Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
From the recipes available to me, everyone seems to have commented that the white chocolate doesn't firm up properly and was still very soft when being shaped into balls. Mine was totally opposite. They hardened up within 1 hour and I had to use spoon to scrap them off the pan and were not as malleable as other people's experiences. Perhaps the liquid content of heavy cream I added was not sufficient and I did not substitute with anything when I omitted the flavoring liquer. Or perhaps the addition of green tea powder affected the consistency of the chocolate.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
As anyone who reads this blog or know me personally can sense that I am obsessed with patterns and shapes. But I also like simplicity in one thing and so combining colors and fine lines is always my ultimate goal when I want to create something eye catching and yet edible to the palate.
Making these cookies required more attention and time than the Biscotti. They required accurate measurements, ample time of dough resting and attentive baking time. When I was making the checkered one, I was actually relearning my maths again, in terms of measurement, geometry and alignment. The spiral one was much easier and done in no time.
It all starts with a simple cookie dough. The dough contains 1 cup of butter and I reduced the sugar content as I prefer buttery but not over sweet cookies. With vanilla and egg added in, the dough was soft and slightly sticky. The amount of flour was quite alot compared to all the other cookies I see, about 2 & 1/2 cups with baking powder added and salt. Stirred into the butter mixture and then divided to 2 parts.
From one dough recipe, I divided into 2 parts, colored one with the chosen red and left the other half plain. The dough must be rested to a firm consistency so that cutting is easy and to ensure no mushy cross over between the 2 colors. For the spiral one, I just colored half of the dough green and roll it out to a 1/4 inches thick rectangle and stack it on top of the plain part with egg white brushed on top of both dough before the rolling.
The red and plain dough were first rolled out to a rectangle each measuring 3' x 4' and then stacked together with egg wash. I find the steps in creating the checkered pattern very technical and simply difficult to explain in words. Thanks to YouTube, I found the right way to tell you on how to do it. For those who are interested, please refer to this link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp7eL5Jg6bU
Today we had a playdate at a friend's place and I made these tarts to bring over. Thank you AK for inviting us over and I hope you didn't have a bad time cleaning up your place after we left!! And we will still get invited the next time.
15 Phyllo tart shells (pre made)
1/2 cup of frozen peas
1/2 cup of frozen corn bits
6 tbsp of cream of chicken soup (Campbell)
1/2 cup of grated Gouda or Cheddar cheese
2 chicken drumstick (steamed for 15 mins and cut to pieces)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Place all the tart shells in paper liners.
3. Fill the tarts in this order : chicken pieces, peas & corn, small dollop of the cream of chicken soup, grated cheese and thyme.
4. Bake for 10 mins. Remove and serve warm.
Serves: 4 persons (as finger food)
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Packaging the cookies into 7 bags of a dozen each took me almost an hour. I used cuttings of brown paper bag to line each cookie and stacked them together into the usual baggies that we all have in the kitchen. Attached a laminated copy of the recipe and they are ready to go. Cookies must be made nearing the time of eating to get the real fresh homemade taste and hence same with those that are made for gifts. It is a hectic X'mas for me this year but I also enjoy the baking and giving. It really means more coming from your own kitchen!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
In America, celebrations starts from Halloween all the way to New Year! And like Santa, things can get very busy nearing X'mas and I thought I might as well make these early so that I don't miss out on all the fun of cookies making season!
For this batch of cookies, I used store bought cookie dough mixture. As they were made for Missy E's classroom buddies who will chow down everything with no gourmet comments, I saved myself some time of making from scratch. Personally, I don't really like store bought cookie dough as they are too sweet for my tooth and with the icing on it, it feels like I am drowning in sugar. But you only get to be a 4 year old once and I am sure Missy E and her friends will be merrier with more sugar!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I did attend some of the Wilton decorating classes long time ago and before I had kids. After the classes, my interest wavered partly due to the fact that there was no one eating my cake or cookies and I was lazy! Decorating cookies is a feat to me and I am like Prince D with a color pen....... getting all messy with my hands and still cannot draw anything! However said, having kids do change a person, especially a woman and everyone knows, kids love cookies and with the X'mas season around, how can I not do anything like the other moms and make my kids miss out on all the fun of eating a decorated cookie?
One day Missy E came home from school with an assignment. She had to bring in everything she can find that spells with the alphabet 'G'. The idea of Gingerbread man came instantly to my mind and my mood in cookie making was suddenly revived! Throughout the process, I was imagining how happy she and her friends will be to have these cookies for snack time. Despite knowing that my piping skills is zero to nothing, I gathered up my guts and whip up the icing. Making the cookie was the easy part. The usual mixing of sugar, brown sugar, molasses, butter and vegetable shortening was done with the mixer and the flour was slowly folded in. Nothing complex. It was the mixing of the icing sugar with meringue powder and water that kept my attention locked in. I don't really fancy handling icing cream as I find it messy just like melted chocolate and the consistency of it can change drastically with an extra drop of water! I managed to decorate 18 gingerbread people before my palm starts aching. Although the results were amateurish, I am glad that I did it and thanks to Missy E and Prince D, my piping and decorating tools will not see the doomsday!