Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lemon Butter Cookies

This should be on the last year post but last year I was too busy, and so here it goes :

Lemon Butter Cookies

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup white sugar
1 egg
1½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking powder
Icing sugar for rolling dough
White Chocolate
½ teaspoon lemon extract

  1. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Beat in egg until light and fluffy. Stir in lemon and vanilla extract. Mix in flour and baking powder. Cover refrigerate about 2 hours or above. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Roll out dough, a small amount at a time, to 1/4-inch thickness on well-floured surface with floured rolling pin. (Keep remaining dough in refrigerator). Cut with cookie cutter. Transfer to ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned on edges. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Store in airtight container.
  4. To sandwich the cookies, make a filling by melting the white chocolate using double boiling technique. Remove from heat, stir the chocolate and add in the lemon extract.
  5.  Sandwich the cookies by scoop the chocolate with a teaspoon or etc. to the center of the cookies.

Tips: To prevent the dough from become tougher by adding more flour when roll out dough, use icing sugar instead.

Chocolate Marble Cheesecake

Out of nowhere I'm craving for cheese and chocolate while everyone is sleeping. That's the time when I looked through all over internet to find the right recipe and tips for making Chocolate Marble Cheesecake. And to my surprise, while doing some searching, two of my twitter friends tweeting about craving for cheesecake too. haha That time I remember that I said to myself, I haaaveeeeee to makeee thissss ! lol

Chocolate Marble Cheesecake

1 ½ cup biscuit crumbs
1 tablespoon caster sugar
85 g butter, melted
½ cup chocolate buttons
3 eggs
340 g cream cheese, softened
½ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1.  Preheat oven to 165 degrees C. In a medium bowl, combine biscuit crumbs, sugar and melted butter together. Mix well and press into the bottom of 8 inch pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate using double boiling method. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, separate the egg yolks from the white. Beat the egg whites until stiff.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until creamy and smooth. Blend in the egg whites together and after that follow by the egg yolks one at a time.
  5. Remove one or two tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture and combine with the melted chocolate. Stir it fast.
  6. Spread plain batter into the crust. Drop the chocolate mixture randomly over the top. With the tip of a knife, swirls the batter to create a marble effect.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until center is set. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight before serving.

*This is not too sweet cheesecake. It has more to cheese taste than the sweetness itself. So this is perfect to go with any dressing you desire. Or, you can add up 1/3 cup of sugar more to the batter if you prefer it sweets.
*This cheesecake has a solid-with little bit cake-y-texture rather than more liquid-creamy-like; always found on no-bake recipe.
*I used Marie biscuits for the crusts.

Tips: Always keep the cake in refrigerator but cool to room temperature first before serve. Or you can eat it straight up from refrigerator if you like solid-ice cream-texture.

This is what you got if you have an impatient Dad who couldn't wait any longer to taste it,
that makes me didn't cool the cake enough to room temperature.
Now you know that, if you try to pull-out the pan side when the cake still harden-cold, it will crack on the sides. 

By the way, I always failed to give a nice pretty marble effect on the cake. *sigh -.-
However, proudly say, this is the best cheesecake that I ever made ! - this is my 3rd time. 
My family love this ! My dad and my sister both compliment about the crust, they really like it and even they become surprised after I told them that I made it with Marie Biscuits only. hehe Braaaaagging ! Nooooo, I do not ! Haha :p

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Simple Pesto Pasta

This was actually requested by a friend of mine. Since we barely meet each other, I agree to make this just for him. To tell the truth, I never tried to make this pasta before, so it gives me a sensation of excitement at the same time - to be one of my experiments for my baking project.

I forgot to take picture of the food before I pass it to him, but I'm glad that he did! :)

Firstly, you need Pesto Sauce ;

Pesto Sauce

2 ½ cups basil
½ cup walnuts - toast them first, lightly brown
2 cloves garlic
½ cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Blend everything in except lemon and salt & pepper.
2. After everything blends in like a thick sauce / paste, add in lemon juice. Stir in salt & pepper to taste.
3. If you don't want to use it straight away, put into the freezer to last longer.

Fact: It can last for months by putting it in freezer.

* To minimize the space, put it in ice cube trays and when it’s become harden, transfer it into zip lock bag. Save it in freezer back until needed – can use one or two cube at a time for small portion of pasta.
 * The method of making it is very flexible. You can even blend the ingredients one after another to make it easier.
* You can always add more walnuts or cheese.
* Walnuts can be substitute to any type of nuts desire.
* After making the sauce, better chill in the refrigerator minimum 30 minutes before use it. It because it will gives time for the ingredients to well combine and gives the right flavor.
* This Pesto Sauce can be used in so many ways and can dress up any recipe. Here’s the guide.

The Pesto Pasta
Yield: 2 persons 

Pasta - I use linguine
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic 
3 tablespoon of Pesto Sauce or more 

1. Cook the pasta in the boiling water - a pinch of salt . Drain.
2. Melt the butter in saucepan. Mince garlic and give it 'snapp' using the back of your knife before cook in garlic with melted butter. 
3. Then stir in the pesto sauce until warm enough.
4. Add in the pasta. Salt & pepper to taste.

 * The pesto sauce needed its actually depends on the amount of pasta and how thick you want the pasta to be - more pesto sauce, more thicker and greener

 This recipe is very adjustable. So, don't be afraid of trying it :)

Oh, the chicken ? Well I adapted the recipe from Simply Recipes called Classic Baked Chicken.
As simple as it sounds, the ingredients needed not so fancy which is just nice for the pasta. 
You can match the pasta with any chicken recipe you want, but make it simple if you don't want your chicken to overshadow the pasta taste - if you know what I mean. Hmm let say you choose to make Honey Roasted Chicken, its totally yummy as it sounds but it already can be the main dish itself which put aside the pasta to just become the side dish.
Well after all its depends on which you want it to be the highlight, alright ? ;)

This is my version - I change the recipe little bit ; 
But for the method, you can click on the link I gave there. 

Chicken - any parts 
Olive oil 
Salt and pepper
Garlic - minced
Dried Basil
Lemon juice 

The amount must be just enough for the chicken. Since I add up lemon, put it in refrigerator to marinade at least 30 minutes before bake.

Have a try ! :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mocha Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream Frosting

I always love to try recipes of different baked goods. So that, when / if one day people ask, "Have you tried making . . . . . ?" and I would LOVE to say "Yes, I have tried that !" as many times as possible the question come up. Haha. 

And this time, yeah Mocha Cupcakes ! xx

It never had appear in my mind to make this kind, but this website about bakings that just caught my attention did HER THING - inspired me ! lol Check out the page, Brown Eyed Baker !

The frosting didn't had that much light brown color. It because I used mocha extract. You can use espresso powder instead to get the color - that's actually what the original recipe calls for.

Mocha Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes 
1½ teaspoons espresso powder

½ cup strong brewed coffee
1-1/3 all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
115 g salted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
½ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon chocolate emulco
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Mix the espresso powder into the brewed coffee until dissolved; set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
3. Beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined.
4. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, brewed coffee mixture, chocolate emulco and vanilla.
5. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the flour mixture.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 liners. Baking for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting cupcakes.

Mocha Buttercream Frosting
Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes

225 g salted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ½ teaspoons coffee mocha extract – more if you like to get that real strong coffee flavor

1. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl.
2. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two.
3. Add the coffee mocha and vanilla and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.

I change the recipe just a tiny-little bit from the original but wah-lah! It still taste delish! :*

Thursday, February 16, 2012

3rd Semester Break

This is a short break of mine compare to the last one, which I have less than 2 months only this time. I'm kinda already having to many on my to-do-list for this semester break and because of that, it makes me have to really plan out well what to bake on my baking project this time ; obviously shorter to-bake-list :D

Peanut Butter Cups
Simple Pesto Pasta
Cake Pops
Pesto Beef Pasta Lasagna
Chocolate Marble Cheesecake

Sugar Cookies

This Sugar Cookies were exclusively made to fulfill an order made by my friend's sister for her wedding. She wanted to give this Sugar Cookies specially to her 50 VIP guests.

I made this in hurry actually. My last exam paper was on 17th February and I had to deliver this cookies to the bride house on 21st February - Ok ! It doesn't seems a short time enough for you but let me briefly mumbling here,

I only can be in town on the 18th and after the long traveled, that day already...lets call it a non-productive day to start to work on with the cookies. So, I only have two days ( 21st is the delivery day, so that won't count ) to make 50 sets of cookie-bags that needs 6 cookies in each, which makes the total become 300 cookies. Nahh! Now you got the picture ? Haha :p

Before packaging :)

With a touch of ribbon to make it more adorable :)

Alhamdulilah, using my own two hands with a little help once in awhile from my sister and two of my closest friends, I made it ! :D

Guess what I give the bride as a wedding present ? - Nothing fancy. I don't have so much money, so don't go to far okay. Haha

Yeppp ! Decorated sugar cookies !
*I used my Toblerone triangle chocolate box lol
Hmm there are must be some of you who wonder why I didn't made this iced cookies to give to the 50 guests, well the bride wanted the plain sugar cookies ;) - If she wanted this type, Ohmy ! I don't know if I able to make it :/ haha

Yep, that's right ! LovelleSugar ;)
*I didn't give this to the bride, it would be to 'brag' i guess. haha :p