Mar 1, 2013

Farewell

February is never my favorite month, in fact, it’s the time of the year when I get super cranky. It’s been a tough month; I had to say goodbye to many things,

including my three-year-old laptop, my favorite spatula, and some other things.

However, that didn't stop me from baking.
For the past two weeks, I've made some waffle cookies,

Some Pâte à Choux

and fill them with some ice cream, which I don't have any picture of. But I can promise you they were to die for.

and some ice cream in Ginger Cookie Cups

Some yummy crunchy cookie bars

the recipe can be found here.
I replaced the jam with some butterscotch and chocolate chips

Bake it at 350F for 20 minutes, and you got yourself some kickass cookie bars.

Finally, last week I made some blondies for my special friends


They sure made some grumpy people smile.

Take that February!

It’s sad to have to let go of the things that were once so good, but sometimes things just don't work out the way we want them to, so accept it and take it for what it is.

Goodbyes might not be all that bad. It can be a good thing, when it’s a chance to start again.

So goodbye,
for nowz

Feb 15, 2013

Pink & Red Cookies


Love is in the air, I can feel it and I hate it
Jk, I don’t hate it, but only because we get to eat as much chocolate as we want

I don’t think that Valentine’s Day has to be celebrated only by you and your valentine; I think it can be celebrated with anyone you care about. I also think that it’s the perfect excuse to make anything pink and red.

I’ve been using this recipe for years and finally decide to share it with you because you know how much I love you. It will be our little secret.

Cake Mix Cookies
Ingredients:
½ C unsalted butter or margarine*, softened
2 eggs
1 (18.25oz) box cake mix
1 C add-ins (chocolate chips, dried fruits, nuts, etc)
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a large bowl, mix together softened butter, eggs, cake mix until the dough almost comes together. Stir in any add-ins your little pink loving heart desires.
3. Drop cookie dough on cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart, they do spread out as they bake. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the edges start to brown.

Promise me you won’t bake them for longer than 10 minutes, please. Do that for me on Valentine’s Day. And tell me I’m beautiful.

I was using butter for the longest time, and one day I ran out of butter but was craving for cookies so went for margarine. I’m glad I ran out of butter because the result of the cookies was amazing. They spread out more but still stay chewy. Try it, you won’t be sorry. Ok, I know word on the street is that margarine is bad for you, but you’re already using a box of cake mix, so…

For this special day, I made some strawberry cookies with white chocolate chips and red velvet cookies with dark chocolate chips





p.s. I apologize for being a day late, I had this all typed up yesterday but couldn't put it up then because this happened...

Anyways, Valentine’s Day. Love it, hate it, there’s no escaping it. So let chocolate help you enjoy it.
enjoy 

Feb 13, 2013

Strawberry Cookies For Your Valentine


Valentine’s Day’s tomorrow, are you ready? I’m never that into the holiday but I’d find any excuse to bake.

I don’t really get into all the cute and fun food ideas because let’s be honest, in the end they’re all gonna end up in the same place… However, this time I decided to spend some extra time and dress up these little cute strawberry cookies with cookie icing and sprinkles.

Strawberry Cookies
Recipe slightly adapted from allrecipes.com
Ingredients:
1 ¾ C all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
¾ C (1 ½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
¼ C granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
1 package gelatin, any flavor. I got strawberry for its lovely pink color
½ egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a bowl, sift together flour and baking powder, set aside
2. In another bowl, cream together softened butter, sugar, salt and gelatin, until light and fluffy.

Mix in egg and vanilla, and then the flour mixture.

3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place them about 1-2 inch apart. Slightly flatten the dough with bottom of a glass.

4. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until the edges start to brown.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer them to cooling rack to let cool completely.
5. Drizzle the cooled cookies with some icing and sprinkle some colorful sprinkles before the icing sets

Feel free to add some chocolate chip into the dough. Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day is pretty much all about chocolate.

Easy Cookie Icing
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com
Ingredients:
1 C powdered sugar
2 tsp milk or cream
2 tsp light corn syrup
¼ tsp almond extract -> I used ½ tsp vanilla extract instead
Directions:
1. In a bowl, stir together powdered sugar and milk until smooth, then beat in corn syrup and vanilla extract until icing is smooth and glossy.

* If icing starts to thicken, you can add a little more milk to thin it out

If you really want to impress your valentine, you can add food colorings to the icing and make it fancy and more colorful.

Nothing says “I love you” more than homemade cookies. Especially the pink ones with colorful sprinkles. Now get in the kitchen and make these for your loved ones.
enjoy 

Jan 26, 2013

Jammy Bars


One of my favorite desserts and they're super easy to make!

Jammy Bars
Slightly adapted from allrecipes
Ingredients:
1/3 C brown sugar
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C rolled oats
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
½ C unsalted butter, softened
½ - ¾ C jam
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 8x8 inch square pan (I didn’t have one on hand so used a 9 inch cake pan instead and it works just fine)
2. In a bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

Then mix in softened butter with a fork until the mixture form


3. Take 2/3 of the dough, press it into the bottom of the pan, spread your favorite jam over it and make sure to leave at least ¼ inch around the edge.


If you get jam onto the pan, the bars will get stuck after it’s baked.
4. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top

bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the edge is lightly browned. Let cool completely before cutting into bars.


Sometimes, when you feel lonely and no one in the world seems to understand how you feel, go make yourself some Jammy Bars. You’ll feel better, I promise.
enjoy 

Jan 22, 2013

Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


I’m not a believer in cupcakes, but frosting on the other hand, makes me a happy kid.
A few days ago I made some vanilla cupcakes just so I can make some of my favorite frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting.

I got the cupcake recipe here. It’s the vanilla cupcakes from the famous Magnolia Bakery.

The original recipe makes 24 cupcakes, but I cut the recipe down and made 12 cupcakes. I also cut down the amount of sugar quit a bit because the frosting itself is sweet enough.
Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes
Ingredients:
1 ½ C self-rising flour -> ¾ C
1 ¼ C all-purpose flour -> ½ C + 2 Tbsp
(pinch of salt)
1 C unsalted butter, softened -> ½ C (1 stick)
2 C sugar -> 2/3 C
4 eggs, at room temperature -> 2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C milk -> ½ C milk (do yourself a favor and use whole milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract -> ½ tsp
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. In a bowl, sift together both flours and salt, set aside
2. In another bowl, cream butter until smooth and beat in sugar until light and fluffy.

Add in beaten eggs gradually and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but don’t over mix.


3. Spoon batter into cupcake liners, filling them about ½ - ¾ full.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserts and comes out clean.

4. Let cupcakes cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer them to wire rack to let cool completely before frosting.

* The texture of the cupcakes is dense, but that could be the self-rising flour I used. I made the flour a while ago when I made the Ice Cream Muffins, and maybe the leavening agent in the flour got old and couldn’t help the cake rise.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients:
1 (8oz) block cream cheese, softened
¼ C (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ C – 1 C powdered sugar, depends on how sweet you want your frosting to be.
1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
1. In a bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Then add in powdered sugar a little at a time, otherwise you’ll be covered in powdered sugar.

Finally stir in vanilla extract.

* I used ½ C powdered sugar because I topped those cupcakes with some toasted coconut flakes, which also add extra sweetness to them.

* If the frosting is too runny, let it chill in the fridge for 15-30 minutes and then frost the cupcakes.


enjoy 

Jan 21, 2013

Cookies Madness


I promise you cookies, I’ll give you cookies.
I have been using the same recipe since I found my favorite cookie dough recipe, and just changing the add-ins.

I added M&Ms and Kit-Kat pieces and made some Christmas Cookies.

Man, I’m a sucker for Christmas themed everything. I know it’s just the wrapper and the colors, but I just have to buy everything that’s red and green, or anything that speaks Christmas.

It makes me happy.

When you have the time, make some brown butter please; you’d be surprised how much difference it makes.

Of course the good old unsalted butter is good, I mean it’s butter, how can it not be, but brown butter just takes it to the next level and adds a nice nutty flavor to the cookies.

The other great add-in combination is Dried Cranberries and White Chocolate.

I do like white chocolate, but prefer milk and dark chocolate. I can snack on some good white chocolate but because it’s very sweet, I get sick of it very soon. That’s why it goes so well with cranberries; the tanginess of the dried cranberries balances out the extra sweetness from the white chocolate.

Also I love love love the colors pink and white together, so beautiful.

For this batch of cookies, I also added some sliced almonds for an extra crunchy texture, but it’s optional.


And then there’s one of my favorites, peanut butter cups and butterscotch chips.

To most people this is probably a bit too sweet. If you don’t have a crazy sweet tooth like me, add less butterscotch chips, because they are really sweet.

I also recommend changing the amount of sugar base on the things you add to the cookie dough. For the Candy Bar Cookies and Peanut Butter Cups and Butterscotch Cookies I left out the ¼ C granulated sugar and only added ¾ C brown sugar.

enjoy 

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