Who do you turn to for help with paint colours, decorating inspiration and the occasional crafternoon? This girl. These items are what she's been Pinning.
Air Mikafleur Design porcelain jellyfish planters, $35 to $40, oneofakindshow.com.
Duo prints wall art (unframed), $35 per pair, bellopop.etsy.com.
Canadian Living Meadow Lake collection square throw pillow, $45, bedbathandbeyond.ca.
Polka-dot clock, $20, hallmark.ca.
Jo Malone London Miniatures Candle Collection, $130, jomalone.ca.
Glitterville pineapple arrow ornament, $15, indigo.ca.
Seven-inch bowl, $46, brika.com.
Metallic pouf, $70, homesense.ca.
PrimnPaper paper succulents, $13, etsy.ca.
Fair Isle throw, $30, homesense.ca.
Cakey or fudgy? Crunchy on the outside or gooey all over? Topped with pecans or doused with ice cream? No matter how you take your brownie, you'll be sure to find your perfect match (and maybe a new favourite!) in our roundup of the best brownie recipes.
If you're anything like us, your love for brownies goes back to your childhood and the hot, gooey homemade batch your mom would whip up. You couldn't wait for it to cool even a little before taking a forkful and would soon be begging for seconds. And then there were the sundae-topped brownies you'd order for dessert at your local restaurant. Complete with vanilla ice cream that melted down the sides of the brownie, whipped cream, chocolate fudge, and a cherry, this was dessert at its finest—or at least, child-approved finest. And so, it should come as no surprise that this classic comfort treat still remains one of our most beloved desserts today.
From the overload of chocolate to the gooey texture, there's plenty to love about brownies. But in case you need another reason, here it is: They're easy to make and easy to take to a decadent—or even more decadent—new level.
For those who favour fruit in their desserts, whip up a batch of brownies that boasts banana and coconut, chunks of cherry, or rhubarb and cream cheese. For the ones who like brownies extra sweet, load them up with chocolate chunks or toffee bits. Looking for an extra dose of flavour? Add plenty of peanuts, top them with caramel popcorn or add some Irish cream to the batter.
Flip through the slideshow for the top recipes, and get ready to discover a new beloved version of your favourite, classic treat.
Chopped banana chips and toasted coconut flakes make these dark, fudgy brownies extra special.
Get the recipe: Dark and Delicious Banana Coconut Brownies
For your go-to brownie recipe, look no further than this classic version. Deck your batch out in your favourite toppings, or simply serve it with a dollop of whipped cream.
Get the recipe: The Best Chocolate Brownies
These holiday-ready brownie bites are loaded with chocolate—including milk, dark and white. For a cakey texture, bake for an additional 7–10 minutes.
Get the recipe: Triple-Chocolate Reindeer Bites
The combination of rich dark chocolate and a sublte crunch from chopped toffee bars is what makes these the best brownies you'll ever make.
Get the recipe: The Best Chocolate Toffee Brownies
Sure to please every chocoholic, these brownies are so chocolaty that there's no need for icing.
Get the recipe: Super Chocolate Chunk Fudge Brownies
Crunchy peanuts, fudgy chocolate and a smooth ganache topping—what more could you ask for in a brownie?
Get the recipe: Peanut Explosion Brownies
Brown butter icing adds a rich nuttiness to these brownies and enhances the buttered popcorn flavour of the topping.
Get the recipe: Caramel Popcorn Brownie Bites
Sweet glacé cherries and vivid pink icing give these sumptuous brownies a nostalgic retro look.
Get the recipe: Cherry Chocolate Chunk Brownies
These enticing squares blend the flavours of moist banana bread and cakey brownies.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Banana Brownies
A sweetened cream cheese swirl ties the unexpectedly delicious combination of chocolate and rhubarb together in these soft, chewy brownies.
Get the recipe: Rhubarb Cream Cheese Brownies
A double dose of chocolate—creamy milk and decadent dark—makes these moist brownies unbelievably gooey and indulgent.
Get the recipe: Dark and Milk Chocolate Brownies
These little treats are topped with a rich Irish cream–flavoured ganache.
Get the recipe: Irish Cream Brownie Bites
Hosting friends and family during the holidays doesn’t have to be a chore. Prepare treats—like our simple spin on chocolate éclairs—ahead of time so all you have to do is put on a pot of coffee when your guests arrive.
Chocolate Ginger Fauxclairs
In large bowl, beat 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened, with 1 cup granulated sugar until fluffy; beat in 1 egg and 1/3 cup fancy molasses. In separate bowl, whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp each baking soda and cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves and pinch salt; stir into butter mixture until combined. Roll dough by 1 tbsp into balls; roll each into about 3-inch long log. Arrange, 2 inches apart, on parchment paper–lined rimless baking sheets. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 350°F oven until firm to the touch, about 12 minutes. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes; transfer directly to racks to cool completely. Melt 225 g semisweet chocolate (about 8 oz), chopped; spread 1 tsp over top of each fauxclair. Let stand until set, about 1 hour. Makes about 48 pieces.
Helpful hosting tips
- A thermal carafe is a great investment when you're serving coffee for a crowd. It will keep your coffee hot, prevent overcooking and preserve the flavour, guaranteeing that the last cup is just as nice as the first.
- Before melting chocolate, chop it so that it will melt more quickly and evenly.
- Chilled dough is easier to work with than room temperature. If it starts to become too sticky while you're working with it, pop it into the fridge.
- To make ahead, layer finished treats between waxed paper in an airtight container; store for up to five days or freeze for up to two weeks.
For more coffee recipes and other sweets that pair well with a cup of java, visit canadianliving.com/coffee.
©iStock.com/PlushStudios Image by: ©iStock.com/PlushStudios
We speak to a skin-care professional about how to treat a parched complexion.
Preserving glowing, flake-free skin can be difficult at the best of times. In wintertime, when the harsh elements lead to skin-cell breakdown and shorter days mean less patience for skin care, it can seem almost impossible. But trust us: Dry skin needs an effective treatment regimen, especially during the winter.
We spoke to Dr. Nowell Solish, cosmetic dermatologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, for insight into how dry skin operates, what ingredients you should embrace and avoid, and which treatments will faithfully work year after year.
How does dry skin occur?
“Our skin has natural oils and a barrier of protection,” says Dr. Solish. “If we’re in an environment that causes our skin to evaporate more water, or the surrounding temperature is cold and dry and the humidity is low, our skin will get drier.” Moving between a warm interior and the cold exterior aggravates skin, causing it to dry out more during the wintertime. Irritating detergents can also lead to dry skin.
Who is prone to dry skin?
According to Dr. Solish, the oilier you are, the less parched your face will get during the winter months. Age is also a factor. While teenagers have high hormone levels that lead to oily skin, postmenopausal women see a drop in hormone levels, causing oil glands to shrink and resulting in less sebum production.
What body parts experience the worst dry skin?
Commonly, the arms or the tops of the hands tend to easily become dry, but this varies as everyone’s skin has different abilities to absorb moisture and adapt to climate changes.
How can we prevent dry skin?
The most effective method is staying hydrated, so drink a lot of water throughout the day.
The next step is to select an appropriate moisturizer. “A moisturizer itself is a barrier,” says Dr. Solish. “It stops water from evaporating out of the skin. The best ones actually grab water and try to bring water into the skin.”
Keep in mind that facials are simply a temporary solution to a problem that has the tendency to reoccur. “Skin looks better and younger after a facial, but the effect is temporary because you’ve added moisture to that area.”
Certain fabrics against the skin can also affect skin moisture levels. Ideally, wear cotton or sweat-wicking fabrics to allow the skin to breathe. Avoid polyester, which can increase sweat buildup, which can cause irritated skin.
What products combat dry skin?
Look for soapless cleansers, such as Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser, that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Avoid acne cleansers for this reason; effective as they are in treating acne, they will dry out your skin faster. “They have salicylic acids that help break up the skin because they’re treating the acne,” says Dr. Solish. “But they’re very drying.”
When it comes to choosing the right moisturizer, a thick cream contains the most oil and will also be the most hydrating. However, some people will break out when using cream that contains too much oil. To determine how much oil your moisturizer contains, apply a small amount of the product to your skin and pay attention to how your body reacts. If the skin becomes warm, there’s a lot of oil in the moisturizer; if the area feels cool and refreshing, the moisturizer contains a lot of water and not much oil.
When choosing a cream, look for ingredients such as ceramides, natural lipids that help to build up the skin’s barrier that can be broken down by unforgiving weather or lactic acid.
When does dry skin turn into something more serious?
If you still find that you’re experiencing itchy, red or irritable skin after testing several moisturizers, you may be developing eczema. Consult your doctor who can prescribe a topical steroid.
What products can treat a dry scalp?
To treat pesky dandruff, which is so prevalent during the colder season, your best option is to use a specially formulated shampoo that exfoliates dry skin on the scalp. “Dandruff itself is not always due to dry skin,” says Dr. Solish. “It can be due to a naturally occurring yeast buildup on the skin, so a lot of dandruff shampoos contain ingredients to kill the yeast that is making your scalp flaky.”
If worst comes to worst, apply a leave-in oil treatment at night and shampoo it out the following morning. Look for leave-in treatments, or even nourishing hair masks, made of natural oils such as coconut or olive.
Over 50 and fabulous? Our guide to aging gracefully helps you choose the skincare, hair and makeup products that are right for you.