Costa Coffee – Manchester

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Since S and N are on exchange at the University of Manchester, S decided to take me there. Funny how it was my first choice of exchange school, but I ended up in Spain. The university is definitely massive compared to ESADE. It reminds me of UBC with much more campus life. Its’ massive, but the buildings are located on a strip called Oxford St., instead of how UBC’s buildings are on a massive plot of land.

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Gingerbread Latte

While on our way to N’s residence, we stopped by Costa Coffee to grab a drink. Costa Coffee is all over UK and some cities in Europe. It’s basically the Starbucks for the UK. During the holiday season, they had all these cute cups with Santa images, but sadly, the shop we were at didn’t have any of the cups… S got the Gingerbread Latte. It was topped with cream and sugar crystals shaped like stars. A gingerbread man was topped on it. Super cute!

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White Chocolate Mocha, Christmas Yule Log

For myself, I got the White Chocolate Mocha, which was only topped with the star shaped crystal sugars. I also found it to be very bland and lacked any chocolate taste. Definitely not as good as the ones at Starbucks. I also got  a Christmas Yule Log. It was a chocolate cake with a chocolate cream filling inside. On top, there was a piece of chocolate toffee and icing sugar on top of everything. Surprisingly, I didn’t find it too sweet. Not bad!

Christmas Baking!

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Christmas Day is always good and bad at the same time for me. It’s great because it’s a time to reunite with family and friends, but at the same time, thinking of what to do can sometimes be a headache. It always seems to revolve around food though with all those family dinners. But what about the afternoon? This year, I celebrated Christmas and also S’s birthday by baking some Christmas goods! First up, we got the Pilsbury Christmas Cookies. So yea…we’re not exactly the best bakers, and we wanted to be festive, so what’s better than premade cookies where we just need to pop them into the oven right? I actually expected to cut the cookie dough, but apparently, they’ve gotten so advanced that they already come pre-cut too… Guess you literally just need to put them in the oven.

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These cookies were sold out everywhere too! My mom snatched the last box so I guess they’re a big hit during the holidays. And here’s the finished product! Don’t they look awesome?! Tasty too, and so easy to make! Oh, and no washing dishes required! Well other than the baking sheet.

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And then we also made Gingerbread men! We were also lazy and bought the kit from Superstore. However, it wasn’t as quick as the Pilsbury cookies. It came with the pre-mixed flour, icing flour, piping bag, cookie cutter, as well as some sweets that we didn’t end up using. I think we over mixed these guys since they came out pretty holey… And the shapes were extremely awkward looking. The cookie cutter shaped the arms and legs extremely skinny so it was really hard to lift the dough off the counter, resulting in awkward looking men. We used smarties instead of the included sweets and the icing was surprisingly really easy to use and also didn’t taste too sweet. The gingerbread was strong in flavour, but I found them quite hard after letting them cool. Either we over mixed it or the mix wasn’t great.

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Lastly, we baked a pie! We followed Grandma Ople’s Recipe and we were quite proud of our finished product! The lattice top just makes the pie look so much better. The filling definitely was too strong in cinnamon and spices for me though. Funny thing was we already cut down half of the cinnamon that was required. The crust was flaky, and that’s thanks to the Pilsbury unroll-and-fill pie crusts! Yes, we were being lazy again, but we didn’t have time to let our dough refrigerate!

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And more desserts! Well we didn’t make this, but my parents bought some Cheesecake from Costco, and it was not bad. 4 flavours including lemon, raspberry, chocolate and dulce leche. My favourite was the lemon since the hint of sourness balanced off the sweetness of the rest of the cake. At an affordable price too!

And that was my Christmas afternoon. Definitely a belated post! 8)

Butter Baked Goods

Holidays are over so I guess I’m a little late posting these… but I got this little treat as part of my Christmas gift from my amazing friend! It’s a Chocolate Gingerbread S’more from Butter Baked Goods. I never heard of this place before, but my friend said she bought them at Whole Foods. I did a little research and found that they actually have a store on Dunbar! Definitely want to check this place out now. They have baked goods ranging from cookies to cupcakes to muffins to gourmet marshmallows! This one was great for Christmas as the outer cookie had a hint of gingerbread taste to it so it was quite festive. The marshmallow part was also really good! It was just the right amount of sweetness. Definitely want to check out their other goods now!

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