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Coconut Flour Cookies

May 31, 2014 2 comments

These cookies were actually made for my toddler.

coconut flour cookies

But they tasted so good that i find my hand dipping into her little “snack catcher” repeatedly.

If you are a mom, and you didnt know what a snack catcher is, you’ve been seriously missing out.

A snack catcher, is like a bowl. But instead of a tight fitting lid, it comes with these neat plastic flaps that allow your toddler to reach into the snack without having to fuss over how to loosen a lid.  As the name implies, the flaps also act like a “catcher”. They stop the snacks inside the bowl from falling out should your toddler decide to rattle it about.

Anyway, enough about snack catchers. Let’s get back to cookies.

coconut flour cookies 3

Because these cookies were for the most part healthy, i do not feel all that guilty reaching for an extra cookie or two. What i do feel guilty about is, i am eating HER snack.

I guess, it just means that i would have to go back into the kitchen and whip another batch sooner than i thought.

 

Coconut Flour Cookies

Recipe adapted from detoxinista

 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut flour (The original recipe called for 1/3 of a cup, but I used closer to a cup as my coconut flour was very coarsely ground)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 whole eggs
  • Raisins for decoration
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with a parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients till you get a dough. * Note: my batter didn’t come together with 1/3 cup of coconut flour that the original recipe asked for. I added more coconut flour so the batter could thicken, and be dough-like.
  3. Use a heaping tablespoon to drop the cookie dough onto the lined baking sheet, and use a fork to flatten the cookies. Keep in mind these cookies will NOT spread on their own, so you’ll want to shape them how you’d like them to turn out.
  4. Bake at 350F for 12-14 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

 

Sourdough Discard Crackers

May 28, 2013 1 comment

Help. I cant stop eating these!

sourdough crackers 2

It may not look appetizing, but boy, does it keep you munching away!

Made from sourdough discard (I did warn you to be prepared for an avalanche of sourdough recipes ahead), seasoned just with garlic powder, cheddar cheese and salt, these nuggets really keep you coming for more!

sourdough crackers 1

If you had to know, these were the pretty much the only things i ate today.

Yep, I ate them for lunch, and i had them for dinner.

And i still want more!

In fact, i have some baking away in the oven as i am writing this down…. The new batch is flavored differently…. I used the leftover seasonings i had from a packet of instant noodles. So i bet they would taste good!

Sourdough Crackers

1 cup of sourdough discard, unfed

1/2 to 1 cup flour

1/4 cup oil

Seasonings of your choice (I used 1/4 tsp garlic powder)

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

 

Mix the oil with the sourdough discard.

Add the flour to form a stiff dough

Set aside for 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 180 degree celcius

Sift the baking soda into salt, the cheddar cheese and your choice of seasoning. Mix well

Knead the baking soda into the dough

Roll it into 1/8 inch thick, and cut into bite sized pieces

Bake for 15 minutes  or till they turn a pretty golden brown.

Baby Pineapple Tart

April 22, 2013 2 comments

A sugar free, gluten free homemade pineapple tart for Baby Crustabakes!

baby pineapple tart

Pastry
140 gr gluten free flour
95 gram unsalted butter (cold)
1 egg yolk (free range)

Rub butter with flour till crumblike, add yolk, mix till well combined. Set aside to chill in refrigerator
Pineapple Jam
1 pineapple (get the small, ripe ones)

Cinammon stick
Cloves

Peel Pineapple, get rid of its “eyes”
Blitz  pineapple with a food processor along with its core (do not discard core as it gives the jam the fiber it needs).

Cook pureed pineapple, cinammon stick and cloves over stove till it thickens and has a jam like consistency. Discard clove and cinammon stick

Set aside to cool. Roll into balls.

Wrap pineapple jam in pastry.

Bake at 180 degree for 20 mins.

Drowning sorrows in Oreo Cheesecake

January 17, 2013 7 comments

I am writing this post from a very sad sad place.

Here’s what it looks like

Penjaringan-20130117-00259

I am sure news of the great Jakarta Flood has reached international news. Trust me, it’s happening and it’s real.

I was supposed to go to work in the morning and have friends over for dinner tonight. I even baked a cheesecake for it.

That didn’t happen.

Yup, i am flooded in.

Oh wait,

work and dinner didn’t happen.

Cheesecake did.

oreo cheesecake

So while i wait for things to get back to normal.

I’ll just keep calm and eat a cheesecake.

Recipe taken from Use Real Butter
Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake

crust
2 cups / 180g oreo cookies without the filling
4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp / 24g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

plain cheesecake
24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup / 210g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan.

Set crust aside. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface

Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water. Bake 45 to 55 minuteuntil it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, unmold and serve.

*note: I added crushed oreos into the batter before baking.

 

 

 

Horlicks Doggie Cookies

December 18, 2012 4 comments

I know it’s a long long way to go before baby Crustabakes starts eating cookies. But i guess, it’s never too early to experiment! So here goes!

Image

 

There is no sugar involved in the making of these cookies. Instead it uses milk powder and Horlicks (a malted drink powder) for taste and flavour.

To further add sweetness to these otherwise rather bland cookies, we wrap chocolate chip cookies in the malted cookie dough

 

Image

Then, we stuck two cocoa crunch for “ears”, chocolate rice for eyes and a chocolate chip for nose.

And there it is!

Horlicks Doggie Cookies

Taken From Happy Home Baking

Ingredients:
(makes about 48 cookies)

180g butter, soften at room temperature
80g Horlicks (original flavour)
200g top flour or cake flour
25g corn flour
25g milk powder
100g chocolate chips
some chocolate rice
some Koko Krunch

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 140deg C. Line baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
  2. Sieve top flour, corn flour and milk powder.
  3. Cream butter and Horlicks for about three minutes at low speed. Do not overbeat.
  4. Put in top flour, cornflour and milk powder and beat for about one minute to form dough.
  5. Divide dough into 10g each. Put three chocolate chips into each piece of dough and roll into balls.
  6. Insert two pieces of Koko Krunch to form the ‘ears’, chocolate rice for the “eyes”, and a chocolate chip in the centre for the ‘nose’.
  7. Bake at 140 deg C for about 25 minutes. Depending on your oven, it may take another 5 to 10 minutes more for the cookies to be ready.
  8. Leave to cool on wire rack before storing in an airtight container.

 

Green Tea and Vanilla Beans Macarons

March 31, 2012 10 comments

I haven’t baked Macarons in ages!

I remember once upon a time, when the macaron craze was at its peak, every other blogger was concocting macarons of every color and flavor.

I sat at the sidelines and gawked. Too chicken to join  in the dance of the Macaron-A. I’ve heard of great tales and failures, and i wasnt too eager to put myself up for disappointment.

I can’t recall what eventually got me in. But if i were to guess, it should have been some leftover egg whites i had.

And really, once u got your feet wet in the dance, there is no turning back. I was sucked in the art of making macarons even as i turned in batches after batches of cracked, feetless, hard macaron shells.

After each failure, i would manically google for answers, and i blamed every possible elements for my demise, be it bad weather, or instability of my oven temperature (which of course werent the case).

Then finally one day, i was met with success. Or at least, my macarons had feet even though they were somewhat lopsided. I was the happiest camper!! It was at least a step up from my previous attempts.

Fast foward today, the theme for the Aspiring Bakers for the month of March is none other than Macarons. I’ve decided to dance along with my version of green tea and vanilla beans macarons.

And i am quite glad that after months upon months of absence from making macarons, my macarons shells still look somewhat acceptable and i didnt have to eat cookies that looked like mini earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Aaaaaaaaaay Macarena to me!

simple vanilla macarons
ingredients

Taken from the baker chick
110 grams blanched slivered almonds or ground almond flour
200 grams confectioners sugar
100 grams egg whites (from 3 eggs, separated 24 hours in advance)
1/4 tsp vanilla paste or extract
1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
50 grams granulated sugar
vanilla buttercream

instructions
Pulse the almonds/almond flour and confectioner’s sugar several times in your food processor until thoroughly mixed. Place egg whites in a clean bowl and beat using mixers (or whisk) until soft peaks form. Split and scrape the vanilla pod and add the beans and extract to the egg whites. Add the sugar and turn the mixer to high, whisking until you have a glossy meringue with stiff peaks.

Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites gently, briskly at first to break up the meringue a bit, until thoroughly mixed. It’s important you don’t over mix the batter, but it should be well combined and is supposed to “ribbon” off the the spatula when lifted from the bowl.

Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe rounds of 1.5 inches along two parchment or silicon-lined baking sheets (leaving space between each.) Let sit one hour at room temperature to develop a shell.

Heat oven to 300. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely and remove from the pan.

To fill, match up like sized cookies and pipe with buttercream or other filling of choice

Ps: For the green tea version, I just added one TBS of green tea powder into the icing sugar and almond flour mix!

Ps: if you are looking to join the fun with the Aspiring bakers, pls head to Alan of travelling foodies by clicking here!

Aspiring Bakers #17 – March Macaron Madness! (Mar 2012) hosted by Alan of Travellingfoodies

 

Oh, and on a side note, I have also taken up this new hobby of exchanging postcards. Basically, u send a postcard somewhere to somebody, and someone else will direct a postcard right back at you. It’s pretty easy, not to mention a lot of fun!

You can read about it from Postcrossing.com

And here are the two cards i have received !

This pretty postcard came from Japan. I love how girly and pink this cupcake postcard is! Thanks Noriko! 🙂

 

This is a vintage ad of an extra dry “Rheigold” beer from Taiwan. I am so very much drawn to vintage ads. They have a special look and feel! The sender has been kind enough to comply with my wish of a vintage ad and sent me this! Thanks so much Angel! 🙂

I spread Nutella on everything!

August 15, 2011 13 comments

So i like Nutella.

I like them in cookies,

i like them in brownies,

and i like them in pastries.

And  now i like them in donuts.

Chocolate hazelnut goodness piped into a piece of fluffy light deep fried dough.

It’s totally worth going to the gym for.

Speaking of which, I wonder whether most people go to the gym because they need to burn all the excess calories they ate?

Or do they go to the gym so that they can eat excess calories?

I belong to team eat first, gym later.

I will eat this, and vouch to go to the gym.

And 30 percent of the time, I deliver.

For the remaining 70 percent, i just sucked it in. Literally. I suck in my stomach.

And then i make more donuts,

this time for my niece, who loves sprinkles everything.

And like all girls her age (3), pink is her favourite crayon.

but lets not digress, for this post is dedicated to NUTELLA.

And i am not done with showing you what i’ve got.

That’s a generous spoonful of Nutella.

It took quite a bit for me not to just shovel it into my mouth.

Because i had grander plans,

And that’s to spread it on a piece of crepes

Then top it with Bananas

awesome-ness! 🙂

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

July 27, 2011 9 comments

Just when you think life cannot get any better than chocolate chip cookies,

Someone came up with NUTELLA Chocolate Chip Cookies.

That’s chocolate chip cookies with Nutella swirls.

I know. Epic right?

The trick for these cookies is to not overmix the Nutella into the dough.

That way, you are able to see and taste the Nutella swirls.

And i wouldn’t recommend overbaking these cookies.

They are most perfect when they are soft, and chewy.

And also because soft cookies are perfect for growing little teeth.

Meet my little cookie monster.

My bubbly, singing niece of 3.

Isn’t she the most precious?

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies from JustJENN recipes

Black Olive Sable Cookies

June 17, 2011 3 comments

If you haven’t read the title, i think you wouldn’t have guessed in a million years what those black stuffs in my cookies are.

Well, they are black olives.

Okay, did that weird you out?

But waittt! Before you go clicking on the ‘x’ button on my page, please allow me to have a  squeak to convince you on these cookies.

 These cookies are a Pierre Hermes creation. The mad genius who seduced the world with his famed macarons.  

Okay, did that work?

It must be if you are still reading this.

Using Extra Virgin Olive (EVO) oil, these cookies were still light and crisp. They were very tender and they snap with the lightest pressure, without being crumbly.  They have a melt in your mouth quality to them. And of course i bet they are healthier than your average butter cookies.

Tastewise, they were really straddling the fence between savoury and sweet. A very sophisticated, complex taste that you will want to savour with your eyes closed. It’s like a delicious awakening to the tastebuds and sense of smell.

I think these would serve as great appetizers for some fancy event.

And by mean fancy, i am not talking about a kid’s 5 year old birthday bash. Because these are definitely very adultrated cookies.  Delicious, adultrated cookies.

Black Olive Cookies

Recipe taken from Kokken69.

Tiramisu

June 15, 2011 21 comments

I’ve always seen the classic tiramisu as a very sophisticated dessert which requires mad baking skills and finesse in cake layering and decorating.

Boy, was i misinformed. This has got to be one of the easiest dessert i’ve ever whipped.

Here, let me show you my step by step

First, we start with the sponge fingers.

Store bought sponge fingers of course. I dont think i would be remarking how easy this dessert was if i had to bake my own sponge fingers. LOL.

Dip them sponges in coffee. Not just regular coffee.

Rum spiked coffee. 🙂

This band of boozed up sponges are then assembled to form a groupie.

  

Of course, we cant be expecting the sponge fingers to fit exactly into whatever vessel you choose to house the tiramisu in. I’ve snipped the tails and heads of some unfortunate sponge fingers so that they could fit into my 8 x 8 square pan.

You might also realize that i have lined my baking tin with aluminium foil. This is for easy lifting (More on that later).

Let’s get on to the filling!

Couple of yolks beaten till they are pale and light.

To which the mascarpone goes in.

Beat together till lump free,

and fold in some softly whipped cream!

The filling goes over the dunked and the drunkened,

before another layer of tipsy happy sponges get on.

We repeat the same sequence with the cream over this second layer of sponge fingers, and dust it off with a little cocoa powder

And voila!

Next comes the hardest part of the recipe.

Refrigeration. For at LEAST 4 hours.

I needed some major distraction to stop me from peeking into the fridge every 10 minutes.

I went shopping

After an all too fruitful shopping trip, with me buying things on a shopping trip that was totally uncalled for, i came home to this.

A beautifully set tiramisu which i eased out effortlessly using the overhang from my aluminium foils.

Enough talking, this post is getting too long

Let’s dig in!

Recipe:

Tiramisu from Brown Eyed Baker

 

 

 

Yam Cookies

June 9, 2011 9 comments

I’ve used a different flour for these cookies. It’s called the “sagu” flour. It’s a very common flour here in Indonesia.

Derived from the sago palm plant, this flour has properties very much like the tapioca flour. It is starchy and although i can’t verify it, i am pretty sure that this flour falls under the gluten free category.

The use of this flour in cookies calls for the flour to be stir fried before it goes into the cookie batter. I’ve seen recipes using tapioca flour with the same procedure. I wonder why? Does anyone know?

Anyway, as with no protein, or low  protein flours, these cookies came out crumbly and tender. The type of cookies you can break just by lightly pinching them between your fingers.

I’ve flavoured mine with yam paste, and added thick coconut cream to help the dough bind.

Yam and coconut cream go hand in hand. I love the combination of both.

I’ve also added some chopped almonds, just for that mini bits in your bites!

I am wondering though, whether everyone outside Indonesia has heard of this flour?

It sure will be interesting to find out!

Yam Sagu Cookies

100 gram Butter

100 gr icing sugar

1 egg

250 grams sagu flour, toasted. (i dumped mine in a big chinese wok and was left with 225 grams after i was done toasting it)

1 TBS thick coconut milk

yam paste

50 grams chopped almonds

1. Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg, beat till combined

3. Add the sagu flour, and thin it with the coconut milk if it gets too dry to form a dough. (I used more than what was specified in the recipe)

4. Knead in the yam paste ( I added the yam paste after the egg, before the flour instead. I find this easier rather than having to knead in the coloured yam paste)

5. Add in the chopped almonds (Make sure they are really really fine. Big pieces will clog up your pipping tip)

6. Load your pipping bag with the dough, and pipe a circular wreath onto a pre-lined and pre-greased cookie sheet

7. Bake at 150 degree Celcius for 25 minutes or till cooked.

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

May 11, 2011 9 comments

Each time i make something so sinfully rich and luxurious, i feel the need to repent. Yesterday’s rich brownies with the coffee buttercream was one of those wicked dessert that i needed to right.

So how do i remedy such a situation anyway?

I bake something fruity.

Okay, i admit, they are not exactly the kind of healthy food that i needed to undo a previous naughty treat. But, by adding a fruit component (orange zest), at least i tried. LOL.

And just like its name suggests, these cookies delivered all the creamy-vanilla goodness, thanks to the white chocolate.  I believe creamy-vanilla goodness is like the bedrock in baking. They also make me wonder why i wouldnt bake more with white chocolate.

I guess with all the fancy flavours that has been popping out all over the place, vanilla has taken a very undeserved backseat.

What a shame.

I need to get seek and get re-acquainted with my inner (baking) core. (* Please pardon the language, i just got back from my yoga lesson and thats the kind of words the trainer used.)

So here’s to  white chocolates and creamy vanilla desserts!

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Taken from Sweet Pea’s kitchen

For recipe, Click HERE

Cookie Dough Truffles

April 30, 2011 14 comments

This post is inspired by the cookie dough with the hard boiled egg i made yesterday. Even though it was unbaked, using cooked egg means that it was salmonella free and safe for consumption.

Shamefully, no one but the bakers know the wonders of unbaked cookie dough. The rest had to eat it baked.

This cookie dough truffles however, will change that.

With no raw egg, and no raw flour, these are even safer havens for the people around me to have a taste of the uncooked cookies that i (the baker) get to indulge in every now and then.

There is a couple of  much experimented (and proven) equations that i’ve had since i started baking. They go something like this.

Peanut Butter + Chocolate = Winner.

Chocolate + Salt = Bigger Winner.

These truffles, composed of the three components of peanut butter, crushed salty pretzel sticks and chocolate chips just scored a hat trick.

They are then enrobed in more chocolate, and (if you fancy), sprinkled with more sea salt. Yes, i tend to get over-indulgent.

So please, make these and let the people out there know the perks of a baker in the world of raw cookie dough!

Peanut Butter, Pretzels and Chocolate Chip Truffles

4 TBS Butter

1 C Peanut Butter

1 C Confectioner’s Sugar

1 C Crushed Pretzel Sticks

1 C Chocolate Chips

For coating:

1/2 Pounds Chocolate

1 TBS shortening

For Garnish:

Some Sea Salt

Some Hundreds and Thousands

1. Cream butter and peanut butter together. Sift in confectioners sugar and beat till well combined, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

2. Stir in pretzel sticks and chocolate chips.

3. Refrigerate cookie dough for about 15 minutes, or till they are easy to handle.

4. Roll the dough into 1 inch dough balls (I used an ice cream scoop) and place them on lined cookie sheets. Cover the balls loosely with plastic and freeze them for another 15 minutes.

5. In the meantime, melt the chocolate with the shortening (I used the microwave at 10 seconds bursts).

6. Drop the frozen balls into the melted chocolate, and sprinkle with desired toppings ( I used seasalt and hundreds and thousands)

Hard Boiled Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies

April 29, 2011 14 comments

I am quite adventurous when it comes to my food. And a recipe titled hard boiled egg chocolate chip cookies intrigued me more rather than gross me out.

If you are skeptical about it, take it from me. You won’t even notice it there.

See the surface of the cookies? No traces of boiled egg at all!

But why put a boiled egg in anyway? Why not the conventional raw egg into the batter?

Well, for one, the egg adds extra moistness in the cookies.

And second, adding a hard boiled egg as opposed to a raw one makes a dry cookie dough. You know how sometimes cookie doughs get muggy and mud-like? Or how they need to be refrigerated before they can be handled?

Well, this is not it.That would safe a bit of time.

On top of that, the raw cookie dough are also salmonella safe, which made me an extra happy baker this morning, sneaking in chunks of dough into my mouth instead of the awaiting cookie tray.

Recipe taken from Tablespoon.com

For recipe, click HERE

Grandma Sylvia’s Salt Butter Cookies

April 26, 2011 13 comments

Grandma Sylvia’s Salt Butter Cookies. That’s quite an odd name for a cookie isn’t it?

But nonetheless, it caught my attention all right.

 I really like it when a name gets attached to a recipe. Take Mrs Milman for instance. She makes pretty good chocolate ganache frosting

I am kinda hoping Grandma Sylvia would work her magic as well. She seems to know her stuff, cause she had the word “salt” in her butter cookies (We don’t even need to go on and on again about how i love salt in my desserts). By using salted butter, i think Grandma Sylvia and i might just make the best of friends!

 

Besides the salt, these cookies also sandwich a chocolate filling.  While the cookies were perfectly crumbly, tender and deliciously buttery (i think this might just be my to- go butter cookie recipe now), i am not too sure about the filling. The filling was a bit on the runny side for me. It runs down the sides of the cookie, and make messy globs where it lands. That is even after i refrigerated it for a bit. I guess i should have added more confectioner’s sugar to get it to set.

But I am not running away from this runny frostings cause it was pretty delicious. All that confectionar’s sugar in the filling recipe went very well with the subtly sweet butter cookies. I went forward and spread it to one side of the cookie. But instead of generously piling the frosting on like i always do, i had to be quite strategic about it. A mini blob on each cookie. Nothing too much as it will spill over the sides of the cookies and make quite the mess.

Once you are done with that one, make a couple more strategic blobs,

to get more cookies.

Don’t forget to bring them to work. They would make you popular person of today!

Grandma Sylvia’s Salt Butter Cookies

Taken from America’s Test Kitchen’s Holiday Cookies

Cookies
2 sticks salted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla2

1 tsp. whiskey (I omitted this)
1/4 cups AP flour
 
Filling:
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup water
2 cups confectioners sugar
 
Preheat oven to 350. Adjust rack to middle position. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
1. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar together til fluffy, about 2 minutes.
2. Reduce speed and add the yolk and beat til combined.
3. Add the vanilla and whiskey (if using)
4. Sift in flour and beat till just combined.
5. Shape the dough into 3/4″ balls (I used the smallest cookie scoop i had). Space half the balls 1″ apart on baking sheet.
6. Bake til lightly browned around edges, 10 to 12 minutes.
7. Cool cookies on sheet 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
 
Filling:
 
1. Combine chocolate and water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat till the chocolate melts.
2. Off the heat, whisk in confectioners sugar til smooth.
3. Spread filling (I just dropped a blob in the middle) onto one cookie and top with another to make sandwich.
4. Let filling set til hardened.  ( I sent it to the refrigerator)
 

New York Cheesecake

April 25, 2011 20 comments

I gotta say, baking a cheesecake is like a training ground for your patience skills. Not only does it take a long time to bake, it also needs to be refrigerated (preferably overnight).
That’s not exactly easy for me. I am one who restlessly jabs at the elevator button when it doesnt arrive in 2.2 second despite being fully aware that the action is wholly useless.

For this cheesecake however, i battled my demons and victored.

I have heard of the many pittfalls making a cheesecake involve. One of the more common one is the cracked surfaces. I was quite convinced that my cheese cake was going to have Harry Potter’s lightning scar across its surface that i had a backup plan. I made more of the cookie graham cracker base than what was required in the recipe and had every intention to sprinkle it over whatever scars the cheesecake cracked for me.

Like so.

But turned out, i didnt need it! At least for this time

Look ma! No cracks! 🙂

So i learnt that to prevent your cheesecake from breaking up on the surface,  you have to leave the cheesecake in the oven for hours after it is done baking to ensure that it cools slowly.

A cheesecake which has been left to cool rapidly will crack up (no pun intended) under the pressure.

There is also the issue on under or overcooked cheesecake

An undercooked cheesecake will probably not set, while an overcooked cheesecake would be tough and dry.

I think my cheesecake did ok. It sliced well without being too tough. It was also dreamily creamy and smooth. I guess it’s a beginner’s luck!

But as a general rule of thumb, u want to bake your cheesecake just till the surface jiggles slightly when you shake the pan. It will further set as it cools and  firm up when refrigerated.

I have taken the repressed pastry chef’s recipe for this. I think the success of this cheesecake is because of her failproof recipe.

So here is to NYC and its cheesecakes!

This post has been submitted to Aspiring Baker #6: Say Cheese, hosted by Jean of needmorenoms. Thanks for hosting Jean!

Easter Cookies

April 22, 2011 13 comments

Guess who just bought a set of Easter cookie cutters?

All mine!

Can you spot the bunny cookie cutter? That’s my favourite from the set of 5, which include an egg, a tulip, a butterfly and a duck cookie cutter.

While the bunny and the egg are cruxes of Easter, and i can somewhat assimilate that butterflies and tulips probably hang out in the garden where the bunny hid the eggs, i am not too sure about the duck. Shouldnt it be a chicken ?

Anyways, duck or no duck, this is my first time experimenting royal icing. Believe me or not, after baking for donkey’s years, i have never decorated my cookies with royal icing. I guess my track record of retarded looking pipping works might have to do something with it.

I have used meringue powder for the icing instead of egg whites as i was giving these away and i didn’t want to take any chances with salmonella issues. I gotta admit though, that didn’t taste that great, but it wasnt bad enough to stop me from licking the icing off my fingers as i worked with it.

So while these are not the best looking cookies around, i am glad i decided to embark on the royal adventure on the meringue icing, and now, it doesnt scare me that much anymore.

I clung on to every word on Bake at 350 ‘s instructions on the icing. She is truly the Queen of cookie-dom. So do head over to her site for the most beautiful cookies and the most intricate and creative frostings.

Gingy-Bread Men

April 19, 2011 14 comments

When my nephew came into the room squealing “ie ie (auntie), can you make gingy for meeeeee?”, i shot his mom, a blank look.

“Gingy”, my sister explained, “the gingerbread man from Shrek”

Geez, of all the characters in Shrek, it had to be Gingy who made an impression on him.

But then again, I guess i should have counted my luck that he asked for Gingy. Had it been Princess Fiona, or Donkey, i would have thrown in the towel at his request.

Owning a regular gingerbread cutter is one thing, but making Gingy is another. Having googled various images of Gingy, i found that he was a nonstandard gingerbread. In the story, Gingy had his legs broken when Lord Farquar tortured him. Hence, his feet was pointing down instead of upward with stitches at the knees.

Besides the different feet, regular gingerbread also had spindly arms, not quite like Gingy who probably had some time in the gym and had bulkier arms.

So i did a little recontruction. Right after i cut the dough with the cookie cutter, i pushed down the feet, and added a bit of dough into the arms.  

Can you tell the difference?

These are probably not significant differences to us adults, but i guess when you are my nephew, a kid, you tend to get really analytical about the nitty gritty. And the last thing i wanted was to dissapoint him.

For the buttons, i have used blackcurrant chewy gummies. I just cut them into mini sizes and roll them into balls with my fingers. And with the help of a little bit of icing, i was able to attach them to the cookies.

Voila!

Oh, and just for the record, these are not really Gingerbread cookies. I knew that the ginger, honey or various spices wouldnt sit too well with my nephew. These are just regular butter cookies to which i have added chocolate paste for colouring!

For Butter Cookies recipe, Click Here!

And do head over to Diamonds for Desserts, for a clear step by step instructions on how to make Gingy!

Ganache Dipped Chocolate Chip Cookies

April 13, 2011 18 comments

Any chocolate chip cookie with brown sugar in it is by default a winner in my book. But by having a quick dip in a chocolate ganache pool, these were bigger winners!

Okay, i admit, these are a bit indulgent.

I would have made these a long long time ago if it weren’t for the 2 hours chilling time. I do most of my bakings in the morning, and the 2 hours chilling time is not exactly convenient in my daily mad morning rush.

I could have made the dough the night before , but i don’t like the idea of going to the kitchen and start pulling out my mixers, mixing bowls, and other related cookie making kitchen utensils in the evenings.

So, finally, this morning, i woke up extra early, and get myself a 2 hours head start just for these. And boy, was it worth it.

Oh, I really wouldn’t advise you to skip the chilling, cause without it, the dough would be too soft to handle.

So anyways, instead of dumping chocolate chips into the batter, individual scoops of unbaked cookie doughs were rolled into the choco chips . This caused the underside of the cookies to be delightfully overpopulous with said chocolate chips 🙂 Even i myself was pretty surprised.

While the cookies were deliciously chewy, moist and worthy of the classic american chocolate chip cookie title, the ganache wouldnt completely dry out. And since i was bringing them to work ( i  cant trust myself to leave them at home), stacking them together was quite a messy business.

So if you were planning to take these on a trip outside your home, i would suggest reducing the cream from the chocolate ganache. And unless you have some Herculean willpower, i woud really really suggest you bring these out of the house asap!

For Recipe,  Click:  HERE! Ganache Dipped Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Malted Whooper Drops

April 7, 2011 12 comments

I am sorry for the back to back post on malt/whooper cookies.

But you know the thing with malt powder and humidity? They don’t react too well with each other. They form these lumpy nuggets after a while.

I guess i could have fixed it with a tight, air and water-proof cannister. But i just didn’t have spare empty ones hanging around. So please bear with me as i try to use up my box of Ovaltine.

So anyways, today’s menu is Chocolate Malted Whooper Drops.

That’s a long name, but i am sure you can figure it out.

A drop cookie with malt and cocoa powder,

and topped with chocolate chunks and whoopers.

Oh, and cocoa and malt powder?

They work! They impart such a wonderful smoky, rich flavour in these cookies. I am tempted to introduce malt and chocolate as the next dynamic duo, right next to peanut butter and chocolate.

I would describe these cookies as cakey, but since they are generously horded with an army of big, boxy chocolate chunks, it’s inevitable that each bite was accompanied by something moist and fudgy.

Who can resist to that?

My mind subconsciously reached for them as i was trying to take pictures. I think i must have eaten at least, 3, or maybe 5 or 6, cause at the end of the photoshoot, i was feeling uncannily full.

 i have also planted my chopped malted milk balls onto each individual unbaked cookie dough drops, instead of mixing them into the cookie batter. Combining them into the batter makes them disappear, and i think i much prefer them to be visible.

Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops

(Taken from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen)

Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup malted milk powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick plus 3 tbsp butter (11 tablespoons), at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups (6 ounces) Whoppers, coarsely chopped
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, malted milk powder, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla until combined. Add half of the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Mix in the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. With the mixer on low, mix in the malted milk balls and chopped chocolate.
  4. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on to the sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Let the cookies rest for 2 minutes before using a wide metal spatula to transfer them to the racks to cool to room temperature.

Malted Chocolate Tart

April 6, 2011 17 comments

This tart is a cookie.

Or shall i say that this is a cookie baked in a tart pan?

A jumbo sized cookie the size of a skillet, and kicked up a notch with some malt powder.

The malt powder in the cookie is a welcoming fresh take than the usual chocolate and vanilla cookie. It gave the cookie such different depth and flavour.

And since it’s been a while since i had a malted milkshake, or malted anything, i dont think i could have put a finger on what could have brought about the familiarly comforting taste.

And the thing with malt powders, they are salted. We all love that bit of salt in our desserts don’t we? 🙂

These cookies are frosted with melted chocolate, and then topped with chopped malted milk balls. The malted milk balls were so delightful. They added a nice crunch to the cookie, and i really liked how it made the cookies look more interesting. I added Maraschino cherries too,  just for aesthetical pleasure.

Oh, u don’t want to overbake this. These are best when they are soft baked, just so that you can easily slice into them.

Malted Milk Cookie Tart

Taken from FoodBabbles

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup malted milk powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon (scant) coarse kosher salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature

3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (do not exceed 61% cacao)

1/2 cup malted milk balls, coarsely chopped

– Preheat oven to 325°F. In a food processor, pulse the flour, malted milk powder, sugar, and coarse salt. Add the butter and pulse until moist clumps form.

– Transfer dough to work surface; gather into ball. Press evenly onto bottom of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom.

– Bake crust until evenly golden brown, about 25 minutes. Scatter chocolate chips over; let stand 5 minutes to soften…

…then spread melted chocolate over hot crust in the well that forms as center sinks.

– Sprinkle malted milk balls over.

Cool completely. Remove tart from pan; cut into wedges.

– Enjoy!

Cappuccino Meringue Cookies

April 3, 2011 11 comments

I gotta be honest with these,

While they look cute as buttons, these Cappuccino Meringue Cookies  didnt exactly rock my world.

Because in my opinion, although the cookies were aromatic enough with cappuccino powder in it, they didn’t have the melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies texture.

They were the type of  cookies your mom would force upon you to keep your tummy filled rather than the fancy soft baked, chocolate chip studded ones that would satisfy your sweet tooth. These are practical sturdy cookies.

Thank goodness for the meringue filling – sweet egg whites beaten senseless with sugar. It was really the lifesaver for the cookies.

The recipe even foresaw our pain in the messiness involved in most frosted cookies, be it sandwiched or as a topping. It was sharp enough to include the extra step of baking the filled cookies to dry out the meringue.

Just so you can stack them up, roll them around or shake them about in the cookie jar and they will still look as perfect.

Speaking of cookie jars, i thought these would be one of those cookies which would last forever (and ever) in the cookie jar. I thought i would have the problem ridding these cookies before they eventually stale and meet the trashcan.

Thank goodness i have a brother, a true problem solver.

He emptied the cookie jar, in one sitting. I think he must be really hungry.

Or maybe these cookies werent really that bad, and i was just being a demanding nitpicker.

Cappuccino Meringue Cookies

Taken from a free Cookie insert from Saji (an Indonesian food magazine)

150 gr Margarine (I used Butter)

100 gr Icing Sugar

1 Egg White

1 Sachet (25 grams) Cappuccino premix powder, dissolved in 1 TBS hot water (set aside to cool)

225 gr AP

25 gr CornFlour

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

Meringue Filling

1 Egg White

150 gr Icing Sugar

1/4 tsp Lemon Juice (I omitted this)

20 gr Chocolate Rice

Directions:

For the Cookies

1. Beat margarine and icing sugar till creamy (about 1 min). Add the egg yolk and the dissolved cappuccino mixture. Beat till well oombined

2. Sift in the AP, cornflour and baking powder. Mix till just combined.

3. Roll cookie dough into 1 inch sized balls, then flatten them with a fork on a pre-lined and greased baking sheet.

4.  Bake at 150 degree Celcius (not F) till they get cooked (about 25 mins). Set aside to cool

5. Take a piece of the cookie, frost it with the meringue filling and stack another cookie over the filling.

6. Bake the sandwiched cookie in the oven for another 3 mins or till the meringue dries.

For the Meringue Filling

1. Beat the egg white till it forms soft peaks. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat till it gets really thick. Add in the lemon juice, and beat till they are well combined. Fold in the chocolate rice.

Sleek, glossy Chocolate Cookies

March 28, 2011 14 comments

Like a spanking brand new leather wallet, i was totally drawn into the glossy, smooth, dark surfaces of these cookies.

I once had one of those gleaming, slick, leather wallet with the unblemished surface in my early teens (It was only later that i found out that the leather was synthetic…  doh teens).  I loved how sleek it looked, and how it caught the light.  I was totally infatuated with the wallet, till one fine day when it got its first scratch.

It was not a bad scratch, just a light score across the  surface of the wallet.  But i felt as if my perfect wallet has been disfigured for life, and vowed to take better care it. But of course, as they always do, accidents happen. I remember dying a little inside each time my wallet met its next scar.

It has been a long long time since that incident of course, but i have learnt my lesson and my subsequent wallets were always the dull textured, practical, albeit boring type. I guess that’s part of growing up isnt it?

But enough about wallets, lets talk about cookies,

These cookies started out as a roll and cut butter cookies. That is you roll the cookie dough out and use a cookie cutter to cut out each individual cookies.

And when you do that, you tend to get cookie scraps.

I dont know about you, but i like to bake these cookie scraps. 

My cookie scraps look like the polynesian islands.

And these are the actual  cookies, before hair and make up.

If you are the type who likes your chocolate cookies with a pronounced chocolate flavour, these are definitely for you. There is a high content of cocoa powder in this recipe, so you might want to use a higher grade cocoa powder for these.

But what i really liked about these cookies is how effortless the dough handling is. It was an agreeable dough, it rolled well and cut well without being too soft and sticky.

From my experience, co-operative cookie dough usually results in bad cookies. The high flour content which makes rolling a child’s play can never match the butter-full dough which threatens to melt on you with the slightest touch from the warmth of your hands.  But these cookie dough was a bit different. Instead of relying on flour, the dough had milk powder listed as one of its ingredients. That’s quite a smart way to overcome dough stickiness and introduce  a milky flavour at the same time. But having said that, the cocoa powder still remained the dominant flavour in these cookies. I can barely trace any form of milky taste.

Oh, in case you were wondering, those white lines are made of white chocolate.

So if sleek, glossy, chocolatey cookies are your thing, here goes:

Sleek, Glossy Chocolate Coated Cookies

Taken from a free insert on an Indonesian Magazine Saji

100 gr Butter

75 gr Icing Sugar

1/4 tsp Salt

1 Egg Yolk

100 gr Cake Flour

25 gr Cornflour

25 gr Milk Powder

30 gr Cocoa Powder

1/4 tsp Baking Powder

Enough Dark Chocolate (to coat)

Enough White Chocolate (to pipe)

1. Beat Butter, icing sugar and salt till light and fluffy. Add in egg yolk, beat to combine

2. Sift in the flour, cornflour, milk powder, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Beat till just combined

3. Gather dough into a flat disc and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

4. Roll your cookies to about 1/2 cm in height, and using a cookie cutter, cut them to shape.

5. Bake at 150 degree Celcius on a pre-greased and pre-lined baking sheet for abt 25 mins or till they are cooked

6. Drop chocolate into the melted dark chocolate, wait till set, then decorate as you wish with the white chocolate.

Categories: Cookies Tags: , , ,

Salted Butter Breaks Up and A Chocolate Dip

March 21, 2011 7 comments

So the most recent French Fridays with Dorie feature a certain giant sized buttery cookie with a hint of saltiness. And just from reading that description, i know that this is exactly my thing. I lcve a good, generous sprinkle of salt in my desserts. 

Plus, this is a Dorie recipe. Any recipe with Dorie’s name on it have an imaginary stamp of guarantee for me. I knew i was working with something fail proof (unless i messed up due to my idiocacy), and extra delicious.

 

Making these cookies is very liberating to say the least. Unlike pies and tart dough, which call for you to exercise your architectural instict, and roll your dough in a certain circular fashion, you can pretty much roll this dough in any direction you fancy, just as long as you keep them of the same thickness.

You then bake you weird shaped dough as a giant cookie.

Then comes the more liberating part of breaking these cookies as you please, in even more stranger shapes or sizes.

And keeping up with my over-indulging tendencies, I decided to serve this with a chocolate dip.

Why not right?

But having said that, dipping these cookies in chocolate did mask away some of that salted, buttery goodness in the cookies. So if you have made some heavy investments in buying French butter, or some fancy sea salts, i wouldnt really recommend the chocolate dip.

Or alternatively, you can just serve the dip as a side, letting your guests choose to dip, or not to dip.

Keeping up with FFWD, i will not be posting the recipe for this, but u can find it in Serious Eats if you are interested. So hop over!

Categories: Cookies, Pastries

Matcha Meringue Kisses

March 9, 2011 12 comments

I wanted these meringue to be of a bright, bright green colour,  to get into the St. Patrick’s Day mood.

But they turned out pale faced and ashen. In fact if you take a closer look at it, they do like upturned green casper ghosts.

I  guess i was a bit apprehensive when adding my matcha powder into the batter as i was afraid the green tea flavour would be too overpowering for the people who would be eating it.

Plus, i was kinda skimping, cause green tea powder are pretty hard to come by, with only certain specialty stores carrying it.

In my defence, the batter colour was of vibrant green, the colour that i was aiming for. But i guess as the cookies dry in the oven, so does the colour.

No harm done though, cause these cookies were delicious. In fact, they taste exactly like green tea macaron shell, minus the almond nuttiness in it. They were so delicately crispy on the outside that you can break them with your tongue instead of having to chew on them. The insides were just slightly chewy. And i must say, between all that, these kisses were so tiny, yet addictive. You just want to keep popping them into your mouth, break them with your tongue, and have them kinda dissolve into nothingness, then repeat the whole procedure over and over and over again.

The green tea flavour was quite distinct, without being too overpowering. In fact i think i am quite glad that i skimped a lil on this!

Ps: The tips of this meringue browns and gets dark in colour very easily, so u might want to watch out for that and keep the low oven temperature in check.

Matcha Meringue Kisses

(Taken from Hungry Cravings )
Printable Recipe

2 ounces powdered sugar
2 tablespoons matcha tea
2 ounces egg whites, at room temperature
2 ounces sugar

Preheat the oven to 175ºF. Sift together the powdered sugar and matcha. In a mixer fitted with a whip attachment, whip the egg whites on medium to soft peaks. With the motor running on high, gradually add the sugar. Continue to whip on high to stiff peaks. Gently fold the matcha mixture into the meringue. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe 1 ¼-inch kisses about an inch apart onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, or until dry. Transfer kisses to a rack to cool.

Lemon Cookies

March 8, 2011 14 comments

When life gives u lemons….

I say run down to the store and get yourself a pound of sugar,

And make cookies!

I can’t think of anything more suited than good ole plain granulated sugar to offset the sourness of lemons.  There are of course other sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, etc… But each of them has their own distinct flavour and scent, and thus tend to mask the citrus-ey goodness in lemons.

So i have paired the two together in this chewy lemon sugar cookies,

And a little goes a long way with the lemons, cause one lemon, with its juice and zest, was able to zing up a whole batch of cookies.

And what i love best about these cookies is the sugar crunch on the surfaces. The dough of these cookies are rolled in sugar before they are sent to bake.

The crunch was not only deliciously sweet, it also gave a very nice contrast to the softly baked, chewy cookies.

And to maintain that chewy, and soft texture, i have baked these till they are just of the palest, lightest colour.

So if you are in need of a lil’ sunshine, give these light refreshing cookie a try!

PS; I am also submitting this to Aspiring Baker #5 : Fruity March. Thank you Jess at Bakericious for hosting the wonderful event! I cant wait to see what the other bloggers came out with! 🙂

Chewy Lemon Cookies

from Patentandthepantry.wordpress.com

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar for rolling cookies

Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a larger bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla, lemon zest and juice.

Add in dry ingredients, beating until just combined. Roll rounded spoonfuls of dough into balls and then roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets, about 1 or 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. (Mine needed barely 8 minutes; they were not yet golden but I wanted them still pale and tender.) Remove from oven and let stand on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before removing to cook on wire racks.

Makes 24 – 36 cookies.

Categories: Cookies, Dessert Tags: , , ,

Samoas

March 5, 2011 8 comments

It seems like the girl scouts of America isn’t all about camping and earning badges. These girls also have got a winning product to sell.

The Caramel Delites, or better known as Samoas, are indeed delightfully caramel-ey.

Truth be told, growing up in Indonesia, i have never came across Samoas before. But from stalking various blogs, i knew that they were shortbread cookies topped with coconut in caramel, and dipped and drizzled with chocolate.

Geez, who could say no to that??

So since there was no way in the world i would come across an American girl scout setting up a table in Jakarta, i figured the only way to get these was to replicate it in my own Indonesian kitchen.

I must admit though, between the baking of the cookies, cooling the cookies, and then dipping the bases in chocolate…

hang on i am not finished yet…

making the finicky caramel,  dipping the tops of the cookies in the caramel, cooling the caramel to set

AND finally drizzling the top of that caramel in melted chocolate *wipes sweat off brow*, these cookies are not exactly a walk in the park.

But damn, are they worth every single spoon, fork, pot, pan, baking tray, and mixing bowl dirtied (Yes, they do use up a lot of kitchen utensils too).

So if u can’t find a girl scout in handy, you should definitely definitely give these a try.

Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas

Taken from Jaime at blogs.babble.com

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup superfine sugar (or granulated)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
Dipping Caramel (recipe follows)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (available at health food stores)
12 ounces of chocolate chips

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add in egg and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the bowl, if necessary. Add in vanilla. Beat until smooth. With mixer on low, add in salt and flour. Mix until completely incorporated and dough is uniform. Pull dough together and shape into a cylinder with a diameter of about 2 1/2 inches. Wrap in parchment paper and freeze for at least 25 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice dough into 1/8 inch disks and place on baking sheets, about an inch apart. Once you have made 30 cookies, wrap up the cookie dough, freeze, and save for another time. Use a tiny circle shaped cookie cutter or a large round cake decorating tip to cut a hole in the center of each disk. Refrigerate for an additional 10 minutes. Bake for 8 minutes, or until crisp. Let cool completely.

3. Add coconut into the caramel. Warm the caramel in the microwave for about 10 seconds if necessary. Take cooled cookies and gently dip them completely in the caramel. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Freeze until set, about 5 minutes.

4. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals, stirring well after each interval, until fully melted. Place the caramel coated cookies in the chocolate. Use a fork to pull them out of the chocolate and place them on a parchment line cookie sheet. Use the chocolate still on the fork to drizzle stripes over the top of the cookies. Refrigerate until set.

Dipping Caramel

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar)
4 tablespoons corn syrup
6 tablespoons water
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons heavy cream* (DO NOT use plain whipping cream)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan with high sides, combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Whisk until combined, and set over medium-low heat. Swirl the pan every now and then to help distribute the heat. Use can use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush the sugar crystals down the sides of the saucepan. When the sugar dissolves completely, raise the heat to medium. When it comes to a boil, watch very carefully for the bubbles to become more viscous (this means that the water has evaporated and that it is ready to go through the candy stages). As it is bubbling away, you want it to turn a deep amber color. When it does, remove the heat and, working quickly, use the spoon to scoop up a small amount of the candy and drop it into the small glass of water. If the blob turns hard like lollipop, then it is ready. If the blob is still soft, put the pan back on the heat. Keep testing until the candy is hard. Remove from heat.

2. Whisk in butter, 6 tablespoons of cream, and vanilla (Careful here, as the mixture should bubble violently for about 10 seconds). If the caramel isn’t smooth right away, return the pan to low heat and whisk until smooth.

*To clarify, this cream should be heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, not whipping cream.

Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey. All in a cookie.

March 3, 2011 15 comments

I know you must be thinking … no, not another banana post!

I apologize,  but you know that how it goes when u have a bunch of bananas going black on you.

My bananas were mottling and were starting to attract fruit flies. I had to do something to those, and yet i know between the banana cake with cream cheese frosting and the banana espresso muffins, the good people at home, or at work have hit their quota on banana cakes for the month.

So i turned to cookies instead, and what was slightly different about this recipe from two peas and their pods is that they have a peanut butter honey glaze.

And seriously, who would have minded a glaze over their cookies? Not me for sure. 🙂


The glaze was made of peanut butter, icing sugar, honey, and a little bit of milk to help it get to that workable drizzling consistency. I love this glaze. It’s really easy to whip up and it tastes so good against the mildly sweet cookies.

My cookies were a little bit on the rounded side. I wish i had flattened them a bit before they went into the oven just so that i could have more surface area on each cookie to accomodate more of that frosting.

Ah, there is always next time isn’t there.. 🙂

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey Cookies

(Taken from Two Peas and their Pods)

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large ripe banana, mashed (about 1 cup)
2 cups old fashioned oats

Peanut Butter Honey Glaze:

3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon honey

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugars, mix until smooth. Add peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract, and egg. Combine until smooth. Next, add the banana and mix until combined.

3. Slowly add in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the oats.

4. Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper or Silcone baking mats.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

5. To make the glaze-combine peanut butter, powdered sugar, milk, and honey in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. If it is too thick or thin, adjust by adding more milk or powdered sugar. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Chocolate Oatmeal Drops

February 22, 2011 17 comments

So the latest Tuesdays With Dorie’s challenge was these Chocolate Oatmeal Drops.

And when the blog-o-sphere started to get inundated with pretty pictures of these cookies, i just had to give it a go.

I mean whats there not to like about fudgy, moist, slightly underbaked cookies right?

Plus these cookies also boast oatmeal, which make them somewhat healthy, and legit breakfast items.

And of course, what’s a couple of cookies without some milk?

Well, actually, these cookies don’t need to be dunked in milk. They are moist and soft enough on their own. But then again, i am known to be over indulgent.

So, here goes!

Chocolate Oatmeal Drops

(Taken from Bake with Us)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

Getting Ready: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Put the butter in the bowl and sprinkle over the 1 tablespoon water, then add the brown sugar, followed by the chocolate. Stir occasionally until everything is just melted. Don’t let the ingredients get so hot that the butter separates from the sugar and chocolate, and don’t be concerned if the mixture looks grainy.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs on at a time; the mixture will look shiny. Whisk in the dry ingredients, stirring only until they disappear into the dough. Stir in the oats. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each spoonful.

Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until the cookies are dark around the edges and just slightly soft in the middle. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to room temperature. (If the cookies are difficult to lift from the baking sheet, wait a minute and try again.)

Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

Almond London Cookies

January 30, 2011 11 comments

I have no idea how these cookies got its name. I did a quick search on the internet but there wasn’t any readily available history on the cookies. Maybe they originated from London, but really what did it matter?

Cause they look too enticing to be passed off.

i mean who can go wrong with whole almond pieces wrapped in butter cookies and coated with chocolate?

Well, they do take a little bit of work though, they are probably the type of cookies u wanna dedicate half of your Sunday on (that’s me!).

They started out like this, naked as baby’s bottoms.

You might notice the discrepancy in my cookie shapes, some being round spheres, some being elongated ovals.

Well, as much as i aknowledge my moronic cookie shaping skill, these cookies are shaped that way  on purpose. They are shaped that way differentiate the Almond London Cookies from the Cashew London Cookies.

Yup, i used a mixture of cashews and almonds for these cookies. Just for the fun of it.

The round ones are filled with cashews of course. I realized that you can’t really shape anything crescent shaped into an oval. The ends of the cashews will poke out of the cookies, and that’s hardly aesthetic is it? lol.

My nestled cashew looks like a tooth.

Oh, u might also notice the lighter chocolate colour on these.

So besides the twist from almonds to cashews, i also went astray with the chocolate coating, and went from dark to milk.

And i must say, among the mad medley of round vs oval cookies, almonds vs cashews, milk vs dark chocolates,  London originated or not, what did it matter?

Cause they are all unanimously delicious!

Almond London Cookies

Take from Lily’s Wai Sek Hong

Ingredients:

9 tbsp butter room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar/powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
8 ozs bleached all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt

Whole toasted almonds with skin

Dark chocolate, melted

Almond nips

METHOD


Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolk and salt, cream until well combined.

Add flour and mix until a dough is formed. Rest dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Take a marble-sized dough (I used a melon scoop), flatten and wrap around the almond. Shape into an oval cookie.

Place on lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 350 f for 15 minutes.

Remove cookies to cool on cake racks.

Melt chocolate in the microwave.

Coat cookies with melted chocolate by dunking cookies in the melted chocolate and removing them with a fork and place on cake rack. Top with almond nips before the cookies set.

Place cookies on small paper cases.

Categories: Cookies Tags: , , , ,

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

January 25, 2011 13 comments

These cookies are wickedd! They are such a tease to the palate, being sweet and salty at the same time. While i am very much in love with the cookies with the slight peanut butter taste and packed with oats, i am absolutely swooning over the filling.

I think this filling is a genius. Like all american buttercream, this filling is mainly butter (or peanut butter in this case) and icing sugar. However,  it has an additional quick  pour of heavy cream which really kicked it up a notch. The heavy cream really increased air binding ability in the buttercream, making it most ethereal and silky smooth.

While assembling these cookies, all i wanted to do was just dip my cookie into the cream, and pop into into my mouth. It took me LOTS of willpower to stop at what i was doing and actually made actual sandwich cookies out of these. Also, the thing with sandwich cookies is that u think u have lots of cookies going on for you, but really, after pairing them with their partners, you are left with only half of what you think you have.

After all that cookie dipping while assembling, i was left with scarcely less than a dozen cookies. That’s hardly enough to go around at my workplace. I packed each one of them while fending every evil temptation to have yet another cookie.

So while i was pretty upset at having so little cookies to show for, at least i was glad of a very delicious breakfast.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Taken from Buns in My Oven

yield about 16 sandwiches

For the cookies:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats

For the filling:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp whipping cream

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Begin by creaming the butter and sugars for the cookies. Beat in the egg and vanilla. In a small bowl mix together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix into the creamed butter and sugars. Mix in the oats and stir until combined. Drop teaspoonfuls (or use a small cookie scoop) of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Make a criss cross with a fork to flatten the cookies. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool.

To make the filling, beat all ingredients together until well mixed and smooth. Spread the filling on the bottom of one cookie and top with another to form a sandwich. Repeat with all the cookies.

Categories: Cookies Tags: , , ,

Chocolate-Almond Buttercrunch Toffee

January 19, 2011 8 comments

I cant describe the wonderful crunch that comes with every bite of this toffee. You can probably hear someone biting into this 3 metres away from the site of action. it’s pleasantly brittle and it snaps with just the lightest pressure.

I am attributing this perfection to the a little device called the candy thermometer. I am sure many of you have experienced the nerve-wracking, chaotic guesswork involved in cooking sugar. I am for team thermometer and really, a candy thermometer really saves you from all these hassle and gives u the most awesome caramel for the most awesome buttercrunch toffee.

What’s of that awesome buttercrunch toffee anyways?

It’s a layer of almond, over which you pour that gorgeous, snappy caramel, and over which u sprinkle chocolate.

Did you get that?

Let me rephrase…

A layer of lightly toasted almonds are welded together with hot caramel. Chocolate chips are then strewn over the hot caramel to melt slightly before it is spread with a spatula.

Chocolate and Caramel. YUMM!

Oh, and let’s not forget that sprinkle of seasalt. Excluding the seasalt in this is like not inviting your mom to your graduation day, a situation almost tragic, at least for me anyways.

Although these cookies are hardly Chinese, and probably never a part of the usual CNY cookie platter,  I am including this in Aspiring Baker #3, My Favourite Chinese New Year Cookie hosted by Jess from J3ss Kitch3n. Just because i think these cookies are THAT good, and we’ve been taught to share good stuffs!

Chocolate-Almond Buttercrunch Toffee

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop

by David Lebovitz

2 cups (8 ounces, 225 g) toasted almonds or hazelnuts, chopped between ‘fine’ and ‘coarse’
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup (1 stick, 115 g) salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
a nice, big pinch of salt
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 g) packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces (140 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped, or 1 cup chocolate chips

optional: Roasted cocoa nibs and fleur de sel

1. Lightly oil a baking sheet with an unflavored vegetable oil.

2. Sprinkle half the nuts into a rectangle about 8″ x 10″ (20 x 25 cm) on the baking sheet.

3. In a medium heavy-duty saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the water, butter, salt, and both sugars. Cook, stirring as little as possible, until the thermometer reads 300 F degrees. Have the vanilla and baking soda handy.

4. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.

5. Quickly pour the mixture over the nuts on the baking sheet. Try to pour the mixture so it forms a relatively even layer. (If necessary, gently but quickly spread with a spatula, but don’t overwork it.)

If using, sprinkle with a small handful of cocoa nibs and a flurry of fleur des sel. Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the chocolate and gently press them in with your hands.

Cool completely and break into pieces to serve. Store in an airtight container, for up to ten days.

Categories: Cookies, Dessert Tags: , , ,

German Crunch Cookies

January 18, 2011 17 comments

This cookie seems to be a hot favourite item for the upcoming Chinese New Year. I have seen many bloggers featuring this item whilst i do my routinal rounds from blogs to blogs.

I hopped into the bandwagon, made these cookies and instantly saw light. It’s no wonder at all why people are fervently making these, for it is only the most buttery, soft, and crumbly cookies i have ever made.

If you were wondering why potatoes are one of the props featured today, it’s because i used potato starch for this cookies. Of course, the potato starch are store bought for i couldn’t possibly made potato starch from these real potatoes. LOL!

Anyway, this is actually my first experience with potato starch, the texture is very much like its cousin made of corn, the corn starch. I guess this potato starch in the recipe is what made these cookies extra crumbly.

Oh, and a word of advise on the crumbly, u definitely want to make these bite sized so that u can pop the entire  cookie into your mouth. Because you will leave a trail of cookie crumbs if you tried eating these in a couple of bites, and I am guessing you don’t want to have to sweep after yourself, or to piss whoever it is who cleans up after your.

Melt-in-mouth German Cookies 德式酥饼
(Recipe taken from Small Small Baker)
Ingredients (makes 60 pieces)

125g butter
40g icing sugar, sifted
125g potato starch
80g superfine flour (I use plain flour, tried out both 50g and 80g, both good)

Method

1. Beat butter and icing sugar till fluffy and lighter in colour.

2. Sift in potato starch and flour, mix to form a soft dough.

3. Roll into small balls (about 2cm in diameter), arrange on lined baking pan and press lightly with a fork (dip the fork in water after each press to prevent cookie dough from sticking to the fork).

4. Bake in preheated oven at 170 deg C for 15 mins, upper rack (need not bake till cookies turn brown).

Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

January 17, 2011 8 comments

Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

There is nothing in the name of this cookie that i didn’t like. Let’s analyse it from the back.

“Peanut Butter” – Yum,

“Double Chocolate” – Double Yum,

“Salted” – Triple Yums!!

I think my love for  salt in my bakings have been conveyed adequately in this blog. A healthy sprinkle of big, fat, granular sea salt  always brings such an added dimension to whatever sweet treats and confections concocted in my kitchen.

Of course, i guess there is no need for me to convince you on the magical peanut butter and chocolate combination. The harmony between the two elements has been tried, tested, proven and given stamps of approvals a gazillion million times over all over the world. There is no exception with these cookies of course, dark fudgy chocolate cookies with a hint of peanut butter. Yeah baby!

The only thing i am not too crazy about these cookies are the peanuts folded into the cookie dough. Don’t get me wrong, i love nuts, and my fingers subconsciously reach for that bowl of salted nuts in front of the TV, but somehow, they feel wrong in these cookies. The nuts don’t taste awful, but they just felt rather odd. But then again, maybe its just me! LOL

Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Recipe taken from Brown Eyed Baker

Yield: 16 to 18 large cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 12 minutes

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup peanuts
Coarse salt for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. Beat together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract. Scrape the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips and peanuts.

4. Drop by two heaping tablespoonfuls of dough, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle a small pinch of coarse salt on top of each cookie. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the outside of the cookies are set but the middles are still a little soft. Cool cookies on the baking sheets. Store in an airtight container.

Cat’s Tongue Cookies

January 10, 2011 16 comments

I guess it’s quite obvious how these cookies got its name. The cat’s tongue cookies can probably trace its origins from Spain, and are identified by their signature cat’s tongue shape.

These cookies are light, buttery and crisp. There is a very satisfying crunch as i bit into one, almost like eating a potato chip.  I suspect the lightness of these cookies came from all the beaten egg whites, which is rather unusual in a cookie recipe.

Despite its Spanish origin, these cookies are very popular in Indonesia, and come Chinese New Year, you can probably lap at these cookies at every household you choose to visit.

While these cookies are usually served plain, in its buttery glory, i have added a lil tongue twister into my versions.

The dual tone Cat’s tongue cookies, easily achieved by flavouring half of the cookie batter with chocolate. I loaded up my pipping bag with both batters before squeezing the two cookie batter onto the awaiting cookie sheet.

I love the taste of these cookies, it’s part vanilla, part chocolate and all buttery. YUM!

Then i made a blueberry flavoured version of the cookies, simply just by pipping a strip of bluberry jam onto the unbaked cookie dough. The jam will dry up and turn sorta chewy and it adds a very nice blueberry flavour to the otherwise very buttery cookie. Of course i am not complaining about that very buttery cookie, i am just saying it makes quite a refreshing contrast. 🙂 In fact, if i were to make this again, i will be sure to pipe a fatter line of a jam down my cookies.

I am also entering these cookies into Aspiring Baker #3 My favourite CNY Cookie hosted by J3ss Kitch3n. Thanks to J3ss for hosting the wonderful event! I can’t wait to see what the others come out with!

Cat’s Tongue Cookies by Me!

250 gr unsalted butter

200 gr castor sugar

225 gr AP flour

150 ml (about 5) egg whites

1 TBS Vanilla extract

Some Chocolate paste

1. Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.

2. Add egg whites gradually and beat till it turns even more light and voluminous.

3. Add in vanilla and beat till well mixed

4. Fold in flour

5. Divide batter into half and add chocolate paste into one of that half

6. Fill your pipping bags with batter (half chocolate, half white if you are attempting the duo coloured cookies)

7. Pipe onto greased cookie sheet

8. Bake at 350 for about 18 mins or till they turn dry and crisp.

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

December 28, 2010 10 comments

How do i describe these bars?

A chewy cookie base, a dense fudge filling with just a sprinkling of streusel over the top.

While the cookie base of oatmeal and brown sugar was delicious, the filling was absolutely divine. It’s lusciously thick, fudgy with just a hint of espresso.

That hint of espresso did it though. It took these bars over the edge to freefall wonderfulness, so please don’t leave that out.

But  thanks to my erronous judging skills,  i had to bake this twice to get it right.

You see, the recipe called for a 12 minute bake on the base oatmeal cookie layer. However, by the end of the 12 minutes, my cookie base still looked very wet and raw.

I decided that it needed extra baking time.

I let it stay in the oven for another 5 minutes,

then 10,

then 15.

Needless to say, the dough never got dry, i don’t think they are supposed to.

After about 20 minutes of staring at a wet cookie dough that never seemed to get any drier, i gave up and proceeded with fudge and the rest of the recipe.

Unfortunately, all that extra oven time really killed the crust which turned out super hard and pretty much inedible.

But i wasn’t about to give up there. NO sireee. For the fudge, even at its first attempt was already a star in the making.

I attempted the recipe a 2nd time the next day, this time, ignoring my flawed judgement and sticking to the recipe for all the stated baking times.

And boy, did i get a winner.

The shortened baking time made a really good chewy base this time. A very delightful chocolate fudge bar to say the least 🙂

Oatmeal Fudge Bars (Recipe taken from Sarah)
from America’s Test Kitchen Holiday Cookies 2010

1 c. quick-cooking oats
1 1/4 c. light brown sugar
1 c. flour
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
3/8 t. salt
10 T. butter, 8 T. melted and cooled
2 t. instant espresso or instant coffee
1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 large egg

1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325°.  Line 8″ square baking pan with foil, allowing excess to hang over pan edges.  Grease foil.  Combine oats, 1 c. brown sugar, 3/4 c. flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/8 t. salt in bowl.  Stir in melted butter until combined.  Reserve 3/4 c. mixture for topping.  Sprinkle remaining mixture into prepared pan and press into even layer.  Bake until light golden brown, about 12 minutes.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.  Keep oven on.  (I didn’t let mine cool an hour and it was fine.)

2.  Combine remaining 1/4 c. flour, remaining 1/4 c. brown sugar, instant espresso, and remaining 1/4 t. salt in bowl.  Melt chocolate chips and remaining 2 T. butter in large bowl and cool slightly.  Add egg and whisk until combined.  Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated. Pour filling over cooled crust and sprinkle with reserved oatmeal mixture.  Bake until tooth pick inserted into center comes out with few crumbs attached, 25-30 minutes.  Cool completely on wire rack, 2 hours.  Using foil overhang, lift bars from pan and cut into squares.

A lil Christmas Baking

December 22, 2010 12 comments

A mini post on other Christmas related bakings i’ve done 🙂

1. Christmas Biscottis

While biscottis are traditionally dunked in tea, or coffee, these are good enough to be eaten on its own. Crushed candy canes are mixed into the biscottis batter for an added touch of sweetness to the otherwise plain tasting biscottis.  I’ve done this cookie two ways, one is to dip them in melted white chocolate and sprinkle them with more crushed candy canes:

And another is to drizzle some white frosting on them and sprinkle even more candy canes!

A lil note though, the candy canes will lose their crunch and get a bit sticky after a while. But that didnt bother me as they were still delicious.

Recipe from Annie

Candy Cane Biscotti

Ingredients:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
3 large eggs
2/3 cup finely chopped peppermint candies, plus extra for garnish
14 oz. white chocolate

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir briefly with a fork to combine.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the 2/3 cup crushed peppermints with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated.

Evenly divide the dough into 4 portions.  Form each into a 9″ by 1½” log on the prepared baking sheet, spaced evenly.  Bake until the cookies are light golden brown on top, about 18-20 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325° F.

After the logs have cooled for 10 minutes, use a sharp serrated knife to cut the logs into ½-inch slices on the diagonal.  Arrange the cut pieces on the baking sheet, laying on one of their cut sides so one cut side is facing up.  Bake for 15 minutes more, until the cookies are light golden brown and crisp.  (They may seem a bit soft, but will firm as they cool.)  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once the biscotti have cooled, melt the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler.  Dip one half of each cookie in the chocolate, shake gently to remove the excess, and transfer to a baking sheet or work surface lined with wax paper.  Sprinkle with extra crushed candy canes while the chocolate is still wet.  Let stand at room temperature until the chocolate has set completely.  Store in an airtight container.

2. Cranberry Bliss Bar

The cranberry bliss bar is a Starbucks breakfast favourite it seems, but the truth is, i have never tasted the ones sold there before. The Starbucks here (Indonesia) don’t have it on the menu! But if the ones sold taste anywhere as good as these, i could definitely relate to why they are such a hit.

The base of these bars are subtly flavoured with ginger and studded with cranberries and white chocolate. They are then topped with a lemony cream cheese frosting before being piped with a sugared icing.

Between the white chocolate vs cranberries, or, the cream cheese frosting vs the sugary icing, these bars are a good balance of sweetness and tartness. These will definitely zest up your mornings and double up as good wake up calls!

Recipe from Megan

Cranberry Bliss Bars
see on Brownies for Dinner, originally from My Little Mochi
(printable recipe)

Bars:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) white chocolate chips (or chopped white chocolate)

Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Drizzling Icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt and mix well. Gradually add flour and mix until smooth. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate. Pour the batter into the greased pan, using a spatula to evenly spread the batter in the pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:
Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until completely smooth. Spread on the completely cool cake. Sprinkle the top with cranberries.

Drizzling Icing:
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp of milk, powdered sugar, and vegetable shortening. Gradually add more milk until the icing has a thick but drizzly consistency. I used closer to 2 tablespoons. Put the icing into a ziploc bag and snip off a tiny bit of the corner. Drizzle the icing on top in zig-zags.

Cut into squares or triangles and enjoy!

3. Chocolate Hearts with Crushed Christmas Candies

These are yogurt cakelets made in a heart shaped pan, dunked in melted dark chocolate and sprinkled with christmas candies. The yogurt cakelets are incredibly moist and dense, but most importantly they pop out prettily from the pan 🙂

These are better refrigerated as the candies and the chocolate will get melty and sticky after a while. But i am definitely liking the dark chocolate contrast against the candies.

Recipe from Kirbie

Vanilla Yogurt Cakelets

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour the cakelet pan.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl and set it aside.
3.
In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, and eggs. Slowly whisk the dry
ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the
vegetable oil into the batter until well incorporated.
4. With a
spoon fill the cake pan with the cake batter about 3/4 full. Do not over fill it. Bake
in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean and
cake is lightly brown.
5. Remove from cake pan
once it is completely cool

With that, I would like to thank Annie, Megan and Kirbie for sharing the wonderful recipes! Happy Christmas everyone!

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, Week #12 – Potato Chips Christmas Tree

December 16, 2010 24 comments

It’s official. This is the last week of 12 WOCC, and i can’t tell you enough how much i loved and thoroughly enjoyed each of the 12 weeks.. I’ve gotten to know so many talented and creative bloggers out there, and seen so many of their inspiring cookies. I do sincerely hope that this event will continue next year, and i do hope that i am still actively baking and blogging then. 🙂 Once again, my thanks go to Abby for organizing the lovely event!

Anyways, for my final week, i made another Christmas tree. This time, with potato chips, and it looks something like this.

I was eating a bag of chips when i noticed how each chip is shaped like a leaf. I have also observed an on going trend of potato chips dipped in chocolate. And combining two and two, this tree idea got stuck to my head.

The idea is really simple. First thing first, i baked a blondie batter in a cone shaped vessel.

Why blondie batter ?

Cause i wanted something sturdy, which is able to stand up on its own and hold the weight of the potato chip “leaves”. I didn’t want any of that rising butter cakes and sponge cakes get. I also didnt want a brownie batter*, as a brownie batter, with its high chocolate content might be too fudgy and wet  for this structure.

*Believe me or not, blondies are actually brownies, without chocolate. LOL.

Do take note though, the batter will probably take more time to bake cause of the shape of the vessel which  has lesser surface area and thus less heat contact. Also, be sure to have something sturdy to prop the vessel while baking ( I used a square loaf tin)

Next, we slather buttercream onto the tree core.

Be generous with the buttercream. It will act as a “glue” for the leaves.

Then we stick on the “leaves”.

Wait, WHAT leaves?

White chocolate dipped leaves of course. White chocolate because i wanted a white Christmas tree. I couldn’t imagine a brown Christmas tree using milk or dark chocolate.

It’s really easy these leaves, just drop the potato chips into the melted white chocolate, fish it out and let it dry. I microwaved my white chocolate with a little bit of shortening, to thin it down a bit. I didn’t want the white chocolate coating to get too thick and weigh down the leaves.

Once we the tree is in full bloom, we go on to decorations, for what is a Christmas tree without the decorations?I decided that since the leaves are already so elaborate, decorations should be kept at a minimum. I didnt want the decorations to diminish that full bloom, leafy effect. It was just a matter of sticking a few mini M&M’s strategically. My leaves were only semi dry by then, my M&M’s readily stuck to each leaf. However, if ur leaves were already dried up, u might need to dip the underside of the M&Ms in more white chocolate to get it to stick.

And there you have it, My Potato Chips Christmas Tree. Place these tree on the dining table during Christmas dinner and watch spring turn to fall as guests help themselves to the leaves. Do make extra leaves and replenish the bald patches as the evening go by, and come dessert time, slice up the tree core of a blondie and distribute them around! Merry Christmas!
Blondie Recipe

8 TBS unsalted butter, melted ( 1 stick)
1/2 C packed light brown sugar
1/3 C granulated sugar
1 large egg
1tsp pure vanilla extract
1 C AP flour
1 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush an cone shaped baking pan with butter. Line pan with a piece of parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch overhang on two sides. Grease paper

2. In a large bowl, whisk butter and sugars until smooth. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Add flour and salt, mix until just moistened ( do not overmix ).  Transfer batter to prepared pan, smooth the top with a spatula.

3. Bake 40- 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Set pan on wire rack and let cool completely. Using parchment overhang, lift the brownies from the pan and transfer to a cutting board.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream From Martha Stewart

* Note i scaled down the recipe to using 2 egg whites.

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 10 large egg whites
  • 4 cups (8 sticks or 2 pounds) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.
  2. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don’t worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add vanilla, and beat just until combined.
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes. If using buttercream within several hours, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature in a cool environment. Or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator, up to 3 days. Before using, bring buttercream to room temperature, and beat on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Chocolate Dipped Potato Chips
A bag of Potato Chips
200 grams white chocolate, chopped
50 grams shortening, chopped
1.  In a sauce pan, double boil white chocolate and shortening till both are melted and combined.
2. Coat the potato chips with the white chocolate mixture and leave it to set at room temperature.
Assembling the Potato Chips Christmas Tree
1. Coat the cone shaped blondie with a generous amount of buttercream
2. Stick the chocolate dipped leaves over the Buttercream
3. Decorate as desired.

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, Week #11 – Santa’s Hats Cookies

December 9, 2010 30 comments

Christmas is hitting upon us like a bullet train. I cant believe that this is already week 11 of 12 WOCC!

One more week to go. Sigh, i am definitely gonna miss this. I’ve been looking forward to Fridays ever since 12 WOCC started, just because i can watch the panel of thumbnail shots of what other bloggers did. The panel will start with just a few entries, and as the day progresses, so will the number of thumbnails. I love hitting the ‘refresh’ button after every few hours or so to check out for new entries. Yes, i am definitely gonna miss that.

And having said that, i would like to thank Abby for organizing such a wonderful event!

Anyhoo, for week #11, i made these Santa’s hats

I have been visualizing this for quite a number of weeks, but i wasn’t sure whether it would work. These hats are made of red, cone shaped choux pastry. And i was really doubting on whether it was even possible to make red, cone shaped choux pastry. There are too many unaddressed technicalities, like whether the choux pastry will puff, the way they usually do and lose that cone shape. Or whether the dough will slide down the wafer cone i used as the pastry was baking. Confused yet?

Let me do a brief run on what i visualized, which fortunately did materialize. LOl

As mentioned, the santa’s hats are actually made of red choux pastry dough, which i have piped around a wafer cone.

I got these wafer cones from a local baking supply shop. They are meant to pipe buttercream roses on.  Basically, you are supposed to pipe roses on them and transfer the whole thing (wafer+rose) onto your cakes. They are just tasteless edible wafer which come in multi colour.

So anyways, once piped, i sent them to bake and got these:

Yes! it worked! Although the dough did puff somewhat, they did manage to retain its shape, and nope, the dough didn’t slide down the wafer cones as it was baking. In fact it stuck to the wafer cone quite a bit, so u have to gently kinda ease the cones out of the choux shells.

Okays, now that the difficult part is done, so what of these crispy shells now?

We pipe them with white chocolate mousse of course! The same mousse i piped on those chocolate cups last week. U can just pipe into the hollow, or you can pipe into the hollow AND the sides. Piping around the mouth of the choux pastry shell will give u that extra ruffle in the eventual cookies.

Next, comes the base

I needed an untainted white base for these hats, and what better recipe to follow than that tapioca floured cookie recipe i used for my Albino Gingerbread men? 🙂

We then attach the filled and piped cookies onto that pristine white bases

Oh, a word of advise, fill, pipe cookies and attach them to their designated bases just before serving though. Both cookie base and the choux pastry will get soggy quite quickly. But having said that, you can definitely make the cookies and the mousse in advance,  and refrigerate and assemble them when they are ready to be eaten.

Oh, and don’t forget to pipe that mini fluff of a ball on the tips of these cookies

Santa’s Hat Cookies all good to go!

Choux Pastry Recipe

(Taken from an Indonesian cookbook, please bear the pathetic translation!)

100 gram butter

200 ml water

1/4 tsp salt

125 grams AP flour

180 grams egg, beaten lightly

A few drops of red colouring

1. Heat the butter, water, red colouring and salt till they come to a rolling boil.

2. Remove from heat and immediately dump in all the flour. Mix well and return to fire still mixing till the dough dries out. Remove from heat and let cool

3. Beat the eggs into the dough gradually, mix till they are well combined.

4. Spoon dough into a pipping bag, and pipe around the wafer cones.

5. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or till they are dry.

Chocolate Mousse Recipe

For the white chocolate mousse:

150 gr white chocolate

150 gr heavy cream

1. In a double boiler, melt white chocolate till smooth, set aside to cool to room temp.

2. In another larger bowl, beat heavy cream till soft peaks. Drizzle in melted white chocolate and beat till you have a thick, pipping consistency.

White Cookie Base Recipe:

Recipe adapted from Little Corner of Mine (Thanks for sharing!)

Ingredients:

-2 1/2 cups tapioca flour/tapioca starch
-1 Tbp. butter, melted
-1 egg yolk (from large egg)
-1 cup icing sugar
-120ml thick coconut milk (or coconut cream)

Method:

1. Place a paper towel on a microwave safed bowl, add the tapioca flour and microwave for 1 minute. Set aside and let it cool. (You can fry the flour in the wok if you don’t have a microwave.)

Microwave extra tapioca flour for standby (to flour the surface) and kneading purposes.

2. Sift tapioca flour and icing sugar in a big bowl. Add melted butter, yolk & coconut milk. Knead until the dough is pliable. (If the dough is wet or soft, add more tapioca flour, 1 Tbp. at a time and knead until it becomes a harder dough. Likewise, if it’s too dry, add more coconut milk).

3. Roll out the dough on lightly floured surface to about 3mm thickness. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter*. Arrange on lined baking tray and bake at 350′F for 15 minutes. It will puff when baked.

*Note: i used a circular cookie cutter.

Salty Oat Cookies

December 4, 2010 13 comments

I am thoroughly convinced that these cookies qualify as a health food.

Okay, maybe these cookies are not totally fat or sugar free. But in comparison, i think these cookies are relatively healthier than many out there.

I mean with that amount of oatmeal (10.5 ounces), it has to be right?

Well, health food or not, these cookies definitely re-ignited my love for oatmeal. It’s been a while since i used oatmeal in my bakings, and i forgot just how wonderful it was. The oatmeal gave these cookies a fragrance not quite like any other. I cant really describe it, it’s like wheaty and nutty at the same time. But, Whatever it was, i am definitely definitely loving it. And i am only using quick cooking oats as opposed to rolled oats that the recipe called for. I bet using rolled oats will make the flavour even more pronounced. I shall try that the next time!

To add on to that wholesome deliciousness, these cookies are sprinkled with a lil coarse salt before they are popped into the oven.  Let us take a closer look.

Okays, while the salt grains are not really that visible, their presence is unmistaken. The salt gives the cookies an added dimension, outshining the average common oatmeal cookies.

Coarse grained sea salt. Now, i am not a salt expert, but i did a mini taste test on table salt and sea salt while making these cookies. I was quite surprised at the difference. While sea salt are salty, table salt are much much more saltier. In fact, i found the saltiness in table salt to be a lil offensive. I am not sure whether you can sub table salt for sea salt in sprinkling these cookies, but i would definitely stick with sea salt if i could.

These cookies are best baked till they are just crisp on the outside, while the centers are still soft and moist. With such a low butter content, i think these cookies might turn out rather hard instead of crisp if they were to bake further.

I feel pretty good serving these to my family instead of the usual .. er.. less healthy cookies. At the very least, i feel like i am contributing to their daily fiber quota! 🙂

Recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

1 C (5 ounces) AP flour

1/2 TSP Baking Soda

1/4 TSP Table Salt

16 TBS (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

1 C (7 ounces) Granulated Sugar

1/4 C packed (13/4 ounces) Light Brown Sugar

1 Large Egg

1 TSP Vanilla Extract

31/2 C (10 ounces) old fashioned Rolled Oats

1/2 TSP Coarse Sea Salt, for Sprinkling

 

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions, and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking soda and table salt together in a medium bowl.

2. In a large bowl. beat the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 – 6 minutes. neat in the egg and vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Mix in the oats until just incorporated.

4. Working with 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls and lay them on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Flatten the cookies to a 3/4 inch thickness with your palm. Sprinkle a few grains of the coarse salt over the flattened tops of each cookie.

5. Bake the cookies until the edges are set and beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 15-17 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking. (The cookies will look raw between the cracks and seem underdone)

6. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Categories: Cookies Tags: , ,

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, Week #9- Vanilla Fudge Christmas Packages

November 25, 2010 17 comments

Christmas is not as widely celebrated here in Indonesia. In fact, i consider myself very fortunate if i were to receive even one gift! The truth is, gift exchange is not practiced here. Not with my family anyways.

I can’t force people to exchange Christmas gifts with me. But i can definitely make these make-believe Christmas packages. Call it my own way of having fun with the gift giving spirit.

Having said that, i would refrain from giving these to my dentist, or doctor. These are so incredibly rich they would make millionaires look homeless. They are basically just cream and sugar simmered together to reduce and form a consistency thats thick, dense and so very luscious.

And i am not kidding when i say that they are only cream and sugar simmered together, because those two are the only ingredients required for these. Oh, of course, not forgetting the mandatory vanilla essence of course.

So what are u waiting for?

Let’s get the fudge going!

Recipe (Adapted from PeriPlus’ Brownies, Fudges and Toppings)

2 Cups Caster Sugar

1 Cup Cream

1 Tsp Vanilla Essence

1. Lightly brush a 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf tin with melted butter or oil. Line the base with baking paper, extending over 2 sides. Place the caster sugar, cream and a pinch of salt in a medium heavy based pan. Stir to combine and continue to stir over low heat, without boiling, until all the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat slightly, until the mixture is just simmering. Cover and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Remove the lid and clean the sugar from the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Do not stir the mixture. Continue to boil the mixture for about 10 minutes, or until it reaches the softball stage (240 F on sugar thermometer ).

3.  Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly and then stir in the vanilla essence. Beat with electric beaters for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture loses its gloss and begins to thicken. Quickly pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Cover and allow to set. Cut into small squares, or use a biscuit cutter to cut into desired shapes.

Shown here are sprinkled with some decorative christmas sugar and yellow cookie frosting as the “bow” 🙂

On a side note, i would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Categories: Cookies Tags: , ,

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies Week #8 – Angel Cookies

November 18, 2010 20 comments

I cant believe we are at week 8 of 12 WOCC.

4 more short weeks before all the fun ends. I am starting to miss it already. Geez.

Anyway, for week 8, i send forth these Christmas Angels.

And while these angels will not carol your homes with melodious Christmas songs, they will at least fill your stomachs.

These angels have Pretzel Wings,

U know what kind of pretzels i am talking about right?

Yup, THAT kind of pretzels. While these are so very easy to find in the States, these are a rare breed in Indonesia. I had to rummage through the shelves of  a couple of supermarkets before i found a bag of these. They are not cheap either, being imported and all. But i must say, they are pretty worth it. I really love how they  gave these angels wings to fly.

Well, not literally fly of course. That would be freaky.

That’s my messy workspace btw, there are lots of unrelated items, but i just placed them there and created a mess. A cute mess with happy colours.

LOL, anyways, as you can see, these angels are pretty easy to put together, involving with just the usual suspects of butter cookies, coloured cookie frostings and some decorative sugars.

I got the idea from Betty Crocker. I think the creative juices behind the Betty Crocker team is simply wonderful. *love*.

Okay, i am done writing this post,let’s get angelic already!

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Betty Crocker® yellow sugar
2 tablespoons Betty Crocker® blue sugar
96 small pretzel twists
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 tube (4.25 oz) Betty Crocker® yellow decorating icing
1 tube (4.25 oz) Betty Crocker® pink decorating icing
  1. In large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add sugar; beat until creamy, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in milk, vanilla, almond extract and salt. Stir in flour until well mixed.
  2. Measure 1/2 cup of dough into resealable food-storage plastic bag; refrigerate. Divide remaining dough in half; roll each into a 6-inch log. Roll 1 log in yellow sugar; roll other log in blue sugar. Wrap logs separately in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours.
  3. Heat oven to 350°F. For each cookie, place 2 pretzels with flat sides touching on ungreased large cookie sheets, 3 inches apart. Cut dough into 48 (1/4-inch) slices. (If dough cracks, allow to sit at room temperature a few minutes.) To make angel body, fold in opposite sides at top of each slice to make triangular-shaped body; place each slice on top of 2 pretzels, so double rounds of pretzels form angel wings at each side. Press lightly into pretzels. Using reserved dough from plastic bag, roll 1/2 teaspoon dough into ball; place on top for head of each angel. Press 2 sliced almonds into dough to make song book. Repeat to make 48 cookies.
  4. Bake 11 to 14 minutes or until edges are firm and just begin to brown. Cool 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  5. Pipe yellow icing on cooled cookies to make eyes and hair. Use pink decorating icing to draw mouths. Let stand until frosting is set.
Categories: Cookies Tags: , ,

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, Week #7 MaChristmases – Macarons go Christmas-ey!

November 11, 2010 31 comments

With a whole spectrum of colours and a universe of flavour to manipulate, these macarons are quite like the chameleon. Despite being infamous for being temperamental and sensitive, they were still able to charm the world off its pants.

The truth is, i am a rookie when it comes to macarons. I could probably count the number i have eaten macarons off my fingers. The taste didn’t really leave me with as much impression as the appearance. All i could remember was a soft, hollow sweet shell cookie sandwiching an assortment of filling. I think it might be because the bakery from which these macarons were bought was only substandard. I don’t think i have ever tasted a real macaron*.

So if i were being honest, the push factor behind baking these cookies was more on the appearance of these lookers. I have seen bright macaron displays with colours so blindingly beautiful, it was impossible to ignore. So i dove headfirst into the macaron journey and returned with my version of Christmas Macarons, the cookies that will be my 7th entry for 12 weeks of Christmas Cookies.

Okay, so maybe my macaron is not the most perfect version. But i was having so much fun with these i didnt really care.There are just so many things u can play with, from the colours of the shells, to the colours of the filling. I chose a matcha macaron, with a red buttercream filling to keep in tune with the Christmas theme. And just for fun, here is what i did:

A Sprinkle of Christmas themed candies, and a mix of some green and red sugar

Some mismatched macarons, with bold stripes painted across the shell and there is that decorative sugar again…

A sprinkle of hundreds and thousands?

Or Run your macarons across a bed of sprinkles and let them adhere to the filling

Geez, the possibilities are pretty much endless isn’t it. Anyway, the recipe for the macarons is the recipe that i used for my Mango Mousse Birthday Cake. Like the cake, the recipe is from Rei. Thanks so much Rei for sharing!

Green Tea Macaron
Ingredients
50g Icing Sugar
5g Green Tea Powder (use good quality ones)

*Sift together

30g Finely Ground Almond

35g Egg White (this time I used fresh egg white)
30g Sugar

Method
1) Prepare 2 11 x 14 inch baking tray, lined with silicon coated parchment paper (draw circles behind the parchment if required). Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.

2) Add the ground almond to the icing sugar mixture, break up clumps if any.

3 In another clean and dry bowl, whisk the egg white till frothy. Add in sugar in 2 additions and whisk till soft peak.

4) Add in the ground almond mixture into whisked egg whites in 2 addition, fold till incorporated. Lift the spatula to see if it falls ribbon-like.

5) Load the batter into a piping bag with round tip. Pipe into circles. Bake for about 5 to 8 minutes. The feet will start to form. Lower down the temperature to 110 degrees and further bake for another 15 minutes. Set aside to cool and remove from paper.

6) Pair them up and sandwich with Lemon Curd, buttercream or ganache. Refrigerate before serving.

And with that, we are at week #7 of 12 Weeks of  Christmas Cookies!! 5 more short weeks before Christmas! Hot damn!

Thanks again to April for hosting this event. I cant wait to see what the others bake up with!

* I live in Indonesia, not many French styled bakeries last time i checked 😦

Categories: Cookies Tags: , ,

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, Week #6 Popcorn Christmas Tree

November 4, 2010 22 comments

We are definitely inching slowly but steadily to Christmas. It’s just a month away! Boy, am i giddy with excitement! To celebrate our crossing into November, and for week #6 of 12  Weeks of Christmas Cookies,

i present these popcorn Christmas trees.

The idea to make these just popped (no pun intended) into my mind as i was making caramel popcorns.

After all that chiffon cake episode, i wanted a break from anything sensitive and collapsible. No bread, or cakes or pies, or even pastries for all that matter. I wanted something fool-proof,  quick and easy, and i guess pop corn is it.

And i must say, there is something deeply satisfying hearing all that corn kernels pop. I am really digging it. It’s like listening to raindrops tapping against the window.

And i am really amazed at how science works. How corn kernels transform into something so different, how something so hard and inedible can turn into something so light and crunchy.

And how they can be further manipulated to form something so festive. 🙂

Okay, that’s not really a lot to be amazed about. Maybe i am just in a weird mood.

Truth is, i wanted to make mini versions of these Christmas trees. But time wasn’t really on my side ( I made them in the morning before rushing off to work). And the truth is, i wanted to make some pretty yellow star shaped icing, but again, due to time constraint, i didnt really have much time to locate my nozzle, or fit my yellow frosting into my pipping bag.

And of course u can go crazy creative with these, I am thinking M&M’s, chocolate chips, pretzel sticks, nuts into the popcorn! Whatever that rocks your boat.

Sadly, i didn’t have all these on hands, but at least i had sprinkles! So that will have to do..

So these Popcorn Christmas trees aren’t the most perfect things, and i shouldn’t really gotten ahead of myself,

But i am pretty satisfied with how they turned out.

So let’s get poppin’ !

Recipe from Ezra Pound Cakes ( who adapted from Damgoodsweets ) THANKS so much for sharing!!

  • 1 (3.5-ounce) package plain microwave popcorn (or 3.5 ounces of popping corn)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup lightly salted peanuts, roughly chopped

1. Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside,

2. Pop the popcorn according to the package instructions. Coat a large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray, and transfer the popcorn from the bag to the bowl. Set aside.

3. In a small saucepan, whisk the sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and 2 tablespoons of water, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 250 degrees F on a candy thermometer, 3 to 4 minutes.

4. Turn off the heat, and whisk in the vanilla and baking soda. Immediately pour the hot mixture over the popcorn. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the caramel into the popcorn until all of the popcorn is coated.

5. Gently stir in the peanuts, and transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet.

6. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Gently break up the popcorn. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

*Note: I used a gingerbread cookie as the base.

To make the popcorns green, i substituted the white sugar for the brown sugar in the recipe, and stirred in green colouring after the baking soda went in.

I then shaped the popcorns into its conical shape (BE careful, they are really HOTT!) and placed them on a baked gingerbread cookie.The semi molten sugar will adhere itself to the base.

I sprinkled the trees with sprinkles first before popping them into the oven to dry out. If you sprinkle after the oven time, the sprinkles wont stick as the sugar has already dried.

Once again, i thank the host abbeysweets for letting me participate on such a fun event!

Categories: Cookies Tags: , , ,

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, Week #5 Mr. Meringue Frosty

October 29, 2010 28 comments

Meringue ghosts seem to be popular now that halloween is around the corner. I’ve seen them on cupcakes, whole cakes, or even as cookies. It comes as pretty much a no-brainer for me to make meringue snowmen for 12 Weeks Of Christmas Cookies. I mean, since they are both supposedly white anyways.

Meet Mr. Frosty. He is every bit as his ghostly cousin in compositiion, except maybe less spooky.

The thing i like about meringue cookies is that they only need two ingredients. Egg whites and sugar. That’s probably something every household has on hands at all times. There is probably no need for that run to the store to get some last minute ingredients.

These said egg whites and sugar are whipped senseless before they are sent to bake in an oven. As many of you would have known, something magical happens when u whip these egg whites. They form into a voluminous mass which u can easily coax to form whatever u fancy.

Like a melted Mr.Frosty perhaps,

LOL, that’s probably Frosty’s girlfriend panicking over her boyfriend.

U can also pipe them into kisses with a star shaped nozzle.

And they take colour quite easily too! My kisses are streaked with the festive green and red.

How long you bake it depends on your personal preference. I like mine with a crisp outer shell, with a gooey surprise centre. So its a relatively quick bake for me.

Anyways,  having raved about the wonders of meringue cookies , there is also one setback.

With sugar as its primary ingredients, these cookies are pretty much on the sweeter side, something that the dentist will probably tsked u for eating, or something that doctors wouldn’t touch with a pole.

But then again, what’s Christmas without a bit of an indulgence? 🙂

Recipe by me.

3 egg whites

150 grams sugar

1. Double boil egg whites till hot to the touch

2. Whip the egg whites senseless till it forms stiff peaks

3. Shape them into your desired shapes

4. Bake them at a low temperature oven ( How long u bake them depends on how big your cookies are and how crisp u want them to be). For Mr Frosty i baked mine at 140 degree C ( Not F!) for 40 minutes.

Geez, i dont think i am cut out to be a recipe writer. This so doesnt sound convincing. In fact, it is sounding a wee bit shady. But it worked for me. Nevertheless, please feel free to use other meringue cookies recipe!

Categories: Cookies Tags: , ,

12 Weeks of Christmas, Week #4 Albino Gingerbread Men

October 21, 2010 33 comments

It is week 4 into 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.

I was wondering whether it is still too early to be introducing cookies with the festive colours of green and red.After all, week 4 means that we are STILL 8 weeks away from Christmas.

But, that’s pretty subjective isn’t it? We could be: We are ONLY 8 weeks away from Christmas!

So I’ve decided to play it cool, slowly incorporating the colours, bit by bit. Starting from drawn green and red features on my troop. Nothing too gaudy here. Yet.

And these cookies, inspired by i-bake-for-you are just it!

Being a snow-washed colour, these cookies are also like blank canvases, so ready to take the merry colours of the season.

They are also made from tapioca starch. Now, i am not a flour expert here, but i think these are gluten free (can anyone clarify on that?). Because no matter how much i kneaded the dough, the familiar gluten strands didnt form.

But having said that, i think the fact that these are gluten free made these cookies really fragile (again, is this accurate?). They are of this melt-in-your-mouth, sandy texture.

You dont really need to chew them, u can just break these cookies by pushing it against the roof mouth with your tongue. It will pretty much shatter and dissolve on its own. Geez, am i even making sense here??

Ah, my smart looking, friendly, albeit brittle troop.

And of course, some casuaties are inevitable aren’t they. No biggie, just pop them into your mouth and none will be the wiser. 🙂

I didn’t follow the recipe published on I-bake-for-you as it called for stir frying that tapioca starch. I wasn’t interested  in a creating flour bath in my kitchen,  instead i settled on this ingenious recipe which called for microwaving the said starch. Ah!

Recipe adapted from Little Corner of Mine (Thanks for sharing!)

Ingredients:

-2 1/2 cups tapioca flour/tapioca starch
-1 Tbp. butter, melted
-1 egg yolk (from large egg)
-1 cup icing sugar
-120ml thick coconut milk (or coconut cream)

Method:

1. Place a paper towel on a microwave safed bowl, add the tapioca flour and microwave for 1 minute. Set aside and let it cool. (You can fry the flour in the wok if you don’t have a microwave.)

Microwave extra tapioca flour for standby (to flour the surface) and kneading purposes.

2. Sift tapioca flour and icing sugar in a big bowl. Add melted butter, yolk & coconut milk. Knead until the dough is pliable. (If the dough is wet or soft, add more tapioca flour, 1 Tbp. at a time and knead until it becomes a harder dough. Likewise, if it’s too dry, add more coconut milk).

3. Roll out the dough on lightly floured surface to about 3mm thickness. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter (Or you can use the kuih bangkit mould (this required longer baked time). Arrange on lined baking tray and bake at 350’F for 15 minutes. It will puff when baked.

Again, i thank Abby for hosting the wonderful event! I am excited to see what the other cookie makers do this week!

Categories: Cookies Tags: , ,

12 Weeks of Christmas, Week #3 No bake Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Hedgehogss

October 13, 2010 28 comments

I know the theme for this event is to post happy, colourful Christmas cookies, but i just couldn’t resist sneaking in these little treats.

Sure, hedgehogs are more suited for Halloween, which of course is also just around the corner. In fact, the original recipe called for them to be shaped into mice. But i wasn’t about to get licorice ropes just for the mice tails.

So i kinda improvised, and tried to make them as friendly looking as i possibly could.

The original recipe called for mini candies for the mice’s eyes.

But, that’s not happening to my friendly hedgehogs, i wasn’t about to let them have red, evil stares.

Instead, I dotted some white chocolate for these, plus a mini within for that extra innocence.

And also, a sprinkle of thorns, for i just simply couldnt leave these cherubic faces defenceless.

AAaaww

That’s a hedgehog, eating a giant almond. Hedgehogs eat almonds right.

Oh, did i mention that these are No-bake?

Andthey are made up of the most perfect pair, peanut butter and chocolate?

Ok, i shall not hedge for the recipe and hog on your attention any longer.

Here goes! Recipe from Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate candy coating, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 36 pieces black shoestring licorice (2 inches each)
  • Assorted candies: Red cake decorator dots, M&M’s semisweet miniature baking bits and black sugar

Directions

  • In a small bowl, beat the peanut butter, butter and vanilla until blended; gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar. Stir in cereal. Shape into 1-in. balls, tapering one end to resemble a mouse. Position almonds on heads for ears. Refrigerate until chilled.
  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt candy coating and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip mice into coating; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Immediately insert licorice for tails. Add red dots for eyes and M&M’s miniature baking bits for noses. Sprinkle with black sugar. Refrigerate until set. Yield: 3 dozen.

This is my week #3 of 12 weeks of Christmas Cookies. Third week, means that we are about 9 weeks away from Christmas!

Thanks again Abbey Sweets for hosting the event. I cant wait to see what the others bake up with!

Categories: Cookies Tags: , , , ,

12 Weeks of Christmas, Week #2 – Chocolate Dipped Disney Cookies

October 8, 2010 23 comments

What do u do when a stranger smiles at you?

For me, i smile back.

So what happens when a whole army of Disney characters grin at you?

I grin back of course,  out of reciprocal courtesy. We don’t want to be accused of bad manner.

I was grinning at the first few these cookies, as i stamped on random Disney faces on a piece of flat shortbread dough. Mickey, Minnie, .. Winnie, Tigger… Chip and Dale ( I just realized i dont know Chip from Dale).

But minutes into that, my grin faded to a smile, as the dough became increasingly sticky with all the extra handling.

And soon after, the smile was replaced with a scowl, as i battled with the dough which went rebel on me and decided to stick to every crook and cranny within the facial features of my stamps.

I stopped, and decided a cool-off period was in order, literally. I sent the dough to the fridge, and myself to the comfort of my air-conditioned bedroom.

After half an hour or so, i came back with a chilled head, ready to face my challenger.

I had a new strategy, to work as fast as humanely possible, before the butter melts, and i am faced with the repeated sticky (no pun intended) situation.

As quickly as i could, I reached out for whichever cutter was nearest to me, not paying attention who i was stamping. As a result, i may or may not have ended up with too many mickeys, and too little tigger.

Thats okay i guess, cause after all they just make one big happy family.

My  happy mood was again restored as i pulled out a tray of pretty cookies.

And to elevate that, i dipped those happy cookies into chocolate and sent happy mood to overjoy.

This is my second cookie post for 12 weeks of Christmas Cookies.

And for a list of what the other participants did, head over to the Abby Sweets (the host), or any other participants who will have a linky on their blogs. I’m sorry for the lack of the linky in my blog, cause apparently, WordPress doesnt support Mr.Linky.

That aside, 10 more weeks to go before Christmas! And i am so geared up to see what the others baked up this week!

Oh wait, there is the 3D version of these cookies too!

Categories: Cookies Tags: , , ,

And, away we go!

October 5, 2010 7 comments

Let your tastebuds travel with these bewitching sweet and salty broomstick cookies. I came across this delightful Halloween cookie idea @ Betty Crocker.

These are so cute that i think they will magically be swept away if you serve them as part of your Halloween platter.

Recipe from HERE

Categories: Cookies Tags: , , ,

12 Weeks of Christmas, Week #1- Smores Cookies

October 1, 2010 18 comments

I am probably ahead of everyone in posting my first post, but i am on the other side of the world, and it’s Friday for me already! Yays!!

Anyways, for my first post, i decided that i wanted something familiar and comforting. Something homely, unpretentious and simple, for that is what Christmas is all about right?

The first thing that came to mind was of course the classic – Chocolate chip cookies. These cookies don’t need any introduction, for they are practically a household staple.

But, baking chocolate chip cookies would be boring.

Every household probably already has their own favourite recipe they go back to from time to time. They don’t need me to post yet another recipe.

So i decided to jazz it up a lil’ bit, and made these Smores Cookies.

These cookies are basically your average chewy, soft baked chocolate chip cookies. But they kicked it up a notch by having graham cracker crumbs as part of its list of ingredients.

Good thing i had that at the ready, homemade. That added extra depth in aroma and flavour.

And of course, the obvious toppings didn’t hurt as well. The recipe called for Hershey’s chocolate blocs and marshmallows. I added graham cracker bits for good measure (yes, i am pretty obsessed with that cookie! )

Michelle used these cookies to bribe someone to cover her shift. That’s a fair exchange. In fact, it might be in favour of the beneficiary of these cookies. I, for one, wouldn’t mind it for one bit. 🙂

Thanks Michelle for sharing the recipe!

Smores Cookies

1 3/4 cups flour

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 cup/ 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

2 cups miniature chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

2 regular Hershey bars, roughly chopped

In a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugars and mix until fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, graham crackers, salt and baking soda and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips then cover and refrigerate the dough for about one hour. Preheat oven to 375 F. Take a tablespoon of the dough, roll into a ball, and drop onto a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of dough, leaving about 2 inches between each to allow it to spread. Bake for 6 minutes, then remove from the oven. Push a 3 – 5 marshmallows and a few pieces of a Hershey’s bar into each cookie. Return to oven and bake for another 2 – 3 minutes until golden brown and the marshmallows are a bit toasted. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

I can’t wait to see what the others bake!

For the complete list of the 12 weeks of christmas cookies participants, head over to Abby Sweets.

Lastly, i wish a Happy Friday to everyone. Remember, we are only 12 weeks away from Christmas!

Week 1 Twelve Weeks of Christmast:

Categories: Cookies Tags: , , , ,

Homemade Graham Crackers

September 27, 2010 4 comments

These homemade graham crackers kick store bought ones in the ass. Hard.

They taste like rich butter cookies, except more flavourful, with the brown sugar, honey and a dash of cinnamon.

I rolled the dough pretty thinly as i wanted a nice crisp snap to it. I also cookie cutted (yes, i know i just invented this word) them into circles as i was too lazy to measure and slice them into their traditional rectangular shapes.

Try this, i promise that you won’t reach for the prepackaged stuff no more. Not when it’s super urgent at least.

Graham Crackers  Recipe from Tracey’s Culinary Adventure who adapted from The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco (Thanks Tracey for sharing the recipe!)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey

In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, and honey. Mix on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. In two additions, add the dry ingredients, letting the first fully incorporate before you add the second.

Turn the dough out and flatten it into a rectangular shape, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes or up to 2 days. (The dough can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 1 month.)

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Unwrap the chilled dough, and on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Using a ruler and a pastry cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 3-by-3-inch squares; use a spatula to transfer the rectangles to the prepared baking sheets as you go. Reroll the scraps of dough once, and cut out more cookies. Using a paring kninfe, gently score each square to create a line down the middle, taking care not to cut all the way through the dough. Using a fork, pierce each rectangle with two rows of six to eight marks.

Bake the graham crackers, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until they are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

The graham crackers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Categories: Cookies Tags: , ,

Churros Con Chocolate

September 20, 2010 2 comments


Still on a choux pastry roll, i decided to take a lil walk on the wild side. Instead of baking, i decided to deep fry these choux pastries. I was pleased when i saw Baking Bites featured a churros recipe on her blog as her recipes are usually clear and work for me. (Thank You Baking Bites!!)

While these mexican delights are tasty doused with a lil cinammon sugar, they are absolutely divine when dipped in chocolate sauce.

The consistency of the chocolate was on the thin side, as it serves a dual purpose. One is of course to dip your churros into, but once you have reached the end of your churros stick, or second churros stick,  this chocolate sauce can also be drunk the way you nurse a cup of hot chocolate. Oh yeah baby.

On a side note, i think i might have goofed up a bit on the deep frying tho. As typical of me, i totally disregarded the part of the recipe which called for measuring the temperature of the oil. I jumped straight into pipping my dough into the hot oil, marvelling at how pretty they turn out to be when they puff up into golden brown crispness.

But i guess u can’t fool the law of choux pastry of never opening the oven door before the pastries are cooked, cause some of my casualties came out deflated, with soggy centers after they have been left to drain.

Good thing i discovered the mistake early, and worked on my subsequent batches by lowering the heat, and making sure that each of them were a deep golden brown before i fished them out of the oil.

These churros are crispy when served immeadiately, they tend to get soggy in a bit… and when they do, just pop them into the oven for a bit of a refresher, and voila, fresh churros all over again.

Churros con Chocolate
Adapted from Bakingbites who adapted from Chocolateria San Gines
Churros
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs
vegetable oil, for frying
confectioners’ sugar

Chocolate Sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups milk (any kind)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips)
1/4 cup sugar

In a medium saucepan, combine butter and water and bring to a boil. When mixture is boiling, add in flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Continue to stir and cook the dough for about 1 minute. Transfer to a large mixing bowl or to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Turn the mixer on medium-high. Beat in the eggs one at a time, waiting until each has been well incorporated before adding the next. Batter may look wet before it comes together, but keep mixing and a smooth dough will form.
Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a medium or large star tip.
Pour about 2-inches of oil into a deep saucepan. Bring the oil to about 365F.

Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate sauce.
Whisk together the cornstarch and milk. Add mixture, along with chocolate and sugar, to a small saucepan. Bring just to boil, whisking occasionally, and cook until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.

Pipe 5 to 6-inch pieces of churro dough into the hot oil and cook until golden brown, then flip and cook until golden on the second side (about 5-6 minutes total). Remove from oil and set on some paper towels to drain, then dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Serve churros with small cups of chocolate sauce.

Makes about 20 churros.

Categories: Cookies Tags: , ,

Holey Moley Macaron-ey

September 19, 2010 Leave a comment

So much has been said about Macarons. From reviews to how addictive they are, to how difficult they are to make.

I am agreeing to both parties. These macarons are indeed delicious. I have sandwiched chocolate filing onto mine to kinda offset the sweetness of the cookies.

As for how they are made, well, as u can see from the shapes of my not so perfect macaron, i am really in no position to comment or offer any advices or link u to any recipes.Making macarons isn’t rocket science, but it sure ain’t easy.

Go on, take the challenge, your worse situation will be to end up with a pile of unsightly macaron shells, which is not exactly a bad thing cause no matter how they turn out, they will still be absolutely delish!

It all started with a set of weird looking biscottis

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment

These biscottis are looking a lil bit odd and i have no one to blame for that but my inability to follow instructions.

You see, the recipe called to shape the dough into a log measuring 1.5 inch wide. However, me, being simply ME, decided to throw caution to the wind and popped 2.5 inches logs into the oven.

What i didn’t know was how these cookies would spread, making logs of dough look like the bottoms of upturned salad bowls.

As a result, I had rows of flat biscottis, without the characteristical bump in the middle of each cookie. I am glad that the taste weren’t affected though, they were kinda like the harder version of chocolate chip cookies, which of course, is a universal favourite. And unlike most biscottis out there, these cookies are good enough to be eaten on its own. Thanks PheMOMenon for the wonderful recipe.

Or of course, if you want to soften them a bit, u can dunk it in your fave cuppa coffee.

Or, if u needed to distract people from the ugly shape of your biscotti, and what else could be so versatile than

to dip it in chocolate?

It seems to become a very predictable pattern around this blog to dip everything in chocolate isn’t it?

I apologize for the lack of creativity. I will brainstorm for other ideas. But for now, chocolate it is.

The original plan was to dip the ends of these cookies into chocolate, but my poor judgement skills made me melt waaaaay too much chocolate than what is necessary really. So i double and triple dipped both ends, and did a drizzle, making absolutely the most delicious mess.

Try it!

Almond Chocolate Chunk Biscotti (adapted from Phe.Mom.enon)

2 cups all-purpose flour1

1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, soft

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks (or chips)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the center position.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl (preferably a stand mixer with paddle attachment) beat the softened butter, brown sugar and sugar together at medium speed for about 3 to 4 minutes until very light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and beat for 2 minutes more, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times to make sure everything is well beaten.  Add the almond extract and vanilla and beat till combined.
Turn the speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated. Add the sliced almonds and chocolate chunks and mix till just combined.
Scrape half the dough out onto one side of the lined baking sheet.  Using your hands and a rubber spatula, shape the dough into a log about 12-inches long and about 1 ½ inches wide.  The dough will be very sticky and should be more of a bumpy rectangle.  Repeat the process with the second half of the dough down the other side of the baking sheet.
Bake the logs for 15 minutes, or until light golden but still soft to the touch.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool on a rack 30 minutes before cutting and baking the cookies the second time.
Use a wide metal spatula to move the logs to a cutting board.  Cut the logs into 1-inch thick slices and place the slices back on the lined baking sheet.  Bake the cookies another 15 minutes, until golden and firm.  Transfer them to a rack to cool completely.  Store the cookies in an airtight container to keep them more chewy

Categories: Cookies Tags: , , , ,

Choquettes with Pearl Sugar

September 15, 2010 1 comment



I have always shy-ed away from making choux pastry as i have heard uninspiring failures from others who have tried their hands on it.
The stories were revolved around collapsing outer shells, uncooked centers, and generally soggy pastries.

I knew it was a pastry that i wanted to learn and master ( come to think of it, what isn’t? ), but so far, nothing gave me the sufficient kick in my butt to get started.

Not until yesterday, when i was watching a TV show called ” Sugar” by Anna Olson. She was making them eclairs, which are choux pastries filled with pastry cream and glazed with chocolate coating.( Well, if that isn’t motivating enough, i don’t know what is).

So i looked over the many different websites, each with their own sets of do’s and don’ts, and settled on David Lebovits choquette.

Why choquettes?! u ask, there are so plain, none of the fancy pastry cream and chocolate coating that motivated u in the start!

Well… u see, i wasn’t so convinced that i would succeed making these pastries. And i definitely do not want to get stuck with a huge bowl of pastry cream, or chocolate glaze with no pastries.

I am kinda regretting that though. Looking at the beautiful hollow within each pastry, i wished i had something to fill them up with. Well, maybe next time, but for now, i shall be contented with eating my pearl sugared choux pastry with a victory dance.

Chouquettes adapted from David lebovitz
About 25 Puffs

From The Sweet Life in Paris (Broadway Books)

Shaping the mounds of dough is easiest to do with a pastry bag, although you can use two spoons or a spring-loaded ice cream scoop.

1 cup (250ml) water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
6 tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 cup (135g) flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Glaze: 1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 teaspoon milk
Crystal sugar (Coarse sugar is available in the US from King Arthur and in some Ikea stores. In Paris, I buy mine at G. Detou.)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (220 C.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. Heat the water, salt, sugar, and butter in a small saucepan, stirring, until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and dump all the flour in at once. Stir rapidly until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan.

3. Allow dough to cool for two minutes, then briskly beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth and shiny.

4. Using two spoons, scoop up a mound of dough with one spoon roughly the size of an unshelled walnut, and scrape it off with the other spoon onto the baking sheet.

5. Place the mounds evenly-spaced apart on the baking sheet. Brush the top of each mound with some of the egg glaze then press coarse sugar crystals over the top and sides of each mound. Use a lot. Once the puffs expand rise, you’ll appreciate the extra effort (and sugar.)

6. Bake the cream puffs for 35 minutes, or until puffed and well-browned.

(If you want to make them crispier, you can poke a hole in the side with a knife after you take them out of the oven to let the steam escape.)

The cream puffs are best eaten the same day they’re made. Once cooled, they can be frozen in a zip-top freezer bag for up to one month. Defrost at room temperature, then warm briefly on a baking sheet in a moderate oven, until crisp.

A New Twist on Red Velvet Cookies

September 14, 2010 Leave a comment



These cookies took a lil twist from its more famous sibling, the red velvet sandwich cookies.

Of course, i don’t have to tell you that the red velvet family line goes a long long way. We have red velvet cupcakes, red velvet cake pops, red velvet ice cream etc.

Each of these family members are distinguished by it’s unique duo colour combination, red and white.

And for these cookies to be enter that exalted family lineage, i whipped out my brightest red food colouring to counter the darkness of the cocoa powder. I was surprised at how much it took to get that gorgeous red. I finished about 3/4of my tub of colouring. which i am guessing is about 2 TBS.. Oh well, so much for being away from the world of synthesized and unnatural food ingredients.

But colouring issues aside, these cookies, were just aiight. Don’t get me wrong, they are not bad, just not too fantastic.

Thank goodness for white chocolate coating to save the day. With the white chocolate, the taste of the cookies shot up from a 6 to a 9, in my humble opinion that is.

Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies
adapted from : The culinary chronicles

Ingredients:

1¼ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons  Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¼ Teaspoon  Salt
½ Cup Unsalted Butter, cut up
1 Tablespoon Red Food Coloring
3 Ounces White Chocolate, coarsely chopped
1½ Teaspoons Shortening
Finely Chopped Pistachios or Rainbow Nonpareils (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Cover and process with on/off turns until combined. Add butter and red food coloring. Process with on/off turns until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Process until mixture just forms a ball.*

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough lightly until nearly smooth. Roll or pat dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Using a floured 1-1/2-inch round cutter, cut out dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press scraps together and reroll.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until centers are set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

In a heavy small saucepan, melt white chocolate and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly. Dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate. If desired, sprinkle with pistachios or nonpareils. Let stand on waxed paper until set. Makes about 24 cookies.

Caramel Filled Cookies. Oh yes pls.

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment



These cookies may look plain and boring on the outside, but bite into it, and u find magic inside.

Yes, I am talking about molten, ooey-gooey, stretchy caramel.

Chocolate and caramel. I don’t have to convince you what a perfect pair they are right?

These cookies were also so ridiculously easy to make, well at least for this version, because i chose to buy store bought caramel candies. The candies come in  uniform sized balls which made it so convenient to be pushed into the awaiting cookie dough.

But take extra care to make sure that the surface is all smooth with no visible cracks though. The molten caramel has a way of leaking through these cracks.

Trust me. I have had a couple of casualties.

Other than that, we’re good to go!

Caramel Filled Cookies, adapted from Culinary in the Desert
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (preferably white whole wheat)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (my favorite is King Arthur’s Double Dutch)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
48 Rolos (or substitute peanut butter cups or plain caramels)

Sift together the flours, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a small bow. Set aside.

Combine the butter and sugars, beat until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating the first before adding the second. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated (I recommend doing this by hand with a big wooden spoon; the dough is pretty soft so it shouldn’t be too hard on your arms). Scrape dough into a plastic bag and chill for at least 2 hours.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Divide the dough into quarters, and work with one section at a time. Divide a quarter into 12 equal pieces of dough and roll into balls. Make sure you have unwrapped all the foil from your Rolos! Seriously!! Poke a hole in the center of each dough ball and insert a Rolo; shape the dough around the candy so that it is completely covered, and then roll between your palms back into a ball. Dip the top of each cookie in additional granulated sugar, if desired, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, sugared side up. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake until the tops are firm and cookies are set, approximately 12 minutes. If you feel like the cookies are a bit too puffy looking you can press them down a bit right after they come out of the oven, but don’t push too hard! You don’t want to squish the caramel out. Let sit on the pan for a few minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Blondes have more fun Blondies

September 12, 2010 Leave a comment



I came across this blondie recipe and was immediately enchanted by its whimsical charm.

They just look so fun and happy, kinda like eating a McDonald’s happy meal on a bright Sunday morning when you were 5.

These blondies however, were on the thin side. They were almost bar cookie like, but they still have that dense fudgy characteristic of most brownies.

My only complaint is that i live in a houseful of adults, with no kids to pack these into their lunchboxes.

But, if u happen to have a kid in handy, here goes:

8 TBS unsalted butter, melted ( 1 stick)
1/2 C packed light brown sugar
1/3 C granulated sugar
1 large egg
1tsp pure vanilla extract
1 C AP flour
1 tsp salt
1 C dark chocolate chips
1C colour coated candies

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush an 8×8 inch square baking pan with butter. Line pan with a piece of parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch overhang on two sides. Grease paper

2. In a large bowl, whisk butter and sugars until smooth. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Add flour and salt, mix until just moistened ( do not overmix ). Fold in 1/2 C each of the chocolate chips and colour coated candies. Transfer batter to prepared pan, smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and candies.

3. Bake 40- 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Set pan on wire rack and let cool completely. Using parchment overhang, lift the brownies from the pan and transfer to a cutting board, Cut into 16 squares. Store bars in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Strawberry Deluge

September 10, 2010 2 comments

I know i have been baking too much with strawberries lately, but that’s what you do when u bought a gorgeous bucket of strawberries right?

You see, strawberries aren’t exactly the kind of fruit that you could leave chilling for weeks. You are lucky if you can get away with one week, before all the mildew starts to attack and firm supple-ness turns to .. squishy.

So here is a strawberry shortcake, which is made of a sliced cream scone sandwiching macerated strawberries and softly whipped cream.

The scones were somewhat crispy on the edges and soft and bread-like within the middle, making it a great vehicle to soak up all that sweetened juice from the macerated strawberry.

And the whipped cream?
It just went so well with the scone, cause sometimes, eating a scone alone might be a bit on the dry side.

A winning combination, really.

Recipe adapted from Joy of baking

Scones:

2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup (76 grams) cold unsalted butter

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (120 ml) light whipping cream or half and half (12 – 18% butterfat)

Egg Wash:

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon cream

Filling:

2 pounds (900 grams) fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/4 cup – 1/3 cup (50 – 65 grams) granulated white sugar (or to taste)

Topping:

1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar

Scones: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Whisk together the egg, cream and vanilla extract and add to the flour mixture, mixing just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat or roll the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. With a 3 inch (7 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place the scones on the baking sheet. Make an egg wash of one well-beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon cream and brush the tops of the scones with this mixture.

Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack.

Filling: Wash and slice the strawberries. Place about one third of the strawberries in a large bowl and crush them with a potato masher or fork. Add the remaining sliced strawberries, along with the sugar. (The amount of sugar used will depend on how sweet the berries are.) Set aside to macerate at room temperature for about 30 to 60 minutes.

Whipped cream: In a large mixing bowl place the whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sugar and stir to combine. Cover and chill the bowl and beaters in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When chilled, beat the mixture until stiff peaks form. The whipped cream will hold for several hours in the refrigerator.

To serve: Cut the scones in half and place the bottom half of the scone (soft side up) on a dessert plate. Top with some of the strawberries and whipped cream. Place the top half of the scone on the strawberries. Top with whipped cream and a few more strawberries. If there is any juice from the strawberries, drizzle a little over the top of the scone. Serve immediately.

Serves about 8 people.

Taste like the Sunshine

September 9, 2010 Leave a comment



With fresh strawberries and lemon juice as its filling, these bars have a refreshing burst of sweet, and tangy-ness with each bite.

Top that with a mix of almonds, oats and brown sugar for a streusel, and you are ready to welcome that sunsrise with a complete breakfast bar in your hands.

Of course, i am not saying that it should only be eaten for breakfast. U can have it for lunch too, or dinner.

Or after dinner, which is what i am having while i am typing this. Yums!

Also,the bottom dough is a press-in dough. None of that chilling and rolling, which is something u don’t wanna do in the morning.

Oh, but please do make and eat these on the day itself though, as they tend to go soggy over time, but apart from that, these bars deserve a thumb up.

Recipe adapted from : The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

2 1/2 Cups AP flour

2/3 Cups granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 18 pieces and softened

1/2 Cups old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 Cups pecans, toasted and chopped fine —> I used silvered almonds

1/4 Cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 Cup raspberry jam —-> I used strawberry jam

3/4 Cup fresh raspberries —> I used fresh strawberries

1 TBS fresh lemon juice

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 F. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with a foil sling and grease the foil

2. Whisk the flour, granulated sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Beat in 16 tablespoons of the butter with an electric mixer at low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Reserve the 1 1/4 cups of the mixture for the topping.

3. Sprinkle the remaining mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer with the bottom of a measuring cup. Bake the crust till fragrant and the edges begin to brown, 14 to 18 minutes

4. Mix the reserved flour mixture, oats, nuts and brown sugar together in a medium bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and pinch the mixture between your fingers into hazelnut sized clumps of streusel. In a small bowl, mash the jam, raspberries, and lemon juice together with a fork until just some of the berry pieces remain.

5. Spread the berry mixture evenly over the hot crust, and sprinkle with the streusel topping. Bake the bars until the filling is bubbling and the topping is a deep golden brown, 22-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking

6. Let the bars cool completely in the pan, set on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil and cut into squares and serve.

Peanut Butter and Bacon (yes bacon!) Cookies

September 4, 2010 2 comments



Don’t get weirded out yet by these cookies, i think combining sweet and savoury is a pretty common thing to do.

Look at Mcgriddles, with the maple syrup sweetened pancakes and the savoury patty.

and the new hype with salted caramel whatever.

Or how we used to dip our fries in our sundaes as kids  (well, maybe that’s just me? )

Besides the eccentric take on taste, these cookies are also flourless. After years of baking, this is my first time baking a cookie without flour.

I was doubtful at first, worrying about how these cookies will stand without the help of the flour to build its structure. My worries were unfounded, as somehow, as if magically, the batter sort of firmed up after the addition of baking soda and egg. I am definitely gonna look up how that managed to happen.

Nevertheless, science aside, i urge u to get a sensory overload with these delightful sweet and savoury cookies!

Recipe from Joy the baker ( She is quirky and really fun).  HERE

Categories: Cookies

Hamastachen

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment



Okay, so i wasn’t exactly planning to make Hamastachens. Cause frankly speaking, i didnt know what they were.

What i set out to do, was to bake with some of the dates i’ve gotten my hands on a couple of days before.

So i settled with Martha Stewart’s date filled triangles. This was from her cookies book.

Yes, she calls them triangles…

Well, i like to call them Hamastachen. Just because these cookies are shaped exactly the way traditional hamastachens are.  And just because i wanna boast upon the fact that i have been reading enuff to know about the existence of these Jewish cookies.

Why the peculiar shape u ask? Isn’t that a lot of work to get them to shape up?

Well, apparently, these cookies are modeled after Haman’s, the jewish villain’s hat.

Isn’t history fun?

Recipe:

1 1/4  C All purpose flour

1/4 C  Sugar

salt

2 Tsp orange flavoured water

3 TBS ice water

3/4 C dates, pitted

1/3 C sliced Almonds

2TBS orange juice

1/2 tsp whole milk

2 TBS honey

1. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt and half the zest. Pulse to combine.Add butter, pulse till crumbly. Combine  orange flavoured water and ice water. Pulse until dough just comes together. Chill covered for 20 minutes.

2. In a clean bowl of a food processor, combine the dates, almonds, OJ and the remaining zest. Pulse to coarsely chop.

3. Heat oven to 350 F. Form dough to 1.5 inches diameter balls. Flatten into 3.5 inches circles. Place on heaping tsp of date filling on each. Fold the sides towards the centre, making triangles. Press to flatten slightly. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Press again

4. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and honey. Brush on the pastries, Arrange 3 sliced almonds on each pastry. Arrange 3 sliced almonds on each pastry. Bake until golden (30 – 40 mins.) Rotate sheets halfway..

Transfer to wire rach, brush with graze again. let stand of 15 minutes before serving. Cookies can be kept in airtight container for up to 3 days.

Categories: Cookies

Who says 3D is only for movies?

August 22, 2010 2 comments



These cookies never fail to get “aaaw, these -are -soooo -cute” response from its viewers.

I don’t blame them.

If u are seeking instant gratification, or are just a sucker needing attention, these babies are definitely the way to go.

Cause  conveniently, these cookies lend a momentary spotlight to its creator too.

Of course, that is provided u have a wonderful brother who happens to live in Japan. And who would cave in to your incessant whinning and get you the ingenious cookie cutter.

Kudos to Japanese creativity.

Recipe from HERE

Categories: Cookies

Salted Peanut Butter Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

August 17, 2010 1 comment



Whew, the title itself is pretty much a mouthful isn’t it?

And, did i say salted? ewww?

Don’t worry much, everything will fall into places. *keeps fingers crossed*

These cookies have got three processes to it.

1. Chop and toast nuts
2. Bake and shape peanut butter cookies

aaaaaanddd…

3. Make caramel.

I havent really mastered the fine art of making caramel. But from reading various sites, and watching various videos from the WWW, i know there is delicate science involved.

So i got out the thickest and most shallow pan, which happens to be a humongous chinese cooking wok ( Geez, have u seen the size and felt the weight of it??). Poured my sugar, water, corn syrup, salt and watched the sugar cooking process like a paranoid hawk.

Oh, and i placed a piece of deep fried chicken beside me. Just because the instructions called for the caramel to turn a “golden brown” before adding the cream. It’s sort of my colour indicator. Dont judge.

It did work like a charm though. No crystallisation, no burnt spots, nothing, But creamy creamy chewy caramel. Thank You fried Chicken!

The processes following it were pretty breezy. Stir nuts into said creamy creamy chewy caramel and spoon it into the pre-indented p.b cookies. and voilaa!!

Try it!

Ps: I sprinkled couple grains of seasalt onto each cookie. Just cause everyone seems to be doing that.. Adding salt to caramel. I didnt really need to do that, cause my caramel was pre-salted. DOH!

Recipe from HEREE

Categories: Cookies

Spritz Cookies go Green

August 13, 2010 Leave a comment

In case you haven’t noticed, the month of Ramadhan is upon us..
Yes, i am talking about the month where our Muslim friends fast from dawn to dust.
Dawn to dust. That’s a lot of hours.

Dawn to dust with No water, no food.
That makes it feel even longer

Total respect coming from me. I nibble on something every half hour.

Anyways, to get in the spirit of things, i’ve decided to bake with the unofficial Ramadan colour.

Green. These cookies were infused with pandan essence and a hint of green colouring.

Oh, and they are made even richer with the use of custard powder.
And coconut milk powder.

🙂

Categories: Cookies

Whooping for Whoopie

August 11, 2010 Leave a comment



Whooping for Whoopie

Have you heard? Whoopie pies are the new cupcakes.

I didn’t want to be left out of the trend. And, i was dead curious.

So off i go, scouting for recipes.

Martha Stewart? Okays.

I browsed through the ingredient list.

Sour Cream.. Hmm.. much as i love sour cream. I dont always have a tub chilling in the fridge.

Rose Levy Beranbaum? Sounds good..

except, there is buttermilk involved. Not another readily available refrigerator item.

That’s ok though, for we are flexible adults who do substitution.
1/2 TBS lemon juice for 1/2 C of milk. That was easy enuff

The mixing process was a breeze. Everything came together pretty easily. Except, the batter was a bit too runny. It spread pretty badly when it was scooped onto the baking sheet.

Thank goodness for baking powder and soda within the batter for the slight lift. If not, we’ll be eating buttercream pancakes sandwiches. Well, That’s not a bad thing too!

Recipe from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes

Categories: Cakes, Cookies

PB and J – in cookie form. Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies

August 3, 2010 Leave a comment

PB and J – in cookie form. Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies

Take the two things u used to slap on ur sandwich bread, and make them into cookies. i am talking about these peanut butter and jam thumbprint cookies.

Yes, they are a bit tedious cause u have to shape them into uniform sized balls. And yes, they are a little bit of a nuisance cause u have to coat said balls in ground peanuts. And yes, they require a tad more attention as u will need to push ur thumb ( i used the back of the chopstick) gingerly into each dough to form the indentation.

But alas, i must say, they are pretty worth it!

Recipe can be found HERE

Spritz Butter Cookies go Fancy

July 30, 2010 1 comment

Just ur average spritz butter cookies dipped in melted white chocolate and coloured sprinkles.

The white chocolate dip for these cookies provide a pleasant burst of sweetness against the subtly sweet cookies. Not to mention, it does make them pretty too.

50 gr butter
50 gr shortening
60 gr icing sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
160 gr plain flour
30 gr milk powder
10 gr custard powder

method:
1. Combine butter, shortening, icing sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffly. Add in the egg and the vanilla and mix till well combined. Fold in the flour, milk powder and custard powder to make a dough.

2. Spoon the dough into a pipping bag fitted with a nozzle. Pipe rounds on a pre-greased/ line baking sheet, spaced out to make room for spreading.

3. Bake at 170 degree Celcius ( not fahrenheit! ) for about 15- 20 mins until firm

4. Dip baked cookies in pre-melted white chocolate, and scatter colourful sprinkles before the white chocolate sets.

Categories: Cookies

Honey Lemon Madeleines


Honey Lemon Madeleines

Originally uploaded by CruStABakes

Honey Lemon Madeleines

These madeleines got its signature humpback from beating egg whites separately from the yolks instead of letting the batter chill in the fridge. As a result, these madelenies are spongy soft with very fine crumbs.

I am also loving the lemony fragrance from these bite sized treats, completely masking the usual “eggy” smell from sponge cakes

Recipe:
50 gr butter, melted
20 gr honey
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
4 egg yolks
25 gr castor sugar
80 gr cake flour
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
50 gr castor sugar

1. Heat butter till it melts, add honey, lemon zest and juice. Mix well till combined
2. Beat egg yolks with the 25 gr of castor sugar till it thickens
3. Add butter mixture into the egg yolks mixture
4.Sift in flour and fold into the mixture. Set aside
5. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, till it forms soft peaks. Add the 50 gr of castor sugar gradually. Beat till it forms stiff peaks.
6. Fold in the egg whites mixture to the egg yolks mixture
7. Spoon onto a pre greased and floured madeleine mold and bake at 180 degree celcius for 17 minutes or till it is fully baked.

Shortbread Cookies with Pastel icing


Shortbread Cookies with Pastel icing

These are the cookies i grew up with. Someone in the family would buy these cookies and just leave it around the house. I used to bite off the icing off the cookies and throw the base back into the cookie box. Just because the cookie was dry and flavourless.

This is definitely not a problem for my homemade version.. With these cookies, old habits are reversed. I bite off the cookie and spit out the icing.

Recipe from Aalan Ooi “Cookies”
A:
100 gr butter
50 gr caster sugar
B:
1/2 tsp vanilla
C:
130 gr plain flour
11/2 TBS green pea flour
1/4 tsp baking soda

For the Decoration:
1 egg white
1/2 tsp lemon juice
200-250 gr icing sugar
dash of pink, yellow, green colouring

Methods:
1. Cream ingredient A in a big mixing bowl until fluffy. Add in ingredient B, mix well. Fold in ingredient C to form a dough

2. Place ( 1 ) in between two sheets of plastic. Roll out to a thickness of 5 mm. Stamp out circles with cutter. Arrange on lined baking trays. Bake in a preheated oven at 170 degree Celcius for 12 mins or until baked through.

3. Place egg white for decoration in a big bowl. Beat with a balloon whisk until firm. Add in icing sugar and lemon juice. Whisk well and divide into three even parts. Colour the parts as desired.

4. Fit a nozzle into a pipping bag. Spoon in one part of decoration onto the baked cookies. Leave the cookies to set before storage.

Categories: Cookies

Caramel Coffee Meringue Cookies

These are actually leftover 7 minute meringue frosting that i made to go along with the chocolate cupcakes i made earlier. They are coffee flavoured, with a hint of caramel from the brown sugar that is used in place of the white.

They are a tad too sweet on its own without the cake to balance the sweetness. But they do possess the typical meringue cookies qualities – Crisp on the outside and wonderfully chewy and moist inside.

Recipe from Maida Heatter’s “Book of Great Desserts”
4 egg whites
11/2 C Brown Sugar
1 TBS coffee + 1/4 + 1 TBS hot water
1 TSP Cream of Tartar
1/8 TSP salt
11/2 TSP vanilla extract

1. Mix everything except vanilla. On top of a double boiler, place over moderate heat, over hot water.

2. Beat with electric mixer for 5 minutes, until the mixture stands in peaks when withdrawn.

3. Immediately in order to stop cooking, transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add vanilla. Beat at high speed until the mixture is smooth and stiff.

Categories: Cookies

Mud Hen Bars

I know i was sold on making these bars when i came across the recipe off the internet and visualized the final product.

Chewy cookie base, and gooey brown sugar meringue sandwiching chocolate.

It just sounds like a blissful union to me!

It was only after further reading, and a few clicks linking me from site to site that i discovered its name- The Mud Hen Bars.

WHAAAaaat? u ask..

Yeah. Go figure.

Recipe here:

Cat’s Tongue Cookies

The Cat’s Tongue Cookies probably got its name from its shape.

As a kid, i remember savouring each of these cookies one by one. I didnt chew on them, instead, i just let them slowly dissolve in my mouth.

Yupp, these are one of those buttery, melt-in-your-mouth, crisp, and subtly sweet cookies. I made two versions  – Chocolate and Plain. Both are good, but if i were to choose one, i take the plain.

A word of advise: Keep these cookies in airtight container for  storage. They soften pretty easily if left uncovered.

And, the recipe!

100gr margarine

100 gr salted butter

150 gr cake flour

20gr milk powder

5 egg whites

1/4 tsp salt

75 gr icing sugar

1/4 tsp chocolate paste

1. Beat butter and margarine till soft and fluffy. Sift  in flour and milk powder. Mix to combine

2. Beat egg whites and salt till soft peaks. Add icing sugar gradually. Beat till stiff peaks. Fold in egg whites to butter mixture.

3. Divide batter into two. Add chocolate paste to one, while allowing the other to remain white.

4. Fill batter into pipping bags. Pipe onto greased baking sheet

5. Bake at 150 degree Celcius for 15 minutes

Categories: Cookies Tags: , , ,