"The only stumbling block is fear of failure.
In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude." - Julia Child

Sunday, October 31, 2010


This is my first attempt on cookies and turned out goooood. This recipe is adapted from Seasaltwithfood, which I also learned that polvorones are Spanish almond cookies common during Christmas. If you are like me who is planning to make a small variety of cookies for Christmas, I highly recommend this. Light, crumbly and aromatic... and above all, super easy to prepare. Why not try it now too?!

110 g All-Purpose or Pastry Flour, sifted
100 g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
40 g Confectioner’s (Icing) Sugar
50 g Ground Almond
Preheat the oven to 300˚F (150˚C).Line a baking tray with a piece of parchment paper.
Spread the sifted flour and bake for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally while baking, and then remove from the oven and let cool completely.
In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon beat the butter and sugar until soft and creamy. Mix in the ground almonds until well blended. Add the flour and mix until smooth dough is form.
Roll out the dough to a thickness of 10mm( 1/2 inch). Using a cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and transfer them to a baking pan. Gather up and reroll the scraps and cut out more cookies.
Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes and transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.
Dust the cookies with some confectioner’s sugar, if desired.
Store in an airtight container to keep them crisp.
Makes 16 to 24 cookies.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I had a packet of blueberries and I needed to find a recipe that was convincing enough for me to try. I found this recipe at Smitten Kitchen blog. I was smitten by the title perfect blueberry muffins. I was perfectly convinced.

The muffins turned out perfectly beautiful and perfectly delicious.

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces or 71 grams) unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces or 191 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon (7 grams or 1/4 ounce) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces or 105 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, don’t bother defrosting)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well, then yogurt and zest. Put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a sifter and sift half of dry ingredients over batter. Mix until combined. Sift remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears. Gently fold in your blueberries. The dough will be quite thick (and even thicker, if you used a full-fat Greek-style yogurt), closer to a cookie dough, which is why an ice cream scoop is a great tool to fill your muffin cups. You’re looking for them to be about 3/4 full, nothing more, so you might only need 9 instead of 10 cups. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean (you know, except for blueberry goo). Let cool on rack (ha), or you know, serve with a generous pat of butter

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Such lovely melt-in-your mouth cookies, and so easy to make! What sets this recipe apart is the inclusion of lemon zest and lemon juice. Trust me, it perfumes the flavour of these bite size cookies.

The original recipe calls for cherry jam, but I used apricot and strawberry jam instead. These are the only two jams available in my fridge. I halved the recipe, and used zest of one lemon and 1/2 Tbsp of lemon juice. I also used 1 tsp of dough for each cookie to make it bite sized, instead of 2 tsp of dough as the recipe suggested.

I will be making this again for Christmas - using cherry jam for sure!

fully adapted from Cookin' Canuck

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
4 tbsp grated lemon peel
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp (approximately) good-quality cherry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly coat two baking sheets with cooking spray. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl, using a hand mixer), beat together room temperature butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Next, beat in egg yolks, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, and salt until combined. Lower the speed of the mixer to low and add all-purpose flour in two additions. Beat until moist clumps of dough form. Using your hands or a rubber spatula, press the dough together. Using 2 teaspoons of dough for each cookie, form the dough into balls. Place the balls of dough on prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Using the round portion of a 1/4-teaspoon measure, make a deep indentation in each ball. Fill each indentation with cherry jam. Fill until just below the lip of the indentation. If you fill it too high, the jam will come bubbling out during baking.

Bake the cookies until firm to the touch and golden on the bottom, 9 to 11 minutes, switching the baking sheets top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then remove with a metal spatula and cool on wire cooling racks.

If not serving immediately, store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight containers.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Yup, you read it right.. Coolio the rapper bakes too. I was googling for recipes with strawberries and found this at sweetspot.ca (click on the title for the link). Monica Reyes of Nervous Chef was contributing her tried and tested recipes there.

If you are a newbie at baking, why not give this a try? It is so easy to make. The muffins are guaranteed to come out so pretty :)

Strawberry Fields Banana Muffins Forever

A few drops olive oil
½ stick unsalted butter, softened*
½ cup milk
1 large egg
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup sugar
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 banana, thinly sliced
A regular old muffin tin

*Monica’s note: melted butter will work too and is preferable. This makes mixing easier.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

Use a few drops of olive oil to grease up a muffin tin. (I used muffin case instead)

Combine the butter, milk, and egg in a small bowl and beat it lightly.

In a larger bowl, pour your flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar and gently mix it.

Toss in the chopped strawberries and sliced banana, then stir to coat with the flour mixture.

Pour in your milk mixture and stir it all up together.

Fill up the muffin cups with your batter, then place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Let them cool down for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and serve these bad boys up.