Cooking With Style: My Date With The Kitchen Magpie

peanut butter marshmallow squares

TGIF everyone! Is it just me or has this week just absolutely flown by?! It seems like once the countdown to the holidays gets going, time goes by faster than I can keep track of.  For instance, it feels like it was just yesterday, not one week ago already that I was at Manulife Place with Karlynn of The Kitchen Magpie hosting a fun event to promote her new cookbook.

Those of us in Edmonton know Manulife Place as a hub for shopping, entertainment and being connected to all things downtown so it was the perfect place for a fun lunch time event for Karlynn and I to mix and mingle with the downtown Edmonton crowd while offering up tasty samples while Karlynn signed her new cookbook. 

the kitchen magpie cookbook

Karlynn Johnston, AKA The Kitchen Magpie is a food blogger extraordinaire who has just published her first cookbook filled with delicious desserts that pay homage to traditional family recipes and then offer a modern twist. 

I love that her book highlights recipes that I grew up baking (but mostly eating) with my grandma. They're traditional, homemade treats that many of us probably grew up eating or remember from family get togethers and bake sales but Karlynn adds a bit of a twist. With her gorgeous photography and fun additions - she brings a modern update to your traditional dessert recipes. 

the kitchen magpie cookbook
the kitchen magpie

Now I for one, am admittedly not the best in the kitchen when it comes to baking. Throw me behind a bar and I'll mix up a drink or pass me a pot or pan and I can throw together a meal but for some reason, baking has always been my weak spot in the kitchen. 

Maybe it's because I eat too much of the indredients or raw dough that it throws off the balance or maybe it's that I'm too impatient to wait for it to all come together but for whatever reason - desserts have always eluded me in the kitchen so I was excited to meet Karlynn and watch the baking queen work her magic. 

the kitchen magpie
flapper pie and blue prairie sky
the kitchen magpie cookbook

Thankfully the recipe we threw together (and when I say we - I most definitely mean it was 100% Karlynn) was a simple one that even a baking novice such as myself can easily master. With only a hot plate, her ingredients and a makeshift kitchen island in the middle of Manulife Place, Karlynn whipped up a batch of her ridiculously delicious Butterscotch and Chocolate Rainbow Marshmallow Dainties. 

Sadly for myself, all 160+ samples were happily devoured by satisfied passer-by's who popped on over to meet Karlynn, pick up a copy of her book to have signed and of course, grab a treat for the road. The twist on this recipe that I hadn't tried before was using 1/2 chocolate chips and 1/2 butterscotch chips in the recipe which was a change up from the bars I ate growing up that my grandmother made.

Hot tip: If you're a nutella fan - there's a nutella remix of this recipe as well that I cannot wait to make. Can you say yum?!

flapper pie and a blue prairie sky
peanut butter butterscotch squares
the kitchen magpie book signing

Now let's get back to the event, shall we? Karlynn whipped up a batch of these dainties in no time flat while I watched on in amazement and hunger and coralled the crowd to the table. I was so happy with how sweet the set up was for the event. Just look at the sign (above) with our names and logos and how cute all of the robin's egg blue pieces are!

Karlynn is a force to be reckoned with and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to meet her. I have so much respect for full time bloggers - there's so much work that goes on behind the scenes of running a blog and in 6 years Karlynn has created a brand and a site that draws major traffic and has now landed her a self titled cookbook! Get. It. Girl!! It's so inspiring to see strong women working hard on their own business and finding success!

the kitchen magpie cookbook
the kitchen magpie cookbook

 Seeing as all of the treats were eaten during our presentation, I just had to whip up a batch of these dainties for myself when I got home. As  you can see I'm not quite the food photographer and stylist that Karlynn is but with her permission, I thought I'd share her recipe for these delicious bars so you can make them yourself!

Here's what you'll need:

- 1 cup smooth peanut butter

-1/2 cup salted butter

-1 (10.5 oz/300g) pkg butterscotch baking chips or semisweet chocolate baking chips (OR - use 1/2 and 1/2 and trust me- the results are SO yummy!)

- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 8 cups mini rainbow marshmallows

Optional: 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut or 1/2 cup puffed rice cereal for some added texture or crunch

Here's what to do:

1. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper

2. Place the peanut butter, butter and butterscotch/chocolate chips in a medium saucepan and heat over medium until melted and smooth

3. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and let cool until you can safely touch the bottom of the pot

4. Stir in the marshmallows along with your added optional coconut or puffed rice cereal and stir until evenly coated. Pour into the pan and cool completely in the fridge for about 3 hours and you're set!

This recipe makes 24 bars - or, 12 'Diana sized' bars ;)


*Thanks Karlynn for allowing me to share your recipe! *

the kitchen magpie holiday recipe
holiday baking

Have a sweet weekend everyone! 

PS - Huge thanks to Curtis Comeau for the event photos!