Category Archives: Snacks

Blueberry Breakfast

The best part about July 4th baking is having leftover blueberry pie for breakfast today!

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown

Pie Crust Ingredients: 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, 2 tbsp unsalted butter, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup shortening, 7-8 tbsp cold water, 1 egg

Blueberry Filling Ingredients: 4 cups of blueberries,1/2 cup sugar, pinch of salt, 5 tablespoons tapioca flour, 1 tbsp fresh orange juice, 1 tsp orange zest

1.  For the filling: mash up half the blueberries.  Combine sugar, salt, and tapioca flour in a separate bowl.  Then, stir in the mashed blueberries, orange juice, and orange zest. After letting the mixture sit for 15 minutes, add in the other half of the blueberries.

2. For the pie crust: mix the salt and flour.  Add in shortening and butter.  I find it easier to mix with your hands at this point.  The flour should resemble pea-sized crumbles.

3.  Add the water one tablespoon at a time.  It should be enough of a dough-like consistency to roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

4.  Take out the dough and cut in half.  Each piece will make up the top and bottom crust.  Roll out the bottom crust on a lightly floured surface.  The crust size should be slightly larger than the pan size.

5.  Transfer the crust to a lightly grease 9″ pie pan.  Press the crust against the bottom and sides of the pan.  Bring the pan with the crust to the refrigerator to cool while rolling out the top crust.

6.  Roll out the top crust in the same manner.  You can choose to keep it as one piece or cut strips to weave.  Take out both the bottom crust and filling.  Pour in the filling into the pan and then place the top crust.  Pinch the sides together, completely sealing the crust.  You can form a decorative crust.

7.  Bake at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes.  Let the pie cool down a bit so that the filling solidifies more before cutting and serving.

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Flourless Chocolate Cookies

I am somewhat perplexed by the concept of flourless baking.  If there is no flour, what makes up the physical essence of baked goods?

All chemical and philosophical baking thoughts aside, I thought I would attempt Francois Payards’ chocolate cookie recipe.  Francois Payard is a renowned French chef known for his fancy and decadent desserts sold at his high end bakeries around the world.  A small box of these very cookies will cost you $40, so best to try to make them yourself!

Ingredients: 2 3/4 cups roasted cashews (original recipe calls for walnuts, I just used what I had on hand), 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 4 large egg whites at room temperature, 1 tbsp vanilla extract

These are quite literally sugar cookies…

1. Pre-heat oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit.  Coarsely chop the nuts.

2.  Mix the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt together.  Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract.  Stir just enough so that the batter is moistened – do not overmix!

Mmmmm…chocolate sludge

3. Spoon mounds of the batter onto a lightly greased baking sheet.  Make sure to leave ample space in between as these cookies will spread out while baking.

4.  Bake for 15 minutes and cool slightly before eating.

These cookies are cracked, sticky, and crispy on the outside and edges, but moist and fudge-like on the inside.

Also some serious admiration for the crispy goodness of the cookie bottom 🙂

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Everyday Smoothies

With a busy work schedule, it can be rather difficult to take in the necessary amount of fruits and vegetables.  Lately, we have been making morning smoothies for breakfast and sometimes even dessert smoothies.  Smoothies are an easy and delicious way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your diet.  The human body has the ability to drink more amounts of fruit compared to eating.  This way, we have been able to incorporate an new element to our morning routine that adds to a healthier lifestyle.

Here’s a look at some of the smoothies we’ve been making recently.

Berry Breakfast Smoothie

Blend a handful each of grapes, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries with one banana, plain yogurt, and soy milk.

I love using berries in the morning when there’s little time and these fruits require minimal preparation.  There’s no chopping necessary – just wash and blend.

Afternoon Mango Banana Smoothie

Blend together one mango with one banana, about 1/4 cup of yogurt and 1/2 cup of almond milk for one serving.

Rich and creamy and just the right amount of sweetness.

Dessert Smoothie

A light refreshing smoothie with plenty of ice is a great way to cool down during the warmer nights.

Blend one cucumber, one apple, 1/2 cup of grapes, and one Korean pear with plenty of ice and some water.

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Salted Dark Chocolate Candied Ginger Cookies

Spicy and sweet, ginger is a very versatile ingredient.  If anything, make this so that you will be able to bake these delicious salted dark chocolate and candied ginger cookies.

Candied Ginger

recipe adapted from Food Network

Ingredients: 1/2 lb fresh ginger root, 2 1/2 cups water, 1/2 lb sugar

1. Peel and slice ginger into thin slices.  Place ginger in a sauce pan with the water and cook for 30 minutes.

2. Drain the ginger, keeping 1/8-1/4 cup of the water.  However much the ginger weighs, measure out the same amount of sugar.

3.  Bring to a boil the ginger, water, and sugar.  Stir frequently for twenty minutes, as the sugar will thicken into a syrup and eventually crystallize.

4.  Transfer the ginger to a baking sheet to cool.

Salted Dark Chocolate Candied Ginger Cookies

recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients: 1 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, salt, 1 stick softened butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 egg, 3/4 cup chopped sea salt dark chocolate (I chopped up a pack of Lindt Sea Salt Dark Chocolate), 1/4 cup candied ginger – chopped

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream butter and both sugars together.  Mix in the vanilla and egg.

2. Add the dry ingredients, followed by the ginger and chocolate.

3. Form 1 tbsp sized balls and set on a greased baking sheet.

4. Bake for 10 minutes.

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Grilled PB & J

I’m a firm believer that almost any type of sandwich is better grilled.  I’m also using a Danish toast, available from Pan-Ya bakery in NYC.  The extra sweetness with the butter and jam is a perfect complement to the smooth slightly salty peanut butter.

Ingredients: 2 slices of toast, melted unsalted butter, jelly, peanut butter

What a cute couple ❤

1. Slice toast and brush each piece with the butter.  On the other side, spread one piece with peanut butter, and the other with jelly.

2. Place the toast together and set one side down in a pan or grll on medium-low heat.

3.  Grill until golden brown on both sides.

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Banana Nutella Oatmeal Cookies

Again, here’s one of those cookies that has all of my favorite food words in one title.  These aren’t too pretty to look at, but they’re awesome breakfast dessert cookies.

Recipe adapted from Chef in Training

Ingredients: 2 very ripe bananas, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 4 tbsp butter, 1 egg, 1 3/4 cup oats, 1/4 cup Nutella

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and butter.

3.  Add in the wet ingredients – bananas and egg.  Then the oats go in the mix.

4. Swirl in the Nutella – do not mix thoroughly so that it creates a marble effect.

5. Spoon drops of the batter onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

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Sweet Potato Cakes

I somehow always manage to grab some type of sweet potato while grocery shopping.  The health benefits and nutritional value of almost all types of sweet potatoes are well known.  I never really know what to do with the potatoes other than making sweet potato fries or just steaming and eating as is.  This cake recipe is so simple and works well to bring out the sweetness of the potatoes.  Most likely, you will already have the ingredients on hand in your kitchen, adding to the convenience.

Recipe adapted from Origami Mommy

Ingredients: 2 medium sized Japanese sweet potatoes (any type of sweet potato or yam will work), 2 tbsp unsalted butter, 2 tbsp cream (sour cream or plain yogurt are fine substitutes), 2 tbsp sugar, 2 egg yolks (separated), 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/3 cup flour.

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and roast the potatoes for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, cut the potatoes and scoop out from the skin.

3. Mash the warm potato in a bowl with the butter so that it is melted by the heat.  Mix in one of the egg yolks, sugar, cream, vanilla, and cinnamon.

4.  Mix in enough flour so that the batter is thick enough to hold a shape.  You might not need to use all of the flour.

5. Scoop out golf ball sized mounds of the potato batter onto a greased baking sheet.  Brush the tops with beaten egg yolk.

6. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

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Maple Bacon Spiced Nuts

An easy crowd-pleasing snack, perfect for the holiday season as gifts or party munchies.

Ingredients: 3 cups of any mix of nuts (I used pecans, cashews, and almonds), 2 egg whites, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 6 slices of bacon, maple syrup

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly beat the egg whites.

2. Pour the nuts into the egg whites and toss to coat.

3. Add in the spices and mix well.

4.  Spread the nut mixture evenly onto a baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes total, stirring and turning the nuts halfway through so they don’t burn.

5. Remove the nuts from the oven and set aside to cool.  Leave the oven on and prepare the bacon by brushing a thick coat of maple syrup.  Bake for about 10 minutes each side.

6. Once the caramelized bacon cools, break into pieces and mix well with the nuts.  Serve immediately.

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Warm Gooey Butter Cake Cookies

The end of the year is often a very busy season in terms of workload.  At the end of an exhausting week, I like to reward myself with an easy sweet treat.  These gooey butter cake cookies have all the adjectives I love about desserts in one title – there was no way I could pass on making them as soon as I stumbled upon the recipe.  They use minimal ingredients and taste as delicious as they sound.

Ingredients: 4 oz plain cream cheese, 4 tbsp softened unsalted butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 large egg, 1 large egg yolk, 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt, 1/3 cup powdered sugar

1.  Beat the cream cheese and butter together until mixed well and fluffy.  Slowly add in the granulated sugar while beating.

2. Mix in the vanilla extract, egg.  Add the flour in sections, beating to mix well.  Cover the bowl of dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes – DO NOT skip this step.

3.  Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Scoop out heaping tablespoons of dough, coat in the powdered sugar, and place on a baking sheet.

4. Bake for 14 minutes.  The cookies should brown slightly on the bottom, but not on top, so keep a careful eye on them!

5.  Coat with more powdered sugar on top if necessary, and serve warm.  Your stomach and heart will thank you.

The original recipe notes that the cookies should be cooled before eating, but I think anything with a gooey cake-like texture is best when eaten hot from the oven!

Oops

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Thumbprint Cookies

Classic holiday baked sweets based on a simple shortbread cookie recipe.

Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 cup softened unsalted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 cup jam of your choice

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Sift flour and salt together.  In a separate bowl, mix the butter and sugar together until it becomes a creamy blend.

2.  Mix the flour into the sugar and butter mixture in parts.  The resulting dough should be crumbly but will hold together in your hands.

3.  Scoop a tablespoon size amount of dough into your hand and shape into a 1″ ball.  Using your thumb, press into it to create a small well.

4.  Place on a greased baking sheet 2″ apart.  Fill each well with a 1/2 tsp of jam.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

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