Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Sweets for a cause

What's better than indulging in scrumptious treats?  Knowing that you are doing a good deed with every bite!  Thanks to owner of Baked for Good, Tracy Aznar, we can have our cake and donate too!

Baked for Good, a small business launched and operated by Tracy, specializes in cupcakes, custom and edible image sugar cookies and custom gingerbread cookies.  What's more, the business services two charities with 30% of annual profits being donated to The Canadian Cancer Society and The Hospital for Sick Children.

Read on to find out more about this inspiring business and the brains behind it all!

1. How did you choose the charities you would like to donate to?
I chose to donate to the Canadian Cancer Society because I really wanted to feel like I was doing something to help fight cancer.  It is an illness that has affected so many people and so many families; it has also hit very close to home for me.  I decided to donate to Sick Kids for similar reasons.  It holds a special place in my heart because my family has received cancer care services from them.  My donation to their foundation is my way of thanking them for their quality care and helping others who may need their services. 

2.  What has been your most memorable bake order yet?

My most memorable order would be my first wedding booking.  It was very stressful thinking that these cupcakes would be the centre of someone's celebration.  I wanted them to be perfect!  It was also really cool knowing someone thought my cupcakes were good enough to be used for their wedding!  When you start a business like this, you're always a little unsure about whether people will take to it or not.  This served as confirmation that I was on the right path.  Making cookies for my nephew is also always memorable!  Even if they're a little ugly, he doesn't care!  And he brags about me to this teachers!

3. What is your favourite part of your business?

The best part would be seeing the client's reaction to what I've made.  It alway makes me feel really good about what I'm doing.

4.  What is your "day job"?  Would you ever consider doing this business full time instead?

I work as an Instructor Therapist working with children who have moderate to severe autism.  I love what I do, so I'm not sure I would ever leave it, but it would be nice to have a little shop of my own one day.

5.  Who would be your dream client?

My dream client would be Oprah!  I'd love for her to put me on her "Favourite Things" list!

6. As you know, Viva la Dolce, is all about celebrating the things that make life enjoyable and special!  What's your "dolce" in life?

My list would be long but it would definitely include family, friends, bomboloni from Sud Forno [Bakery], tacos and a little Beringer White Zinfandel. 

For more information or to order Baked for Good sweets visit www.bakedforgood.com 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Spring has sprung

As the warmer weather approaches with the new season just around the corner, it is only fitting that we prepare to usher Spring in with style!  

I have collected a few items below that I think will help do just that.  These bold coloured pieces will help keep you on trend for Spring 2015 and add a little bit of dolce to your decor ...


Monday, 9 March 2015


As the sunny weather approaches and temperatures warm up, one of my favourite treats comes to mind...Lemon Crostata!  "Crostata" is the Italian term for "tart" or "pie," and can be made with any fruit flavouring of your choice.  
As you will see below, this recipe is fairly easy to make and requires little ingredients.  Best of all, it makes for a delicious, light treat ... just in time for spring!


3 eggs
1/2 cup of melted butter
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 packet of Bertolini Lievito Vaniglinato (16g) 
*if you cannot find this, substitute with 3 teaspoons of baking powder
1 pinch of salt
500 ml of lemon spread (or any fruit flavour of your choice)


Combine the eggs and sugar, and mix on high speed until smooth; then add the melted butter and the pinch of salt to the mixture; let sit.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour and Bertolini packet.

Mix together the wet ingredients on high speed, while folding in the flour mixture.  Once you see that the combined ingredients have begun to take on a dough like texture, begin to knead the dough with your hands.
Grease a cookie sheet (approximatley 8 x 15 inches in size) and spread the dough evenly onto the sheet.  Be sure to leave a small section of dough aside (this will be used to decorate the top layer later)!

Distribute the lemon spread evenly over the dough on the cookie sheet.
Once that is done, take the small section of dough you had placed aside, and add a pinch of flour to it.  Notice that the dough becomes less wet in texture and more firm.   Split the dough into sections and using a rolling pin, flatten each section. 

With a fluted pastry wheel, cut the flattened dough into strips.  Arrange the strips of dough over the lemon filling in a criss-cross pattern.  Once you have covered the whole sheet, arrange some of the strips as a trim around the border of the cookie sheet.

Place in the oven on middle rack at 350 degrees.  Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.



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