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Posts Tagged ‘cookies’

Seaweed Cookies 紫菜酥餅 (yield 80-100 small cookies)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp dry milk powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
12 tbsp ( 1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter– softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 pack (17 gram) Costco organic seaweed– blended (see note below)
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

Egg wash
Chili powder

Method:

  1. Combine flour, milk powder, salt and baking powder. Sift and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and mix until blended.
  3. Mix in blended seaweed  and sesame seeds with a spatula.
  4. Add flour mixture. Use spatula to mix and press to form a dough.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Chill dough in the fridge to harden so it’s easier to handle. When ready, lightly dust work surface with flour, roll out dough to 5mm thickness and cut with cookie cutter (dust cutter with flour to prevent sticking). 
  6. Put cut cookies on baking pan lined with parchment paper. Brush with egg wash then dash the top with chili powder.
  7. Bake at preheated 325 F oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool cookies on a rack. Store in air tight container when completely cooled.

Regina’s Note:

  • Seaweed: I used snacking seaweed instead nori for sushi making– snacking seaweed is usually lightly seasoned with salt and oil, making the cookies more flavorful. 
  • Flavor: The cookies have a nice seaweed flavor and not too sweet. Chili powder wasn’t spicy ( you can also use paprika powder– it’s more for the look). Next time I will try adding finely grated Parmesan cheese… sounds like a good combination with seaweed…
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Hazelnut Chocolate Mini Cuppies

With Chinese New Year getting closer and closer, I have been baking like crazy~ pretty much bake one type of cookies a day on top of my normal busy routine around the house. These hazelnut chocolate mini cuppies are new cookies that I tried making this year. I love hazelnut, and chocolate makes it even better! This is a very simple recipe that produce yummy cookies. From my previous trip back to Malaysia, I brought with me these mini baking cup liners which is perfect for these cookies. For those who are not familiar with Chinese New Year cookies (a New Year tradition among Malaysian and Singapore Chinese), they are usually made in bite size and have a delicate look. If you are making these cookies, go elegant with the look~ make the cookies small and pretty just like from a chocolate shop. It worth the efforts.

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Hazelnut Chocolate Mini Cuppies

Hazelnut Chocolate Mini Cuppies (makes 120- 140 mini cuppies)

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 cup toasted hazelnut– ground
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks (4oz each) unsalted butter– room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Chocolate sauce (whisk to melt in a double boiler, over medium low heat, cool slightly):
1 lb bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1.5 bag (10oz each)
1 stick unsalted butter– cut into pieces

Topping:
1/3 cup toasted hazelnut– skin-off preferred, finely chopped

Method:

  1. Combine flour, ground hazelnut, powdered sugar and salt in a bowl.
  2. Place butter in a separate large bowl, gradually pour in flour mixture while using fingers to rub in butter, until it forms a dough and doesn’t stick to hands. If the dough is too soft to handle, refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Divide dough into small pieces (about 8g each) and roll each piece into a balls, about size of a marble ball. Place each ball in the baking cup and press down with your thumb or finger to form a disc.
  4. Bake at preheated 325F oven for 15-18 minutes or until the top is slightly brown.
  5. When the cookies are cooled completely, carefully cover the top with about 1/2 tsp of chocolate sauce. Sprinkle some chopped toasted hazelnut on the top. When the chocolate is set, store in air tight container.

Regina’s Note:

  • Chocolate sauce: if the chocolate cools down and thicken, just warm it up again over a low heat simmering pot.
  • Freezing cookie dough: to freeze cookie dough, wrap tightly in a parchment paper (shape like a sushi roll), then wrap in plastic wrap and inside an air tight bag.
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Hazelnut Chocolate Mini Cuppies

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Stained Glass Cookies~ Oops! missing a “S” in there…

MERRY CHRISTMAS! MAY YOUR HOLIDAY SEASON FILLED WITH LOVE, JOY AND PEACE!

This is one of the new holiday cookies I tried this year for Christmas holiday. The other ones are thumbprint cookies and meringue coconut crunch. Back to these attractive colorful stained glass cookies… Aren’t they beautiful? They are of different flavors too depending on the candy flavor. And these stained glasses didn’t last long– kids just love them! To be honest, I’m not a fan of cut-out sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles on top, too plain sweet for me. So I never make it for the holiday (hey, baker chooses what to bake you know ;-)). But for these stained glass I can do it, if not for its taste at least for its look! So this cookie is officially on our Christmas cookies list.

This is a very simple recipe. The dough can be prepared ahead of time. The most challenging part I guess would be crushing the hard candies– never underestimate the power of hard candies! Many people made a mess of candies flying everywhere… For me, I just let the man of the house do it, on the floor (unless you want to risk breaking your table/kitchen counter). Kids  will have fun helping you out cutting the dough and sprinkling the crushed candies. Be creative with the colors and patterns, but take care not to mix too many colors or it will be messing looking glass. Have fun!

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Stained Glass Cookies

Stained Glass Cookies (makes 20-40 pieces, varying sizes)

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
15-20 hard candies (Life Savers or Jolly Ranchers)– separate flavors into different groups, then crush separately with a hammer.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter with a hand mixer until light, add sugar and cream until fluffy.
  3. Add egg, mix to blend well. Add vanilla extract, mix well again.
  4. Combine flour and salt. Use a spatula or wooden spoon, mix flour mixture into butter mixture in 2-3 batches. Use mix and pad down motion, until all dry flours are incorporated and form a dough. Divide dough in half. Flatten each half to a disc, wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Bring dough to room temperature, roll out to 1/4 thickness (I rolled mine even slightly thinner than 1/4″). Dip cookie cutters in flour then cut out dough– you will need cookie cutters of larger and smaller sizes. Make sure the smaller cookie cutters fit into larger cookie cutter. The idea is to cut out cookie dough for the outer side of the cookie, leaving out the center of the cookie for the stained glass. To do so, use larger cookie cutters to cut out the dough first, transfer cut dough onto baking pan, then use the smaller cookie cutters to cut out the middle part, leaving the center of the cookies hollow. If you have small alphabet cookie cutters, you can use them too to create name initial stained glass cookies. Arrange cookies about 1 inch apart on baking pan, bake for 6 minutes, or until the bottom is slightly brown. Remove from the oven but maintain oven temperature.
  6. Carefully spoon  (1/2 to 1 tsp) some crushed candies into the middle hole of cookies. If the candies touches the cookies, quickly use your finger to sweep it to the middle hole. You can use 1 color/flavor, or use 2-3 colors/flavors for one cookie, depending how big the middle hole is. Do not mix colors/flavors all together as it will create messy looking stained glass. Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes to melt the candies. Remove from the oven. If you are using letters for the cookies, quickly place an alphabet cookie in the center of melted candy. Cool cookies on the pan for 5 minutes for the candies to set. Peel off cookies from parchment paper and continue cooling on a rack. Store in air tight container when cookies are cooled completely.

Regina’s Note:

  • Crushing hard candies: To prevent candy explosion, keep candy wrappers on, wrap with paper towels and place inside a ziplog bag. Take out the candy wrappers after it is crushed. Crushing candy is very loud with all that hammer actions, so I suggest crushing it on a wooden surface on the floor. Do not do it on your kitchen counter unless you are ready to replace with new counter top. And remember, crush each flavor group separately.
  • Not enough candy to cover the middle hole: After the last 2-3 minutes in the oven and if you find not enough candy to melt and cover the entire middle hole, just add in a bit more crushed candies to cover up, bake for another 1-2 minutes. Keep an eyes on the melting process.
  • Do not over melt the candy: Keep a close eye on the melting process. Once the candy melts it gets bubbly fast– which will create a smeared edge between candy and the cookie itself, not to mention chance of melting candy overflowing to the cookie part.  The other thing is that when candy get bubbly hot it creates air bubbles. These small air bubbles, when cooled, trap inside the candy and will affect the smooth clear clean stained glass look. To get rid of air bubbles, use a toothpick to swirl around the melted candy while it is still hot out from the oven. The melted candy sets quick so you have to swirl around fast. The best stage is when the candy just melts, no bubbles at all.
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Stained Glass Cookies

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This is a new recipe I tried for my 2012 Christmas bake. I was hoping for a dark rich chocolate flavor with tangy tart cherry bites, but my shortbread turned out not chocolate-y enough both for the look and flavor, and the cherries were dried… maybe I baked it too long or the temperature was too high?… Anyhow, my recipe this time is a little messy with note-to-self’s everywhere. I need to fine tune the recipe, so there will be Cherry Chocolate Shortbread Bars version #2… 🙂

Cherry Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Cherry Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Cherry Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Ingredients:

2 sticks (4oz each) unsalted butter– soften
1 cup icing sugar
2 cups flour– maybe down to 1 1/2 cup?
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder– maybe up to 1/2 cup?
2 tbsp dry whole milk powder
1 tbsp tapioca starch– maybe skip?
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried cherries– coarsely chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a small jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Combine flour, cocoa powder, tapioca starch and salt in a bowl.
  3. Turn mixer speed to low, gradually add in flour. Mix to combine ( maybe better if mix with fingers like making pastry for Malaysia pineapple cookies?). Add in dried cherries. Stir to mix well. Form a dough.
  4. Roll the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap to the size of jello roll pan. Transfer dough to the pan, adjust to fit the pan evenly. Use a fork to prick the top. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Cool in the pan on a rack completely. Drizzle top with melted chocolate (extra) if desired. Remove from the pan, cut into cookie bar sizes. Store in air tight container.

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I meant to make this cookies for Chinese New Year, but didn’t get to it until now. This was my first time making it, and they turned out pretty good. The mixing part was pretty easy, although spreading the batter to a thin layer took a little time. The cookies aren’t too sweet, and the toasted coconut flakes on the top added some coconut flavor to the cookies. Next time I make it, I want to coat the bottom with some dark chocolate sauce… yum!

Almond Crisps-- The thinner the crisper. Mine are about 2-3 cm thick.

Almond Crisps– The thinner the crisper. Mine are about 2-3 mm thick.

Almond Crisps (makes about 120 pieces)

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter– softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg whites
2 cups flour
1/2 salt
6 oz (about 2 cups) sliced almonds

crumbled toasted coconut flakes for sprinkle

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 335°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla extract and egg whites, mix to blend well. Sift in flour and salt, mix well. Stir in sliced almonds.
  3. Scoop some batter (about 1/2 tbsp for each cookies, leave some space between each) onto lined baking sheet. Use the back of the spoon to spread the batter to a thin layer (about 2-3 cm thick). Sprinkle some toasted coconut flakes on the top.
  4. Bake at preheated oven for 10-13 minutes (depending on the thickness of the cookies). Remove from the oven and cool completely on rack. Store cookies in air tight container.

Regina’s Note:

  • If the bottom of almond crisps is still a little soft, return to the oven and bake a little further.
Almond Crisps-- bottom side is golden brown.

Almond Crisps– bottom side is golden brown.

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