Posts filed under ‘cookbooks’

chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

My first post for the new year! I ventured away from my usual chocolate chip cookies, which I’ve been making non-stop throughout the holidays due to special requests for them. I’m not an oatmeal raisin fan, and my parents aren’t big normal chocolate chip cookie fans, so we compromised this time around and opted for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I based this recipe off the coconut oatmeal cookies from my More From Magnolia cookbook. I don’t like coconut, so I replaced them with semi sweet chocolate chips. It definitely left the cookies chewy yet crispy.


  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. rolled oats (these are the old fashioned oats, NOT the quick cooking ones)
  • 1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a larger bowl, cream the butter with both sugars until you have a smooth texture (roughly about 2 minutes). Add the egg and the vanilla and beat well. Add your dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add in the rolled oats and then the chocolate chips. Mix well.

Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between them for expansion. Bake for 10 minutes. The original recipe said 12-14 minutes, but they were too crispy, almost burnt, by 12 minutes.  I used a tablespoon scooper that looks like an ice cream scoop. Baked the cookies at 10 minutes, and was able to yield 40 cookies.

The good batches came out thin, soft & chewy but had a crispy texture at the same time. I loved them, and so did everyone else at the office. Apparently, the bad batches weren’t so bad either. They were all gone in 15 minutes. 🙂

Till next time!



January 12, 2011 at 3:44 am 3 comments

mexican wedding cookies

Mexican wedding cookies (aka ojarascas) are one of my all time favorite cookies. My brother’s friend’s family owns a bakery and they used to give my brother a tin of these every Christmas, which I was very grateful for. They’re so simple, not too sweet, and I love how they crumble and just melt in your mouth. I also enjoy the almond flavor in them. I’ve been told that even though they are called Mexican wedding cookies, they’re usually given during holidays or other special occasions. So, the cookbook my sister got me for Christmas is Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. Lo and behold, there was a recipe for Mexican wedding cookies. I’ve been wanting to make them since Christmas, but this past Sunday was the first time I had a chance.


  • 1 c. pecan halves
  • 1/4th c. confectioner’s sugar for now
  • 3/4th c. confectioner’s sugar for later
  • 1 c. confectioner’s sugar for rolling
  • 2 c. all purpose four
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 stick unsalted butter @ room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a food processor, combine the pecans and 1/4th confectioner’s sugar. Pulse them until the pecans are finely ground.
  • In another bowl, add the flour and salt. Whisk in the pecan/sugar mixture.
  • In the bowl for your electric mixer (paddle attachment), beat the butter and 3/4th cup confectioner’s sugar on medium/high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and the almond extracts.
  • Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until the dough comes together
  • Roll dough into 3/4″ balls (mine varied from 3/4″ to 1″) and 2 in. apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan at the half time point. (Mine were perfect as 12 minutes, but it all depends on your oven. If you see cracks/crinkles on top of your cookies, then they’re done)
  • Place cookies on cooling rack and allow to cool completely. In a small bowl, pour the remaining cup of confectioner’s sugar. Once cookies are completely cooled, roll cookies in the sugar.

above: flour, sugar, pecan mixture

(i realized i hadn’t taken a photo of the dough until i was almost out of it)

(see the cracks/crinkles?)

The finished product. This lil container was handed off to my local starbucks where I share all my baked goods with them. The rest were consumed by family and coworkers. I will definitely be baking a lot from this cookbook of mine. I’ve tried two recipes so far and haven’t been disappointed. Next week, SUGAR BUNS!!

– chelle

January 12, 2010 at 4:26 am 3 comments

white velvet butter cupcakes

So many moons ago, or so it seems, I made red velvet cupcakes. I now present you with white velvet butter cupcakes! I’ve been making the white velvet butter cake, but decided on cupcakes this time around. The cupcake recipe is from The Cake Bible, and the buttercream recipe is from Gale Gand, although I used hers only as a guide. I had to change it a bit to make it perfect for the cupcakes.

White Velvet Butter Cupcakes:

  • 4 liquid oz. of egg whites (I’ve found that 3 large eggs cover it, but you might need a 4th depending on your egg)
  • 1 c. milk (1/4th cup for now and 3/4th cups for later)
  • 2 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 c. sifted cake flour (please use cake flour and not all purpose, I promise it’s better that way)
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 tbsp. (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter softened

Preheat oven to 350F and fill cupcake trays with cupcake wrappers (I managed to make about 30 cupcakes with this recipe). In a medium bowl, combine egg whites, vanilla and 1/4 cup milk.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix together to blend. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high if using a hand mixer) for 1.5 minutes. Then add the egg, vanilla and milk mixture in three equal parts, beating for 20 seconds between additions.

Pour the batter into cupcake wrappers. Try to fill each wrapper with an equal amount of batter. I used a 1/4 cup measure and it yielded about 30 cupcakes, all about the same size. Each cupcake wrapper will be about 1/2-3/4  full. Bake cupcakes for 15-20 minutes. Do the toothpick test for “done-ness”. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting!

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2 1/2 to 3 c. confectioner’s sugar (aka powdered sugar)
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter softened
  • 4 to 5 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tbsp. vanilla

In a mixer with the whisk attachment, mix together the butter and 1 c. of confectioner’s sugar and 2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream. Mix on med until mixture is blended n light. Add another cup of confectioner’s sugar and another cup of heavy whipping cream. Mix again until ingredients are combined and frosting is fluffy. On the last round, add 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar and 2 tsp. vanilla. Mix again on med/high until frosting is light and fluffy. Taste your frosting. If it’s not sweet enough, add 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar. If it’s not creamy enough, add another tbsp. of heavy whipping cream.

I added food coloring to my frosting, so I’ve got neon green, although they look more like pastel green and hot pink cupcakes. Colors and piping is what I’ll need to work on next ^__^

A bit of advice: If you’ve never tasted the white velvet butter cake/cupcake, I can tell you its flavor is already on the sweet side and does not need alot of added sweetness in it’s icing. If I could serve just the cupcake alone, I would, but it’s just not as pretty. hehe.  Just keep that in mind when sweetening your buttercream.

Til next time!


November 17, 2009 at 5:47 am 2 comments

My first batch of 5 minute bread

This was the dough after 7 hours in the fridge. This is a 4qt bowl and I also had another 1.5qt bowl of dough.

I finally bought a copy of ‘Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day’ by Jeff Hertzberg, Zoe Francois. For the past year and a half I’ve been working with the ‘No-Knead Bread’ recipe but with more yeast and less than half the incubating time. And the pot baking method really insures great crust every time. With the ‘five minute’ method, the dough is drier than I’m used to, but it’s still considered a wet dough. The refrigeration makes it easier to handle, and the idea of always having readied dough on hand is great. Of course it’s not literally five minutes but it’s less labor intensive than making a batch of cookies or a cake. Hardest part might have been trying to make room in the fridge for the dough.

After resting. The chunk may have been a bit larger than the recommended grapefruit sized 1lb ball.

The book suggests a baking stone and a broiler tray for hot water to create steam (to form a crisp crust). So I went out and bought a cheap round pizza stone. The top of the bread looked perfect but the bottom was not crusty at all. Maybe it’s the stone or my placement of the steam tray (right under it), but the bottom of the loaf was very light and did not form a proper crust. I tried a second smaller loaf and baked it longer, but the bottom still wasn’t browning.

The first loaf.


On the second day, I tried baking a loaf in my enameled cast iron pot. I couldn’t slide the dough in perfectly but it proofed up beautifully. It was sort of football shaped while the other loafs came out more disk shaped. The pot once again made the perfect crust all around and a lighter crumb inside (much larger holes). Also, the dough has gained a little more flavor on the second day. There’s enough dough left for one large loaf or two small ones. Maybe I can mix new dough into the old and build on the flavor?


May 8, 2008 at 5:38 am 10 comments

Martha Stewart’s Cookies

Brandy Snaps curled on a whisk handle.

This past week I’ve been too busy to post (photo edit and write) but I was cooking and baking. I had brought ‘Martha Stewart’s Cookies’ as a gift, but after flipping thru it I decided it’s a keeper. The book breaks down into categories of texture and recipes range from super simple to somewhat advance. Forgive me for not writing out the recipes, it’s too much typing for my liking and I secretly fear Martha would disapprove (legally). The book is huge and it’s 34% off on

Brandy snaps don’t contain any brandy, and also doesn’t contain any eggs. Uses golden syrup and can be made completely vegan.
Cat tongues taste like they are far harder to make than actually is. (I skipped the sifting part, don’t tell Martha.)
Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies, with coconut, walnuts and white chocolate. I didn’t use enough white chocolate or walnuts but it still turned out great.

April 25, 2008 at 10:08 pm 11 comments

Double Choc Cookies


Donna Hay’s Double Choc Cookies

  • 250g (8oz) butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 140g (4.5oz) dark chocolate, broken into chunks
  • 140g (4.5oz) white chocolate, broken into chunks
  • Preheat oven to 325 °. Place the butter and sugars in a bowl and beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs gradually and beat well. Add the flour, baking powder, cocoa and chocolate and mix well. Shape 2 tablespoons of the mixture into rounds. Place on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper, allowing room for the cookies to spread, and flatten slightly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until dark brown on the bottom. Cool on wire racks. Makes 28.

    I halved the recipe, used organic shortening and only 1 egg. And I used mostly white chocolate with very little dark. I liked the contrast and the taste of the white chocolate more in this cookie.


    I love all Donna Hay books. There are more of her magazines strewn about the kitchen.

    March 4, 2008 at 7:26 pm 1 comment

    Restaurant Week NYC, a wonderful dinner at Dévi

    My trusty cookbooks (by Suvir Saran owner/chef of Dévi)

    First off, I didn’t bring a camera with me, and even if I did, it was really dark inside so I doubt I could’ve gotten any good shots. This week (and last week) is New York Restaurant Week. It’s a great opportunity to eat at some restaurants that you were saving for a special occasion but never got around to. Dévi (8 E. 18th St., New York, NY 10003) is a really nice though pricey (for moi) Indian restaurant near Union Square. I’ve been dying to go there for the past year, ever since I bought Indian Home Cooking.

    This is the first time I ever ate at a Michelin star rated* (1 star) restaurant (I’m frugal). The Hubby and I got the prix-fixe three course dinner (menu). I had the Grilled Scallops (with roasted red pepper chutney, Manchurian cauliflower, spicy bitter-orange marmalade), the scallop (it was just one) and roasted pepper chutney had a great smoky flavor combo, followed by Tandoori Prawns (yogurt marinated with crispy okra salad and spicy eggplant). The Manchurian cauliflower was a great surprise, it was mind-blowing. You can definitely taste a Chinese influence and made me a cauliflower convert. The Pawns were succulent and the crispy okra was equally great.
    The hubby had the Goan Shrimp Balchao Bruschettas (with onion-tomato marmalade, red chiles, vinegar, on brioche bread) and Poori aur Tari Wale Aloo (puffy bread, spiced potato curry, fenugreek chutney). We ordered extra sides of Garlic Naan (bread), Saag (spinach) with mushrooms, and Ragda Chaat (potato cakes, white peas, tamarind and mint chutneys), which were completely unnecessary but we wanted to taste as many things as we can in one go.
    We were pretty stuffed before we moved onto desserts but that didn’t stop me from enjoying my kulfi falooda (Indian ice cream, falooda noodles, rose milk) and the goat cheese ice cream from the hubby’s fig cake (with wine macerated figs, mascarpone, ginger caramel sauce, goat cheese ice cream). We also had to try the mango lassi along with some Mint Lavender tea to go with dessert. At the end I was happily full and dying to try recreating the Manchurian cauliflower at home. In fact, we went straight to Whole Foods afterwards and picked up a head of cauliflower (I bought other stuff too, I’m sane, I swear!).
    * but Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery might count. Their pastries are heavenly.
    lina-sm.gif L

    January 29, 2008 at 6:38 am 1 comment

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