Sunday 15 January 2017

Almond cookies II ( CNY2017 #2)

I made these soft and melt in the mouth kinda almond cookies for CNY two years ago.  My family liked it very much.  When I chance upon another almond cookies shared by some group members in FB that the texture is crispy and crunchy type, I have to give it try. Like the buttery crunchy texture with a hint of almond fragrance.

Below my slightly adjusted version
Almond cookies 
186g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
265g all purpose plain flour
70g almond meal
1 egg yolk

Some almond flakes or nibs for decoration.
Egg wash : 1/2 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon water as I preferred lighter colour.

1. Position the rack in the middle and preheat oven to 170°C.  (The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven).  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (Need not grease).

2. In a big mixing bowl, cream butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy with electric mixer. Add egg yolk and mix well.

3. Next, mix in almond meal till combined.

4. Fold in plain flour with spatula till combined.

5. Turn over on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough evenly (about 0.5cm thickness) and cut to desired shape using cookie cutter.

6. Brush with egg wash then spinkle some chopped almond nibs or flakes on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

7. Cool on tray for 2 - 3 minutes before transferring them to cool completely on wire rack.

Well, glad another yummy homemade almond cookies for CNY.
Happy baking!

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Chocolate Chips & Peanut Butter Banana Bread

When I saw these quick bread baked by Phong Hong and Veronica of Peng's Kitchen ... I know I have to bake this.  Why? My big kids' favourite ingredients … not one but three in there:  chocolate chips, peanut butter & banana.  Mash the bananas and simply mix all the ingredients with a whisk and it's done within 10 minutes. Sprinkle with more chocolate chips and I sent three mini loaves into the oven. 

Recipe source/adapted from:
Peng's Kitchen
Phong Hong Bakes & Cooks

Chocolate Chips & Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Makes one 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan or 
3 small loaves (I used a heatproof paper pound cake mould 7.5cm x 17.8cm x 5cm)

Ingredients :
240grams self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
60grams butter, softened
80grams caster sugar
180grams creamy peanut butter
4 - 5 medium size bananas, mashed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
240ml fresh milk
100g mini chocolate chips (I reserved about 1.5 tablespoons to sprinkle on the batter)

1) Position the rack in the center and preheat oven to 160°C.  Line the base of loaf pan with parchment paper.

2) Sift flour and salt together in a bowl.

3) In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until combined with a manual whisk. 

4) Beat in egg. Mix in peanut butter and vanilla and whisk till creamy.  Mix in the mashed bananas.

5) Add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Whisk until just combined and the batter is smooth.

6) Fold in chocolate chips with spatula. Pour batter into loaf pan, scrape down the sides of the bowl for no waste of batter. Spread out evenly. Sprinkle with the reserved chocolate chips (or more if you like).

7) Bake in preheated oven for 40 mins. Check for doneness with a skewer inserted into the center of the cake if it comes out clean.

8) Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake from pan to cool completely.

I like it warm … A hint of banana fragrance and the peanut butter gives it a rich, full flavour with a soft and moist crumb to satisfy our afternoon break and morning brekkie.  Delicious!  Enjoy !

Saturday 7 January 2017

Crispy Honey Oat Bak Kwa Cookies (CNY2017 #1)

Although I'm not really obsessed with Pork floss or Bak Kwa, they are delicacies especially during the Chinese New Year (CNY) festive celebration.

I saw a box of Honey Bunches of Oats® with Almonds cereal on the table. The crispy flakes and crunchy oat clusters plus a hint of honey and savoury Bak Kwa bits will surely be a hit ! Whatmore, these super cruchy & crispy cookies are super easy to make.

Recipe source/adapted from: rice and bread
Below my slightly adjusted version.

Crispy Honey Oat Bak Kwa Cookies
About 33 - 35 pcs
Ingredients :
125g unsalted butter, softened
60g brown sugar
1 egg
113g self-raising flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
80g Post Honey Bunches of Oats with Crispy Almonds lightly crushed
1 slice of bak kwa (pork jerky) - chopped coarsely

1) Position the rack in the middle and preheat oven to 170°C.  (The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven).  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (Need not grease).

2) In a big mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy with electric mixer. Beat in egg till combined.

3) Using a spatula, fold in the flour, salt, 20g crispy almond cereal and chopped bak kwa into the mixture till combined.

4) Scoop about 1.5 teaspoon full of mixture and roll into balls then roll into the remaining lightly crushed crispy cereal. Place on baking sheet leaving some space in between.  The cookies will spread out a little. ** if you find that the dough is too soft to handle, you can either:
a) drop the spoonful directly on the crushed cereal and briefly roll and coat.
b) put the dough in freezer for about 3 - 5 minutes.

5) Bake cookies in preheated oven at 170°C for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to cool completely wire rack.  Store in air-tight container.

a) I will make smaller rounds (about 1 teaspoon) in the next batch for easier "1 mouthful" consumption.

b) My big boy "complained" not enough Bak Kwa. So will increase abit more.

These crispy cookies are super addictive.

Another easy to make Pork or Chicken Floss Cookies is also one of our favourites CNY homemade cookies !

So, start now to make some savoury CNY cookies ! Happy baking!

Sunday 1 January 2017

Lemon Curd Cookies

My first bake on the first day of the new year ! 2017 ! Citrusy tangy flavour lemon curd cookies !

I've made some lemon curd last night and was thinking to bake some cookies with it. So ... here it is ... a batch of citrus tangy sweet cookies to kick start the first day of the year.

Prepare the lemon curd in advance.
Recipe source : Joy of Baking Lemon Curd
Below my adjustment made - scale down to 2/3 recipe.
Lemon Curd 
Ingredients (A)
2 eggs
80g granulated white sugar
55ml fresh lemon juice (do not use the bottled lemon juice)

Ingredients (B)
40 grams unsalted butter (cut small pieces) at room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Combine the ingredients (A) into a heatproof/stainless bowl. Half-fill a cooking pot with water and bring to a simmer. Set the heatproof bowl in the mouth of the pot and cook with low flame. Whisk the mixture until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce). This will take about 8 -10 minutes.

Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Whisk butter into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn't form) and refrigerate for up to a week.

Recipe source : Happy foods
Below my slightly adjusted version.
Lemon Curd Cookies
Makes about 45 pieces with cookie cutter
1 egg at room temperature
110g unsalted butter, softened
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)

240g all-purpose plain flour
Pinch of salt

1) Sift the flour together with salt in a clean bowl, set aside.

2) In a mixing bowl, combine caster sugar and butter; beat until creamy with electric mixer.  Add the egg and lemon zest and beat well.

3) Fold in the flour to the creamed mixture with a spatula briefly (about 1 minute). Then use your hand to bind, briefly knead to form a dough. Dough should stick together in a soft ball. If the dough is too difficult to work with, chill for about 15 minutes before continuing. Wrap in in a cling film and chill in the fridge for about 30 - 45 minutes. (*note: as I intended to use cookie cutter, I flattened the dough slightly in wrap)

4)  Preheat oven to 180°C and position the rack in center of oven. (the oven temperature may vary, do adjust accordingly).

5) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. (do not need to grease).

6) Prepare 2 tablespoons of flour in a small bowl for dipping of cookie cutter and the tip of small wooden roller.

7) Take the dough out from the fridge. Flatten it slightly to about 5mm thickness.

8) Dip the cookie cutter lightly with flour when necessary. Cut the dough with cookie cutter and spacing them about 1/2 inch apart onto the prepared lined baking sheet. Use a measuring spoon or tip of small roller (or your floured finger) to press lightly to make indentation in center for the lemon curd.

9) Fill the lemon curd in piping bag and pipe a dollop of lemon curd onto each dent.

10) Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 10-13 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are nicely browned.

11) Once baked, transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.

To serve, simply have them as they are or dust with some icing sugar if you like.
Here, we are enjoying our LEMONY DAY with lovely baked yummy tangy lemon curd cookies and a cup of honey lemon tea !

Enjoy & happy baking !
Wishing all a Blessed New Year 2017!