Oh, for the love of butter cookies. The pale-golden little crisp morsels of buttery goodness. The ones that shatter instantly on the first bite, melts in the mouth, allowing the delicate sweetness to permeate. Incredibly addictive stuff! I like to pipe little swirls of them and sandwich the baked cookies with a dollop of melted dark chocolate. A sprinkle of powdered sugar completes the looks and turn them into yummy festive treats. And if you’re looking for an easy-peasy edible gift to make, I always turn to them especially during the holidays. Mason jars (or any recycled jam jars) filled with these, all wrapped up and labelled, are perfect for gifting!
Who ever invented the ice-cream sandwich was such a genius! I grew up eating our local version sold by the ice-cream uncle, whose arrival was signalled by the unmistakable tinkling of the bell (which never failed to excite the kid in everybody) He would retrieve giant blocks of ice-cream from the mobile freezer, depending on your chosen flavour (raspberry ripple, red bean & choc mint were my favourites!), before slicing a neat rectangle and sandwiching it between two layers of crispy wafer or rainbow bread if you like. Mmmm.
Here it is, my very own take on the classic ice-cream sandwich. Instead of the huge round chewy cookies used in the American version, these feature my favourite chocolate shortbread cookies. This was closer in appearance to the frozen treats sold by our ice-cream man, just a tad more substantial and flavourful (the thin wafers were unfortunately, pretty tasteless). What better filling for my sandwiches than some homemade gelato – Dark Cherry and Espresso – made a few days earlier. Too much effort for something that disappears in a single bite? Well, these are certainly worth it and would make an awesome idea for your dinner party DIY dessert bar! Continue reading
The last time I baked macarons, I swore never to attempt them again. Ever. That was almost 3 years ago. Yes, the famously unpredictable, notoriously difficult to please, divas of the pastry world. The truth is, I never did really understood the hype over the vividly-coloured, dainty, perfectly round French desserts (which could be technically considered as sandwich cookies)
My first attempts produced ugly, flat and mishapened cookies that were tooth-achingly sweet. Photographic evidence from back then (poorly shot, with bad lighting) revealed vanilla, matcha and some shocking-pink coloured macarons among the batches that came out of the oven. Fast forward to the present, a sudden urge to master this pretty little troublemaker has unexpectedly resulted in The Macaron Project.
After looking up several recipes from books and food blogs, I was confounded by all the different techniques and methods involved.
1. Method: French or Italian Meringue?
2. Egg whites: Age or not to age?
3. Sugar: Powdered, confectioner’s or icing sugar? Does the addition of cornstarch matter?
4. Crouter: Do the piped shells really need to rest?
5. Filling: Flavoured buttercreams, ganache, fruit curds or gelée?
The Macaron Project I:
This time, I used the French Method with fresh egg whites at room temperature + icing sugar and let the shells rest. (I had accidentally left them to rest for a whopping 3 hours, when I headed out to dinner!!) I also decided to skip the food coloring this time because I more concerned with getting the texture, flavour and appearance right. The filling was my homemade Lemon Curd. Simple, incredibly tart and lemon-y. Continue reading
Salted-caramels, check. Sea-salt chocolate bars, check. Salted oatmeal cookies? Well, that’s what I whipped up a few weekends ago. These are defintely not your run-of-the-mill oatmeal cookies. Fresh out of the oven, these are chewy yet crisp at the edges, studded with chunks of melty dark chocolate. A sprinkling of pink Himalayan sea-salt sharpens the flavours and makes them even more addictive!
Best of all, this is super simple to whip up. The cookie dough comes together in no time at all and can be frozen in batches. What I like to call – instant gratification. For the perfect chewy-crisp texture, bake til they just turn a light golden hue and are a little soft in the middle. Words cannot do these babies justice; the proof is in the