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Top 4 Spring & Easter Dessert Recipes for 2020

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It’s been quite the Spring season already, and now that Easter is upon us, we’ve all had to adjust our typical traditions. One thing probably won’t change – Easter dinner. And no Easter dinner is complete without the perfect dessert (to enjoy over coffee, of course!).

If you’re still considering what to make for you and whomever you will be celebrating at home with – or you’re just curious to see some amazing recipes to make this Spring – put that old apple pie from the grocery store idea to rest and check out our top 4 recipes for spring 2020:

Easter Pavlova from The Whole Fabulous.
The melt in your mouth taste of pavlova meringue is hard to beat. It’s light and you can add any of your favourite berries or fruit (or chocolate) on top. These pavlovas are nest style in light of the season with tiny mini eggs or jelly beans to give them that Easter flare.

Easter Basket Milkshake from Salty Canary
Every child (and adult) will drop jaws at the creativeness of these milkshakes – they’re definitely Instaworthy. Using a hollowed chocolate bunny and your preferred Easter candies (or use them all) you’ll make quite a few people happy when you bring these out for dessert.

Creme Egg Rocky Road Bars from Brit.co
These bars are nothing short of heaven. Another bar covered in any Easter treat you can think of! Just don’t forget the Creme Egg and marshmallows. Be sure to hide a few to enjoy later when you’re all alone and want a midnight snack.

Bunny Donuts from Brit.co
These bunny donuts are absolutely adorable! Don’t deny that part of you won’t want to eat these little guys at all! But you will because they taste delicious! Make these bunnies at any point this Spring to treat you or your family and friends.

How to Still Celebrate Easter During Social Distancing

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It’s been about a month since all the craziness of the Corona virus became real. Many of us have been self-isolating for weeks and social distancing has become a common household term.

Easter is only a couple days away and you may be wondering what or how you’re going to celebrate this holiday when you can’t spend it with the family and friends you’re used to being with. Even shopping and going to church have become sometimes dangerous or impossible tasks to complete. Here are some tips on how you can still celebrate Easter during social distancing.

  1. Make use of what you have. If you can’t get a turkey or stuffing from the grocery store because it’s closed or you’re under secure self isolation, go through your cupboard and find foods you enjoy – or try making Easter staples like stuffing from scratch. There are delivery options as well, such as Instacart, but if they’re too busy to deliver in town consider reaching out to neighbors and nearby friends to see if they can pick up a few things if they’re going out.
  2. Spend it with who you can. If you live alone, this gets tricky, but even if you share an apartment with a roommate or your kids, find ways you can celebrate with who’s there. If you do live alone, go through the different traditions you’re used to – like decorate some eggs, make dinner, etc. If you’re surrounded by some form of normalcy, it won’t be as different as other years.
  3. Let the Easter bunny still come. If you ordered online from Amazon or have your Easter gifts ready to go, don’t postpone the Easter bunny’s arrival on Sunday morning. You may not be able to go to an egg hunt in your community, but it doesn’t mean the bunny can’t hide chocolate eggs around your house and outside.
  4. Make use of technology. You may not be able to go to church or have the entire family together, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use apps such as Messenger, FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom to get everyone together over video chat. You can even keep the camera rolling as you all eat dinner together and catch up – and if your conversation keeps going, don’t forget the coffee afterward.

    There are also many apps that you can use to play games or even attend events (including Easter Mass). It’s time to get creative.
  5. Stay Motivated. Remember that things will get better eventually and it is important to remain diligent and refrain from “sneaking” or breaking social distancing rules. You may face fines and enforcement by police, but it’s also essential in curbing the current pandemic and ensuring we get back to normal as quickly as possible – without losing everyone we love.

What are your Easter plans this year? How have your traditions changed? Let us know in the comments.

Chocolate Mousse Cups for Easter

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Easter is a week away and whether we may be spending the holiday indoors with those we live with, we hope you’ll still be making a lovely meal to enjoy. With every meal there’s dessert – and we hope it’s something special to make up for those family members who can’t be with you this year.

This week we will share with you a few special recipes we have gathered to help you decide on a dessert for Easter 2020. First, these Chocolate Mousse Cups from Anna Olson.

INGREDIENTS

White Chocolate Mousse

8 oz white chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 ¼ cup milk
3 large egg yolks
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp gelatin powder, softened in 3 Tbsp cold water
1 cup whipping cream

Chocolate Cups

8-10 mini balloons
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 recipe White Chocolate Mouse, chilled
raspberries or chocolate shavings, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

White Chocolate Mousse

1. For the white chocolate mousse, place the white chocolate and butter in a medium bowl, with a strainer placed over it. Heat the milk to just below a simmer. In a separate bowl, whisk the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together. Whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture gradually, whisking while adding. Return this to the pot and continue to whisk over medium heat until glossy and thickened, about 4 minutes then stir in the softened gelatin. Pour this through the strainer and stir until the chocolate and butter has melted. Cool the chocolate mixture to room temperature.

2. Whip the cream until it holds a soft peak and fold this into the chocolate mixture. Chill the mousse until set slightly but still soft, about 90 minutes.

Chocolate Cups

1. For the chocolate cups, inflate and tie the mini balloons. Give them a little wipe with a damp cloth and allow them to dry. Have ready a parchment-lined baking tray.

2. Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl, placed over a pot of barely simmering water, stirring gently until melted. Remove the chocolate from the heat.

3. Dip the balloons halfway into the chocolate on a angle, and lift and rotate as dipping repeatedly, creating a tulip shape. Shake off excess chocolate and place each balloon onto the parchment-lined tray. Chill the balloons until the chocolate has set.

4. Use a pin to gently pop the balloon and let the air out slowly. Lift the balloon out of the cup and discard. Pipe the white chocolate mousse into the cups and top with raspberries or chocolate shavings. Chill until ready to serve.

You Don’t Have to Give Up Dating During the Coronavirus

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In this time of social distancing and self-isolation, you may think that your dating life has to be put on hold for the moment – but don’t give up just yet.

Although you may not be able to meet up for the normal coffee or drinks there are still other ways to get to know that special someone; you will just need to get more creative.

Thankfully, we live in a time of technology where it makes it much easier to stay connected no matter the distance between you and those you want to stay in contact with. Being able to maintain this connection with the people we care about will at least make this difficult and scary time a little easier and more bearable. The more aspects we can keep from our normal lives the better it will be for us to get through this ordeal.

Let’s take a look at some creative ways to continue dating during the age of the Coronavirus – who knows you may end up finding the love of your life.

Enjoy coffee or drinks together by video chat

Relax and enjoy a drink while talking about your day and what is going on in your life. It’s a great way to get to know that new special someone or to keep connected with someone you have been with for a length of time. Although the physical contact isn’t there you will still be enjoying quality time with each other.

Cook and share a meal together

Pick a recipe together that both of you would enjoy eating. It could be a favorite of yours or find something that neither of you has tried before. Just set your laptop up in your kitchen and you can still enjoy the cooking experience together although you are physically apart. You can then sit down together by video chat share the meal and some conversation instead of just eating alone.

Watch a movie together

Although you may not be able to meet up at the theatre to see the newest blockbuster or get together to see what’s new on Netflix doesn’t mean you can’t still have a movie night together. Although you can’t be in the same room there are other options such as Netflix Party which allows you to watch a movie or series together while adding group chat so you can still share your thoughts about what you are watching.

Play an online game together

Even though you can’t see each other doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a game night with your date. With all the different games that are available for online play you should be able to find one that would interest both you and your special someone. If both of you own an Xbox or Playstation there is another way to play a game together and still be able to enjoy a conversation as well.

Just remember that even though we may have to stay physically isolated at the moment doesn’t mean that we need to emotionally isolate ourselves as well so let’s all try and make the best of this situation together.

Delicious Butterfinger Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

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The name says it all. Everything amazing has been mixed into these, well, delicious cheesecake bars. If you’re looking for something that will please the entire family, your friends, and your neighbors, it’ll be these. If you are, however, planning on making these to more than a few days, I’d double the recipe as they’re definitely not going to survive once a few hands get on them.

If you’re not a fan of Butterfingers, feel free to use any of your favorite chocolate bars. Not going to lie, a good Crispy Crunch would taste pretty delicious as well.

Ingredients:

Chocolate chip cookie layer:
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup flour plus 2 tablespoons
1 cup mini chocolate chips + 1/2 cup for top
5 Butterfinger bars

Cheesecake layer
8oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla


Directions:

Create a sling by lining the pan with foil so that there is a one-inch overhang on each side. Cover foil with bake spray. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the chocolate chip cookie layer, melt butter and let cool to warm. Add in brown sugar and mix to combine. Add in egg and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add in flour and fold to combine. Add in 1 cup of mini chocolate chips and fold to combine. Pour mixture into pan; set aside.

To make cheesecake, add all ingredients in a bowl and beat until blended. Set aside.

Assembly
Press 3/4 of cookie mixture into the pan. Place Butterfinger bars side-by-side on top of cookie dough. Pour cheesecake mixture on top. Crumble remaining cookie dough sprinkle on top of cheesecake layer along with remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips all over top.
Transfer pan to oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove from oven set on a wire rack to cool.
Refrigerate the pan, once cooled, until the dessert has firmed up as this will allow them to come out of the pan much easier. Serve at room temperature so allow them to sit for about 15 minutes before serving.

How to Keep Social With Your Friends When You Can’t Meet for Coffee

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We’re now coming up to a few weeks into the craziness that has transpired across North America and the world. Covid-19 has been spreading since December, but we haven’t felt the strain of it at home until recently. March has been an extremely long month and it’s been frustrating staying indoors under quarantine and social distancing ourselves from our friends and family.

Coffee is something many of us love the taste of, it keeps us sane, awake, but it’s also an exceptionally huge social drink that brings people together over conversation and caffeine.

We may not be able to meet up at the local Starbucks or cafe, but there are still ways you can meet for coffee without breaking the enforcement of self-isolation or risking the spread of the coronavirus.

  1. Social Media Groups.
    There are plenty of groups on Facebook for coffee lovers, including our own. These groups are excellent places to meet with friends or strangers around the world to discuss coffee or share stories. Don’t forget to brew your favorite blend before engaging – to get the full experience!
  2. Make the Most of the Time You Have With Your Loved Ones. If you’re spending time with those you live with such as your children or significant other, instead of going off to drink your coffee alone or get some work done, sit down at the table and just discuss what’s on your mind. Don’t be isolated from the ones you live with.
  3. Facetime or Video Chat With Your Friends.
    If you don’t have an Apple device, you can chat and drink coffee with your favorite cafe mates over Facebook Messenger, Skype, or any other chat platforms. Just because we’re on “social isolation” doesn’t mean we can’t stay social.
  4. Make a Phone Call. Texting is great, but hearing someone’s voice can go a long way to curbing the feeling of self-isolation. If you’ve just brewed a mug of coffee, call up someone you love and let them know your plans for the day and find out how they’re doing.
  5. Have a Virtual Watch Party on Netflix. What’s great about this opportunity as it gives you the chance to stay social for longer periods of time. If you run out of things to say, just discuss the movie. To use the virtual watch party setting, you will need Google Chrome.

Remember to keep staying active and healthy throughout this entire self-isolation period and to stay home. The more you stay home and only leave for essential reasons, the sooner things will go back to normal and you will be able to meet your friends at the local coffee shop again.

What are you doing to stay social while in quarantine during Covid-19/Coronavirus? Let us know in the comments.

Amazingly Nostalgic Homemade Dunkaroos

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If you’re one of the many who are sitting in self-isolation on this beautiful Saturday, you may be wondering when, if ever, things will begin to go back to normal. Although the Coronavirus may be keeping us indoors, there are still plenty of things you can do at home to keep your spirits high – and your children entertained.

One mood booster is to get a little nostalgic and begin remembering all the great things you used to love before things got crazy – even years ago. Remember Dunkaroos? Right! Those cookie and icing treats were the highlight of your lunches. Something about them always puts a smile on your face. They might be more difficult to find in grocery stores now (or you may not want to risk the trip). You can actually make your own at home! And, chances are, you’ll have many of these ingredients already.

So get the kids and spouse together and have a little fun trying out new recipes and bonding. This will definitely be one you’ll come back to again and again.

The Recipe.

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: About 75 small cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 2 hours chilling time
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes, plus 2 hours chilling time

INGREDIENTS

For the Cookies:

1¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter
⅓ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla

For the Frosting:

½ cup room-temperature unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk
½ cup rainbow sprinkles

DIRECTIONS

1. Make the cookies: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture until just combined. Shape the dough into a disk and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.

4. While the cookies are chilling, make the icing: In a stand mixer, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add the salt, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk, and beat until smooth. Continue adding milk until the frosting is fluffy, then gently stir in the sprinkles.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

6. Lightly flour a kitchen surface, then place the dough on top and lightly flour the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to a ⅛-inch thickness. Use a small cookie cutter to punch out shapes and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.

7. Bake until the bottoms and edges of the cookies turn golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

8. Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer them to a cooling rack. When they’re completely cool, dip in the frosting and serve.

How to Help Your Favorite Local Coffee Shops Survive the Coronavirus

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Many of us are feeling the pressure that the current Coronavirus pandemic is putting on the world. We’re all nervous about how our local economies will be able to bounce back and how this will affect our local communities in the long-term. If you’re a frequent visitor of Lovers.Coffee, we know you love your coffee shops and may be curious about what you can do to support them during these frustrating times. 

Here are a few ways you can help your favorite local coffee shops to survive the Coronavirus pandemic:

  1. Pre-Order or Use the Drive-Thru.

    Although restaurants and coffee shops are closing their seating areas, many still are providing services through the drive-thru and pre-order services. Some are evening offering free delivery to your door. Call your favorite local coffee shop and ask them how they’re still serving the community.
  2. Consider Stocking Up on Coffee Grinds, Etc.

    We’ve all started buying a few (or more) extra products for the home to minimize the amount of time we need to expose ourselves to the possible spread of the virus. Many cafes offer their own mugs and coffee items. Before purchasing your k-cups and coffee grinds from the big box grocery stores, consider getting a few products from your local coffee shop.
  3. Gift Certificates Go A Long Way.

    As crazy as things seem right now with the rising spread of Coronavirus, things will get better and start to go back to normal eventually, which means coffee shops will go back to full-capacity at some point in the future. Try purchasing a gift certificate or two (they make great gifts) that you know you’ll use later. This extra money provides your local coffee shops with extra means to stay open longer.
  4. Show Coffee Shops Your Support

    If you’re feeling the economic strain yourself and can’t support your favorite coffee shop financially, there are other ways you can still let them know you care. Share a post on social media and tag your local shop to let them know you miss their coffee and friendly baristas. These small gestures let cafes know they’re still loved and also keep their brand’s awareness up.
  5. Stay Home as Much as Possible

    The only way that we can truly help minimize the impact that this virus will have on our local and global community is to heed the advice of our leaders and health experts and stay indoors, practicing social distancing. Every time you go to the store, visit your friends or refuse to self-isolate when required, you’re increasing the time that it will take for us to rebound for the Coronavirus.

We’re all going to get through this together and if we keep communication open, we can support all of our local businesses through the next few weeks, months, or for however long it will take for things to go back to normal. What are you doing to support your local coffee shops while keeping up with social distancing? Let us know in the comments.

The Gooey-est Brownies You’ll Ever Snack On

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It’s a scary world out there, so what better to do than to stay indoors and make brownies? If you can make it to baking these scrumptious morsels without licking all the batter on the spoon.

The best thing about brownies is that they’re easy to make, you don’t have to worry about them rising like ordinary cakes, and they’re much moister and dry out slowers than other desserts. And of course, they taste amazing.

I found this recipe and immediately fell in love. I honestly don’t understand how this is not the best brownie recipe online. Just look at its gooey-ness. It’s definitely difficult to say no to this one. So don’t.

Ingredients

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk


Directions


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine 1 cup chocolate chips, butter, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then stir. Continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly.


In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula.

Add the flour and salt, folding gently until well combined. Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes.


Sprinkle with the remaining cup of chocolate chips and pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top. Pour the remaining batter over. Return to oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached. Do not overbake.

Let cool to room temperature then place in the fridge to chill. The brownies are easiest to cut when chilled and can be served chilled, at room temperature, or warmed in the microwave.

How Coffee Shops are Taking Coronavirus Precautions

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With the new fears of the Coronavirus spreading around the world, most people are taking extra precautions – including many big chain coffee shops. This is great news since most of us still need and want to go on with our daily lives and enjoy our favorite coffee. The measures that they are taking will not only help to protect customers but the employees as well and set minds at ease knowing that action is being taken. So here is what a few popular coffee shops have decided to do to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

Starbucks

Being one of the most popular coffee shops on the planet, Starbucks is taking many precautions to protect both its customers and employees from the dreaded virus. They have decided to temporarily stop the use of reusable cups and dishware in all their locations across the US and Canada. They will, however, still provide the 10% discount for customers who bring in their cups or request reusable dishes. Starbucks has also stated that they will be adding paid time to employees to increase cleaning and sanitizing to further prevent the spread of germs. They have also canceled any business-related air travel until the end of March.

Tim Hortons

Another favorite coffee chain (especially in Canada) has also stated that they will be taking steps in order to help contain the Coronavirus. Tim Hortons also will be putting a pause on the use of reusable cups to prevent the spread of germs. They have also decided to not put out the Roll up the Rim cups this year due to concerns of employees having to handle parts of the cup that have been in customers’ mouths. Not to worry though, the prizes will still be available to win digitally through the app.

The Second Cup

The use of reusable cups has also been temporarily stopped at this popular shop but they will still honor a 20-cent discount to customers who bring one in. Unlike Starbucks though, The Second Cup will still serve in-store drinks in ceramic mugs since they are being washed in high-pressure sanitizers. They are, however, making sure employees are washing their hands before and after unloading the dishes and are increasing cleaning and sanitizing their cafes throughout the day.

Dunkin’ Donuts

This very popular American chain is also doing its part in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. They, along with most other coffee shops, are putting a pause on the use of reusable cups and increasing the number of times a location is cleaned in a day. Dunkin’ Donuts has also started installing hand sanitizer stations at their doors and has canceled business travel and unnecessary meetings. They have been holding virtual meetings with employees to go over the best way to keep themselves and the shops sanitary.

Hopefully learning about some of the preventative measures being put through by your favorite coffee shops will help to ease your fears of the Coronavirus. Just don’t forget to do your part as well by regularly washing your hands and staying home if you are feeling sick to prevent spreading it around. Stay healthy everyone.