Sunday, 18 March 2012
For those of you that follow this blog, you would know that I am not really a biscuit/cookie person. Sure, I love to eat them but I dont often have the patience to make them preferring to bake cakes anytime.
That is not to say that I have never baked cookies/biscuits. I have and I will continue to do so. My two darling kids love chocolate chip cookies and they love the ready-mix Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip cookies. I'm usually very against using ready-mixed anything but somehow the Betty Crocker ones turn out really well and are really very tasty. It's getting harder to find the Betty Crocker premixes here but we had two packets on hand not too long ago when some of Michael's friends came over for a school project.
Thursday, 29 January 2009
It's Daring Bakers time again! First Daring Baker's challenge for 2009. I actually contemplated sitting this one out because time is just getting harder and harder to come by. Thankfully though, I squeezed it in Just Under The Wire!! Yes, I made these on the 27th morning (Thanks to the Chinese New Year holidays) and with the posting date on the 29th, I really made these at the last minute!
This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.
So what is a Tuile? It comes from the French and means a 'tile'. It's basically a light, dry cookie and the name is the reference to the classic tuile which is shaped around a dowel to look like a curved tile. For those of you keen to know how to pronounce these little things, apparently they are pronounced "Tweel". But I'm not French and I dont speak it either, so don't take my word for it.
These were a lot of fun to make and not terribly difficult. What I really liked about this challenge was that if not for the fact that it was a DB challenge, I would never have attempted to make these. I suppose that sums up a lot of the DB challenges - it makes us attempt things that we would normally never do!
The hardest bit about the Tuiles was spreading them thinly enough. I didn't use stencils and just simply spread the batter as thinly as I could and then rolled them up into cigar shapes.
I did try and make a butterfly by piping out some batter and then spreading it out thinly but I guess the butterfly didn't quite look as it should have. My daughter was pleased with it though and thought it was wonderful!
I paired this with Strawberries and Cream and the kids were very, very excited when I brought the dessert out and asked them to pose with it.
To say it was a hit with the children would be an understatement. They thoroughly enjoyed it and my son wanted to know what those "nice, rolled, up crunchy things" were called. Good thing I had checked on the pronunciation eh! They attacked it like there was no tomorrow...
... and then promptly proceeded to devour the entire dish! This was after lunch and here I was thinking that it could last for dessert after dinner. WRONG!
This was an extremely satisfying challenge as not only did I get to do something new but it was something that the children absolutely adored and to me, that's a winning challenge! So thankyou so very much Karen and Zorra!
Watch out for next months challenge which is being hosted by my lovely friend, Wendy and I am privileged to be Co-Hosting with here! Stay Tuned for February!!
Following is the recipe taken from a book called “The Chocolate Book”, written by female Dutch Master chef Angélique Schmeinck.
Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)
Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch
65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet
Oven: 180C / 350F
Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.
Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a bakingsheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.
If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones….
Monday, 16 June 2008
Father's Day was celebrated in Malaysia on Sunday, 15th June. My son and daughter made me a batch of cookies that my daughter calls "I love you Daddy Cookies." She learnt the recipe from her kindergarten and actually made a batch in kindy for Mother's day back in May = although when she made them for Mother's Day, they were called I Love You Mummy Cookies....
Both the kids with the help of The Lovely Wife surprised me with these cookies. I was taking an afternoon nap on Saturday thinking that the kids were napping with Mummy too. When I woke up a short while later, I heard some noise downstairs and realised that everyone was awake.
I went downstairs and as soon as the Kids saw me coming downstairs, they looked at the Lovely Wife and broke out in smiles. I new something was up when they all started giggling as I went to the kithcen to get some water. As I opened the fridge, I saw two plates of these cookies inside!
What a wonderful gift for me! This is the recipe (as explained by my daughter who also insists the recipe is hers!). There are no real measurements as you just need to estimate everything.
Heart Shaped Candy Sprinkles
Crush the corn flakes in a bag, Put into a bowl. Cut the almonds and add into the bowl. Add the raisins and chocolate sprinkles. Mix Well. Put the chocolate in the microwave and melt till it becomes gooey and hot. Mix the chocolate into the bowl and mix everything together. Scoop the whole thing into small cupcake cases. Then put the heart sprinkles all over on top. Put into the fridge to set. So easy!
Yes! That's the way my darling princess explained it to me. According to her, you also MUST have heart shaped sprinkles because the cookies are "for people you love, so you need to have heart shaped sprinkles." Both she and her brother made the cookies and I must say they were indeed delicious!
Thank you so much for my lovely Father's Day Cookies!
Monday, 10 March 2008
One of The Lovely Wife's favourite cookbooks comes from Malaysia's very own celebrity Chef. Say goodbye to Jamie Oliver, wave away Nigella Lawson (even if she IS wearing a slinky nightgown...) and say hello to Wan Ismail better known as Chef Wan!
I like Chef Wan as well. His cooking shows are a hoot to watch! He has a great personality while he talks a mile a minute. His recipes are also rather good in that (so far at least), they have all turned out well with a minimum of fuss.
So enough about my plug on Chef Wan, this post is really about the Vanilla Kipferin's that The Lovely Wife baked some time ago - for Christmas actually!
These lovely cookies are cruncy, nutty goodness and the crescent shape gives it some added 'personality'. Huh? Biscuits with personality?? I think you know what I mean. Apparently these biscuits are popular in Austria and Switzerland - especially at Christmas time. Also, it appears that because of their shape, they are sometimes known as Moon Crescent biscuits. Somehow, that doesnt surprise me!
The recipe comes from Chef Wan's Sweet Treats and goes like this:.
210g all purpose flour
70g ground almods
50g castor sugar
180g cold, unsalted butter, vut into small pieces
2 egg yolks
icing sugar for dusting
1. Combine flour, almonds and sugar in a bowl. Cut in cold butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg yolks and from the dough into a ball. Chill for an hour
2. Roll the dough into marbles by hand then form into crescents. Bake at 180C for about 8 minutes or till golden.
Dust with icing sugar.
Very pretty biscuits and very tasty too! The kids helped out with shaping the biscuits and had a lot of fun doing it. Nothing better for wholesome family fun than cooking and baking in the kitchen - although this time, I readily admit, the fun was had without me!!
Monday, 17 December 2007
Baking is always a lot of fun but baking with the Children is so much More Fun! The Lovely Wife is the Cookie expert in the house. Sure, I make cookies too but with far less frequency than the wife. This is partly due to my impatience with having to shape / drop the cookies on to the trays and then bake them in many batches. But I do so love to whip up a cookie mix and then leave the baking to someone else!!
Incidentally, did you know that in Commonwealth countries, cookies are actually known as biscuits while in the USA, biscuits refer to a type of bread - most commonly small breads made without yeast, also know as quickbreads. As language has evolved, cookie generally refers to the softer, chewy kind of biscuit.
In my home however, we use the term biscuit and cookie interchangeably whereas by right, it should be Biscuit, since we have a colonial past, speak English (rather than American!) use Metric measurements, drive on the left side of the road and spell using the British system( you know colour, organise, centre... to name just a few). Nonetheless with the influence of television, I can't very well tell my kids that the Cookie Monster should be the Biscuit Monster can I? Then it would have to be "B is for Biscuit, good enough for me.." rather than "C is for cookie, good enough for me...."
Heck! Even I grew up on Sesame Street and the Cookie Monster. I used to wonder from a very early age what the difference between cookies and biscuits are and coulnd't really accept that it was just a language/cultural thing. I then used to wonder why we eat Beef instead of Cow, Pork instead of Pig but we eat Lamb, Chicken and Duck.
This explains why I still spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the unnecessary. My friends and relatives still make fun of me for this reason but I see nothing wrong with an inquisitive mind and this inquisitiveness seems to have rubbed of a little on my two kids. I guess it's true that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Anyway, getting back on track, these biscuits were made by my wife and kids back in November. My son loves taking biscuits for his snack time at kindergarten and he loves nothing better than Mummy's home made biscuits.
Interesting story. Early in the year, he took some of my Chocolate Brownies to kindergarten and shared some with his teacher and classmates. The teacher asked my son "The brownies are very nice, did Mummy make them?" My son replied that it was actually Daddy that made the brownies and that Daddy is the one that makes the cakes at home.
A few weeks later, my son started to take the Lovely Wifes home made biscuits to kindy for his snack time. The teacher then asked him "Did Daddy make these too?". My son explained that Mummy made the biscuits and not Daddy. The teacher then quipped "Oh, so Mummy has become clever now."
The story is much funnier when it's told in person and even more so when my son tells it......
Anyhoo. These are the Oatmeal Cookies the Lovely Wife likes to make and that the kids love to eat. This is the first time that they helped in the making of the biscuits and they had a lot of fun with it.
The recipe comes from Le Cordon Bleu Home Collection - Biscuits. The Lovely Wife loves the Cordon Bleu collection and the recipe is as follows:
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp sodium bicarbonate
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g brown sugar
125g castor sugar
125g unsalted butter
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp grated orange rind
160g rolled oats
Preheat oven to 180C. Line baking trays with bakingpaper. Sift together flour, sodium bicarb, bakingpowder and salt.
Cream together the sugars and butter. Add the egg, vanilla and milk and beat till smooth. Sift in the sifted ingredients and mix well. Stir in grated orange rind, then the oats and raisins.
Scoop up balls of the dough with a tablespoon and drop on the prepared trays. Space them about 5cm apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just brown.
Remove from baking trays and let cool on a wire rack.
The kids really enjoyed baking cookies and are now looking forward to helping to bake all the cakes and biscuits for Christmas!
Sunday, 22 July 2007
Phew! What a day! In fact, what a weekend! We did a Whole lot of cooking this weekend and finished off Sunday with my wife baking some cookies. We used the lovely set of cookie cutters that we bought not too long ago. There are some lovely shapes in the set including dinosaurs and lots of other animals. We made some glaze icing in a variety of colours for the children to decorate the cookies - anyway they wanted too! It was really Messy, but it was a whole lot of fun!
Here are some of the cookies they decorated.
Thursday, 19 April 2007
Since Michael likes to take cookies to kindergarten, we bought a nice set of cookie cutters that make lovely big cookies. As they often say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating - and these cookies passed the test. Mike and Sarah absolutely love them!!
The cookies also taste delicious with vanilla ice cream!
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons castor sugar
6 ounces butter (salted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
Cream sugar and butter.
Add the salt, egg, water, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Beat in sifted flour and cocoa until well combined (the dough will be stiff)
Roll the dough into small balls. Place the balls on baking paper/greasproff paper/lightly greased cookie sheets and flatten each ball until nice and round. To get a nice round, use the bottom of a glass dipped in cocoa powder. (Note that too much cocoa left over on the biscuit gives a moist, bitter cookie as the cocoa tends to melt a bit in the oven)
You may also use a cookie stamp and cut out shapes.
To get a nice crisp cookie, it’s important to press them thin. For a chewier cookie, let them be a little thicker. Too thin and the cookies will burn. Too thick and they will be chewy. Try out a few first to see what you like.
Place the baking sheets in the refrigerator to chill the dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes.
Remove the cookies from the baking pans and cool them completely on a wire rack.
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