Cherry Chocolate Chunk Brownies<br>Photography by Jeff Coulson Credits: Cherry Chocolate Chunk Brownies<br>Photography by Jeff Coulson
Bars and squares make a fun addition to any cookie exchange.
Tested until perfect.
Get the recipe: Butter Tart Squares
The pride of Nanaimo, B.C., these bars have a crumb base layered with a creamy custard filling and a chocolaty topping. Best served at room temperature, the bars keep well refrigerated or frozen.
Get the recipe: Classic Nanaimo Bars
Enjoy these Australian squares just as they are, or dip them in a mug of hot cocoa for the ultimate treat. While they're traditionally made with sponge cake, our version uses easy-to-make chocolate pound cake instead, making them a sinfully indulgent dessert for chocolate lovers. To retain their moistness, store the squares in the fridge.
Get the recipe: Double Chocolate Lamington Squares
Sweet-tart cranberries are cooked with a hint of orange to make an easy jam-like filling, then sandwiched between layers of crisp almond pastry. Freshly ground almonds are crunchier than the storebought ground variety, so whirl whole nuts in a food processor for the ultimate nutty crust.
Get the recipe: Cranberry Almond Squares
A thick layer of creamy mint icing is sandwiched between a crumbly chocolate cookie base and smooth dark chocolate ganache in these irresistible squares.
Get the recipe: Mint Chocolate Squares
The inside-out version of this classic square offers a classy white chocolate top with a rich dark chocolate centre. Use a vegetable peeler to make the chocolate shavings.
Get the recipe: Reverse Nanaimo Bars
These layered bars are like three desserts in one! Using a candy thermometer ensures you have the right consistency of caramel (not too soft and not too hard).
Get the recipe: Gooey Peanut Butter Squares
If simplicity is your style, look no further than these six-ingredient squares, made with ingredients you'll likely already have on hand. If you prefer, use seedless raspberry jam instead of strawberry.
Get the recipe: Crumble-Topped Jam Squares
A smooth and silky no-bake filling comes together in a matter of minutes for this easy crowd-pleasing treat. Be sure to top the squares with peanuts quickly, before the chocolate sets.
Get the recipe: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake Squares
Each layer of these bars is a delicious treat on its own; together, they become the star of any goodie tray. To make them gluten-free, be sure to use oat flour that's labelled as such. If you choose not to use pasteurized egg whites, whisk a fresh egg white until frothy and measure out one tablespoon.
Get the recipe: Sugared Pecan Fudge Squares
Vanilla wafer cookies, raspberry filling and white chocolate lighten up the traditional colour – and flavour – of the classic Nanaimo bar.
Get the recipe: Pink Berry Nanaimo Bars
Classic pecan pie gets a bite-size makeover with these crunchy pecan-packed squares. Toothsome shortbread is the perfect base, adding a delightful contrast. Chill the squares before cutting for a smooth, easy slice.
Get the recipe: Honey Pecan Pie Squares
Trust us, these easy-to-make squares will be the hit of your holiday parties and family gatherings. Wrap them in cute little boxes and hand them out as hostess gifts at all of your festive get-togethers.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Toffee Hello Dollies
Sweet glac? cherries and vivid pink icing give these sumptuous brownies a nostalgic retro look. Make them a couple of days ahead, then spread on the fruity icing just before serving.
Get the recipe: Cherry Chocolate Chunk Brownies
Sweet butterscotch squares hide a layer of crystallized ginger and velvety milk chocolate. These are pretty when packaged as gifts and are the perfect holiday treat to add to a bake sale.
Get the recipe: Ginger Butterscotch Squares
©iStockphoto.com/IPGGutenbergUKLtd Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/IPGGutenbergUKLtd
If you're looking for a plant that requires minimal care then invest in a beautiful Bromeliad, advises Brian Minter of Minter Country Garden Ltd. "Bromeliads are the superstars in terms of low care, high performance," he says. "All you have to do is keep the soil reasonably moist and have a bit of warm water in the centre of the plant."
Do you accidentally kill plants? Then the Dracaena marginata is for you. Minter calls this plant "indestructible" and explains that it does well despite the cold weather. Just make sure your potted plant has access to indirect light—it needs a north or east exposure.
Add a little colour to your home with a Curious anthurium. This pretty flower comes in lush reds, burgundies, oranges and pinks. The newer varieties of anthuriums flower all year, says Minter, making this the perfect houseplant for every season. Anthuriums are very resilient. Minter says you can tell if a plant will do well indoors based on its leaves. A thick, dark green leaf means the plant is more resilient indoors, he explains.
No house is complete without a palm! Minter says there are a few palm varieties that are very durable. The best is the Kentia, which Minter says is "spider-might resilient." But he also loves the raphis and bamboo palm. "These palms are a little bit more money and they don't grow quickly, but the point is it's a lifetime plant," he says.
Oh orchids, so beautiful but so temperamental. Despite their reputation, Minter says orchids are a great winter houseplant. You just have to be willing to nurture them. "Misting the foliage with warm water and just keeping some level of moisture in amongst the roots is all you really have to do," he explains.
There are quite a few varieties of Philodendron that will add some much needed green to your home. But the monstera is the best, Minter says. "It really is so bulletproof." The monstera is easy to grow and can actually help remove common toxins from your home.
The Medinilla is a show-stopping flower. "If somebody is looking for that something extra that is really phenomenal, that's really it," Minter says. The Medinilla has pink flowers, perfect to brighten up a kitchen. This houseplant is a bit difficult to find, but it's worth it because it's so easy to take care of. All these beautiful flowers were provided by Humber Nurseries Limited. Check out these tips on how to keep your houseplant alive this winter.
<p>Jenna Marie Wakani</p>
Chilly weather calls for bold and beautiful coats! Our curvy fashion expert, Meredith Shaw, rounds up the best outerwear picks to keep you looking chic and cozy.
Your outfit is perfect. Your accessory game is strong. You know you look, and feel fabulous. But wait, it's winter—in Canada—and your styling efforts are about to get smothered by your winter coat. Every Canadain woman is well versed in this struggle: Be warm or look cute? For me, the latter often wins out, but this season I want both—no more basic black or months of being concealed under a boring puffer. Our curves have never had more options.
By the way, my name is Meredith Shaw, and this is the beginning of our beautiful (and stylish) friendship. Consider me your personal full-figured style guide. At long last, the fashion industry is getting hip to accepting different body shapes and reinforcing that curves are awesome. Not to #humblebrag or anything, but I'm a professional model and a style expert on TV. I've also experienced fashion at almost every size, from 8 to 22 and back to 14. One of the most important things I've discovered is to feel good about the body I'm in now—not 10 pounds from now—and so should you!
But back to coats. When the temperature dips, I get excited about transitioning to outerwear. There's something about a perfectly tailored sleeve and the smoothness of a fine wool scarf against your cheek. I've learned to go bold or go home with my outerwear—and I wish more curvy gals would embrace that, too. Rather then blend in with the crowd, choose something that will help you stand out and walk a little taller through the slush and snow.
Structure is our friend
Steer clear of baggy oversize coats, which can make you appear larger. Instead, look for details that provide structure—like banding, darting around the waist or built-in shoulder pads—which, in turn, gives you shape.
Coat (sizes XS to 3X), $52, justfab.com.
I think puffer jackets are a winter-wardrobe must, especially in a fun colour. Stave off any Michelin Man effect by keeping puffers fitted and snug.
Active Zone reversible down coat (sizes X to 6X), $160, penningtons.com.
I once thought capes were only for superheroes, but they're perfect as a transitional piece. Buy one in a neutral tone and opt for texture over pattern—you'll get more wear out of it.
Hide Society cape, $875, toniplus.com.
Pick a colour—any colour
Canadian winters are long and grey, so do us all a favour and wear a splash of colour.