Asian Style Coconut Jelly

Happy Birthday D. Chew! This post is dedicated to Dave Chew, my first boss and  a great man! He gave me my first job at a DQ, where I worked for 8 years…apparently I was hired on a bet..but whatever.

Few people understand the excitement over this man, and let me tell you, if you knew him…you would know. This man is 80 years old today and still works at his DQ every day that it is open. Legit, I was on the phone with him earlier today and he was at the DQ by himself, setting it up to get ready to open for the season. Working for him was great, I learned so much about work ethic as well as colloquial sayings.

And who could forget his stories? The time Jaquie caught him with his pants down, but no worries. his pants weren’t really down, that meant he was “surprised.” I was so scared to walk into the back for years until I realized what he meant. Or how about the stories of how his family was one of the 2 original Asian families in Quincy, MA? How he bought the DQ and some bananas in one day? How hard he worked. Man..this man’s work ethic and determination is unbelievable.

Also, his mannerisms. The jokingly but not so way he would say “hey asshole!” Or how he gave his white friends Asian last names, because “[his] last name is CHEW, C-H-E-W, not Shoe!”

Really, if you have a child and/or around the age of 14/15 years old and live in Quincy,MA…apply to the DQ on Washinton St. It is a great first job and once that over 10 years later, I still love and still talk to my boss and old co-workers.

D Chew

So in honor of the old Asian man who taught this Asian girl how to count to 10 in Chinese and much more..Happy 80th Birthday and have some Asian Style Coconut Jelly!!!

 

Asian Style Coconut Jelly

Yields

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 – 400mL can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites

Directions

1. Prepare a  9″ square  glass baking dish lined with parchment paper or lightly greased

2. Mix the gelatin in the 1/2 cup of cold water and let sit for about 5-10 minutes in a medium sized microwave safe bowl

  • Microwave this for about 15 seconds

3.  Transfer mixture to a larger bowl and mix in the boiling water

  • mix well, you don’t want any lumps in your jelly!
  • Add sugar and mix to dissolve
  • Add coconut milk and continue to stir
  • add vanilla extract

4. Set bowl aside and allow to cool to room temperature

  • Place in ice bath until mixture sets

5. Blend egg whites until soft peaks form

  • If you have trouble getting peaks, try using a cold whisk attachment or adding a pinch of sugar
  • Gently 1/4 of the egg whites into the coconut mixture with a rubbr spatula
  • Fold in the rest of the egg whites to the coconut mixture

6. Spread into container and lightly cover with plastic wrap

7. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.

  • For best results, let chill over night
  • Cut into small squares and enjoy!
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Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread

cinnamon sugar pull apart bread

Every Monday I walk into work with a treat for my co-workers, and since they shouldn’t have sweets too early in the morning, I usually have to stock the items at my desk until lunch time. But man…the anticipation… IT BUILDS!

So I decided that this Monday, I would bake something I could share ASAP…a breakfast delight 🙂 But then what do I make? Who else would I go to for answers than Joy the Baker? And oh did she deliver with this recipe for cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread!!

So I decided to give it a go, and throw away my fear of yeast! And let me tell you, this batch delivered! It delivered so well, that it unfortunately didn’t make it to work…sorry guys 😦

Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread

Yields about 1 9 inch loaf

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup milk (whole or 2%)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoon butter

Directions

Dough

1. In a bowl for your stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, mix together the active dry yeast, sugar, salt, and flour

  • The active dry yeast should activate when you add the milk/butter mixture to the dry ingredients. However, this isn’t always the case since the temperature of the milk can drop quickly. I usually like to activate the yeast before hand because I don’t always trust myself. You can do this by mixing 3 tablespoons of hot water to the yeast, dissolving it and then letting it sit for about 10 minutes before continuing

2.  Place the milk and butter in a medium sized saucepan and  heating it over medium low heat until the butter is melted

3. Add  the milk mixture, water, vanilla and eggs to the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.

4.Once combined remove bowl from mixer and start to knead the dough, it should be somewhat sticky

  • Continue to knead and adding more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time to the dough, until the dough is not sticky

5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough

  • Cover and let stand in a warm place to rise for 1 hour

6. Now to make the filling while you wait. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg for the filling in a medium sized bowl

  • In a heavy bottomed saucepan,  heat the butter until browned

7. Roll dough into a ball and cover for 5 minutes

8. Roll dough out into a rectangular shape that is 12″x 20″

  • Brush with butter
  • Sprinkle all of the sugar mixture over the dough
  • Cut the dough into 6 even strips lengthwise and stack them on top of each other
  • Cut the stacked dough once again 6 times width wise
  • Layer the dough into a greased and floured 9″ x 5″ loaf pan
  • Cover the Loaf plan and allow to rise for 30-45 minutes

9. Preheat oven to 350°F

10. Bake the dough in the oven for 30-35 minutes and allow to stand fro 20 minutes after removed.

11. Once cooled, run a knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and place on a plate and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies

peanut butter bacon cookies

Ok, So I maybe felt a little bad about not saving any bread for my coworkers and so I maybe decided to make something else to brighten up their day. Well..on Friday at our team meeting, we obviously started to discuss my baking and what needs to be done. My manager was all for peanut butter cookies with hershey kisses on top. That sounded good, but maybe some other time. We then started to discuss bacon. And oh my…Ron Swanson would be proud of this recipe I found on Joy’s blog. Peanut butter bacon cookies AND they are flourless?!? How much win can there be in 1 cookie?

The only downfall I can see is that due to the lack of flour and butter it crumbles relatively easily. But trust me when I say it doesn’t last long enough for you to want to complain!

Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies

Yields about 15 cookies

Ingrediants

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and diced

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 °F and prepare a cookie sheet

2. In your stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the peanut butter and sugars

  • add the egg and baking soda and mix for an addition 2 minutes

3. Roll dough into walnut sized balls and use a fork to create a criss-cross pattern on each cookie

4. Bake for 10 minutes, let stand for 3 before transferring to an airtight container

Crème Brûlée

creme brulee

 

Happy Sunday!!!! So good news, the boyfriend loved the cupcakes, which was good because he doesn’t really like fruits. My coworkers seemed to like the desserts as well, the sugar cookies being the biggest hit due to their softness. I felt a bit pooped after baking so much, but I couldn’t just not bake this Sunday, especially considering that it is a long weekend. So I needed to bake something I knew would be devoured by Tuesday. With some oh so cleverly dropped hints by the boyfriend, I went with his favorite dessert, a crème brûlée! This worked especially well for me considering that I had also had a bunch of egg yolks left over from the swiss frosting I made with the strawberry shortcake cupcakes. I hope you enjoy! This recipe is taken from Martha Stewart.

Crème Brûlée

Yields 8 5oz servings

Ingredients

  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300°F and put a kettle of water on the stove top to boil. Place 8 5oz baking ramikens in a larger baking dish

2. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, heat the cream over medium heat

  • Add half the sugar to the cream (1/4 cup +2 tablespoons sugar) and stir until combined
  • Add vanilla extract
  • Keep over medium heat, but make sure this does not start to boil!

3. In a separate, heat proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks

  • Add the remaining amount of sugar and continue to whisk
  • Add the salt and continue to whisk

4. When the cream has almost come to a boil, turn the heat low as to make sure it doesn’t boil and whisk in 1 ladle of the cream to the egg yolk mixture

  • Continue to add the cream to the yolk mixture 1 ladle at a time, stirring well after each addition
  • You are adding the cream slowly so that the eggs do not curdle, so make sure not to get too antsy!
  • You should also strain this mixture to remove any egg bits and foam so that you get a even mixture

5. Distribute the mixture between the ramekins; Take a spoon and gently tap the sides of the ramekins so that any bubbles come to the top

6. Place the baking dish into the oven and pour the water into the large baking dish (forming a hot water bath)

7. Remove the baking dish from the oven. The custard will be done when it slight jiggles in the center when you move it

8. Carefully, using tongs or oven mits, place the ramekins on a wire rack and allow to cool for 30-40 minutes

9. Place plastic wrap over the ramekins and place in fridge to cool for 2 hours or up to 3 days

10. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of granulated sugar on the top of the custards andbrûlée by passing a kitchen torch about 2 inches from the custard. If you don’t have a torch, you can set your oven to broil and place it in the oven until you see the sugar start to caramelize

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

strawberry shortcake

So here is my attack of the posts! Well, I can’t bring in just chocolate cupcakes, right? So what was a vanilla like cupcake I could bring in for Valentine’s Day that is Cute? Well, I like strawberry so why not, but I didn’t want a strawberry butter cream and thankfully Annie Eats also had a great strawberry swiss butter cream frosting for me to use! This frosting may give you some trouble, so make sure to constantly stir and not to over heat! Check the FAQ page for more details!

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Yields about 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

Vanilla Cupcake

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

Whipped Cream and Strawberry Filling

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 table spoons granulated sugar

Strawberry Swiss Butter Cream

  • 1/2 cup strawberries, washed and chopped
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup butter, softened and divided into 2 tablespoons

Directions

Vanilla Cupcake

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cupcake tray with cupcake liners

1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer, beat butter

  • Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl
  • Add vanilla extract

2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt

3. Add the flour mixture and butter milk to butter mixture in 3 addition beginning and ending with the flour

4. Evenly distribute the batter into the tins, filling each about 2/3  and smooth the tops. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the center of the cake comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool completely before Frosting or filling

Whipped Cream Filling

1. Place stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

2. While those are chilling, cut the strawberries and core the cupcakes. If you don’t have a coring tool, just use a pairing knife or spoon to create a small hole in the middle, don’t go all the way to the bottom! If you want, try to keep the top of whatever you cut out whole so that you can place it over the filling. This isn’t necessary though

3. In the chilled bowl and whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream and sugar on medium high speed, until stiff peaks are formed.

3. Pipe the whipped cream and place the strawberries into the cupcake centers. Top with cupcake cutouts if you kept it

Strawberry Swiss Butter Cream

1. Puree the strawberries in a blender

2. Place the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl placed over a put of simmering water. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl so that you don’t cook the eggs.

3. Constantly whisk the eggs and sugar until it reaches about 160°F and the sugar has dissolved

4. Pour egg mixture into a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed until mixture has cooled and stiff peaks formed

5. Add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time.

  • At this stage, the frosting might look soupy or curdled. It is OK! This takes a long time, trust me. Just keep on mixing!

6. Once all butter is incorporated and mixture is thick again, add the strawberry puree and continue to beat until the frosting comes together

  • The recipe listed by Annie say’s to continue with the whisk attachment, however I switched to a paddle at this point and it worked fine. But patience is really needed with this frosting as it takes a while. 

Frost the cupcakes with a knife or using a pastry bag and maybe add some strawberries on top for garnish if you like!

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cupcakes

rasperry choc truffle

Oh man, so when looking for snickerdoodle cupcake recipes, I found several adaptations from Martha Stewart’s Cupcake book on several blogs. One of which, Annie Eats, had a good adaptation and beautiful presentation. So I decided to peruse this golden goose of beauties and I came across an amazing recipe for these cupcakes! And what better time to make them than for Valentine’s Day? So  I gave it a go, knowing my “boo-boo” hates raspberries and actually any berry in general. But I mean, whatever…

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cupcakes

Yields about 16 cupcakes

Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 9 Tablespoons dutch pressed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 /4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup of hot coffee or water
  • 1/2 cup of milk

Raspberry Jam Filling

  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Raspberry Chocolate Truffles

  • 5 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1-2 pints of fresh raspberries

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups of unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 cups of sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)

Directions

Chocolate Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 cupcake trays with cupcake liners

1. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt

2. In a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat butter

  • Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the coffee/water and milk

4. Add the coffee/milk and flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour

5. Evenly distribute the batter into the 24 tins, filling each about 2/3  and smooth the tops. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the center of the cake comes out clean.

Raspberry Filling

1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the raspberry jam for about 5 minutes

2. Allow to cool slightly and fill into a pastry bag

3. Pipe a small amount of jam into the center of each cupcake

Raspberry Chocolate Truffles

1. Place the chocolate and Raspberry Jam in a medium sized, heatproof bowl

2. Bring heavy cream to a boil over medium heat and pour over chocolate and jam

3. Stir until combined smooth, let stand for about 3 minutes before you place into pastry bag

4. Rinse raspberries and shake to make sure that all water is removed and that the berries are dry

5. Pipe chocolate into the center of each raspberry and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes

Raspberry Butter Cream

1. Beat butter and jam together in a stand mixer with paddle attachment or with a hand mixer

2. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat until combined

3. Add the food coloring if you desire the reddish tint

Frost those cooled cupcakes however you like and place raspberries on top as garnish!

I LOVED these cupcakes, and my boyfriend liked them too! We will see tomorrow what my coworkers think 🙂

Sugar Cookies with Royal Frosting

sugar cookie

I LOVE sugar cookies, and the best thing about them is that they can be made for every occasion, all you need is the appropriate cookie cutter for it. Although the cookie itself is easy to make, decorating it is extremely hard. However Annie Eats has a great tutorial for decorating as well as for royal icing that I used with these. Both these recipes are adapted from Annie’s website…she is kind of my new favorite! And while the first batch may not be perfect, I can still practice and I am sure my coworkers won’t mind :).

Sugar Cookies

Yields about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

Cookie Dough

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Royal Icing

  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  •  2 table spoons meringue powder
  • 5 teaspoon water (adding more to get the right consistency)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Cookie Dough

1. Mix together flour, salt and baking soda in a medium sized bowl

2. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter.

  • add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy
  • add the eggs, one a time making sure to scrape down the bowl after each addition
  • add vanilla

3. Add the flour mixture and beat until the dough is smooth and fully combined

4. Divide the dough and wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours, I like to let it to chill it overnight

5. Once the batter is chilled, remove one half at a time and roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/4″ thick, making sure to turn the dough as you go so that it does not stick.

6.Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare 2 cookie sheets

7.With a lightly floured cookie cutter, cut the shapes of the cookie you desire. Place the tray of cookies in the fridge to chill for 10-15 minutes

8. Bake cookies for 8-1o minutes and place on wire rack to cool. Make sure the cookie is completely cooled before decorating

Royal Icing

1. Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and meringue powder until combines

2. Add vanilla and water and stir

  • add water until this is the correct consistency to decorate with according to the step in Annie’s tutorial

Let these sit for at least 2 hours before continuing to each step in decorating so that the icing has time to settle

Be playful, imaginative and have fun while decorating! Don’t be discouraged if at first it doesn’t look perfect, this takes practice!

Good luck!

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Snickerdoodle Cupcake

 

Ok…so that batch of snickerdoodle cookies made me crave some more cinnamon sugar love and I decided to go for snickerdoodle cupcakes as well. The hard thing with this recipe is to make sure that they don’t dry out or get too oily! This recipe was adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe and I am sure is all over the web as well!

This has also been a semi-stressful week at work, so why not reward ourselves with some delightful treats to bring everyone’s cheer up?!

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Yields about 30 cupcakes

Ingredients

Snickerdoodle Cupcake

  • 3 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup milk

Frosting

  • 3/4 cups and 1 tablespoon sugar, separated
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 3 egg whites

Directions

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 cupcake trays with cupcake liners

1. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together; set aside

2. Beat butter in a stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer

  • Add sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs, one at a time. Scrape the bowl down after each addition and beat well
  • Add vanilla extract

3. Add the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture in 3 additions beginning and ending with the flour mix

4. Evenly distribute the batter into the  tins, filling each about 2/3  and smooth the tops. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the center of the cake comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool before Frosting

Frosting (See FAQ page about Frosting tips and thermometers)

1. Place the water, sugar(3/4 cup) and corn syrup in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Place a candy thermometer on the side and stir mixture until sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved, stop stirring and wait until mixture reaches 230°F

2. Place egg whites and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a stand mixture with a whisk attachment while sugar mixture is heating

  • Beat egg whites on medium high until soft peaks
  • Once sugar mixture reach 230°F, pour the mixture down the side of the bowl of the egg white in a stead stream while on medium low

3. Once all the sugar mixture is added to the egg whites, return speed to medium high and beat until the bowl is completely cool and stiff peaks form

  • Be patient with this, it will take some time, for me it took about 10 minutes

Frost those bad boys however you would like! Garnish with cinnamon sugar for some extra effect. One of the recipes I saw for these cupcakes called for a mini snickerdoodle cookie as a garnish. I mean, you have the recipe, it sounds great, give it a go 🙂

 

If you guys have trouble cleaning the saucepan, just add some water to the pan and let it boil. It will help out tons!

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodle Cookie

Snickerdoodles….oh man, my favorite cookie ever! Not only a delicious cookie, but those of us who live on the South Shore and love MaryLous LOVE the coffee as well!

My first experience with snickerdoodles was when I worked at Whole Foods in high school. The people who worked in the bakery department there were so unbelievably nice and  introduced me to my first snickerdoodle. However, I was at a loss since I couldn’t find a good enough store bought variation of it. So, obviously…you have to make it yourself :).

Its quick and easy, and an all time favorite, I hope you enjoy!

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Yields approximately 4-5 dozen cookies

Ingredients

Cookie Dough

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

 Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2-2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400°F and prepare 2 cookie sheets

2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside

3. With a hand mixer, or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft.

  • Add sugar(1 1/2 cups) and beat until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs, 1 at a time. Make sure to mix well after each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed
  • Add vanilla

4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until combined

5. Form into ~1 inch balls

6. In a separate, small bowl. Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the cinnamon sugar topping.

7. Roll cookie dough balls into the cinnamon sugar topping, making sure the dough is fully covered

8. Place dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet and use the bottom of a glass (lightly greased) to flatten the cookies

  • Tip: Choose a glass that has a pretty imprint on the bottom, a lot of glasses have a little star pattern. Using those types of glasses to flatten the cookie can add a bit of flare and make them look extra nice! 

9. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool for several minutes

These save well for about 1-2 weeks, but I highly doubt that you will have left overs after a few hours!