Fresh Fruit Tart


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I made mini fruit tarts four years ago.  Since it takes a long time to mould each tart with the dough, I wanted to try a regular size one.  I used the same recipe to make a big tart but the crust just fell apart.  Now I found Paula Deen’s recipe for the tart shell which got a lot of good reviews.  I made the tart today and the crust is so tasty, flaky and fresh!

Tart Crust:

60g Powdered Sugar
170g Unsalted Butter (softened)
220g All Purpose Flour

Cream Filling:

1-3/8 cups Milk (could be a combination of milk and cream)
60g Sugar
15g Cornstarch
2 Egg yolks
A tiny pinch Salt
30g Butter
½ tsp Vanilla extract

Directions:

Crust:

  1. Combine flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture forms a ball.  (Picture A)
  2. With your fingers, press the dough into an 11-inch or 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Push the crust into the indentations in the sides, pat until the crust is even.  (Pictures B and C)
  3. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes.

Crust

4.  Preheat the oven to 350 F, bake for 20 minutes until it’s lightly browned.  Set aside to cool.

crust baked

Filling:

  1. In a food processor, add milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks, (in that order) to blender.  Blend 10 seconds and pour into 2-quart glass microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 3 minutes on HIGH, whisking until smooth and microwave for another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add butter and vanilla and whisk until smooth.   Remove from heat and let it cool.
  3. Place plastic wrap on top the filling without leaving any gap.  This will prevent the filling from forming a hard layer on top.  Once it’s cool, put it in the fridge.  (see picture below)

6

Assembly:

Wash all fruits, I like apples, strawberries, blueberries, grapes and kiwis.  To keep sliced apples from turning brown, you can soak them in salt water.  Fill a bowl of water and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

5

  1. Whisk filling before applying to the crust, especially when you make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge.  (Picture 1)
  2. Spread filling over the cooled crust.  (Picture 2)
  3. For the first layer, place apple slices.  (Picture 3)
  4. For the next circle, place strawberry slices.  (Picture 4)
  5. For the next circle, use green grapes.  (Picture 5)
  6. Add another circle of red grapes.  Filling in any spaces with blueberries and put a couple of kiwi slices in the center.  (Picture 6)

fruit tart steps

fruit tart

Optional:

For the glaze:

1/2 cup Apple Jelly
1 Tbsp water

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine apple jelly and water.
  • Heat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds until the apple jelly liquefies.
  • Let it cool for a few minutes.
  • With a pastry brush, apply apple jelly to preserve the fruits.

Shrimp Pad Thai


Pad Thai

This is the second dish I learned from the cooking class at The Gourmandise School.  You can use chicken, pork, beef, tofu or a combination.  People may get confused with Pad Thai and Pad See Ew – Pad Thai is thin rice noodles cooked with tamarind paste and has a little sweet and sour taste.  Pad See Ew is thick rice noodle cooked with soy sauce which is similar to Chinese Chow Fun (fried rice noodles).  Both Pad Thai and Pad See Ew are very popular dishes in Thai restaurants.  Making this dish is as easy as making the Panang Curry with Chicken.

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Ingredients: (serves 4)

8 oz Thai rice stick
¼ cup Oil
2 Shallots, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
½ pound Medium shrimp cut in half
½ cup Extra firm tofu, sliced (optional)
2 Tbsps Tamarind paste
4 Tbsps Sugar
2 Tbsps Fish sauce
2 Tbsps Thin soy sauce
1 tsp Ground chili flakes
2 Eggs
2 Limes
1 cup Bean sprouts
6 Scallions cut into 1 inch pieces
½ cup Roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Soak the noodles in warm water while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.  (picture 1)
  2. Peel the shrimp , using a small knife to cut the back of the shrimp until you see the vein.  Remove the vein carefully and cut shrimp in half.  (picture 2)
  3. Using a wok or large saute pan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add shallot and garlic until slightly brown.  (picture 3)
  4. Add shrimp and stir fry for a few seconds until fragrant.  (picture 4)
  5. Stir in the tamarind paste, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and ground chili flakes. (picture 5)
  6. With your hands, pull the noodles out of the water and add to the pan.  Toss noodles thoroughly with sauce mixture until tender.  Taste a noodle, if it’s not tender, splash in a bit of the soaking water and cook until noodles soften.  (picture 6)
  7. Make a space in the middle of the pan or on the side of the pan, add the eggs and more oil if needed.  Scramble until barely set and mix in with noodles.  (picture 7)
  8. Add lime juice.  Taste noodles, if you feel that it needs more seasoning such as fish sauce, sugar, etc. add to taste.  (picture 8)
  9. Toss with tofu (optional), bean sprouts and scallions.  (picture 9)
  10. Serve on a platter  and sprinkle chopped peanuts.

Pad Thai steps

Notes:

  • I found it easier to cook this with a wok.
  • Tamarind paste is not easy to find but can be purchased at Thai supermarkets.
  • I soaked noodles in water for at least 2 hours.

 

Panang Curry with Chicken


Panang Curry with Chicken

Last week, I attended a cooking class which was arranged by my company.  It was very nice and fun learning/cooking with my colleagues.  The chef, Jamie at The Gourmandise School, taught us how to cook Thai cuisine as well as use proper cutting techniques.  I love Thai food but have never tried making it at home.  I’m surprised how easy it is to make Pad Thai and Panang Curry with chicken.  After the class, I made those two dishes again for my family and everyone loved it.  Below is the recipe for Panang Curry with Chicken from the cooking school.  I will publish the recipe for Pad Thai in my next post.

Ingredients:  (Serves 4)

1 can Coconut milk
1 Tbsp Vegetable oil
¼ cup Panang curry paste
2 Tbsps Fish sauce
1 pound Boneless skinless chicken breast
½ cup Chicken stock
2 Tbsps Brown sugar
3 Kaffir lime leaves
½ cup Thai basil leaves

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Directions:

  1. Cut chicken breast into cubes. (picture 1)
  2. Separate coconut cream and milk from can and place cream in medium saucepan along with vegetable oil and curry paste.  Heat over medium high and cook for 2 minutes.  Stir constantly. (pictures 2-4)
  3. Add remaining coconut milk, chicken stock, sugar, fish sauce and Kaffir lime leaves.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  (pictures 5-9)
  4. Add chicken and simmer until just cooked.  Taste for seasoning.  (picture 10)
  5. Slice basil leaves and add in to chicken curry.  (picture 11)
  6. Serve over white rice.  (picture 12)

Panang Curry with Chicken Steps

Notes:

  • I simmered the chicken for 45 minutes and also added potatoes.
  • I found it hard to purchase all ingredients, especially the Kaffir lime leaves.  Kaffir lime leave is highly aromatic and provides a light citrus flavor.  I would not want to omit this ingredient.  One of my co-workers has a little bush, he was nice enough to give me some leaves.
  • All ingredients can be found in Thai supermarkets.  I purchased mine in a Chinese/Vietnamese supermarket.

 

 

Egg Waffle / Bubble Waffle / Egg Puff / Gai Daan Jai (雞蛋仔)


Egg Waffles - 3

Since I mentioned in my Boot Jai Go post that one of the most popular Hong Kong street vendor’s snacks is egg waffle, I must introduce and record a recipe on my blog.  According to Wikipedia, egg waffles were ranked No.1 in a 100 most popular Hong Kong street snack listing.  There are many English names (bubble waffle, egg puff, eggettes, just to name a few), but its Cantonese name is Gai Daan Jai (meaning little eggs).  One story says the enterprising post-war generation created the egg-shaped mould to make up for an eggless batter as eggs became a luxury in China.  Grocery stores would take the cracked eggs and sell the perfect eggs to customers.  Throwing away the cracked eggs would be a waste of money, so they turned the eggs into batter and sold them as waffles.  After making the egg waffles with the semi-spherical cell pans (pan base is deeper and the cover is shallower), they look like small eggs.  I guess this is how it got its name “little eggs”.

Ingredients:  (makes 5)

210g All purpose flour
10g Baking powder
15g Custard powder
42g Tapioca starch
3 Eggs
210g Granulated Sugar
42g Low fat milk
210ml Very cold water
42g Vegetable oil
3 drops (slightly less than ¼ tsp) Vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Measure all ingredients, set aside.  (picture 1)
  2. Pour all ingredients into a blender (except vegetable oil and vanilla extract), blend until well mixed.  (picture 2)
  3. Add in vanilla extract and oil and blend until combined.  (pictures 3 and 4)
  4. Strain the batter through a sieve.  (picture 5)
  5. Warm up each side of the mould and brush a thin layer of oil on each side. (picture 6)
  6. Pour the egg batter onto the mould with a ladle and close the mould.  Hold the handles firm to keep two sides tight.   I turned the fire to medium high.  (picture 7)
  7. After 1-2 minutes, flip the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.  You can slightly open the pan to check if the the waffle is slight brown.  (picture 8)
  8. Remove the egg waffle from the mould with a fork and place it on a cooling rack.  (picture 9)

Egg Waffles Steps

It should be served hot or warm (cold is not as good). The waffles are crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.Egg Waffles - 2

This egg waffle mould/pan makes waffles over the stove.  For first time use, clean the pan thoroughly. The first 2 waffles should be discarded.  There are some fancy electricity-powered makers that make perfect egg waffles and you don’t need to pay too much attention to the cooking process or need any skill.   However, one owner of the waffle shop said “If the skill isn’t there, it doesn’t matter how good your ingredients are.”  IMG_9924

Note:  Some recipes say the batter should be refrigerated for at least an hour in order to make a perfect egg waffle.  To skip this step, I substituted room temperature water with icy-cold water.  The result is the same.

Yummy!Egg Waffles - 4

Rose Shaped Steamed Buns/Mantou (玫瑰花饅頭)


Rose Shaped Mantous

My friend, Janet who loves to cook and bake, was nice to share her buns with me last week.  It was a lovely purple color as it was made with purple yam.  When food is turned into an art piece, it makes the food more appealing.  Since it tasted and looked so good, I decided to make some, but with carrot juice to get a bright orange color.

I posted a recipe for making the milk mantou 4 years ago, and I used that recipe for the white petals.  Both milk mantou and carrot juice mantou recipes are listed below (for a total of 24 pieces).

Ingredients for orange petals:

500g All purpose flour
300ml Carrot juice
35g Sugar
5g Yeast
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Vegetable oil

Ingredients for white petals:

500g All purpose flour
300ml Fat free milk
35g Sugar
5g Yeast
1 Tbsp Vegetable oil

Directions:

You will need 3-4 carrots to get 300ml of carrot juice depending on the size of the carrots.

Carrot juice

  1.  Prepare all ingredients, one set for the orange petals and one set for the white petals.  Combine all ingredients for the orange petals in a mixing bowl, attach the dough hook and mix the ingredients with low speed.  Knead the dough until smooth (about 10 minutes).  Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.  Repeat this step for the ingredients for the white petals (pictures 1, 2 and 3).
  2. During the 10-minute resting period, make sure to cover the container with plastic wrap.  (picture 4)
  3. Take the dough out, punch down with your hands to deflate, and cut into half.  Cover the second half with plastic wrap to keep it soft.  Roll out the dough and roll it tightly to form a log.  (picture 5)
  4. Cut the log into pieces and each piece should weigh about 20g.  Cover pieces with plastic wrap. (picture 6)
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the orange petals.  (picture 7)
  6. Roll each piece thinly like gyoza wrappers.  (picture 8)
  7. You will need 3 pieces of the orange dough and 3 pieces of the white dough, alternate the colors. (picture 9)
  8. Roll the dough up (roll from the right hand side) to form a small thick log.  (picture 10)
  9. Cut the rolled up dough in half from the center.  When you turn the dough up, you will see the pretty rose shape and shape the petals with your fingers.  (picture 11)
  10. Pour some cold water in the bottom of the steamer.   Place rose shaped buns in the steamer lined with parchment paper, cover and let the buns rise for 20 minutes.   Make sure to space out the buns (picture 12)
  11. After the final rise, boil water and steam the buns for 15 minutes until they are cooked and puffed.

steps

Mantou 1

Note:

  • Don’t skip the final rise, otherwise the bun outer layer won’t be fluffy.
  • Don’t uncover the pot right away after steaming, leave the buns covered in the pot for another 15 mins.  This is to prevent the buns from shrinking.

Roast Prime Rib with Thyme Au Jus


Prime Rib

I adapted this recipe from Food Network, it is Bobby Flay’s recipe.  I always had delicious prime rib at my relatives during holidays.  They served their prime rib with very light au jus (like clear beef broth).  Since I wanted a richer au jus, Bobby Flay’s recipe contains red wine and everyone said it was amazing.  All those good comments caught my eye.  So, tonight to celebrate Easter, I roasted my prime rib for the very first time.  The only change I made was the temperature – I adjusted it down to 120F instead of 135F.   I am glad that I did that as the temperature continued to cook the meat during the resting period.  My husband only likes medium rare, so I had to make sure he gets his tender piece.  This recipe made me feel like I was a professional chef!

Picture below is a small piece of roast I purchased from the market, it is slightly less than 5lbs (bone-in 3 ribs).  The cooking time is about 1.5 hours, but don’t rely on the cooking time, you should use an oven thermometer to avoid overcooking.

a

Ingredients:  (If your roast is bigger than 5 lbs, please follow Bobby Flay’s recipe for the liquid amount)

1 bone-in prime rib (about 5 lbs)
8 cloves garlic, cut in half
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup red wine (I used Cabernet, Bobby Flay’s was Merlot)
2 cups beef stock
1 tablespon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper on meat.  (picture 1)
  3. Make small slits all over the prime rib and push garlic pieces into each slit.  (picture 2)
  4. Place roast on a rack set inside a roasting pan and insert the thermometer into the center at the thickest part, away from bone.  (picture 3)
  5. Set temperature to 120F, when the internal temperature reaches 120F, it will alarm you.  (picture 4)
  6. Remove the meat to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

prime rib steps

  • While the meat is resting, discard all the fat from the roasting pan but keep the pan drippings.  Place the pan on top of the stove over 2 burners set on high heat and add 1 cup of wine.  (picture A)
  • When the wine is reduced, add in 2 cups of beef stock and cook until reduced by half.  (picture B)
  • Whisk in 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves.  (picture C)
  • Use a wooden spoon to mix the au jus and add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.  (picture D)

AU JUS

  • Transfer the au jus to a gravy bowl  and serve.

10

Mini Red Bean Pudding Cake (砵仔糕 Boot Jai Go / Put Chai Ko)


boot-chai-go

Boot Jai Go aka Put Chai Ko is a popular snack sold by street vendors in Hong Kong.  Traditionally, these pudding cakes were steamed in earthen bowls, which in Chinese means “Boot Jai”.  This is how it got its name “Boot Jai” pudding.  These pudding cakes are made from white or brown sugar, rice flour and wheat starch.  Sometimes red bean is also added.  I still remember during my childhood in Hong Kong, the hawker removed the pudding cake from a porcelain bowl by inserting two bamboo sticks and we just held the skewers while eating them.  Besides the Egg waffles, Boot Jai Go is one of Hong Kong’s must try street vendor’s snacks.

Today, I made these pudding cakes using mini muffin trays.  I made two types, one with brown sugar and one with white sugar and coconut cream.  I also made some without red bean as my daughter likes them plain.

Brown Sugar Boot Jai Go:

Ingredients:

60g Wheat Flour 澄麵
90g Rice Flour 粘米粉
110g Dark Brown Sugar 黑蔗糖
2 cup Water 水
1 cup Cooked red beans 熟紅豆

ingredients

Directions:

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of red bean and 1-1/2 cup of water into the pressure cooker, and set the pressure cooking time to 25 minutes (sugar can be added depending on your preference).  Discard water once red bean is cooked and set aside;
  2. Combine wheat starch and rice flour in a big bowl, add 1 cup of cold water to the flour mixture and mix well, make sure the batter has no lumps (picture 1);
  3. In a small pot, combine 1 cup of water and 110g of dark brown sugar, bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved (picture 2);
  4. Quickly pour the hot sugar water into the batter, mix thoroughly (picture 3);
  5. Scope out the batter to a mini muffin tray with a ladle (while transferring the batter, keep mixing the batter as the starch tend to sink to the bottom) (picture 4);
  6. In a big steamer/wok, bring water to a boil.  Transfer the muffin tray to the steamer and steam over high heat for 3 minutes.  Then add red bean to the middle of each pudding and continue steaming for 7 minutes.  If you want to make the plain pudding with red beans, just steam it for 10 minutes straight (picture 5).

puding-cake

Coconut Boot Jai Go:

  1. Replace brown sugar with white sugar, also 110g (picture A);
  2. Instead of 1 cup of boiling water, combine 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of coconut cream (pictures B & C);
  3. Pour sugar, water and coconut cream into a pot, bring to a boil (picture D);
  4. Repeat steps 4-6 above.

coconut-rice-cake

Note:

  • It’s normal that the cake droops in the middle after steaming.
  • You will need to steam this for 30 minutes or so if you use a porcelain bowl depending the size of the bowl.  Red bean can be added to the batter just prior to steaming.

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Sous Vide Steak


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Steak is one of the most popular foods to cook sous vide and since everyone in my family likes their steak medium rare, I decided to adopt the sous vide method instead of the typical grilling method.

Before we start, we need to pick the right steak.  The thickness of a steak should be at least 1.5 inches thick, either bone-in or boneless.  The reason to pick a thicker piece is because we need to sear the steak after sous-vide cooking.  A thinner piece will tend to overcook during the searing process.  Below is an excerpt from the Anova site and a complete guide can be found here .

Strip, Ribeye, and Porterhouse Steaks

Highly marbled cuts like a grain-finished Prime-grade ribeye and strip should be cooked a few degrees higher than leaner steaks like tenderloin as their copious intramuscular fat helps keep them moist while delivering plenty of flavor.  Fattier steaks also have natural insulation which means they’ll take slightly longer to reach the correct internal temperature.

Very rare to Rare:  120°F (49°C) to 128°F (53°C), 1 to 2 1/2 hours.
Medium-rare:  129°F (54°C) to 134°F (57°C), 1 to 4 hours (2 1/2 hours max for temperatures under 130°F/57°C).
Medium:  135°F (57°C) to 144°F (62°C), 1 to 4 hours.
Medium-well:  145°F (63°C) to 155°F (68°C), 1 to 3 1/2 hours.
Well done:  156°F (69°C) and up, 1 to 3 hours.

Here is how we made a mouth-watering sous-vide steak.

Ingredients:
2 Steaks (about 1 pound each)
Salt
Pepper
12 garlic clove

Direction:

  1. Preheat Precision Cooker to the desired final temperature according to the chart above.  I like my steaks medium rare, so I set my temperature to 129°F.
  2. Generously season the steak (including the edges) with salt and pepper. (picture 1)
  3. Put the steak into a bag and add 3 garlic cloves to each side of the steak (if you want herbs, you can add that to the bag as well).  Seal the bag with a vacuum sealer.  (picture 2)
  4. When water has reached the desired temperature, drop the bag(s) in the water bath.  (picture 3)
  5. You can connect your cell phone to your precision cooker and use the app to set the cooking time to 1 hour.  (picture 4)
  6. Remove the steak from the bag and pat dry with paper towel.  Preheat a cast iron skillet and add one tablespoon of grape seed oil until it starts to smoke, add your steak to the pan. (picture 5)
  7. Sear one side for 15 to 30 seconds and flip the steak and sear the other side for 15 t0 30 seconds.  Repeat this step once until the steak gets a nice brown sear.  Make sure not to cook for too long.  Immediately serve with your favorite vegetables/side dishes.  (picture 6)

steak

Note:  With sous-vide cooking, you can cut the steak right after searing, the 10-minute resting period can be skipped.

Sous Vide Soy Sauce Chicken


soy-sauce-chicken

Sous vide cooking is new to me, a lot of my friends have already owned a Sous Vide Precision Cooker for a couple of years.  I heard many good things about it but never thought about buying one until after the Thanksgiving holiday when there was a big sale.  I purchased mine (Anova brand) and used it the very first time yesterday.  Basically sous vide cooking is putting food in a bag and cooking it in a water bath.  This technique is about bringing food up to a precisely controlled temperature to deliver super-juicy, flavor-packed results throughout the entire piece of meat.  I personally don’t like the idea of cooking food in a plastic bag, but if I use those vacuum sealer bags that are BPA free, I think that is acceptable.  Below is my first recipe – A Chinese soy sauce chicken –  the meat was cooked just right, very tender and juicy.  Please note this soy sauce chicken doesn’t need the searing step after the water bath.

Ingredients:

1 3-4 pound free range brown chicken 黃毛雞
3 slices Fresh ginger
3 Star anise
3 Bay leaves
2 stalks Green onions
6 cloves Garlic
7 Tbsp Brown sugar
300ml Light soy sauce
300ml Water
2 Tbsp Mei Kuei Lu Chiew (Cooking wine) 玫瑰露酒

Directions for making the sauce:

  1. Measure all ingredients and set aside (picture 1).
  2. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to the frying pan, stir in ginger, garlic and green onion and cook for a minute. (pictures 2)
  3. Add a tablespoon of Mei Kuei Lu Chiew (cooking wine) and then add in 300 ml water. (pictures 3-4)
  4. Add in sugar, anise and bay leaves. (pictures 5 and 6)
  5. When the liquid is boiling, add a tablespoon of Mei Kuei Lu Chiew (cooking wine) and soy sauce. (pictures 7 and 8)
  6. Turn off fire after the sauce is slightly bubbling, transfer the sauce into a bowl and let it cool. (picture 9)

sauce

Directions for sous vide cooking:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and put the whole chicken in for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  This step will firm the chicken skin and allow the sauce to coat the chicken evenly.  (picture a)
  2. Fill a pot of water, clip the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to the side of the pot, download the app and connect Anova to your phone.  Use the phone to set the temperature that you want the food to finish at. For this chicken, I set it to 155.5 for 6 hours.
  3. While the cooker is heating up the water, put chicken in a bag and pour sauce into the bag.  Toss the chicken to make sure sauce gets on all sides.  (pictures c and d)
  4. When water has reached the desired temperature, seal the bag using the water immersion technique (drop the bag into water slowly and air will come out, use binder clips to secure the bag).  Place the bag in the water bath and let it cook for 6 hours.  (pictures e and f)
  5. When the timer goes off, remove the bag from the water bath.  Take out the chicken and let it cool.  You can save the sauce and use it next time, just re-boil and freeze in the freezer.

anova

Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting.  Serve with white steamed rice.

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Braised Pork Soft Bones (豬軟骨)


HKG_4555

Ever since I bought an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot), I’ve tried different recipes that required long cooking times on the stove top.  I must say I love pressure cooking as it has saved me so much time!   This Instant Pot is very safe to use, if the cooker is still pressurized, the lid will be locked to prevent accidental opening.  I have tried cooking a whole chicken, tri-tip, soup and Oxtail.

Ingredients:

3 pounds
10 cloves
1
2 slices
3 stalks
2/3 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
4 Tbsp
4 Tbsp
1 Tbsp
Pork Soft Bones
Garlic
Anise
Ginger
Green Onions
Light soy sauce
Mirin
Water
Dark soy sauce
Brown sugar
Mei Kuei Lu Chiew (or rice cooking wine)

Directions:

  1. I bought these pork soft bones in an Asian supermarket, as you can see from picture 1, they are like short ribs and has a little fat marbling in the meat. The little white circles are the soft bones, once the ribs are cooked for a long time, you can eat the bones together with the meat.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to a frying pan and fry the pork ribs until slightly golden brown. (picture 2)
  3. Add garlic, ginger and green onions to the ribs and stir well. (picture 3)
  4. Add a tablespoon of Mei Kuei Lu Chiew (if you don’t have this type of wine, just add rice cooking wine). (picture 4)
  5. Transfer the ribs to a pressure cooker. In a separate bowl, combine light soy sauce, mirin, water, dark soy sauce and brown sugar.  Pour the mixture into the pressure cooker. (pictures 5-10)
  6. I am using an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot).  Close the pressure cooker lid tight and make sure the steam release knob is turned to “Sealing” position. Select “Meat/Stew” function, set pressure to “normal” and the cooking time to 35 minutes.  As the pressure increases inside the cooker, the Float Valve pops up and seals the cooker.  (picture 11)
  7. When the ribs are done cooking, slide the steam release knob to the “Venting” position to let out steam until the Float Valve drops down. The meat is so soft and tender, you can serve it with noodles in soup or rice.  (Picture 12)

soft-bone-ribs-collages

Note:  If you don’t have a pressure cooker and want to make this on the stove top, instead of 1/2 cup of water, add 4 cups of water to the pot.  Cook ribs in medium low heat for about 2 hours.

hkg_4556

Traditional Mooncakes 廣式月餅


Mooncakes.jpg

I made these traditional mooncakes two years ago with a 63g mooncake mold.  I’m posting this again with the ingredients for a 75g mold.  Please plan ahead of time as (i) the paste needs to be made and refrigerated (or you can buy the paste from a store), and (ii) the skin normally needs to rest for 2 days after baking to get the best texture,  called “回油” in Chinese.  If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to increase the sugar amount as my recipe is a healthier version – less sugar and less oil.

moon-cakes

Ingredients for Lotus Paste (yield: 17 pieces – 23g each paste ball):

400g
240g
200ml
2 Tbsps
2 Tbsps
1/4 tsp
Lotus Seeds
Sugar
Grape Seed Oil/Olive Oil
Honey
Condense Milk
Salt

Directions for making the lotus paste are in my previous mooncake recipe here.

Ingredients for making the dough:  (yield: 17 mooncakes – 52g each dough ball) 

200g All purpose flour
140g Golden Syrup (recipe courtesy of Christine Ho – here)
1 tsp Alkaline water
50g/ml Grape seed oil
Fillings:
900g Lotus Paste
9 Salted Egg Yolks
1 Tbsp Rose-flavored cooking wine (玫瑰露酒)
1 Egg (for egg wash)

Directions: (The dough/filling ratio is 3:7)

  1. Mix salted egg yolks with wine. Wipe dry the yolks with kitchen paper after a few minutes.  Cut each into two halves. Set aside.  (Note: if you don’t want to use cooking wine, you can use salt water to rinse the egg yolks to remove the excess egg whites).
  2. Place golden syrup in a bowl.  Add in alkaline water, stir to combine. Add in oil and mix well.
  3. Add flour into the syrup mixture and combine well. Gently knead the dough till smooth (takes 1~2 mins). Shape it into a round ball and wrap with cling wrap. Leave it in the fridge to rest for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Before making mooncakes, bring the dough to room temperature for 30 mins. Divide dough into 17 equal portions, each weighs 23g.  Roll each portion into a ball shape.  Divide lotus paste into 17 equal portions as well, each weighs 52g, the salted egg yolks are roughly 5g each half.  (Pictures 1-3)
  5. Take a lotus paste ball and poke a hole in the middle with your finger. Place egg yolk inside. (Picture 4).
  6. Flatten each dough into a small disc with a rolling pin. The dough is sticky, I suggest putting a piece of cling wrap on top and roll it out.  (Picture 5)
  7. Wrap the dough around the filling and shape it into a ball. (Picture 6)
  8. Lightly dust the stuffed dough with some flour and lightly dust the mold.  Place the stuffed dough into the mooncake mold.  Tip:  When wrapping the filling, the dough is thicker on the closing end, the thicker side of the dough should go into the mold first as you will get the pattern pressed on this side.  (Picture 7)
  9. Press the handle, then remove the mooncake from the mold.  Dust off any excess flour with a brush.  (Pictures 8-9)
  10. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and place mooncakes on top.
  11. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare the egg wash by whisking the egg, sift through a fine sieve.
  12. Lightly spray some water on the mooncakes. (Note: this step prevents the mooncakes from cracking during baking.)   (Picture 10)
  13. Position the rack in the upper third of the oven and bake for 10 mins. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 15mins (Note:  this step helps stabilizing the pattern on top).
  14. After 15 minutes, brush the top with very little egg wash (Note: too much egg wash, the pattern will disappear after baking). Return to oven and change the oven temperature to 325F and continue to bake for another 25-30 mins. (Picture 11)
  15. After baking, the skin doesn’t have the shiny look (picture 12).  Leave mooncakes to cool completely and store in air tight containers. Wait for 2 days before serving, the skin will become soft and shiny, called “回油” in Chinese.

mooncake-steps

This is the clear pattern before baking.

moon-cake-print

I ordered this customized mooncake mold in Hong Kong.  The disk can be removed for easy cleaning.  I personally do not like anything bigger than 75g or smaller than 63g.  However, you may like the 100g as it’s easier to work with.

hkg_4703

I also bought these containers and bags in Hong Kong.  They look nice and neat when giving them as a gift.hkg_4789

Pistachio Macarons with Pistachio Buttercream Filling


Pistachio Macaroons

Pistachio Macarons

Pistachio macaroons and almond Macaroons

Once you have a good handle on macarons technique, you can make different flavors.  Now these pistachio macarons are my favorite.  I added green food coloring to the macarons for my pictures, but the natural hue color is always healthier.

Choosing the right macaron fillings is important, my suggestion is to have the not-so-sweet fillings since the macaron shells are quite sweet.  For the pistachio macarons, I made the buttercream filling with pistachios which goes very well with the cookies.

Pistachio flour could be hard to find depending on where you live, when I spot the unshelled pistachios at Whole Foods (it’s pricey $29.99 per pound), I bought some and ground them myself with a food processor.  The extra pistachio flour can be used to make pistachio paste.  Below are the recipes for the pistachio macarons, pistachio buttercream filling and pistachio paste.  Hope you will get a chance to make these.

Ingredients for Pistachio Macarons:

100g
35g
200g
75g
45g
1 tsp
1 drop
Egg whites (3 eggs)
Caster sugar
Icing sugar
Almond meal
Pistachio flour
Cream of tartar
Green gel food coloring (optional)

Directions:

  1. Measure almond meal, pistachio flour and powdered sugar. Sift together to remove any clumps, sift twice if possible.  Discard any big clumps. (pictures 1-3)
  2. Weigh out the egg whites into a large stainless mixing bowl. Begin beating the egg whites on low speed then gradually adjust to medium until the egg whites are foamy.  (picture 4)
  3. Add in sugar as you beat.   Increase the speed from medium to high, if necessary. (picture 5)
  4. Add a teaspoon of cream of tartar and beat the meringue to stiff glossy peaks. (picture 6)
  5. Add the food coloring and mix until well blended.  Remove the whisk. (Pictures 7 and 8).
  6. Add about 1/3 of the almond/pistachio/sugar mixture to the egg white meringue. Fold in until no streaks remain. Continue to add the remaining mixture (1/3 of the mixture at a time), fold until you reach the proper batter.   (picture 9)
  7. It should take roughly 50 folds until the mixture is smooth and a very viscous liquid, not runny. Over-mixing the batter, your macarons will be flat and have no foot, under-mixing the batter, your macarons shells would be lumpy.  When you lift the spatula, the batter should drop down smoothly.  (picture 10)
  8. Pour the batter into your prepared piping bag.  You can place the bag into a measuring cup and cuff the bag’s opening over the top, this makes the bag easy to fill hands-free. (Picture 11)
  9. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.  Place a tiny drop of batter at each corner of the baking sheet to secure the parchment paper.  Pipe rows of batter (dollops a little bigger than a quarter) onto the baking sheets, giving them space to spread. (picture 12)
  10. Tap the pan on the counter several times to break any air bubbles (this prevents cracking). The little peak on the top of the macaron should go down after tapping the pan. However, if you still see the little peak, simply wet your finger and gently smooth the bump down. (pictures 13 and 14)
  11. If you want to sprinkle nuts on top, do it now so that they will stick to the top of the shells.
  12. Allow the cookies to rest on a level surface for 30-60 minutes.  Until they are no longer tacky to a light touch.
  13. Preheat your oven to 300F and bake the macarons for 16-20 minutes.
  14. You will see the macarons have lovely feet when they are done correctly. (picture 15)

collage

  • Use a piping bag to pipe your favorite filling to one side of the macaron and top with another half of macaron to form a sandwich.

sandwich

Directions for making Pistachio Paste (unsweeten version):

  1. You only need pistachio flour and water to make the paste.  I processed the nuts in a food processor  when I made the macarons at first.  (picture 1)
  2. Now return the pistachio flour to the food processor, then slowly add a bit of water (water amount depends on how much flour you have, just add a little bit at a time).  Process it until it is smooth and forms a paste.  That is it!!  We have our paste for the buttercream filling.  It’s super easy!  (pictures 2-3)

Ingredients for Pistachio Buttercream:

2
60g
30ml
60g
3 tsps.
Egg yolks
Granulated sugar
Water
Unsalted butter (softened)
Pistachio paste

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. (Picture 4)
  2. In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar and heat it over medium heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then bring it to a boil and cook until the syrup reaches 250°F.  Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature. (Picture 5)
  3. Slowly pour the hot syrup into the egg yolks and run the mixer on low. Increase the speed to medium high, and beat the mixture until well combined. You can use the egg yolk/syrup mixture now but I always like to take one more step to set a bowl of mixture over a pot of simmering water.  Keep whisk until the mixture registers 160°F.  Meringue becomes very smooth at this point.  Remove from heat and let cool. (Picture 6)
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat butter until whipped and white.  Add in pistachio paste and food coloring (if desired), continue to beat the cream until well combined.  (Picture 7)
  5. Add in meringue and beat until well bended.  (Picture 8)
  6. Transfer the pistachio cream into a pastry bag and fill the macarons. Pipe the filling to one side of the macaron and top with another half of macaron to form a sandwich.  (Picture 9)

pistachio paste

macaroons 2

Chashu (Japanese braised pork belly)


Ramen2

DSC_0309.JPG

After posting recipes for the Soft Boiled Eggs and Tonkotsu Ramen Broth, I must post this recipe since Chashu pork is by far the most popular ramen topping.  These Chashu slices are braised pork belly, they are so tender and flavorful and they just melt in your mouth. Cooking time could be long, but the whole process is very easy.

There were two main reasons I wanted to make this myself: (i) at most of the ramen restaurants, each bowl only comes with 2 slices of meat.  If you are a meat eater like me, you will need to order extra meat for an additional cost; (ii) I had two fatty slices one time (90% of fat and 10% of lean meat) and was very disappointed.  Although I was able to exchange for two leaner pieces, I felt embarrassed and was not sure if the restaurant would do something to my meat (you know what I mean!).  Anyways, when making the Chashu myself, I can pick a nice piece that has less fat and I can serve my ramen with 4-5 slices of meat.

Ingredients:

3 pieces
1 cup
1.5 cup
1.5 cup
1 cup
2 tsp
6 Tbsp
2 two-inch knob
2 Whole
2
6 stalks
Pork belly (about 2 pounds each)
Light soy sauce
Mirin
Water
Cooking Wine
Lemon juice
Brown sugar
Ginger
Shallot (cut in half)
Whole garlic (about 12 cloves)
Green onions

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 F.
  2. Lay the pork belly on a chopping board, roll it into a cylindrical tube with skin facing out, and then use butchers’ string to tie the joint tightly. (pictures 1 and 2)
  3. In a large pot, place the pork belly and add water to cover the pork.  Once boiled, drain and remove the scum by rinsing the pork under cold running water.  (picture 3)
  4. Prepare all ingredients, cut shallots, ginger, green onions and peel garlic.  (picture 4)
  5. In a large pot, heat all ingredients over high heat until boiling, then add pork belly (it won’t be submerged). (pictures 5 and 6)
  6. Once boiled, transfer the pot to the oven and cook for 5 hours. Turn pork occasionally.
  7. Let it cool. Once completely cook, chill the pork in the refrigerator. This makes it easier to slice.
  8. When ready to serve, reheat pork belly slices (chashu) in hot ramen soup.
  9. Keep the chashu sauce, you can use the sauce to marinate the soft boiled eggs.

chashu collage

cooked chashu

Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Macaron filling


DSC_1677a

This recipe is adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen and I added Swiss meringue to make the filling slightly thicker.  The macaron itself is sweet, so I heavily reduced the sugar amount in the basic Swiss meringue.  So far this is my favorite filling that has a very refreshing taste.  For the macaron recipe, please visit my page “French Macarons“.

Ingredients:

Reduced sugar Basic Swiss Meringue:

1 Egg white
2 Tbsp Granulated sugar

Raspberry Buttercream:

1 cup Fresh raspberries
2 Tbsp Granulated sugar
1 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice
1 Stick Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
1/4 tsp* Salt

* If you use salted butter, then omit salt in your recipe.

Directions:

  1. Place egg white and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water. (picture 1)
  2. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. You will see the meringue becomes more white and thicker.  Remove from heat and let cool.  (picture 2)
  3. In a small sauce pan, combine raspberries and granulated sugar and cook over medium heat. (picture 3)
  4. Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice.  (picture 4)
  5. Cook until bubbling.  Remove from fire.  (picture 5)
  6. Press the raspberries with a spoon through a fine sieve and discard seeds.  Put the raspberries juice aside and let cool to room temperature.   (picture 6)
  7. In a mixing bowl, beat butter until whipped and white.  Add in Swiss meringue and beat until well blended.  (picture 7)
  8. Add in raspberry juice and beat until whipped and fluffy.  (picture 8)
  9. Add salt and mix until well blended.  Spoon the mixture into the piping bag and pipe the filling onto the macaron half.  Top with another half and press gently so that it looks like a mini hamburger.  (picture 9)

raspberry filling

DSC_1668

Tonkotsu Ramen Broth


Tonkatsu Ramen

I bought a 32-Quart stainless steel stock pot recently, thinking that one day I may deep fry a turkey in this pot. To get good use out of it, I decided to make broth for Tonkotsu ramen. This pot itself weighs 13 pounds, if I fill it with water and ingredients, it’s impossible for me to lift it.  If you have a 24-quart stock pot, it will suffice.

All Tonkotsu broth recipes require 12-18 hour cooking time (the longer the time, the more gelatin develops in the soup), but it doesn’t mean you are stuck in the house for the whole day. I cooked my broth for 6 hours the first day, let cool it and put it in the fridge, then continued to cook it the second day until the broth became thick and milky. One thing I have to mention is the pig fat “fatback”. Fatback will add nice and rich flavors to your broth, but for health concerns, I omitted it.

Ingredients:

7 pounds
5 pounds (about 6 pieces)
1
12
1 thumb size
12
1 pound
Pig trotters (cut crosswise)
Chicken carcasses (small)
Onion
Garlic cloves
Ginger (sliced)
Green onions (white parts only)
Fatback (optional)

Toppings and Garnish for ramen:

Soft boiled eggs
Chashu
Fish cake
Nori (seaweed)
Green onions
Enoki mushrooms

Directions:

  1. Bring a big pot of water to a boil, then put trotters and chicken carcasses in (should have enough water to cover all bones), cook for 5-10 minutes. (picture 1)
  2. Drain the bones and use a knife or chopstick to take out the dark marrow and rinse with cold water. (pictures 2 and 3)
  3. Wash any coagulated blood off from the chicken carcasses with cold water. (picture 4)
  4. Chop onion and peel garlic, then brown them in a pan, the browner the better.  (pictures 5 and 6)
  5. Add all ingredients into a stock pot and fill the pot with water.   Bring it to a boil, then simmer over low heat.  (picture 7)
  6. You may want to skim off the scum that appears on the top with a stainless steel skimmer. (picture 8)
  7. The pot I used is 32-quart, it is big enough to double this recipe.  After cooking the broth for 16 hours over low heat, the broth is opaque with the texture of light cream.  (pictures 9 and 10)
  8. Pour broth through a fine mesh strainer into a clean pot, discard solids.  (picture 11)
  9. Season broth with salt, taste it and adjust as needed.  (picture 12)
  10. (Optional):  If you want your broth to have a rich flavor, add pork fatback directly to your pot as the bones cook.  After an hour, take the fatback out and finely chop it, then whisk some into the soup just before serving.
Tonkatsu broth
  • I found this soy sauce at the supermarket.  Season the broth with a couple tablespoons of soy sauce can enhance the flavor.

DSC_0205

  • Also found this type of fresh ramen, cook noodles according to package directions.

ramen

Japanese Soft Boiled Eggs


egga

I have made these eggs many times.  They are known as the perfect boiled eggs for Japanese ramen.  It seems hard to get the desired texture but as long as you get the right cooking time, you will have these beautiful and delicious eggs on your plate.

Ingredients for marinate:

1 cup water
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1 or 2 tbsp sugar

Note:  If you have the sauce from the chashu, the taste is delicious.   For recipe of making the chashu, please click here.

Directions:

  1. Cook the marinate ahead of time and let it cool.  You can store this in a jar and put it in the refrigerator.
  2. Wash eggs, take a thumb tack and pierce a tiny hole in the round end of each egg (I used an oven thermometer). This prevents the egg from cracking. (pictures 1 and 2)
  3. Bring a 2 quart of water to a boil and carefully lower eggs into the boiling water with a stainless steel wire mesh ladle (picture 3) and set the timer to 6 minutes (picture 4).
  4. While the eggs are being boiled, fill a bowl with cold water and add ice cubes.
  5. Once 6 minutes is up, take out the eggs and run under cold water.  Place eggs into iced water for at least 5 minutes.  (picture 5)
  6. Crack the eggs and peel of the shell.  Put eggs into bowl with marinade and refrigerate at least four hours, it is better if you use spoons to weight down the eggs to keep entire eggs submerged under, otherwise turn eggs once or twice.

Sof Boiled Eggs steps

Thai Dressing for Salad (Green Papaya and Romaine Lettuce)


 Thai Salad

My sister made this for me and my husband whenever she came to visit.  She lives on the other side of the world, so I don’t get to see her often.  Last time I saw her was almost 2 years ago, I really missed her Thai salad (and I miss her too :-o).  We are not Thai, but this salad is so different than other standard salads, it’s spicy!!  The hotter the better!  My husband doesn’t like Asian food too much, but this salad became one of his favorites.

Ingredients for the Dressing:

2 Tbsp Fresh cilantro (chopped)
1 Tbsp Fresh minced garlic
1 Tbsp Fresh minced ginger
1 Tbsp Minced shallot
2 Fresh Thai chili
2 Tbsp Brown sugar
2 Tbsp Fish sauce (more or less to taste)
3 Limes
2 Tbsp Lemon juice

Ingredients for the Salad:

1 small Green papaya (julienned)
1 head Romaine Lettuce
¼ cup Roasted peanuts (chopped)

Directions:

  • Prepare all ingredients – chopped cilantro, garlic, ginger, shallot, chili and squeeze juice out from limes and lemon.  (picture 1)
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and add brown sugar, then fish sauce.  (pictures 2 and 3)

Thai salad steps

  • Let the dressing sit for a couple of hours in the fridge to let the flavors fully develop.

Thai dressing

  • Roast peanuts in a toaster oven and chop them.  Set aside.  (Picture A)
  • Peel and seed papaya.  (Picture B)
  • Julienne papaya.  It is better to use a julienne peeler to get a better texture (I didn’t have one, so I grated it). (Picture C)
  • Wash lettuce and chop into bigger pieces.

Thai salad steps 2

  • Pour dressing over papaya and lettuce, and top with roasted peanuts.

Thai green papaya salad

3-Meat Meatballs


3-Meat Meatballs

I have tried using ground turkey to make meatballs but they tend to lack flavor.  The texture is more dense and you need to kick it up a notch by adding a lot of seasonings.  I even tried to mix turkey meat with beef – flavor was a lot better but still couldn’t satisfy my taste buds, that is until today when I made these meatballs with 3 types of meat (turkey, pork and beef).  The combination of meats create an amazing flavor and the meatballs are very juicy.  My kids finished their whole plate tonight.

Ingredients:

1 pound
1 pound
1 pound
1
1 cup
½ cup
4 Tbsp
2½ Tbsp
4 Tbsp
1 Tbsp
2 tsp
2 tsp
Ground Turkey
Ground Pork
Ground Beef
Beaten Egg
Ketchup
Oatmeal
Dried chopped onion
Gralic powder
Light soy sauce
Brown sugar
Dried Oregano
Black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix the pork, beef and turkey together thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. Stir in all seasoning, then add in beaten egg and mix well.  (pictures 1 and 2)
  3. Stirr in oatmeal, you may want to crumble oatmeal with your hands and mix well.  (picture 3)
  4. Shape meat into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Bake for 20 minutes or until they are just barely cooked through and no longer pink inside.  Do not overbake.  (pictures 4 and 5)
  5. Return meatballs directly in your pasta sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes.  My home made tomato basil sauce can be found here.

Meat balls steps

You can serve meatballs with spaghetti/pasta, make a meatball sandwich or just eat them with the tomato base sauce.

Meatballs

Lemon Ice Box Cake


Lemon Ice Box Cake

There were two reasons I made this cake yesterday.  First, I wanted to make a cake for my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to celebrate Mother’s Day, however I did not want to spend too much time.  I’m a mother of three, so Mother’s day is also my day :-).  Second, I remembered that my co-worker gave me a bottle of limoncello liqueur which she bought in Italy.  So, I decided to make a lemon ice box cake (no bake cake).  One of my co-workers made this and brought it to the office, and it was a big hit, so I had to ask her for the recipe (I made a few changes from the original recipe).

This cake needs to sit in the fridge for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight, until the cookies have softened.  So, you will need to plan ahead of time.  This cake is so delicious!!

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers!

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups
8 oz
90g
¼ cup
3 Tbsp
1 tsp
12oz
3
Heavy Whipping Cream
Mascarpone Cheese
Pure Cane Sugar / white sugar
Limoncello Liqueur
Fresh lemon juice
Vanilla extract
Lemon wafer cookies
Zest of 3 lemons

Directions:

  1. Prepare all ingredients. (Pictures 1-4)
  2. Combine heavy whipping cream, mascarpone, sugar, limoncello liqueur, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl.  Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed, whisk until it forms firm peaks.
  3. Cut an 8-inch circle of parchment paper and lay it on the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan (this will help you remove the cake from the pan easier).  Begin with a layer of lemon wafer cookies, break cookies to fill spaces between cookies (I prefer just one layer) or overlap cookies to have a solid base. (Picture 5)
  4. Add half of the filling and smooth with a spatula. (Picture 6)
  5. Next, fill another layer of lemon wafer cookies. (Picture 7)
  6. Fill the top of the cake with the rest of the filling and smooth with a spatula. (Picture 8)
  7. Garnish with lemon zest curls. (Picture 9)
  8. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  To serve, run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove sides of the pan.

Lemon ice box Cake steps

Lemon Ice Box Cake

Holiday Snowball Cookies


Holiday snowball cookies

My full time job has been keeping me very busy these months but now that the holiday season has approached, I am having a little break with my family on the mountains which means I have time to bake again!  I remember a friend gave me these holiday snowball cookies last year and they tasted sooo good so I searched for the recipe and found it on the ‘Very Best Baking by Nestle’ website.  It was such a simple recipe and didn’t take too much effort.

Ingredients:

1½ cups (3 sticks) Butter (softened)
¾ cup Powdered sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla extract
½ tsp Salt
3 cups All purpose flour
1 2/3 cups (10oz pkg) Nestle Toll House Holiday Morsels
½ cup Finely ground almonds
Extra powdered sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375◦F.
  2. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a large mixer bowl until creamy.  Gradually beat in flour; stir in morsels and nuts.  Shape level tablespoons of dough into 1 1/4-inch balls.  Place on ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly browned.  Remove from oven.  Sift powdered sugar over hot cookies on baking sheets.
  4. Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar, if desired.

snowballs steps

Nestle chocolates