Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

A few years ago, a friend asked me if I’ve baked chocolate chips cookies. I said yes and then, she asked me “was it crunchy”? I said “yes” and she asked from me for the recipe.

The following day, I received a message from her that she’ve tried baking the chocolate chips cookies based on my recipe and it was very successful. It was crunchy and crisp and her kids just love them.

I saw a new colleague of mine always buy chocolate chips cookies from Starbuck. He is the colleague who on board me into my new job and will be moving to work in Singapore office in end Nov 12. I wanted to bake this chocolate chips cookies for him before he leaves us.

This morning, after my usual cup of coffee, I started baking chocolate chip cookies. The following is the recipe and this cookies is very easy to bake.

  • 227g butter
  • 130g soft brown sugar
  • 65g Castor sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 big size egg, lightly beaten

Combine and sift:

  • 325g self-raising flour
  • 130g plain flour
  • 1/3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/3 tsp salt

 

  •  1 1/3 tbsp milk
  • 130g chocolate chips
  • 100g pecans, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  2. Cream butter and sugar (brown and Castor) till creamy.
  3. Beat in vanilla essence and egg until mixture turns light.
  4. Stir in sifted dry ingredients.
  5. Add in milk, chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Fold in with a metal spoon.
  6. Drop half a tablespoon of mixture onto non-stick baking trays. Leave about 5-6cm between each tablespoon to allow space for spreading.
  7. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until firm to the touch.
  8. Let cookies cool completely before store them in air tight container.

Tips:

  1. We may substitute the pecan nuts with walnut. Pecan is more expensive than walnut but I like it with pecan better.
  2. Some chocolate chips are milk based ie sweeter; while some have the balance of chocolate and milk, or have higher content of chocolate. Do read and ask about the chocolate chips as it may affect the sweetness of the cookies.
  3. If the cookies are under-baked, they will be soft or not as crunchy.
  4. Cookies with chocolate chips will be harder when they cool completely. If cookies are not crisp and crunchy, bake for another few minutes in oven or toaster.

After making the cookies, I went to market for my groceries shopping to stock up food for the week.

After lunch, I went to Amante and had my favourite hot stone massage.

I needed this massage badly. Love my therapist for the day, Mariyah. She was really good and gave me a good massage that I fell asleep during the 1.5 hours of hot stone massage.

My sister came to our house with her 3 boys. We had the chocolate chip cookies for tea. I gave them 2 containers of cookies for them to enjoy at home.

Good thing is meant to be shared.

 

Cookies in the Oven

Do you believe that everything has its place and time? And you cant rush for it?

This is so true for my very first meet up with Quay Po Cooks (QPC). I’ve been following and reading her blog and follow some of her recipe. I admire her for her willingness to share especially all those recipe of her gorgeous cakes and food. She is a daughter, she is a wife, she is a mother and she is a home baker. I thought she will be an ideal candidate for our cooking demonstration. I really hope to meet up with her while I’m still with the company and to connect her to our marketing manager. I have also read about her meet ups with her fans and blogger and I wished I could meet up with her too. But I felt it was kinda funny to say “Hey, let’s meet up”.

Then, QPC put up this post where she was giving away Zespri bookmarks and key chains. I took the opportunity to say “I love both the Zespri souvenirs. Can I have either one? … Would love to meet you in person”. Luckily she replied my comment and willing to meet up for lunch.

I wanted to make something for QPC to try. Since it was a week day, I can only make something simple. I decided to make almond cookies which is my family’s favourite. After work, I went down to Jaya Grocer and bought almond nibs and started baking the almond cookies after dinner.

Almond Cookies

  • 250g unsalted butter (take out from fridge and leave till softened)
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 330g plain flour
  • 200g almond nibs
  • pinch of salt (can omit this if use salted butter)
  1. Preheat oven at 150C
  2. Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy (5 minutes on mid speed)
  3. Sieve in flour
  4. Mix in almond nibs and salt.
  5. Use 2 teaspoons to shape dough and drop on baking tray (no greasing required)
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 20 mins or till lightly brown
  7. Cool completely before storing in container

Fresh from the oven

 Feel so much like Chinese New Year, where I used to bake these cookies for my family and relatives.

Pack using Ikea ziplock bag

Once the cookies cool completely, I packed into this Ikea ziplock bag.

Cookies in the Oven

And put the cookies back into the oven.

Hahaha … this is not a real oven. It’s a mini oven made from cardboard which was given out by my company as door gift for one of our campaign. 

I met up for lunch with QPC, who came with her mother. The funny thing is except for those few comments that we left on each other blog, we did not know each other and we had not met. Yet, we chatted like old friend without a moment of awkwardness.

Zespri souvenirs given by QPC

QPC brought the above Zespri souvenirs for me, bak kut teh mix and lovely banana chocolate cupcake. The cupcake was moist and nice. I wish I remembered taking the photo before it went into Jaden and my stomach.

Orange Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcake with Orange Vanilla Custard Cream Filling

This is my 3rd attempt of baking Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes (HCC). The last 2 times, I baked the normal butter and vanilla HCC with whipped cream filling.

Quay Po Cooks told me that her family love her Orange HCC with orange vanilla custard cream filling. Inspired by her, I baked them on Sunday morning, knowing my nephews would come over to our house as I’ve promised to take them to Kidzania in the afternoon.

Orange Hokkaido Chiffon Cake with Orange Vanilla Custard Cream Filling

Cup Cakes Ingredients:

  • 4 large egg yolks 
  • 70g Castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp orange juice
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) full cream milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil/corn oil/canola oil
  • 135g all-purpose flour / cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 50g Castor sugar
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar (icing sugar) or snow powder for dusting

 Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Place egg yolks and 70g of sugar in a bowl and whisk them together until yolks turn a pale yellow.
  3. Add vanilla extract and orange juice, followed by milk and oil. Whisk well to combine.
  4. Sieve in flour and baking powder and mix till all incorporated.
  5. In another bowl, beat egg whites on high speed for about 30 seconds until foamy.
  6. Add 50g of Castor sugar to egg whites.
  7. Beat the egg whites until firm peaks not stiff peaks.
  8. Take a third of the egg whites and fold it into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it. Continue folding in the remaining egg whites gently till you get a pale yellow batter.
  9. Fill the cupcake liners until about 3/4 full.
  10. Bake the cupcakes for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops turn a golden brown and a cake skewer comes out clean.
  11. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the following custard cream.
  12. Once cupcakes are baked, let them cool completely on the wire rack.
  13. Fill the piping bag with custard cream and pipe into the cup cakes and put them in the fridge.
  14. Dust the cupcakes with snow powder before serving. 

Quay Po Cooks also suggested to me to try snow powder for dusting. I had not heard of snow powder, googled on Internet and read this:

“Snow powder” or “No melt icing sugar” is a type of icing sugar that does not melt when it’s dusted on items that require refrigeration. It is used mostly for decoration so that even with refrigeration, the dusted icing can still be seen.

Custard cream filling ingredients (sufficient for the above cupcakes):

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 whole vanilla pod
  • 1 grated orange rind

 Method:

  1. Scrape vanilla seeds from the pod and set aside.
  2. Throw the pods into the milk and cook in a bain-marie (water bath) till you see a light froth around the edges of the pan, where tiny bubbles will form. Stir the milk constantly as it heats to prevent scorching.
  3. In another bowl, mix together sugar, egg, flour and salt and beat well.
  4. Add slowly to milk, stirring constantly until thickened.
  5. Remove from heat and add in the vanilla seeds and orange rind. Mix well.
  6. Let cool and cover with cling wrap and put in the fridge for later use. Make sure the cling wrap just touching the custard so it doesn’t form a skin.

These HCCs are light and fluffy. I like the fresh and tangy taste of the cupcake from the orange juice and zest added into the recipe.

Panna Cotta

After tasted the Panna Cotta from Le Midi, I like what I saw and tasted. I wanted to learn to make it and googled on internet.

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert which means “cooked cream”. 

Ingredients

  • 180 ml low fat milk
  • 7 g unflavored gelatin
  • 500 ml heavy cream
  • 100 g white sugar
  • 8 ml vanilla extract

    The simple ingredients and simple steps to make Panna Cotta

Directions

  1. Pour milk into a small bowl and stir in gelatin powder. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, stir together the heavy cream and sugar and set over medium heat. Stirring constantly.
  3. Bring to a full boil, watching carefully, as the cream will quickly rise to the top of pan.
  4. Pour the gelatin and milk into the cream, stirring until completely dissolved.
  5. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  6. Stir in the vanilla
  7. Pour into individual ramekin dishes.
  8. Cool the ramekins uncovered at room temperature.
  9. When cool, cover with plastic wrap.
  10. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to let it set, but preferably overnight before serving.
  11. To remove panna cotta from the glass ramekins, dipped them into warm water for a few seconds. Ran a knife around the edge and turn them upside down on the plate.

    Panna Cotta with Passion Fruit Coulis

Recommend to serve with warm hot fudge or caramel sauce. Alternatively, goes very well with fruit coulis i.e. passion fruit or berry to balance the sweetness.

Decorate with Mint leaves

Top with fresh berries i.e. strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc. Decorate with mint leaves.

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You may replace the vanilla extract with lemon, orange, almond extract, etc. If having difficulty to get the Panna Cotta out of the dishes, try a silicone muffin pan. Keeps well for several days in the refrigerator.

It tastes just like the panna cotta that we had at Le Midi. So were Hubby and Jared. This will be a good alternative to Tiramisu if the boys requested for it … much simple resipe and easier to make.