Cookie Swap Party

we started a very sweet new year!!!  after seeing cookie swap parties on foodnetwork…i knew i had to throw one…n timing was always off…i finally found a break n planned one…the event was a blast!!!  10 girls…decorating, consuming sugar filled treats…the time flew…we also had hor d’oeuvres…some swedish meatballs from ikea n bacon cup filled salads were a crowd pleaser…

the rules – bring 2 different batches of cookies, can be store bought if you burnt a batch of cookies
the activities – decorate sugar and gingerbread cookies and of cuz eating cookies and swapping cookies

gift bags decorated with gingerbread clay ornament…tin cans inside for cookies to go =P

the prep…i made gingerbread boys and girls and sugar cookies and mix different colors of royal icing to decorate (recipe from last year) and made peanut butter munchies to swap…

icing and fixings

the cookies spread

grace’s 7 layers, anna’s mocha crinkles some with cherry top…

ginny’s greentea shortbread and snickerdoodle, anna’s peanut butter and mint thins and candied pinwheels

Green Tea Shortbread Cookies
Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Confectioners sugar
  • 5 oz Unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 3/4 cup All-purpose flour
  • 3 Large egg yolks
  • 1.5 Tbs Matcha
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar (for coating)

Directions
Whisk the confectioner’s sugar and green tea together in a bowl. Add
the butter and green tea/sugar mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer
fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until smooth and light in
color. Add the flour and mix until well combined. Add the egg yolks
and mix just until the eggs are fully incorporated and a mass forms.
Form the dough into a disk and chill in the refrigerator until firm
(about 30 minutes). Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a sheet pan with
parchment paper. Roll the dough out to ½” thickness. Cut the dough
with cookie cutter of your choice. Toss each cut cookie in a bowl of
granulated sugar to coat. Place the sugar-coated cookie on a parchment
lined pan. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, or until slightly golden
around the edges.

Snickerdoodles
Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups & 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

In a small bowl, stir together the 3 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon
cinnamon and set aside. Stir together the remaining dry ingredients.
In a bowl with a paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add the sugar
and continue to mix, then add the eggs, corn syrup, and vanilla, and
mix thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Chill
dough 1 hour if it’s sticky or difficult to handle. Preheat oven to
375 degrees F. Roll balls of dough about the size of a walnut then
roll them in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Place on an un-greased sheet
pan 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until puffed up and
the surface is slightly cracked. Let cool on the sheet pan a few
minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

melissa’s oatmeal raisin and gingersnaps

Oatmeal Raisin

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats and nuts until just blended. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Cookies should be at least 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake for about 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Ginger Snaps
 

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix brown sugar, oil, molasses and egg.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger separately. 
     
  4. Stir dry ingredients into the mix.
  5. Roll balls in sugar and place on cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

olivia’s chocolate chip and cassava cookies

Cassava Cookies

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/2 bowl of sugar ( can be reduced to your liking if you don’t want it too sweet)
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 2 bags of cassava
  1. melt the butter in a pan
  2. mix the coconut milk, condensed milk, butter, and cassava together in a bowl. mix it thoroughly until you don’t see any clumps left.
  3. pre-heat oven 15 mins at 350 degrees.
  4. pour the mixer in a nice pan
  5. baked for 1 hour.

paula’s orange coconut cookies and holiday biscottis

Mango Coconut cookies.
Serves:   12 cookies
Prep time: 10  |   Cook time: 15
Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried mango

Directions:

  1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees.
  2. MIX melted butter, sugar and vanilla extract, in a large bowl until well incorporated. Fold in flour, shredded coconut and mango to form a soft loose dough.
  3. DIVIDE dough and shape into cookies. Line a cookie sheet with greased foil and bake cookies for 15-20 minutes till golden and done.

Dried Cherry and Chocolate Biscotti

Prep Time:    25 min
Inactive Prep Time:    0 min
Cook Time:    50 min
Level:    Intermediate
Serves:    4 dozen

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup unblanched whole almonds
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the almonds and cherries.
In another mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Mix well. Lightly dust the work surface. Turn the dough onto the surface and knead the dough a couple of times. Shape the dough into a log, about 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. Place the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Using a serrated knife, slice the bread diagonally into 1/4-inch slices. Place the slices on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for an additional 12 to 14 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Remove from the oven and cool completely a second time on a wire rack. Dip half of each biscotti in the melted chocolate and place on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate sets.

wendy’s orange cranberry cookies and my peanut butter munchies

Orange Cranberry Cookies

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 2-3 tsp orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional but yummy)

Directions:

Preheat oven 375 & grease cookie sheet

In bowl, cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar.  Stir in egg, orange juice, orange extract. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt and add to orange mixture.  Stir in cranberries & walnuts.  Drop cookie dough by spoon full, 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are starting to brown.  Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes then remove to cooling rack.

after setting up the cookie spread…we start decorating cookies

alot of concentrating involved =P

cathy’s double fisting henieken gingerbread girl n my purple couple =P

ginny’s detailed creations


drying tray…but it seems more like they’re sun bathing since there were alot of bikini theme gingerbread cookies

the before

after….

THANK YOU GIRLS FOR A WONDERFUL TIME AND COOKIES!!!

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Madeleines

cake or cookie???  i had alot of school work to do during thanksgiving break…so we didn’t do any cooking for thanksgiving…n had hot pot at my sis’..n decided to make some chocolate and green tea madeleines…recipe adapted from here…

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Variations

  • 4 oz of bittersweet chocolate – for chocolate madeleines
  • 1 tablespoon of matcha powder – for green tea madeleines

  • melt butter in double boiler (for chocolate madeleines melt chocolate with butter)
  • beat sugar and eggs until it thickens…then add vanilla extract
  • sift flour, baking powder and salt mixture over the eggs batter and fold in

  • for green tea madeleines…mix matcha powder into the flour mixture
  • fold in butter mixture after flour and egg mixture is combined

  • cover and refrigerate…
  • butter and dust madeleine pan
  • bake at 375 deg F for 10 minutes

Chocolate Madeleines…

Green Tea Madeleines…

Bread Pudding

now that midterms r over…i had a little break before finals.  our friend who also lives across the street’s bday was this week…n he picks me up at the train station when sammy couldn’t…when he requested bread pudding…i decided to attempt something out of my comfort zone.  n made bread from scratch for the bread pudding…cuz u know it’ll just taste better than store bought bread =D

i’ve read about the trouble in working with yeast…n of cuz i also had problems with it…the first recipe i tried didn’t rise at all…my theory is that i wasnt able to get pastry flour n substitute it with 1part cake n 2 part all purpose flour…it didn’t work out…so i had to search another recipe that use only all purpose flour…n found this….simple enough

ingredients

  • 8 3/4 oz (1 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 oz butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 dose dry baker’s yeast (1 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp fine sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 egg yolk for glaze

  • mix flour n yeast
  • add milk slowly into the mixer with hook attachment
  • add sugar n pinch of salt, then add butter piece by piece until all incorporated

  • cover n let sit at a warm place for 2hrs – 1st rise
  • after 1st rise…beat for about 10 mins…(it’ll deflate a bit)
  • divide into 6 balls in a greased loaf pan…let it rise for about 1hr or until it doubles in size

  • brush egg wash on lightly but generously
  • bake at 400F for first 10mins then lower it to 350F for 20-30 mins

nice n golden…=P

i was gonna make chocolate bread pudding but the bday boy didnt want chocolate so went with an original recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of bread cut into cubes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 cups of half an half
  • 1 cup of raisins

  

  • cut the bread into cubes
  • beat eggs n sugar into thick n yellowish color
  • add cinnamon n vanilla and melted butter
  • then add half n half

  • place the bread n raisins into lightly greased 9×13 pan
  • pour in the custard mixture
  • use a bigger pan to create a water bath, water should be up to half of the bread pudding pan
  • bake at 300F for 1hr

i wasnt able to taste it cuz it got cream in it…but it sure looks good to me =D

Maine’s Lobster Rolls w/homemade Mayonnaise

when you have a house, there’s always circulars at your door…something i’m starting to get used to since moving to the burbs.  it usually go straight to the recycling bin but this weekend i decided to see what’s on sale.  $5.99/lb live lobsters at shop rite!!!  my eyes lite up…LOBSTERS on SALE!!!  since we didn’t get to go to Maine this year, i have a craving for lobster rolls…it’s not as good as Red’s but it’s close to it =P

after seeing martha making her own mayonnaise, it looks pretty easy and i had all the ingredients so y not =P  i never liked commercial mayonnaise to begin with.

ingredients

  1. 2 egg yolks
  2. 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  3. 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  4. 1/4 teaspoon of ground mustard
  5. 1 cup of oil

this is when a hand whisk came in handy.  whisk egg, salt, mustard, and lemon juice until smooth.  start adding a drops of oil into the mixture until it’s combined.  continue adding slowly until it emulsifies.

refrigerate…it’s not as thick as commercial mayo…n it tastes very fresh n tangy

steam lobsters…we had 3 one pounders

deshell, tear into bite sizes, lightly toss with 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise, salt n pepper to taste

grill new england style buns with butter n load with lobsters…accompany with fries…i like my lobsters w/very light mayo…it shouldn’t be swimming in it

sammy made his own version with more mayonnaise n some cucumbers…

total cost of the meal $30…
total prep time spent 1hr….
total consumption time 5mins…
takes u back to maine_______________priceless

blueberry muffins

a coworker of mine owns a bed n breakfast in maine…we’ve been wanting to visit his place but he’s more inland…n we prefer the maine coastline…he visits every summer n always brings back one of Maine’s favorite blueberries!!!  i should request lobsters next time…but for now i gotta make blueberries muffins…

from the martha’s baking handbook…

i wanted to try the silicups…they worked perfectly…no sticky mess…thanks miranda!!!  if muffin pans are used, grease the pan with butter and lightly flour the pan

ingredients

  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 2 cups fresh blueberries
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 1 stick unsalted butter
  6. 1 teaspoon of salt
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  8. 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

mix all dry ingredients…n dust the blueberries…so that it wont fall to the bottom of the pan

cream the butter and sugar until light n fluffy, add egg one at a time, add vanilla, add flour slowly then add milk…do not overbeat.  it should be light and fluffy

fold in the blueberries…do not over mix

scoop into silicups with ice cream scooper

i had extra batter so i made some mini muffins

my verdict of the silicups…it just slips right off =)  the muffins were moist n fluffy…sam just had 2 =P

oxtail stew

we’ve been wanting to get a crockpot/slowcooker for awhile to make soup…but never got around to pick up one.  until our friend grace got us a slow cooker for our housewarming.  THANKS!!!  the first thing we’ve been wanting to make is oxtail soup…after 6+ hours…it turned into a stew…


a medley of potato, carrots, onions, n tomato…

gotta have those oxtails…

sautee the veggies…

coat the oxtail in seasoned flour (salt n pepper)

seared until golden brown

put everything into slow cooker with 2 cups of stock, 1 can of tomato paste, 1 cup of red wine

six hours….

it was DELICIOUS!!!!

our housewarming

planning our housewarming was exhausting…sam literally just stapled the moulding the day before…talk about procrasination.  It really gave us a goal to get the house in order, but it’s still work in progress…

some prep work…

since I didn’t have any time to start seeding for fruits n vegetable for the summer (april was crunch time for the wedding)…our flowerbed is full of weeds this summer.  to ultilize the space…i told sam to build a cover similar to a removable deck..got to love my handyman =D

our setup…

it really came in handy as we had over 40 guests…

food…we prepared as many as we could in advance…but the whole time we were busy grilling n giving house tours that we didnt have time to take pics of the yumminess…we only got some prep pictures

for the wedding we knew from the very beginning that we wanted something edible as favors since i never keep the favors…n while we were shopping at ikea for things for the house we saw their spice jars…*lightbulb turns on* candy buffet…

we gave everyone one to fill at the candy buffet…n can later be use as spice jars or for any storage…i use them to store buttons also…

we did registered for a spice rack…but with our limited counter space…we had to return the gift….n got a hanging rack for spices placed next to the cabinet from ikea…

Tea Eggs ~ we love EGGS…

hard boiled eggs

unlike amelie in the movie amelie, i love cracking eggs….(amelie loves cracking creme brulee)

the mixture

3 star anise…can be found at chinese supermarket…

2 tablespoons of black tea

1 cup of dark soy sauce n 1 teaspoons of chinese 5 spices (can be found at asian food market)

simmer….the longer u let it sit the stronger the flavor

marblized….we had some after 1hr and it wasn’t not strong enough so we left it in the rice cooker overnight (i like prefer my eggs hot)…at the housewarming, it was a bit too salty…

Cupcake pops ~ i learned from my failed attempt…this time was more smooth…but it took alot of time…inspired by bakerella

it takes practice…

i remember to put in the lollipop sticks this time =P

n decorate…given out as favors…edible favors are the best!

Grilled potato and onions

alternate potato n onions…add salt, pepper, n butter…wrap in foil n grill…

Rosemary n Garlic Tomato ~ we have a large rosemary bush in the garden…so we incorporate alot into the bbq recipes…we also did rosemary n garlic shrimp =P

they look so good!!!  and very tasty too…

our last guest left at 4am!  exhausting indeed…