Embrace the love day.

February 10, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Valentines day will be here in less than a week. People generally fall on two sides of the Valentine’s day spectrum; you have those who love the holiday and then, there are those who hate it.

Well, I embrace February 14th. I think that I have said this before but I truly believe that Valentine’s day is a day to enjoy. Some people might argue that it is a hallmark holiday and I suppose one could interpret it as such. However, I view it as a day to show your loved ones how you feel. In today’s society, people tend to get caught up in activities, work and, even, play which leaves little time to vocalize the love you have for the one’s around you.

At my household we don’t buy cards; we make them. There are no chocolates bought– no cakes, no sugary confectionaries, nothing of the sort. Everything we do is made from scratch and with love (I realize that is cliche but aren’t many aspects of life cliche?).

So for those of you who detest Valentine’s day, I ask you to take time and express your feelings to the one’s you love. Take time. Don’t rush the process. Make yourself happy and others happy.

And, that is what Valentine’s Day is about.

As a special treat for my children and husband I made Mini Melon-pans. While the average North American might not be familiar with the baked good, it is quite popular in Asia. They are comprised of sweet yeast bun that is covered with a cookie like crust and, in my opinion, quite delicious. So delicious in fact that I have submitted this recipe to YeastSpotting.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone–may your heart be filled with love.

Photobucket

Mini Melon-Pans (adapted from Happy Home Baking)

Ingredients
(makes 12 mini buns)

Dough Ingredients:

  • 160g bread flour
  • 30g cake flour
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 10g milk powder
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100ml water
  • 15g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • A few drops of red food colouring gel

Pastry Ingredients:

  • 45g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 40g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 10g milk powder
  • 70g cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • A few drops of red food colouring gel

Method:
Prepare Bread Dough – Place water, egg yolk, salt, sugar, bread flour, cake flour, milk powder and yeast in the pan of the bread machine (according to the sequence as stated in the instruction manual of your bread machine).

Select the Dough function of the bread machine and press start. After about 8mins of kneading (the ingredients should form a smooth dough by now), add in the 15g of butter. Let the machine continue to knead the dough. After the kneading cycle has stopped (20mins), Stop and Restart the machine. Continue to let the machine
knead for another 10mins. Stop the machine and remove dough from the bread pan. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions (about 120g each). With lightly floured hands, take one portion of the dough and knead in cocoa powder, until the cocoa powder is fully incorporated into the dough adding flour if dough becomes too sticky. Repeat the same for the other dough with food colouring. Leave the third dough plain. Shape each dough into a smooth round and place in separate lightly oiled mixing bowls, cover with cling wrap and let them rise till double in volume about 50 ~ 90mins.

Prepare Pastry Dough –

With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter & icing sugar till pale and fluffy. Add in egg yolk gradually and beat until combined. Add in milk powder and cake flour. Fold with a spatula and gather the mixture to form a dough.

Divide the pastry into 3 equal portions. Knead in cocoa powder, red food colouring separately into two of the portions, leave the 3rd portion plain. Divide each pastry dough into 4 smaller portions. You should have 12 doughs in total.

Cover with cling wrap and leave it aside for 10 mins. When ready, remove bread doughs and give each dough a few light kneading on a lightly floured work surface.

Press out the trapped air as your knead. Divide each dough further into 4 smaller portions (about 30g each) and shape into balls. Flatten each pastry dough into a round disc. Wrap each bread dough with it’s corresponding pastry dough. Wrap the pastry dough over about 2/3 of the bread dough, leaving the bottom 1/3 unwrapped.

Place doughs in paper muffin cups, cover loosely with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let dough proof for 25 – 30mins or till the dough reaches almost to the rim of the paper cup.

Bake at preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 18 mins. Rotate the buns halfway into baking to ensure even browning. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.

Advertisements

For the love of Autumn.

October 18, 2010 at 11:12 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I absolutely love autumn. I think it is my favourite season. I love the smell of the sweet decay of leaves, the vivid colours of rust and gold that hang from tree branches and the crisp fall air.

Autumn is also my favourite season to run in because of the reasons mentioned above. However, since I live in British Columbia this time of the year means rain. I don’t have a problem running in the rain (it actually makes me feel tough and reminds me of action movie montages where the heroes are training for the next battle). I can’t run in the rain anymore though because I am a nice mother and would rather my kids not soaking wet.

So, when it’s a rainy October day and running is not an option the next best thing to do is bake cookies to warm-up the house and our stomachs.

Fall baking, to me and probably most people, means a treat that is made with spices and brings comfort upon the first bite.

I decided to make these snickerdoodles because they encompass what I believe is a good autumn treat, and my husband told me he wanted me to make them. A win-win situation for all!

I found the recipe from this great blog called Liv Life, which always features delicious goodies.

Photobucket

Best Ever Snickerdoodles
Nancy Baggett, The All-American Cookie Book p. 14

Flavorful cookies with a texture that ranges from slightly crispy around the edges to slightly chewy as you reach the center. Sure to be a hit anywhere you take them!

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbs light corn syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar combined with 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon for topping

Method

Preheat oven to 375ยบ and prepare baking sheets with a silicone mat or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, salt and nutmeg, set aside. In another large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and corn syrup together until well blended and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating until well blended and smooth. Beat in half of the flour mixture until evenly incorporated. Stir in the remaining flour mixture just until combined. Let the dough stand for 5-10 minutes. Mix together the additional sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

Roll portions of the dough into generous 1 1/2 inch balls with lightly greased hands (dough will be soft). Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar. Place on the baking sheets, spacing about 2 3/4 inches apart.

Bake the cookies 8-11 minutes, or just until light golden brown at the edges. Reverse the sheet from front to back half way through the cooking time to ensure even browning. Transfer the baking sheets to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up slightly, about 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

Peppermint Cookies are a sure way to win the heart of Santa

December 12, 2008 at 6:33 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Christmas cheer is in the air but I have a confession to make: I haven’t even started my Christmas baking yet! I did the Gingerbread house but after that I kind of just… died down! It is completely blasphemous I know. However, I am going to make it up to all you Mama Baker readers out there and try and post as many Christmas recipes as I can (which probably won’t be too many because I have a cousins birthday I must prepare for, a wedding that is coming up in about a week (nothing has even been done!), and also of course Christmas (this is my first time shopping with a baby that can walk). So please forgive me if I lack in the post department… I am trying!

I’ve decided to kick my Christmas baking off with something that exudes Christmas spirit. What cookie is that? Well the peppermint sandwich cookie of course!

Photobucket

This cookie screams out Christmas and sure to be a favourite of the big man up North and I should know because I did live up North!

Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from Cuisine at Home magazine . This magazine is one of my favourite cooking magazines. I just adore the issue on Christmas cookies–it is exactly what I have been looking for.

Peppermint Sandwich Cookies (yields 10 sandwiches (I double the recipe and got 20)

Ingredients for Cookie

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp. (or about 1/3 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. brewed coffee
  • 1/2 vanilla extract

Ultra fine sugar for rolling (I just used granulated sugar)

Ingredients for filling

  • 1/3 cup marshmallow filling
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Ingredients for glaze

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp shortening
  • A bowl full of mint Christmas sprinkles (I used Wilton’s Christmas sprinkles)

Prepare cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicon mat.

Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together making sure there are no lumps; set aside.
In another bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Then beat in coffee and vanilla.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Blend in flour just until dough forms (I used all my flour mixture.)

Shape dough into one inch balls and roll them in sugar. Place balls on the baking sheet.

Photobucket

Flatten a ball with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar. Continue to dip glass in sugar and flatten balls till non remain.

Photobucket

Bake until 12-14 minutes. Let cookies cool on the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.

Prepare filling

Blend together marshmallow cream and butter with a mixer. Add powdered sugar and mint extracted making sure everything is being thoroughly incorporated. Spread 2 tsp of the filling onto one cookie and then top with another cookie (I used about 3 tsp of filling).

Prepare glaze

Heat cream in a saucepan until bubbles form around the sides of the pan. Pour cream over chocolate and shortening. Let sit so that chocolate melts (about 5 minutes); then whisk the glaze until smooth. Let sit for an additional 5 minutes so glaze thickens. Dip a portion of each cookie into the glaze (I did that and I also dipped a portion of it in the glaze then applied glaze to the top of the cookie too with knife. I then created some lines with the tip of the spoon. Hubs and I thought this way looked the best and also it had more chocolate– it was a win-win situation.)

Roll tip of cookie into sprinkle and then set on a cooling rack.

Transfer cooling rack to the fridge so that glaze hardens (about 30 minutes.)

Photobucket
Two for me; how many for you?!

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.