Cream Puffs with Caramel Whipped Cream + A Virtual Family Bites Baby Shower

Cream Puffs (1 of 1)

Jan, from Family Bites is having a baby and we are celebrating food blogger style!

It is events like this that makes me love being a part of a Foodie community.  A group of talented writers, photographers and cooks coming together in such a way that all can celebrate a joyous moment in one of our fellow colleagues life.  There is no worries about not being available to attend or weather patterns that threaten to ruin the occasion.  And yet the surprise is even greater, in our virtual world as the day opens up and more and more congratulations are delivered to our friend.

You may remember me talking about the fabulous Jan during a post I wrote for the release of her new cookbook Gatherings in which she is a co-writer.  It was her simple to follow recipe for Cheese puffs that have made me an overly confident choux pastry master.  So of course the best treat I can bring to her virtual baby shower is my sweet variation, Cream Puffs with Caramel Whipped Cream and Chocolate Pretzel Top.  While they take a little bit time creating all the different components they come together beautifully in time for any party.  And while there ain’t no party like a food blogger party they will still be a sure fire hit.

Yields 24-36

Cream Puffs with Caramel Whipped Cream

Don't try to do everything at the same time. Make the puffs, and while they are cooling make the caramel cream. Finally melt the chocolate and assemble.

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  • For the Choux Pastry
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • For the Caramel Whipped Cream
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup whipping cream, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • For Assembly
  • 1 cup baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup pretzels, crumbled


  1. To make the Choux
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat the water, milk, butter, sugar and salt until it becomes a rolling boil.
  3. Add the flour and stir constantly until dough forms a ball and becomes smooth and glossy.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper
  6. Once the dough is cool add it to the bowl of a stand mixer ( or you can do this by hand).
  7. Give it a few stirs to release the heat in the middle and then on low beat in each egg, one at a time until dough is smooth yet sticky. It should be stiff enough to stand but also soft enough to spread.
  8. Using a cookie scoop, place balls of dough onto prepared pans, smoothing edges with fingers if needed.
  9. Bake until golden and hollow sounding when tapped 25-35. Let cool.
  10. [b]
  11. To make the Caramel Whipped cream.[/b]
  12. In a saucepan over medium heat melt the sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon until it begins to turn a brown colour. Add the butter. (Careful it will bubble)
  13. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cream and the salt. Keep stirring until it is smooth. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes, stirring it often to release the heat. You want it to be finger cool before proceeding.
  14. In a large bowl of your mixer whip 1 cup of the whipping cream until stiff peaks are formed. Pour in the caramel 1/4 at a time, re-whipping the cream until stiff. Keep adding the caramel until the whipped cream is flavoured the way you prefer.
  15. For assembly:
  16. Melt the baking chocolate in a small bowl over a pot of boiling water. This will slowly melt and prevent seizing.
  17. Slice the puffs in half. Top the bottom half with whipped cream.
  18. Dip the top half in the chocolate, shaking off any excess and place on the bottom half of the puff.
  19. Sprinkle with pretzel crumbs.
  20. If not serving right away these puffs can be stored in the freezer in an air tight container.

There is a whole gaggle of us celebrating Jan’s wonderful new addition to her family.  Make sure you check them all out.

Mardi from eat. live. travel. write made Blueberry Cheesecake Macarons

Julie from Dinner with Julie made Lemon Scones

Isabelle from Crumb: A Food Blog made Blackberry Meringue Bars

Jennifer from Seasons and Suppers made Baby Blueberry Beignets

Christina from Strawberries For Supper made Chocolate Madeleines

Aimée from Simple Bites made Roasted Turnip Hummus

Jenny from The Brunette Baker made Wild Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Liliana from My Cookbook Addiction made mini-cupcakes

Carole from The Yum Yum Factor made Beet and Blue Cheese Canapes

Charmian from The Messy Baker made Piglet Muffins

Amy from Family Feedbag made Marmalade Cake

Brittany from My Daily Randomness made Caramel + Pumpkin Parfait

Meg from Sweet Twist of Blogging made Carrot Apple Loaf

Louisa from Living Lou made Maple Walnut Cookies

Libby from Libby Roach Photography made Butter Baked Good’s Peanut Butter Sandwich cookie

Robyn from Planet Byn made Milk & Cookies Shooters

Banana Bundt Cake with Pecan, Banana, Caramel Sauce


I talk a lot about about my blogger friends.  An amazing group of women who I have a complete utter blast with.  Well one of them, Meg from Sweet Twist of Blogging is having a baby.  Like really, really soon.  And what better way to celebrate as food blogger is to throw her a surprise virtual baby shower.  At least I hope its a surprise.  I’m not good with planning surprises but since someone else planned this I’m sure it will work out fine.  I hope 🙂 I haven’t been to many baby showers in my life time and as someone without children (minus Step kids) or desire to have any of my own I am kind of okay with that.

Babies and pregnancy are not things I can relate well to and quite honestly being in a room full of people talking about those things leaves me a bit uncomfortable.  But I know food and that is why I am 100% on board for this kind of shower. Just the sharing of food and recipes.  Makes me almost want to have……ahhh nope! Who am I kidding.

Banana Bundt (7 of 9)

So I made this banana cake.  In mini bundt pans.  And despite the pan being small this is definitely a dessert to share.  With friends.  Great friends Like I have here!

Yields 4-8

Banana Bundt Cake with Pecan, Banana, Caramel Sauce
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  • For the Cake
  • 3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup mashed banana
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • For the Caramel Sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 4 mini bundt pans.
  2. To Make the cake: In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the vanilla, eggs, banana and yogurt.
  4. Carefully mix in the flour mixture.
  5. Spread the batter evenly among the pans.
  6. Bake in preheated oven 30-45 minutes or until tester comes out clean when inserted into center of cake. Let cool.
  7. To Make the Caramel Sauce: In saucepan over med-low heat melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and whip in the heavy cream, vanilla and salt.
  8. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened and at the consistency you want to use.
  9. Pour sauce over each cake and top with sliced bananas, and pecans.
Recipe Type: Dessert

Check out what everyone else brought to the party:

Bananas Foster Banana Bread from The Brunette Baker
Strawberry Sprinkle Ice Cream Sandwiches from Planet Byn
Easy Banana Cupcakes from Living Lou
Fudgey Teff Brownies from Strawberries For Supper

Blogiversary Guest Post: Take 5 Bars by Planet Byn

I have strategically placed Robyn from Planet Byn here on Wednesday for 2 reasons. The first being it’s hump day and I knew without a doubt she would make something sweet and fabulous to get us through the rest of the week.  And can I just say Take 5 bars!!!! My completely all time favorite chocolate bar.

The second reason is that Tuesday night this wonderful group and I got together for our pretty regular dinner date and she may have brought some.  And I may have to kidnap her and make her bake me these every day!

It was Robyn who mentioned wanting to guest blog for my milestone day and thanks to her the idea took off and so many great people came together to make it such a touching week.  As Robyn mentions below we didn’t get a chance to meet at the FBC conference and I think about that all the time.  About what an amazing time we would have had.  But no worries there.  Our next one is happening this fall during my girl here’s birthday so I think we will make up those missed memories.

 Take 5 Bars

Happy Blog-iversary Tasty G! I’m so excited to be guest blogging here today, and to join in the celebrations! 

In case you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting The Tasty Gardener, I wanted to tell you a quick story that will let you know exactly what type of person she is. I officially met Heather last Spring, when we were both attending the Taste of Burlington launch. We had actually both attended the first Food Bloggers of Canada conference, but didn’t cross paths there. Anyway, I was super excited because it was my first time covering an event for my blog. So excited in fact, that I forgot the memory card in my camera! When I told Heather and the rest of the ladies we were there with (hi Jenny! hi Rhonda!), she quickly told me not to worry, and that I could use her photos from the night.  I remember actually being shocked that she would share her pictures with me – someone she just met – and I was blown away by her kindness and generosity.

While we were leaving, I said to the group that we should meet up again and go to one of the restaurants that was featured at the event. Heather took that and ran with it, organizing a dinner at Celli’s, and the rest is history. See, not only is this the 5th anniversary of The Tasty Gardener’s blog, it’s also almost the 1st anniversary of that dinner, which kicked off an amazing year of friendship and fun. 

And so, that brings us to these Take 5 Bars. I overheard Heather and Jenny talking about these one day, and apparently Tasty G has a little obsession with these chocolate bars that you can only find in the US. I thought it would be perfect to make this homemade version for Heather to celebrate 5 amazing years of blogging. Here’s to many more!

Take 5 Bars
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  • Pretzel Layer
  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Peanut Butter Layer
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • Caramel Layer
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 cup honey roasted peanuts, chopped
  • Chocolate Layer
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream


  1. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium bowl, mix together the pretzels, butter and brown sugar, and press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. For peanut butter layer, mix together butter, peanut butter and icing sugar until smooth. Spread overtop cooled pretzel crust. Chill in the fridge while you make the caramel.
  3. For caramel layer, add the sugar, water, corn syrup and salt to a medium saucepan. Add a candy thermometer and heat to 340 degrees. Remove from heat immediately and stir in whipping cream, butter and sour cream. Let cool for about half an hour, then stir in the peanuts. Spread over the peanut butter layer (the caramel will be thick and gooey, but try the best you can for an even layer).
  4. Melt the chocolate chips and cream in the microwave or over a double boiler, then spread overtop the caramel. Chill for about 20 minutes, then cut into squares.


Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookie

These cookies combine the wonderful taste of salt, chocolate and caramel.

Serves per cookie

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookie
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  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 bag mini chocolate covered caramels
  • sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 370 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and both sugars.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla.
  4. Mix in the flour, cocoa and baking soda.
  5. Roll the dough into a 1" ball. Flatten the cookie and place a caramel in the center of the dough. Fold the dough around the caramel and then give it a roll between your palms to seal it into a ball.
  6. Place dough on the prepared pans and bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookie begins to crack on top. Let cool on wire rack.

Preheat oven to 370 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl cream together the butter, both sugars,  the egg and vanilla.

Mix in the flour, cocoa and baking soda.

Roll the dough into a 1″ ball.

Flatten the cookie and place a caramel in the center of the dough.

Fold the dough around the caramel and then give it a roll between your palms to seal it into a ball. Flatten it slightly.

Place dough on the prepared pans, sprinkle with some sea salt and bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookie begins to crack on top. Let cool on wire rack.

Apple Caramel Cheesecake

Serves per slice

Apple Caramel Cheesecake
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  • 1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 cup soft caramels
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 16 oz. light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, diced


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and butter until it forms a coarse crumb. Press into the bottom of a 9" spring form pan.
  3. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  4. Reduce oven to 325 degrees F.
  5. In a bowl over a pot with simmering water melt the caramels into the whipping cream. Stir until smooth. Reserve 1 cup for the filling and refrigerate the remainder.
  6. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until combined.
  7. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat well.
  8. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
  9. Fold in the caramel sauce then the apples.
  10. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake for 15 minutes.
  11. Reduce the temperature to 275 degrees F and continue to bake 70-90 minutes longer or until set in centre.
  12. Let cool then place in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Serve it with the caramel sauce.
Recipe Type: Dessert


Begin by preparing your springform pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper.  Trust me…it helps. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Add the graham cracker crumbs to your melted butter.

Mix it together to form a sticky crumb.

Press the crumbs into the bottom of your pan.  A drinking glass it a really great way to press it evenly and firmly.

Bake in your oven for 10 minutes.  Remove it to cool and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

In a bowl set over a pot of boiling water add the caramels to the whipping cream.  Stir until caramels are completely melted. 

Remove the caramel from the heat and divide it, leaving 1 cup for the filling.

Dice your apples.

In a bowl combine the cream cream and sugar, beating until smooth.

Add the vanilla.

Then beat in your egg.

Stir in the caramel sauce.

Carefully fold in the apples.

Pour the batter into your graham crust pan.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 275 degrees F and bake for 70-90 minutes.  Allow to completely cool before serving.

To serve drizzle the caramel sauce over the individual slices.

I unfortunately don’t have a photo of the finished product.  It turned out so great that it got attacked by the guests of the party I took it to even before I had a chance to photograph it.  But that’s the chance you take when cooking great food.