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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I really needed to make something for breakfast. Last little while, I guiltily went to Starbucks to buy their "baking." I feel guilty cos 1) I can make them 2) it costs unnecessary spending 3) I know what I put in and control the ingredients whereas with them, I don't.

Anyways so Saturday, I decided to bake something with cinnamon with some old Digweed CDs. I wanted something cinnamon not because I crave it but because the last time I baked I accidentally mixed flour and sugar with my cinnamon and it's bothered me since!!!! I felt I had to use it up.

I wanted cinnamon buns but the recipe I had needed buttermilk and I didn't want to go out and buy. So I had a choice of stacked cinnamon bread (from my Wooden Spoon Bread book) or Cinnamon Raisin Bread (from the Kitchen Aid Baking Companion). Since I never used the Kitchen Aid book, I decided to try it's recipe.

I bought this book a long time ago. It's actually one of the reason why I decided to have a New Year's resolution of not buying a recipe book unless I finish making everything in one recipe book (that New Year resolution is partially successful in that I haven't bought any recipe books but failure because I'm not going to complete 1 recipe book by the end of this year. By 2012, I'm gonna be buying!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had a craze for cookies and making cookies. Right after university exams and before Christmas, I'd make three or four types of cookies. My dad said it's because after studying and writing exams, holidays were anti-climax and so I would bake to not be bored. I just kinda thought it was for sentimental reasons when my mom liked to bake for the Holidays so I was recreating that. Or simple I loved cookies that I wanted to eat them. Mine friends used to call me Cookie Monster cos I would be willing to be late for class just to buy a cookie (from Cookies by George).

Anyways, I stopped baking cookies so regularly because I experienced baking other things and really enjoyed making those other things eg bread and cakes.

Today I wanted to send some baking by mail as a gift to my brother for his birthday. Cookies were the easiest to send so decided to make Chocolate Chip Cookies from my favourite book.

I made their chocolate chip cookies before and thought it was good but too sweet. I decided to try again to see how it taste.

First I mixed flour, salt and baking soda.

Then in another bowl I mixed melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar. I reduced the white sugar by 1/4 cup.

The recipe said that the trick to successful chewy cookie is melted butter. The cool thing about America Test Kitchen is that they test ideas and recipes in order to give the best baking or cooking advice!!!

Again, I don't like how butter is measured by sticks in this book. I don't use sticks or tablespoon when measuring my butter!!!

Anyways, I also added vanilla extract. The vanilla extract I used was a vanilla bean infused vodka.
See the vanilla pods?

Put all the ingredients together.

Then mix until it becomes thick which takes about 1 to 2 minute.

Add 1 egg and 1 egg yolk and mix for 30 seconds.

Then add flour and mix for 30 seconds again.

Then add chocolate chip. I should have used semi-sweet but instead I used milk chocolate chips. I like milk chocolate more but was worried it might be too sweet so wanted to use semi-sweet. However had no choice because Urban Fare sold a big bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips for $5.99 and a small bag of milk chocolate for $3.99 and I only had $5 with me. So had to buy milk chocolate chips.

This recipe instructs that you roll 2 tablespoon of dough into a ball. Their rationale is that the edge of the cookie will be smooth and even. I personally prefer dropped cookies rather than rolled so next time, I'll just drop the dough onto the baking sheet.

After baking, let it sit on the pan for 10minutes.

Then enjoy eating or let it cool on a wire rack.

Final Thoughts:
The cookies were crispy outside and moist/chewy inside. The chocolate chips were slightly melted. Yum-mee!!!

They were really good cookies. I would still reduce sugar a little more because it's still a little too sweet for me but would make it again!!

This is a recipe you have to share because it uses a lot of butter. I guess butter is necessary to make the cookie crispy.

The book stated is if you want to freshen your cookies to make it crisp, put it in the oven for about 3 minutes.

Well, gonna enjoy my cookies!! Mmmmmmm...

La Gavroche Restaurant

Recently I went to La Gavroche for supper. It was a Monday night.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Blueberry Crumble Tart

Yesterday I made a Blueberry Crumble Tart (yes I bought sugar!). It was from a recipe book I borrowed from the library called In a Small Kitchen.

The authors' name is Cara Eisenpress and Phobe Lapine. It just came out this summer. This book is designed for people living and small kitchens and don't cook very often.

I read reviews and people seem to like the simplicity and the taste of the food, though one reviewer felt the book would have been more suitable for her 10 years ago. Another comment more for those in their 20s and just starting to cook.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Jang Mo Jib Restaurant

I went to a popular Korean restaurant in downtown. It's called Jang Mo Jib. The food is very tasty. They have multiple locations, though I've heard the one in downtown is the best. They can be quite busy and might need to wait to get a table. It's the restaurant I take guests to eat Korean food because the quality is consistent and don't have to worry they had an off day with their cooking. It's almost guaranteed that guests will enjoy!!


While baking hearty rolls, I also made pizza. I made dough from my favourite recipe book, The American Test Kitchen.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hearty Rolls

I'm out of sugar but wanted to bake so could only make bread and pizza dough. They don't require sugar. This post will be on my bread.

I've been wanting to make bread rolls because I can freeze and use as needed. With loaves of bread, I have a hard time finishing it. Often I have to eat it for lunch and breakfast and throw away the last piece cos it's too old and hard to even toast.

The bread roll I made came from my favourite book (and my fave cooking show on PBS). It's from America's Test Kitchen.