt Cake

Strawberry Rhubarb Bundt Cake

This Strawberry Rhubarb Bundt Cake is amazing.  Theres’s no other way to describe it…it’s tender and full of delicious strawberry and rhubarb flavour!  A perfect summer cake.

Strawberry Rhubarb Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

This Pumpkin Bundt Cake is tender and rich with pumpkin and fall spice flavours.  Delicious served with whipped cream!

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Eggnog Bundt Cake

This Eggnog Bundt Cake with Eggnog Sugar Glaze is a tasty holiday dessert!  And a great way to use up eggnog.

Eggnog Bundt Cake

Carrot Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Drizzle

This Carrot Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Drizzle, is a moist, spicy and super delicious carrot cake! The addition of pure pumpkin adds a gorgeous silky texture.

Carrot Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Caramel Harvest Apple Bundt Cake

This Caramel Harvest Apple Bundt Cake is SO delicious!  A caramel cake with a fresh apple mixture baked in, and topped with a whipped cream cheese icing, then drizzled with caramel sauce. Oh my.

Caramel Harvest Apple Bundt Cake

Peach Bundt Cake

This Peach Bundt Cake is tender, sweet and so delicious.  The peaches add the perfect touch of flavour…you want a piece now, I know it.

Peach Bundt Cake

Sticky Date Pudding Bundt Cake

This Sticky Date Pudding Bundt Cake with homemade Toffee Sauce is a perfect holiday dessert!  The cake is tender, rich and so flavourful, and tastes amazing with the homemade toffee sauce and a dollop of whipping cream.

Sticky Date Pudding Bundt Cake

Bundt Cake Baking Tips:

  • Make sure to prepare your pans properly.  I like to use a flour/oil spray (Pam has a really good one) to prepare all of my pans.  I won’t bake a Bundt Cake without it.
  • Because the cakes are so pretty on their own, you don’t even have to frost them.  Sometimes I like to add a glaze or a dusting of icing sugar, but I never frost them. Just make sure that your cake is completely cooled before adding anything.
  • Make sure you use the right size pan.  The bigger the pan, the smaller the cake and the less baking time required. The smaller the pan, the taller the cake, more baking time.  And make sure your pan can hold all the batter.  A good rule to follow is that the batter should only fill 2/3 of the pan.  I typically use a 10-12 cup size pan for my recipes.
  • I will never use a silicone Bundt Pan.  I’m just not a fan of silicone anything because I find that the cakes/cupcakes/whatever always stick to the pan.  I use metal pans for my Bundt Cakes.
  • Let your Bundt Cake cool before turning it out onto a plate.  I typically let my cakes rest and cool for at least 10 minutes before I try to turn it onto a plate…I usually aim for 20 minutes so that the cake has enough time to cool and come away from the sides of the pan.
  • How to turn a Bundt Pan onto a plate. Once your cake has cooled, place a serving plate over the top of the cake, then holding the plate tightly to the pan, invert the cake over and the cake should slide out onto the plate.  Gently remove the pan.
  • Do not use metal in your pan.  You don’t want to scratch your Bundt Pan so don’t use a metal knife or spatula to try to remove your cake from the pan.  Use a rubber spatula instead.

Shop for Bundt Pans:

Here are some great options for Bundt Pans!  Please note that these are affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through one of the links in this post, I receive a small commission, but at no cost to you!  Thank you for supporting ‘A Pretty Life’, and helping to make it possible!  xo

Have a delicious day!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Marshmallow Buttercream

These Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Marshmallow Buttercream are a delicious and pretty treat for your next party! A super chocolatey cupcake base with a soft marshmallowy buttercream topping.  SO good. 

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so I thought it would be a great time to share a delicious recipe that you can make for love day!  These chocolate cupcakes are my go-to recipe for parties and special occasions because they’re always so chocolatey and everyone loves them.  And to make them extra special for Valentine’s Day I topped them with a lovely soft pink marshmallow buttercream frosting.  So so good.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Marshmallow Buttercream

This is where I will also tell you that I am absolutely NOT a cake decorator.  I’m not good at it, I don’t have the patience for it and like Alanis says, I haven’t really got it all figured out just yet. And that’s ok.  But, the reason I tell you this is because if you have the right icing tip (Wilton 1M tip), you can make these beautiful rose frosted cupcakes.  Trust me when I say, if I can make these, you can make them too.  Here’s a 20 second video clip I watched to make mine.  And once you’ve watched that, you’ll be more than ready to make these pretty and delicious cupcakes for Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Marshmallow Buttercream

Not only will your cupcakes look SO pretty, they will be a hit too.  They are the ultimate chocolate cupcakes…perfectly soft, rich and super chocolatey.  And the marshmallow buttercream frosting is light and fluffy which is a perfect balance to a rich cupcake.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Marshmallow Buttercream

I hope you love them!

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Marshmallow Buttercream


  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes cooling time
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 18 large cupcakes or 24 medium cupcakes

Description

These Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Marshmallow Buttercream are a delicious and pretty treat for your next party! A super chocolatey cupcake base with a soft marshmallowy buttercream topping.  SO good.


Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup strong coffee, it can be warm or cool (you can substitute water if you wish)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Marshmallow Buttercream:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 1 – 3 tsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 – 198 g container of Marshmallow fluff
  • salt to taste (optional)
  • red food colouring

Instructions

Chocolate Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare your baking pans with cupcake liners. You can either make 18 large cupcakes or 24 medium cupcakes.
  3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla.
  5. Add the milk/egg mixture to dry ingredients, and mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until the batter is smooth.
  6. Pour the cupcake batter evenly into the cupcake liners. Gently tap the pans on the countertop to remove air bubbles.
  7. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes (on the shorter end of time for smaller cupcakes), or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.
  8. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Marshmallow Buttercream:

  1. While the cupcakes are baking you can make the marshmallow buttercream.
  2. Sift the icing sugar (confectioners sugar). Set aside.
  3. In a mixer, beat the butter until it is soft and fluffy, this process should take at least 10 minutes. You’ll have to scrape the sides of the bowl several times.
  4. Add the sifted icing sugar, and mix until smooth.
  5. Add the vanilla and heavy cream 1 tsp at a time, and beat until smooth. Note: add the heavy cream 1 tsp at a time to get the consistency of icing that you want.  I like mine not too soft and not stiff either…so I usually end up adding about 2 tsp.
  6. Beat in the marshmallow fluff until smooth.
  7. Add in a few drops of red food colouring until you get the pink colour you want.
  8. Decorate your cupcakes:  I used a Wilton 1M tip to make the icing roses.

More fun and delicious Valentine’s Day treats:

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Chip Cookies

Valentine's Day Chocolate Chip Cookies

Valentine’s Day Heart Shaped Pizzas

Valentine's Day Heart Shaped Pizzas

Valentine’s Day Cherry Pie

Valentine's Day Cherry Pie

Cupid’s Cloud Whipped Cream Dessert

Cupid's Cloud Whipped Cream Dessert

Have a delicious day!

11+ Blueberry Recipes

If you love blueberries, you’re in the right place!  Here are 11+ Blueberry Recipes to try…from cobbler to pies to cakes, jam, pancakes and more!

Now I’m not saying I have a favourite berry or anything..because I won’t turn down any type of berry. But blueberries might actually be the best berry ever created. Have you every eaten them warmed by the sunshine, picked right from the field? Heaven. on. Earth.

I really love them fresh in the summer and we eat loads of them when they’re in season.  I also buy a tonne of fresh blueberries and freeze them to enjoy all year round.  This way I have blueberries ready for baking…pies, cakes, cobblers, oatmeals, jams…the possibilities are endless.  So I’ve gathered my favourite blueberry recipes and am sharing them here with you today!  Enjoy!

Blueberry Cobbler

With just 10 minutes of prep, you can make this Blueberry Cobbler.  A flavourful blueberry filling topped with a sweet and delicious biscuit topping.

Blueberry Cobbler

Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes

These Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes are a family favourite breakfast recipe! The sour cream makes them so soft, tender and delicious.

Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes

Strawberry Blueberry Dutch Baby

If you’re looking for a simple and delicious brunch recipe, make this Strawberry Blueberry Dutch Baby (Puff Pancake)!  Serve with whipped cream, syrup and/or more fresh fruit!

Strawberry Blueberry Dutch Baby (Puff Pancake)

5 Minute Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal

This 5 Minute Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal is bursting with delicious fresh blueberry and lemon flavours!  This is quick and hearty breakfast that is perfect for busy mornings!

5 Minute Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

This recipe for Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins is so delicious! Sweet, soft and loaded with blueberries!

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake is a delicious way to use up fresh or frozen blueberries!  It’s so good.  Great for breakfast and snacking.

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

Blueberry Baked French Toast

This Blueberry Baked French Toast is creamy and bursting with beautiful blueberry flavours.  This recipe is a keeper!  Perfect for Sunday brunch or any special occasion.

Blueberry Baked French Toast

Easy 2 Ingredient Blueberry Jam

This Easy 2 Ingredient Blueberry Jam is made with only 2 ingredients!  This small batch jam requires no pectin or canning.

Easy 2 Ingredient Blueberry Jam

Blueberry Pie

Nothing better than a slightly warm Blueberry Pie with a tender flaky crust and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Turnovers

These Blueberry Turnovers are made with a tender pre-made puff pastry crust, and are filled with a sweet jam-like blueberry filling.  A simple and delicious treat!

Blueberry Turnovers

Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes

These Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes are hearty, healthy and so delicious.  A great way to use up leftover quinoa!

Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes

Banana Blueberry Bombs

Banana Blueberry Bomb Muffins are a great way to use up bananas and blueberries.  Delicious and healthy.  These are a lunchbox favourite.

Banana Blueberry Bombs

Beautiful delicious blueberries!  YUM.

11+ Blueberry Recipes

And because Lemon and Blueberry are a match made in foodie heaven, here are some delicious lemon recipes to try!

15+ Delicious Lemon Recipes

Have a delicious day!

5 Winter Decorating Ideas and Tips!

Embrace the coldest season of the year by making your home cozy!  Here are 5 Winter Decorating Ideas and Tips to get you warm and cozy indoors.

With Christmas all put away, my home feels like a fresh start. But it’s also a big shock to go from a fully festive decorated home, to one that’s an empty slate…it just feels a little cold and stark.  And when it’s January here in northern Canada, the last thing I want is to feel cold and stark indoors!  So I embrace the opportunity and decorate to make my home feel cozy and warm inside.  It doesn’t have to cost much, or be complicated.  In fact, decorating for winter is really easy!  I’m sharing 5 winter decorating ideas to make your home cozy for winter.

5 Winter Decorating Ideas and Tips

All the Lights and Candles!

When the days are short and the nights are long, candles and soft lighting are a must!  I especially love to use fairy lights with timers…I string them along my mantel, add them to cloches and hang them along railings.  This year I also added a few little pre-lit trees I found in the clearance section at Chapters.  They cast the most soft and gentle light at night…and are so pretty during an overcast dreary day too.

Choose Light and Bright Colours

I like to decorate for winter using bright and fresh winter colours like white and and icy shades of blue.  These colours create such a cheery and light space.

5 Winter Decorating Ideas and Tips

Layer on Pillows and Blankets

My favourite thing about our winter living room is our couches all loaded up with soft blankets and tonnes of pillows.  It can get really cold and dreary where I live so having a cozy space to snuggle into is a necessity!  Tip! I like to make sure there’s a blanket available for each member of our family, so there’s no fighting over blankets!

Recycle your Christmas Decorations

Many Christmas decorations also work well for winter decorating.  Things like white snowflakes, white trees, fairy lights and anything that’s neutral.  I also like to use natural elements like pine cones, birch branches and logs that I had out for Christmas…they’re perfect winter decor and add a nice cozy touch.

 

5 Winter Decorating Ideas and Tips

 

Hang a Winter Wreath

Greet your family and friends at the door with a winter wreath.  I especially love to hang yarn wreaths because the yarn just seems cozy and appropriate for this time of year.  This Winter Wonderland Bottle Brush Wreath and this Cozy Yarn Winter Wreath are 2 really easy to make options.

Nothing left now to do but make a batch of Iced Winter Sugar Cookies, pour a cup of tea and settle into your home for a cozy winter.

More Winter Decorating Inspiration:

Have an inspired day!

Chewy Date Oat Bars

These Chewy Date Oat Bars are packed full of dates, prunes, dried fruit, coconut, almonds and oats.  A delicious and healthy snack!

I’m in love with dates, and I’m on a mission this year to include them in much more of my cooking and baking.  They’re so sweet, soft, delicious and healthy. And when they’re added to baking recipes, you’re guaranteed a flavourful, moist and tasty treat.  My love affair with dates all began after I made this Sticky Date Pudding Bundt Cake and served it for Christmas, then I wanted all. the. date. recipes.  So I’ve been slowly gathering them together and I’ve been busy baking.  Truth be told, I’ve always loved dates.  Give me a Matrimonial Bar any day of the week!

Chewy Date Oat Bars

Now onto today’s recipe!  These Chewy Date Oat Bars have been on my must-bake list for years. I first had a variation of them at a photography retreat I attended where they were served as a snack.  From the first bite I fell in LOVE, and had to have the recipe.  Thankfully Aileen, who made them, shared the recipe, and now after all these years I finally made them too.  What took me so long?!

Chewy Date Oat Bars

Chewy Date Oat Bars

These bars are packed full of dates, prunes, dried fruit, coconut, almonds and oats.  SO good and so healthy.

Chewy Date Oat Bars

They’re a power packed bite of goodness that you can take on hikes, eat for a snack at that 3:00-in-the-afternoon-energy slump, or enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea for breakfast.  They’re really delightful.  Delightful is a perfect word for them.

Chewy Date Oat Bars

And the kids love them too!  Even those that *think* they don’t like dates.  The dates bake down so smooth and creamy that no one even knows they’re there.  But I do.  And I love the brown sugary taste they add to these bars.  I hope you love them too!

Chewy Date Oat Bars

Baking Tip!

With the leftover sweetened condensed milk from making these oat bars, you can make these Condensed Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies!

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Chewy Date Oat Bars


  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 36 small squares
  • Category: Snack

Description

These Chewy Date Oat Bars are packed full of dates, prunes, dried fruit, coconut, almonds and oats.  A delicious and healthy snack!


Ingredients

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup oat bran or ground flax (I used oat bran)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used shredded sweetened coconut)
  • 1/4 cup crushed slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped dates
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped prunes
  • 1/3 cup chopped raisins or dried cranberries or dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients (oats, flour, oat bran, coconut, crushed almond, chopped dates, chopped prunes, and chopped raisins or apricots).  Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl melt together the coconut oil and condensed milk until it is a smooth mixture (don’t cook it, just melt it). Then stir in the baking soda.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. I used a mixer to do this.
  5. Press the mixture into a parchment paper lined 8×8 baking pan.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes (until the edges are slightly browned).
  7. Let cool, then cut into squares or bars.

Keywords: dates, granola bars, oat bars, date bars, healthy snack

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Have a delicious day!