Hallowe’en Headquarters – If Only Real Mummies Looked This Cute! Gingerbread & Hallowe’en Confections

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BOO!  It’s Gingerbread Mummy peeking out to haunt you with his yummy frosted coated ginger cookie body and chocolate eyes!  If only real mummies were this cute.  I was “heehee”ing as I took him out of his paper bag “coffin” to snap his photos this morning (I actually wanted to pose him in a bed of crushed Oreo cookie crumbs to make it look like he was coming from the ground, but I ran out of the house this morning in a rush so alas, no crushed Oreos) and couldn’t wait to give this little guy to my boyfriend for his afternoon snack.  For the record, my boyfriend wanted to eat it for breakfast and I scoffed and told him to save it for the afternoon because he had already eaten the Hallowe’en cupcake I had also brought him.  That also had a chocolate topper on it.  Sigh.  Boys.  Anyway, he (the mummy) was too cute to do any real scaring so he was much better off being gobbled up by sweet tooths like us.

I think Hallowe’en has totally evolved from a candy-centric occasion into a full-0ut creative foodie fest.  The holiday has morphed into a foodie affair, incorporating cupcakes, cake pops, pastries, and savoury foods (Witch’s Cauldron Tortellini, anyone?) all in one and I only wish I could have planned an entire week’s worth of Hallowe’en themed foods.  Even though I didn’t get to do everything I wanted to do this year for Hallowe’en, I still had fun nevertheless.  Not only did I hit Mount Pleasant and Avenue Road yesterday, but I also paid a visit to Kensington Market to walk around (it was a really nice day out) and to take photos in my favourite bakery, My Market Bakery, and to Cabbagetown where I picked up my container of ravioli and this cute-as-button gingerbread mummy cookie at Daniel et Daniel.

I can always count on My Market Bakery to do seasonal everything and anything!  Their cookie selection is amaaaazing and they have something for every palate: fruit and nut cookies, chocolate chip, chunk, and fudge cookies, biscotti, gingerbread, tea cookies, sugar cookies, shortbread cookies, thumbprints, and others.  They had frosted pumpkins, ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, black cats, and Hallowe’en sprinkle cookies and if I hadn’t already picked up cupcakes, I would have mostly liked snatched up an orange frosted pumpkin because they were so cute and pretty. 

I was so excited to go to Daniel et Daniel later on in the day because they have some of the most gorgeous pies and tarts and I knew they would decorate and be decked out for Hallowe’en.  And I was right!  They had a ton of pastries, pies, tarts, and cakes decorated in beautiful Hallowe’en motifs, such as a lemon chiffon cake with googly eyes, a chocolate raspbery cake with smiling fruit pumpkins, and my favourite, the mixed berry fruit tart with carved fruit bats!  What totally got me though were the gingerbread mummy men! 

I LOVE gingerbread cookies.  Not the hard kind that tastes like cardboard and makes me roll my eyes because it’s so bleh, but the soft, chewy, spiced ginger molasses kind that melt in your mouth.  I love these so much.  I nosh on the ones from Tim Hortons whenever they have them and over the summer I went crazy for the ones by More Than Pies Baking Co. Ltd. at the David Pecaut Square farmers’ market.  Ginger molasses cookies are huge and round and I always break off half so I can eat half and save the other for later, but I never end up sticking to that.  I just happily eat the whole thing in one sitting.  And if we’re going to be talking about our favourite types of cookies now that the holidays are in full effect (like my friend Amanda @ Fake Ginger did yesterday), I actually like gingerbread cookies more than I like shortbread and sugar cookies.  Although I have my shortbread and sugar cookie weaknesses, I just love how gingerbread molasses look and taste with the crackling, sprinkled sugar, and spiced flavour.  And combining chocolate and icing the way Daniel et Daniel did with their Hallowe’en mummies just seals the deal.  Pun totally intended.

Oh cookies, how we love thee.  I saw so many amazing cookies when I was out yesterday and I had to mentally tie my hands together because I wanted to take home one of everything I saw.  I was a good girl though and I only brought home 2 cupcakes (another one for myself and one for my brother), this gingerbread mummy, and some stuffed ravioli to share with the fam for dinner.  I know, the stuffed ravioli has nothing to do with Hallowe’en (unless of course you count the fact the ravioli was covered in yummy orange sauce with chives), but the cookies certainly do!  And I know I was being a nice girlfriend by getting the gingerbread mummy for my boyfriend (because he loves gingerbread too), I really wish I had gotten one for myself now.  Sigh.  Like eating two Hallowe’en cupcakes wasn’t enough yesterday, right?

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My Market Bakery is located at 184 Baldwin St. in Kensington Market.  The bakery is located west of Spadina Ave. and south of Nassau St.  Daniel et Daniel is a gourmet food shop in Cabbagetown that does event catering.  They are located at 248 Carlton St. near the intersection of Carlton and Parliament St.

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The Love, Excitement, and Energy at My Market Bakery in Kensinton Market

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There are so many reasons why I love writing this blog.  Not only do I feel giddy anticipation when I try out a new place, explore a new neighbourhood, or create a story through a scrapbook layout, but I also love feeling the energy of everyone around me when I’m at a great foodie place.  I feed off of it (no pun intended!) and I immerse myself in the hustle and bustle.  Every great foodie place has a story, a history, a personality, and a life.  And I love watching everything that goes on around me. 

Some people might say that I miss out on actually experiencing experiences when I’m so busy capturing the flurry of activity around me, that I can’t enjoy the moment because I’m too busy trying to capture it.  I don’t disagree entirely because it can be easy to lose those special moments when you concentrate too hard on trying to get that perfect shot or when you start overthinking things.  But for me, I don’t ever feel like I’m missing out.  I feel richer, more alive, and even more inspired after these experiences.  As an old elementary school friend once said to me years ago, “see, Debra, you remember things because you observe everything around you.  You’re a human archive”.  I thought that was so cute.

This bakery in Kensington Market makes me feel all sorts of happy.  I cannot get enough of it.  A million thoughts run through my mind even before I reach for that door handle to the bakery: ‘what treats will they have today?’; ‘ Will they have those cute meringue tarts I saw the last time?’;  ‘What kinds of sprinkled shortbread cookies are out?’; ‘ Can I just have one of everything??’  The prices are so good – my family and I walk out of here with mounds of cookies and pastries and a few loaves of bread for barely $10.  My mom and brother love picking out fresh loaves of different breads (they are both what I call “bread heads”), and I love ogling the adorable, colourful, and super delicious displays of cookies just bursting with sprinkles and frostings and jams.  I love the baby lemon shortbread cookies, anything with sprinkles, their apricot almond squares, and the mocha frosted tea cookies (shown below on the far left) are to DIE FOR.  I could eat a whole box of them oh my god. 

I know some people may not enjoy being around crowds, but I absolutely love it when it’s piping busy here.  As my mom and brother are choosing their bread of choice (sweet potato and rosemary sourdough?  Light rye?  Garlic and onion buns?  Olive bread?  Raisin bread?), I back away and for a minute time stands still as I feed off the energy around me.  Arms are flying and reaching out from behind us, grabbing loaf after loaf of fresh bread.  Little ones have their little hands and noses pressed up against the glass displays trying to decide which cookies they want.  And plenty of young-uns my age breeze in and out with their backpacks bursting with vegetables from the markets down the street, hopping on and off their bikes with their purchases slung over their shoulder.  For a minute, everyone’s enjoying life and basking in the simple pleasures.  And then there’s me, quietly taking it all in and thinking about how delicious my desserts are going to taste 😀  All from an amazing bakery very near and dear to my heart.

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My Market Bakery is located at 184 Baldwin St. in Kensington Market.  The bakery is located west of Spadina Ave. and south of Nassau St.     

Cookies, Cookies, and Sprinkles Galore! Pretty Easter Pastels at Kensington’s My Market Bakery

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I can eat cookies and cookies all day long, and when they look THIS cute and pretty, it’s not hard 😀  With all my exploration of the city and yummy food stories, I have truly made my mom and brother obsessed with going downtown with me and getting delicious goodies from Kensington’s My Market Bakery among many other places!  With the long Easter weekend ahead of us, we picked up fresh bread and buns (my brother picked out some potato and rosemary sour dough!), sweet flaky dessert pastry squares (apricot almond, apple cinnamon, and raspberry coconut omg!), and a special Easter shortbread cookie just for me!  Rows upon rows of shortbread cookies with oodles of colourful sprinkles, frosting, and sprinkled sugar in adorable egg, bunny, and baby chick shapes just waiting to be taken home and enjoyed by cookie monsters like me. 

I haven’t always celebrated Easter on a regular annual basis, but occasions like these remind me of the time my aunt gave me a little painted egg bunny toy for Easter a few years ago and jokingly said to my mum, “of course YOU don’t get one, they’re for the little ones!”  Peering into display cases and picking out sprinkled cookies remind me how young at heart I am and will most likely always be.  It reminds me that it’s the simple things in life that bring the most joy and all it takes is a little splash of colour and cuteness to make make happy.  Mornings like these just strolling through one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Toronto mean the most to me and that cookie made me one very giddy girl today.  I picked out the cookie with the pink and white and lavender sprinkles with the frosted candy bunny.  And yes, I ate it already.  Just the beginning of a weekend of Easter and good eats goodness 😀

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My Market Bakery is located at 184 Baldwin St. in Kensington Market.  The bakery is located west of Spadina Ave. and south of Nassau St.   

A Little Bit of Holiday Sweetness in Kensington Market – Christmas Cookies at My Market Bakery

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Cookies, cookies, and more cookies in Kensington Market at My Market Bakery

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My Market Bakery is located at 184 Baldwin St. in Kensington Market.  The bakery is located west of Spadina Ave. and south of Nassau St.