Category Archives: Pies

no-bake MINI chocolate tarts!

21Nov14-059©chicksphotoI took this picture the other night and I immediately wanted to make creamsicles.

right?! you get it.

The day was HOT. And the weekend was HOTTER – Meaning that baking was never going to be a happening thing in my kitchen. Creamsicles seemed like a good compromise. Sweet and delicious – minus the heat. But then I couldn’t find popsicle molds and basically my whole world came shattering down as I stumbled around the Woolworths on Saturday night looking for some popsicle mold-like container. I’m a wild and crazy kinda lady on Saturday nights. I had these really solid intentions of cashew cream/coconut milk/orange zest amaz-sicles – but alas Woolworths really dropped the ball.

So. Now that you REALLY want a creamsicle… I bring you… no-bake chocolate tarts! YAYYYYY!

No-bakeTarts-23Nov14-007©chicksphotoThey are super cold. They are super delicious. And they are super easy. I have made this before in a ‘one big pie’ sort of way… but when I looked back on that recipe it had about 10 ingredients for the base alone which, again, just wasn’t a happening thing. So, in my lazyness, I eyeballed a bunch of ingredients into a food processor and hoped for the best. Here’s to me accurately remembering the recipe for you now! Woop!

No-bakeTarts-23Nov14-028©chicksphotoNo-Bake Chocolate Mini-Tarts
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and DEELIGHTFUL.


1 c. pecans
1/2 c. medjool dates
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tbsp. coconut oil

1 c. avocado flesh
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tbsp. arrowroot powder
1/3 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. oat milk
1/2 tbsp. peanut butter (totally optional)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. melted chocolate

For the crust, I crushed up the pecans first in the food processor and then added the other ingredients and mixed until it was well combined and forming a sticky ball. If you can press it together and it holds – its ready. You can used more or less dates – this crust is about consistency. Whatever works as long as it is sticking together well. I divided up the crust into 12 silicone cupcake liners and pressed it into the bottom. I put this in the freezer to chill as I made the filling.

Making the filling is just a matter of putting all the ingredients into the processor and mixing until it is as smooth as possible. I divided this mixture evenly onto each of the crusts and then allowed it to set inthe freezer for about 4 hours.

They should pop out of the liners very easily because of the coconut oil. They are and highly addictive. You can sprinkle some salt on top if you like because… delicious. 🙂


No-bakeTarts-23Nov14-039©chicksphotoYou can see here that I obviously ate about three of these before I finished photographing them. yum.





Filed under Desserts, Pies

two-year cheesecake

Two years!


It is the anniversary of two things! April 30th marks two years since my first post on …but can she bake. Granted, there were a couple half hearted posts before it. However they were few and far between. I started posting regularly two years ago because that is when I moved to Australia to live with my most incredible boy(man)friend. And so, this is also the anniversary of my move to Sydney!

I began writing to document my days/weeks/life in Australia and so that my biggest fans (my mom, dad and grandparents) could track my every move. I love baking and I love taking pictures, so this little ditty was born.


Now, here I am, 730 days later posting a recipe that I have been eyeing for at least… well longer than that. I have been coveting these cheesecake recipes since I became a vegan. Why I never made one, I am not sure. Skeptical? Yes. I was. That and I didn’t own a proper blender (vitamix) and even though I still don’t… I thought I’d give it a whirl. For the sake of two years. Ya know what I mean?

Man ALIVE! I am glad I did. This vegan cheesecake is delicious! It’s cashew filled, but you wouldn’t really guess it. I would even go so far as to say that if I had a higher tech blender, this version would be just as silky and smooth as a regular cheesecake. So basically, Dad: if you are still thinking about buying a vita mix, please do and we can make this when I come home. 🙂 (Along with about a billion other vegan recipes that require a vitamix.)


The lemon is what makes it sour like a cream cheese based cake and the vanilla, honey and raspberries make it delightfully sweet.

Try this bad boy on for size. It’s a keeper. Even my man-friend thinks so.


The process isn’t even that labour intensive, you just need to soak some cashews the night before. It’s even no-bake! In fact, it’s RAW TOO! Amazing.

You can tell from my pictures that my mixture wasn’t really even close to silky smooth, but I swear it was still so delicious. Just try it out.
Vegan Cheesecake
adapted from here and here

1/2 c. Medjool dates
1/2 c. walnuts
pinch of  salt

2 c. cashews (soaked overnight)
juice of 2 medium lemons
1 vanilla bean
1 c. raspberries/strawberries/blueberries or whatever berry you are feeling
1/3 c. maple syrup (use honey to make it raw)
1/3 c. coconut oil

Soak the cashews overnight. (at least 5 hours)

Throw all the crust ingredients in the food processor and blend/chop until the bind together on their own. You can test this until you are satisfied. Press the mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. Use one 6 inch pan or two 3 inch pans. (mini cheesecakes are awesome!)

Next warm up the coconut oil however you choose (microwave, stove) and mix with the maple syrup. Put the cashews, lemon juice and vanilla into the food processor with the honey/oil mixture and blend until as smooth as possible. This may take many minutes of blending. I used about half of this mixture to pour into the two pans and then saved the other half to add the raspberries to. After evening out the mixture in the pan(s) I put them in the freezer to lightly set for about 30 minutes. You can omit this step, but I thought it would help separate the layers.

Next add the raspberries to the cashew mixture and blend until fully combined. Pour this mixture on the top of the plain cashew mixture and even it out. Place the cake(s) back in the freezer until solid.
Remove about 10-15 minutes before you want to slice it, orrrrr just hack into it with a knife and fork… like me.


pssst! check out what I posted one-year ago.


Filed under Adventures in Australia, Cake, Pies

it’s pie time again…


When I go back to Canada… whenever that might be… I am going to STOCK UP on Crisco. Can I do that? Can I bring vegetable shortening back in my suitcase? I think that’s allowed.

I’m goin’ for it.

This is a pie. This is THEE pie? This is a pie that I ate from the pie plate with a fork and occasionally vanilla ice cream. This is a pie with a crumbly crust and a delicious soft apple filling. This is a pie that Sean requested I bake.

How ’bout Strawberry?


Are you not listening?

…Just apple then.


He’s stunting my baking. I swear.

Pies and scones please.

—Homeboy, lets get some variety up in here.


This might be a pie for him. But this is MY pie. I made it. My love is in this pie. Along with some flour and Crisco.


Apple Pie. I’ve made it before.

It doesn’t need frills, or raisins. or cheese slices. Just apples and cinnamon.


Merry December!

Apple Pie

2 c. of all-purpose flour
1 c. of vegetable shortening
1/2 c. of ice cold water (or more depending on the day-whatever it takes for the pie to form together)
couple shakes of salt


1/2 c. of sugar
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 vanilla bean
Just a pinch or two of salt
Usually about 8 or 9 apples. In other words: lots.
6-7 dots of margarine

For the Crust:
Mix the flour and salt. Sifting the flour helps with mixing later on.Cube your shortening and cut it into the flour a couple cubes at a time until a course mixture is formed. Crumbs should be about pea size, but not bigger and not too small! Next add the cold water (make sure its cold!) and mix until combined. Try not to use your hands too mcuh. When the dough forms a loose ball, divide into two and wrap each in glad wrap. Place in fridge for at least an hour or overnight.


For Filling:
Pre-heat the oven to 400*F.
Chop the apples (no need to peel), place in a large bowl and add the sugar,  flour, cinnamon, vanilla and salt.


Mix it up until all the apples are coated in sugar. Take your dough and roll out the bottom crust. Make sure your surface and rolling pin are floured well. Place the rolled crust into a pie plate and place the apple slices into the bottom. Dot the apples with margarine. Next roll out the top crust and place on top. Pinch the edges to secure the top and bottom. Make 5 of 6 slices in the top of the pie to allow the steam to release. You can brush the top with some soy milk and sprinkle with raw sugar to help it brown a bit.

Place the pie in the pre-heated oven and allow to bake for 50-60 minutes.

Remove, serve with ice cream, on a plate, or on the pie. Eat out of the pie plate if necessary.


It’s almost always necessary.




December 9, 2012 · 5:33 am

Give Thanks.

I am thankful for friends. This is my jazzy friend. You can call her Samantha. Because that is her name.

jazzy lady

She is pretty cool. No joke.

Sam is pictured here with a turkey. She is massaging it in a very sensual way. Why you ask? Well, it is Candian Thanksgiving of course! And what better way to spend a Sunday than massaging a turkey with butter and herbs?

Sam arrived in Sydney JUST in time to join me for some patriotic celebrating in the form of eating rich food and drinking good wine. and beer. and cider.

I am thankful for cider.

We had big plans for the weekend and so we spent Saturday sussing out Sydney’s finest farmer’s market and purchasing all the best vegetables from a lovely man who then gave us some garlic for free. What. a. guy.

I am thankful for free garlic.

After spending our pennies on delicious produce, we spent Sunday attempting to recreate all of our Mother’s finest thanksgiving feasts.

It was not an easy task. We didn’t really have any recipes… but we knew that we needed: a bird,

mashed potatoes,

mased potatoes!

roast vegetables,

ummm... delicious

stuffing and pie.

pumpkin pie

OH and cranberry sauce. Can’t forget the cranberry sauce.

I am thankful for cranberry sauce. and pie.

The mashed potatoes and vegetables were a cinch. And Sam took care of the bird as I know not how to even handle meat. I suppose thats what happens when you grow up a vegetarian. However, I did sprinkle the pepper and salt over top of it since Sam made the pepper grinder explode with a strength that she didn’t even know she had. It was this strength that gave our vegetables a spicy kick (from the unrecoverable peppercorns).

Stuffing, however, was a bit tricky. But we pulled it together in the nick of time.

the australian fam.

We’re are pretty much Anna and Kristina. And if you don’t get that reference… you are probably not Canadian. That, or you don’t watch Oprah’s new television network.

I am thankful for Oprah. (But don’t tell anyone.)

Anyhoo, the house totally smelled like Thanksgiving, which I think is a win. The whole meal was delicious and I think we would have done our Mother’s proud had they been able to partake in the feast. The boys definitly enjoyed it. The only quesitonable part was our decor. We didn’t have as much time as anticipated to gather harvest-like centerpieces… but I’d say we compensated well. carrots? pomegranate? free garlic? a scented candle and a jar of maple syrup? perfect.

And while these little guys weren’t for Thanksgiving, I think they are worth mentioning. Mini-Apple pies made to woo and persuade. 😉 Yum.


All in all, a delightful weekend.

…and I am thankful for this guy too.


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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Pies

Granny Smith is shakin’ it.

Let’s be real for a minute. There are a couple of kinds of people I don’t trust. Perhaps my reasons have no real merit, perhaps these are quite nice and genuine people, but none-the-less I have never and will never trust the following people:

People who I don’t trust
A list composed by Caitlin Ann Hicks

1. People who do not make lists
2. People who do not travel
3. People who do not like pie.

I’m certain that life is better with these three things. No questions. We need not go into details, but lets just say they are important aspects of my life. For the sake of this piece of writing, if we can call it that, lets focus on the 3rd point. Pie. It takes a bold person to hate a pie. A bold person with bad taste-buds who I do not trust. So with that being said, let us move on to the pie du jour. But lucky for me, the ingredients will be written out in list form. Excellent.

The pie I made today was Apple. Some are a fan of the vanilla ice cream side dish… others enjoy a slice or two of cheddar cheese. Me? I could take it either way, or possibly hans solo. It don’t matter.

Apple, in my mind, is one of the easier pies. If only because there is not an abundance of liquid or juice. I find that with some berry pies you have to add a thickener to the filling, which can easily be forgotten, resulting in berry soup with scattered pieces of crust floating around. Still delicious, but not quite so appetizing. Apple however, has never had this problem. Add a dash of flour to the mix and you always get a good filling, tender and sweet.

Let us start here.

Granny Smith’s Apple Pie.
(I have no Granny Smith. But that’s the apple of choice here, So isn’t that just dandy…)

2 c. of all-purpose flour
1 c. of shortening
1/2 c. of ice cold water (or more depending on the day-whatever it takes for the pie to form together)
couple shakes of salt


3/4 c. of sugar
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Just a pinch or two of salt
Enough sliced Granny Smith Apples to fill the bottom crust and become a mountain that looks to you as if the top crust may not fit over top. Usually about 8 or 9 apples. In other words: lots.
2 tablespoons of butter cut into small bits

Making Pie crust is usually what drives people away from making pie in the first place. But fear not. I’ve heard 101 horror stories, but never experienced one for myself. You gots to show that crust whos boss. No fear. Cause it knows when your scared and that is when it strikes.

First, measure out about 3/4 c. of water and put that bad boy in the freezer– pronto. When your ready for it, it’ll be nice and cold. Next take a mixing bowl and measure out the flour and salt. Add the shortening in small cubes (makes sure its right from the fridge) and cut it in with a… pastry cutter? Why do I not know the name of this tool.

I’ve googled it and I’m like 90% sure that’s right, But then this raises the question of ‘what is the name of that tool that you ACTULLY use to cut pastry? You know the one that looks like mini Pizza cutter?’
To be invesigated. I’ll put that on my list.

Back to the crust:
So you cut in the shortening, a couple cubes at a time until you’ve used all the shortening and the consistency is that of large crumbs. Go get that icy cold water and add it gradually, about a 1/4 cup at a time, and mix up that pasty until it forms one big ball. From there, you split it in two and wrap each in plastic wrap and put ’em in the fridge for at least an hour. Sometimes, ’tis easier to do all this the night before baking, but that’s up to you.

The filling:

Preheat the oven to 400degrees.

Usually, I wash, core, and cut all the apples first and put them in a really big ziploc bag (sometimes two) and then add the rest of the ingredients to the bag. I find it way easier to get all the apples coated thoroughly in the sugar because how hard is it to stir sliced apples? REALLY hard. So this is the cooler shake and bake method.

So you slice up the apples and then simply add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to the bag. Shake it. Like a Polaroid picture. Don’t fuck this part up.

Rolling out the crust:

While keeping your poker face, take out your chilled crust, unwrap and place on a floured counter. Smash it down a bit, just a bit, and then start to roll it out with a floured rolling pin. Roll in one direction only, not back and forth. But you can switch your angle on the crust to make it roll out even, ya dig? After a couple rolls, lift it up to make sure it doesn’t stick the counter and then possibly re-flour if necessary. Roll so that it will fit the 9 inch pie pan.

Transfer the crust to the pan, pressing it in to fit nicely.

Now fill the crust with the apples. It willllll overflow. Sometimes I find it necessary, and charming, to place each apple slice into the crust in a circular formation, building it up as necessary. Though this can take a while, the apples do stay put better, and there are less awkward shapes on the top of the pie.

Dot the apples with the cubed butter.

Roll out the other crust and place it on top. Trim the edges to fit and then roll up the bottom crust and crimp the edges however you like. Cut a couple slits in the top for steam to escape and then bake that pie for about an hour, or until the crust is golden brown. You can brush the top with milk and sprinkle on some sugar for better browning capabilities.

Cool it on a window sill with your curtains blowing in the wind and then serve it warm, or chilled.

pie time.

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Filed under Pies