May 29, 2012

Egg Yolk Cornmeal Cookies

These are hands down, one of my favorite cookies. I’ve always been a HUGE fan of soft and chewy cookies; crispy cookies on the other hand, I’m not too crazy about. These egg yolk cornmeal cookies have the in between texture; they’re crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, and at the same time, when you bite into them, they have a nice crunch from the cornmeal. Flavor wise, the egg yolks in the cookies make them taste soooo rich and tasty. These are not hard to make, and are also perfect if you’ve been making of macarons like crazy and have lots of left over egg yolks.

Egg Yolk Cornmeal Cookies
½ C (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ C shortening
1 ¼ C granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C all-purpose flour
1 C cornmeal
1. In a bowl, mix together flour and cornmeal, set aside
2. In another bowl, creams together soften butter and shortening until smooth and well blended.
Add in sugar, ¼ C at a time, and then add in salt; beat well until creamy.
3. Add in egg yolks, a little bit at a time.
Try to be patient, it takes awhile to mix in all the yolks.
I love cholesterol...
Add in vanilla and mix well.
4. Add in flour and cornmeal mixture, 1 C at a time;
mix with a spatula until it’s well mixed and forms a dough.
Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour or until it’s hard enough to handle. I chilled mine overnight*
5. Preheat oven to 350F. Roll the dough out to about ¼ inch; cut with cookie cutters or just cut them into squares. Place cookies on cookie sheet about ½ “ apart; they don’t spread out too much, but do spread a little.
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges of cookies turn golden brown
* When I make cookies, I always leave them in the fridge overnight. The flavor gets more intense and definitely easier to handle.
* Before I bake them, I was planning on making cream filling and make them into sandwich cookies, but I think they’re perfect as is, so save the calories.
...actually, you can crumble them up and eat with vanilla ice cream, mmm….

May 28, 2012

Best Friend Cake Balls

Peanut butter is definitely one of chocolate’s best friends
Last night I made some cake, cupcakes and peanut butter frosting, and then make them into cake balls!

Best Friend Cake Balls
two 8-inch chocolate cakes, recipe followed
½ - 1 C peanut butter frosting, recipe followed
1 (6.8 oz) dark chocolate bar, broken into peices
1 tsp Shortening
1. Crumble the cake right after it’s out of the oven
2. When the cake crumb is completely cooled down, mix in peanut butter frosting ½ C at a time, until it forms a ball when squeezing with hand (I used a little less than a cup, maybe ¾ C)
3. Roll them into 1 inch balls and pop them in the freezer for at least 15 minutes*
4. In a double boiler, melt together chocolate and shortening until blended and smooth.
5. Dip cake balls in it and place them on wax paper or a silicon mat

* I usually put them in the freezer for 15-30 minutes, or until they don’t stick to each other when touching. If I’m not using them right away, I store them in a plastic bags after they’ve been frozen on a cookie sheet.
** When the chocolate is firm, store in airtight container. If the weather is hot, place them in the fridge; just make sure you leave them out for 5 minutes before serving.

I used devil’s food cake mix and made two 8-inch cakes and 4 cupcakes
Devil’s Food Cake
1 box devils’ food cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 C freshly brewed coffee
1 tsp espresso powder
½ C evaporated milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Mix coffee, espresso powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl, set aside
2. Put cake mix in a large bowl, add in butter and the wet ingredients; beat batter with an electric mixture for about 2 minutes, 5 minutes if using a whisk
3. Pour batter into cake or cupcake pans and baked as directed

Peanut Butter Frosting
1 ¼ C crunchy peanut butter*
1 stick margarine, softened
1 ½ C powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp heavy cream
1. In a bowl, cream together peanut butter and margarine until smooth
2. Add in powdered sugar, ½ C at a time, until blended. Mix in salt and vanilla
3. Add in heavy cream, 1 Tbsp at a time, until you get the consistency of frosting; I used 2 Tbsp and it was perfect.

* If you’re making this frosting for a cake or cupcakes, go for creamy peanut butter, but since I want the crunchy texture when biting into cake balls, I went for the crunchy peanut butter

These cake balls are so rich and almost taste like a truffles; definitely one of my favorite cake balls
Now go ahead and make some for your best friends!
or best friend cupcakes?

Honey Cornmeal Muffins with Honey Butter

I made some delicious muffins for dinner last night and I’m super excited to share it with y’all! It took me only 30 minutes to make them, including the time of baking! If it takes me 30 minutes, it will take you 20 minutes because I'm a neat freak and have to do all the cleaning, organizing, and putting stuff back to where they were as I Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!
Honey Cornmeal Muffins
Slightly adapted from here
1 C cornmeal
1 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ C granulated sugar
¼ C (½ stick) salted butter, melted*
1 C evaporated milk
2 eggs, at room temperature
¼ C honey
1. Preheat oven to 400F degree
2. In a bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and sugar
3. In another bowl, mix together melted butter, milk, eggs, and honey
4. Mix dry mixture with the wet until incorporated, do not over mix
5. Pour mixture into muffin pans and bake for 15-18 minutes or until miffins are puffed and golden
* If you don’t have salted butter, use unsalted butter and add ½ tsp salt to the dry mixture
I made 12 regular muffins and 10 baby muffins.
These babies are wonderful with honey butter, I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of the butter, but I’ve got the recipe for you
Honey Butter
½ C (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2-3 Tbsp honey
½ tsp vanilla extract
Tiny pinch of salt
1. In a bowl mix together butter, honey, vanilla and salt. Store in the fridge before use.

May 26, 2012

Shortbread Cookies

These babies crumble and melt in your mouth; they were heavenly!
Shortbread Cookies
½ C (1 stick) butter, softened
½ C shortening
½ C powdered sugar*
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ C all-purpose flour
¼ C cornstarch
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a bowl, mix together flour and cornstartch
3. Whip together softened butter and shortening until creamy and fluffy.
Beat in powdered sugar and salt, mix until smooth. Make sure you beat it well; you want as much air in it as possible. Mix in vanilla extract until blended
4. Sift in flour mixture and mix until the dough just comes together, don’t over mix it. Never over mix a dough! Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for at least an hour.
5. There are two ways I like to make my shortbread cookies. When the dough is firm enough to handle 1) take about 2 Tbsp cookie dough and roll them into balls 2) roll the dough out (slightly thicker than ¼”); cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Make sure you don’t skip this step; you want your cookies nice and cold before they go into the oven! **
6. Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies just start to turn lightly brown. ***
The cookies are great by itself...
but there are a few ways to enjoy these babies. When the cookies are completely cooled: ****
1) Spread jam, Nutella, or any type of filling you want, between two cookies and sandwich them together
2) Crumble them up and eat them with ice cream
3) Dip them in chocolate, duh
Melt 1(6.8oz) dark chocolate bars with 1 tsp shortening using the double boiler method, and drizzle it over cookies or simply dip cookies in chocolate

* Powdered sugar is what makes the cookies melt in your mouth, so make sure you don’t replace it with granulated sugar
** When the cookies dough is cold before baking, it prevents the cookie from flattening out
*** Don’t over bake those cookies! If you’re looking for the crumbly and the melt-in-your-mouth texture, make sure you take them out of the oven before the bottom start to turn brown; 9 minutes. If you want some crunchy cookies with buttery taste, you can bake them a little longer, until the bottom is golden brown; 11 minutes.
**** Don’t eat those cookies while they’re warm, they will be powdery. Patience, baby, patience.

I have another recipe similar to this that I’ve used before; butter cookies.
The granulated sugar in it and the baking temperature and time makes the cookies crunchy yet buttery. I also strongly recommend it.

May 25, 2012

Cinnamon Bread Sticks

A few nights ago, my suitemate and I had a friend over for dinner and of course I made the dessert. It was hands down the easiest and one of the most delicious treat ever! If you don’t like getting lots of ingredients or spending hours making some sweets, go ahead and make some cinnamon bread sticks!
Cinnamon Bread Sticks
Inspired by The Pioneer Woman
4 slices of sandwich bread; any kind of bread you like, I used whole wheat
¼ C (½ stick) butter, softened
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp vanilla extract
tiny pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a small bowl, mix together softened butter, sugar, cinnamon nutmeg, vanilla, and salt.
Spread it on slices of bread, and cut the bread into 1-inch bread sticks
3. Bake for 10 minutes or until bread sticks are crunchy and your kitchen smells like heaven
4. Dip them in ice cream and scoop out the goodness

I was too excited and inhaled the bread sticks and the ice cream and forgot to take pictures of them. But trust me, they’re unbelievably yummy and ridiculously easy to make! You can also adjust the amount of sugar and spice to your taste.

May 24, 2012

Egg Tart II

I was surprised by how easy it was to make egg tarts, so I made them again last week, but I changed the recipe I used last time because honestly I don’t like weighing ingredients, even though that’s the “right way” to get it precise; but then I realized no one I know owns a scale! I was really amazed by how good they turned out!
Egg Tarts
Tart Dough, recipe followed
½ C granulated sugar
¾ C water
4 eggs
dash of vanilla
1 C evaporated milk
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a sauce pan, mix together sugar and water and cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla and milk until mixture is well blended. When the sugar water has cooled down, whisk it into the egg mixture.
4. Pour custard filling into the mold to about ¾ full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, I baked mine for 22 minutes
Tart Dough
2/3 C powdered sugar
pinch of salt
3 C all-purpose flour
1 C unsalted butter, cold and diced
1 egg, slightly beaten
dash of vanilla extract
1. In a big bowl, sift together powdered sugar, salt, and flour. Throw in diced butter and mash them with a fork
until it has the texture of wet sand. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract until the mixture just comes together to form a dough.
Don’t over mix it, or it will become too tough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least an hour.
2. Before making the custard filling, take out the dough from the fridge and divide it into 12 pieces and press each piece into a tart mold. Put them back into the fridge while you make the filling.
* The crust I made this time is more buttery compare to the one I made last time; the crust I made last time was crumbly and sweeter and I personally liked it better. However, if you prefer the buttery texture, this is the recipe for you.

I had some left over custard filling so I made some custard pudding by baking them for about 15 minutes at 350F
so silky and smoooooth....

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