|Posted by Trish on July 1, 2013 at 4:40 PM||comments (0)|
A friend had kindly pointed out that it's been a while since my last post. Truth is I'm having trouble juggling my lifestyle, so indulgent baking was neglected. Thanks to my social committements, I'm forced to go find my flour.
To get back into the groove, I turned to the most basic chocolate chip cookies for a potluck and a "thank you" gift to our neighbour.
Tip: to get soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies that don't turn rock hard the next day, use brown sugar. Whether you substitute half of the sugar in the recipe or all, it will make a difference. Half brown sugar will give you a softer cookie that stays soft for longer. All brown sugar will give you a chewier texture.
What's better than a chocolate chip cookie from the oven??? Absolutely nothing. My neighbour had 5 in one sitting.
|Posted by Trish on January 12, 2013 at 5:55 PM||comments (0)|
So I'm still on this clean streak. I stumbled onto this No-Bake Trail Mix Cookie.
It's sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly (aka also dairy-free). So I admit that I was pretty skeptical about it being yummy. But at this point, we sometimes really need to take the edge off the sugar craving. So I decided to give it a try.
I subbed madjool dates for raisins. I'm not a huge fan of raisins. And unfortunately nuts are not accepted on the top 2 tiers for the Michi's ladder, so I just added more coconut flakes.
Result: I really liked these. I actually popped half of one into J's mouth. His response was, "WHAT IS THAT???? IS IT HEALTHY??" He really liked it. I didn't miss the nuts because the figs have these tiny round seeds that added enough crunch. And I'm really glad I used madjool dates because they added a caramel sweetness.
But the one thing I need to disclose is that you CANNOT expect these to taste or feel like chocolate chip cookies. They are more like fresh granola bars?? They taste amazing and are good for you. But they are still an indulgent because they are still high in calories. It's about 75 calories per "cookie".
Here's a few tips if you decide to sub out the raisins for the madjool dates too:
1. Process the dates seperately from the figs. I used my magic bullet and had a terrible time with it. Not that my magic bullet lacked any power, but it created the sticky paste (as it was suppose to) on the sides of the bullet and pieces of figs constantly got caught on the sides.
2. If you are interested in using madjool dates, they are now sold everywhere. I got mine from costco. There's a giant pit in the middle of each date that you need to remove before processing.
3. Add more water as needed, a tablespoon at a time to get the paste smoother and easier to work with.
4. Chill the "cookies" for a few hours before eating. It made the texture a lot better.
So check out the link above for the original recipe from "The Fit Cookie". Below is the recipe with my modified changes:
1/2 c dried figs
1/2 c madjool dates (remove pits before putting them into the food processor)
1/4 c cooked quinoa
1/4 c + 2tbs unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut for coating
1. In a food processor, process the figs and dates (separately) into a thick paste. Add water (1 tbs at a time) to make it easier and smoother as needed. Becareful!! The paste should NOT be runny. It should hold together into a ball. Think fruit preserve consistency.
2. Add the purees, the 1/4 c + 2 tbs coconut, and the quinoa. Mix together well with a spoon. Try to shape the "dough" into balls. If it doesn't hold it's shape well, add a little more quinoa or coconut. Becareful not to go too far or it will fall apart.
3. Drop each ball into the remaining coconut to cover each ball. Squish into cookie shapes if desired.
4. Refridgerate for at least an hour before eating. Store in fridge covered.
|Posted by Trish on January 27, 2012 at 7:00 PM||comments (0)|
Happy New Year everyone!
Over the holidays, I went on a cook book/baking book haul. One of the books were Desserts 4 Today by Abigail Johnson Dodge. The book's speciality is the ability to pull together desserts using only 4 ingredients.
I tested their Sparkling Cocoa Drops recipe which consisted of flour, cocoa, sugar and butter.
The book also includes a list of additional add-ons and substitutions you can make to the recipe itself. I chose to use brown sugar instead of white sugar as an option suggested by the author.
1. Cookies were visually unappealing.
2. Cookies were extremely dry. Even J wouldn't eat them.
3. Cookies were bland even though the cocoa taste was too strong.
I believe the author's focus on having only 4 ingredients to make this cookie took away the recipe's potential to make a yummy and appealing cookie. It really needed an egg amongst other things like vanilla.
I give this recipe:
|Posted by Trish on November 28, 2010 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
I know I'm quite due for a new entry but the absence is not due to lack of interest but because I just worked 27 days straight.
The recipe calls for frozen raspberries. Mine are actually from a colleague that stole from another colleague that grows her own raspberries on her acre home nearby. As per my previous entries, frozen fruits are actually great for making pie fillings, fruit toppings (for pancakes, ice cream etc) and smoothies.
When I think of chocolate and raspberries, I automatically think about white chocolate and raspberry pairing but dark chocolate makes the bars much more decadent. Using either chocolates will result in a great pairing either way.
The crust has so much butter in it that after it's initial baking, it was a soft gooey mess because the only binding agent was the butter.
I also used flour instead of cornstarch to thicken the raspberry topping. Just like pies, if you use flour as a substitute, ensure to use 3 x as much as required for cornstarch. Only thing is that the flour turns the filling a pastel colour, whereas cornstarch maintains the natural colour thus my filling is more pink than red.
One thing I would like to mention, this recipe was actually categorized by All Recipes as "low-fat". You will notice the amount per serving is indeed only 59 calories but when you serve Barbie-sized treats, anything could be categorized as "low caloric". Reality is, these squares are recommended to be cut into 2 inches by 1 inch squares and already contain 3 g of fat at that. My servings are approximately double that size. Moral of the story is, just like when you read labels off packages, carefully read the recipes to determine the health quality of the food you are making as well, as not everything is as advertised.
I think I made a very big mistake when measuring the butter because my crust did not turn out at all. It's currently in the fridge as I try to set the excessive butter. But the filling is decadent and delicious.
Note: After the crust finally set in the fridge, I was able to cut a bar out to show you the layers. The taste is pretty good even with copious amounts of butter.
|Posted by Trish on June 21, 2010 at 5:25 PM||comments (2)|
How do you like your peanut butter cookies?? Do you like them chewy, soft, crunchy or cake-like? Do you like them plain, or sprinkled with toppings? Do you like them big or small?
(My adopted plants from the local farmer's market: lemon thyme and italian basil)
I like my peanut butter cookies either soft or chewy, plain or with toppings depending on my mood.
(Bison steaks from the local farmer's market: new york steak on right and ribeye on left)
I tested two very different recipes today for peanut butter cookies. My goal is to achieve a cookie that is close to the texture that I'm looking for.
Recipe B is as simple and pure as peanut butter cookies come but I swapped brown sugar for white sugar to get a chewier texture. This recipe is found on the jar of Kraft PB:
1 Cup Peanut butter
1/2 C sugar
1. Combine ingredients in a bowl. Roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with fork (I did not do this step) and bake for 15 minutes at 325F. Do not over bake.
What I liked:
For Recipe A: the dough produced good-sized cookies for what the recipe recommended for serving size. The cookies remained soft the next day without being placed into air-tight containers.
For Recipe B: The flavour was the strong peanut butter taste I was looking for and it had a nice soft crumb with a slight chewy texture near the end of a bite.
What I disliked:
I hate how you can't have either cookies immediately out of the oven since they aren't "completely done" and you must wait for them to cool.
For Recipe A: I disliked the cake-like texture and the butter really washed out the strong peanut butter taste that I was looking for. I was lucky enough to have the toppings in the dough to help out with the flavour.
For Recipe B: the dough produced really small cookies per recommended serving. The cookies hardened the next day.
Overall: I prefer Recipe B because it had the better flavour and texture. I think in this case, less is more.
So I previously mentioned a cookie cutter contest give away!!! And It is happening now!! This is how you can win a set of cookie cutters chosen by me. For the next few weeks, I want you to send in a picture of your favorite cookie baked by you!! There are no limitations and can be made using cookie mix. Send in your photos to [email protected] and I will declare the winners in a few weeks!
|Posted by Trish on May 31, 2010 at 8:45 PM||comments (0)|
Vote Vote Vote!! I'm still waiting for voters to vote for their favorite cookie cutter shapes for a free giveaway coming up.
This week, I made Custard Sandwich Cookies.
These cookies have a similar texture to sugar cookies but with Bird's custards baked right into them for extra flavour.
They are then sandwiched with Bird's custard buttercream.
I rolled them out a little too thick, not knowing they would rise to be thicker.
If you guys have any cookies you want to see made, please leave ur comments in the forums!!
|Posted by Trish on May 24, 2010 at 8:05 PM||comments (0)|
First off, I want to remind everyone about the cookie contest. I will be giving away sets of cookie cutters later but first I need to know your favorites, so vote away on the right!!!!
Now, I truly believe everyone has an all-time favorite cookie. For me, it's sugar cookies. Sugar cookies remind me of every holiday possible where you can sprinkle coloured sugar on top of these delicious bites.
Instead of rolling out the dough and cutting them cookie cutters, I decided to put the log of dough into my fridge for a few hours and slice them.
After they cooled, I simply dusted them with confectioners sugar for an every day treat.
|Posted by Trish on May 14, 2010 at 6:55 PM||comments (4)|
The next several posts will be variations of cookies!!! So to include all my readers, there is a new webs poll to the right. Vote for your favorite cookie cutter shape and later, I will be giving away the most favorite cookie cutters to several readers! So Vote, Vote and Vote!!!!
We are going to start off the cookie-palooza with a variation of my mom's favorite cookie:
Cocoa Almond Cranberry Biscotti
My mom prefers the regular almond cranberry biscotti with real almonds. So what sets this biscotti apart from the usual ones you see in cafes and bistros? They are sliced super thin!!! Since they are sliced super thin, they are not as great for dunking into your hot beverages but they are still delicious paired with your favorite hot beverage.
|Posted by Trish on May 11, 2010 at 6:10 PM||comments (1)|
So I am finally settled into my new place, which means I can finally resume baking. Now 43% of you said you wanted to see a full tutorial on how to make fudge brownies. These are NOT your instant mixed brownies. The texture and flavour is completely different from instant mix thus please do not complain that it takes more work than instant mix because it is NOT instant mix.
What You Need:
1 C Butter, Melted
3 C Sugar
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 C All-purpose Flour
1 C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 C Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9 x13 inch baking dish. I used two 8 x 5 inch pans.
2. Combine melted butter, sugar and vanilla into a bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
3. Stir together the flour, and cocoa powder. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture until well blended.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips until well blended.
5. Pour into prepared dishes. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. I needed to bake mine for 1 hour due to use of smaller pans. They are done when toothpick is clean when inserted. Cool before cutting into squares.
I topped one with confectioner's sugar and chocolate and drizzled the other one with just chocolate.
|Posted by Trish on March 3, 2010 at 3:20 AM||comments (1)|
Becel is giving away free scarves!!
Yes ladies, you get a free scarf with a purchase to
celebrate Heart and Stroke Month.
On an important note, I know there's been formatting issues with this blog when viewed under Internet Explorer Browser. I'm trying to fix this bug so until then, view this under Mozilla or Safari. Also, I've received requests for mini-tutorials. I will be posting that once you guys have voiced your opinions for what you want, either in the forum or in the web pole to the right of the site.
This week's recipe (source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Beckys-Oatmeal-Carmelitas/Detail.aspx?prop31=2) is a cookie bar. Gooey caramel sandwiched between layers of oatmeal crisp.
I snuck in some coconut into the crust.
Did I mention that the caramel covers morsels of dark chocolate?
I modified the crust with the addition of an egg and substitute vegetable oil for butter.
The crust was still a little crumbly but it turned out to be very gooey and chewy. I really like the addition of coconuts. In fact, I like this bar so much, I had 2 servings immediately. Someone take these away from me before I eat them all.