Hokkaido Milk Bread

Incredibly soft, fluffy and airy milk bread. These buns are tender, but chewy and so perfect to be paired with jam or dunk in coffee.

When I said that I am baking different kinds of bread lately, I mean I bake a lot. 😀 I bake almost every weekend. I bake when friends decide to come for breakfast or brunch or just when I feel like it.

The very first time I tried making bread (which was a fail), I have been always curious about Hokkaido milk bread. It uses the tangzhong method in which a part of flour is mixed with water (or milk in this case) to make a roux. This makes the bread so soft and light. I did my own research (feeling like a scientist, huh?) and what I found were recipes that I think will make my life complicated and will make me hate mathematics (talk about doing your own calculations regarding the ratios for the flour and milk when you use this much of flour). No, thanks! I stopped dreaming about making Hokkaido milk bread.

I was doing another bread and it was a failure. I was just not going to end the day with a sad tummy, so I checked for another recipe. You know Google – it gives you more recipes than you asked for, even if it is not related. That’s when I found Pai’s recipe. I remembered the tangzhong method I was really scared to try, but Pai’s video made me face the tangzhong beast (now, that is new!).

Just look how beautiful the buns are…

The top of the buns will wrinkle and that is normal (I guess and according to my research).

These buns are so fluffy, pillowy soft, light and so delicious. They are perfect to be paired with jam or to dunk in coffee. They are even delicious as they are.

I am sharing these with my lovely friends at Fiesta Friday # 207. This week’s co-hosts are Lily and Aunt Juju.

Hokkaido Milk Bread

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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Ingredients:

For the tangzhong or milk roux:

Ingredients:

  • 125 ml whole milk
  • 20 g bread flour

For the bread/other ingredients:

  • 320 g bread flour
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 125 ml whole milk (or evaporated milk)*
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 tbsp sugar*
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 56 g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

Instructions:

For the tangzhong or milk roux:

  1. In a small pot, combine whole milk and 20 g of bread flour, then mix until no more lumps. Put on a stove and heat over low-medium heat. Stir constantly using a rubber spatula until it becomes a thick paste. Remove from heat and set aside.

Continue with the rest of the steps:

  1. In a jug or another bowl, add 250 ml of whole milk. Add the tangzhong and mix to combine. Add egg and mix again, noting that the mixture might be lumpy.
  2. In the bowl of your standing mixer, add 320 g of bread flour and the yeast. Mix to combine. Create a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients (tangzhong, milk & egg). Using a dough hook attachment, turn on the mixer on low-medium speed. Knead ONLY until both dry and wet ingredients have been mixed or until no dry ingredient is left in the bowl. Stop the mixer and let the dough rest for 20 minutes, making sure to cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel.
  3. After 20 minutes, remove the towel and continue mixing by turning the mixer back on low speed, adding salt then sugar while mixing. (Pai said you can add 2-4 tbsp of sugar – adding 4 tbsp will give the bread sweetness that it doesn’t need any more jam. I used 3 tbsp.) Continue kneading 7-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. It may take more time, depending on the speed of your mixer.
  4. Once the dough is smooth and elastic, add the softened butter at a time while the mixer is running. You may think that the butter doesn’t want to be mixed, but they will stick together.
  5. When the butter is well mixed and the dough is back to being smooth and elastic, transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about two minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in a warm place for one hour or until doubled in size.
  6. When the dough is ready, punch down the dough to remove the air. Transfer to a floured surface. Divide the dough weighing 45 g each. (What I do here so I can get an even measurement for individual dough is I weigh the whole dough after removing the air, and then I divide the result it into 16 as I am going to place them in a 20 cm round baking pan. I got 16 dough weighing 45 g each which resulted in medium-sized buns.)
  7. Place the shaped dough/bun in two round baking pans (8 buns each). Loosely cover the baking pans with a clean kitchen towel and let rise again for 45 minutes to one hour (depending on the weather temperature of where you live) or until doubled in size.
  8. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F.
  9. When the shaped dough/buns are ready, bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown.
  10. Let the bread rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  11. Serve with your favorite jam, butter or dunk in coffee. 😀

Source recipe: Hokkaido Milk Bread by Pai’s Kitchen

Notes:

  • Pai’s recipe calls for ½ cup (120 ml) of each milk, but my ½ cup is 125 ml, so I did not change it. Also, she used evaporated milk and whole milk. Since I only got whole milk, I used whole milk for both tangzhong & for the bread as well.
  • In Pai’s instruction, she mentioned that it can be 2-4 tbsp of sugar, making 3 tbsp just the right amount for her, so I used 3 tbsp as well coz I am going to eat the bread with jam.
  • I used a stand mixer to knead the dough, but you can knead by hand. Pai’s has a detailed instruction.
  • I find the measurement of each dough (45 g each) perfect for me. You can also make the weight 65 g each like what Pai did and shape them as you like. The idea of pull-apart bread sounds very satisfying to me.

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Oreo Overload Donuts

 

You know why they are called Oreo Overload Donuts? Because so many Oreos happening in these donuts – in the batter and on the topping! So, so good… you may need to double the recipe.

I am supposed to share something healthy today coz after all those foods I have enjoyed during the holidays, I need something light and healthy. I guess my tummy still wants something sweet and naughty. 😛

Because… Who could resist donuts with Oreos? So many Oreos happening in these donuts -Oreos in the batter and lots of Oreo topping. Yay!

But wait… these donuts are not like the soft, airy, light donuts. These are dense and heavy, but they are delicious. I made six and I wished I doubled the recipe.

The Oreos to be included in the batter should be finely crushed, but I was too lazy to take out the food processor – I did it using a ziplock bag and of course, I didn’t get finely crushed Oreos. So I had a hard time piping the batter to the donut pan. Ugh! As I always say >> I will do better next time…

With all the mess I think I made (the Oreos not being finely crushed and the fact that I haven’t smoothened the top of the batter before baking), these donuts turned out so good. Of course, these are Oreo Overload Donuts. 😉

I am sharing these with my lovely friends at Fiesta Friday # 206. Shinta and Diann will be with us this week! Yay! 😀

Oreo Overload Donuts

Ingredients:

For the batter:

  • 10 Oreos, filling removed & chocolate biscuits are finely crushed
  • 125 g all purpose flour
  • 45 g sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 90 ml milk
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 45 ml vegetable oil

For the toppings:

  • 6 Oreos, roughly chopped
  • 150 g white chocolate, chopped and melted

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray a 6-hole donut pan. Set aside.
  2. Remove the filling of the 10 Oreos and place in a heatproof bowl. Set aside. As for the biscuits, finely crush using a food processor or a ziplock bag & rolling pin.
  3. In a bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined.
  4. In another bowl, add milk, egg, vanilla extract and oil. Give it a good mix and add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined.
  5. Add finely crushed Oreos to the batter and mix, but do not overmix.
  6. Transfer the batter to a piping bag and cut the corner. Pipe into the prepared donut pan up to 2/3 full.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the donuts rest for about 5 minutes & transfer to a cooling rack to cool further.

For the topping:

  1. In the bowl with the Oreo filling, add chopped white chocolate. Melt in a microwave oven, stirring every after 15 seconds interval.
  2. In a shallow dish, add roughly chopped Oreos.
  3. Take the cooled donuts and dip the top into the melted white chocolate. Let them sit on the cooling rack for about 2 minutes before putting the Oreo crumbs on top of the white chocolate topping. Dip donuts with white chocolate topping into the Oreo crumbs and return back to the cooling rack. You may also just press the Oreo crumb topping over the melted white chocolate topping, but very gently.

Source recipe:  Oreo Overload Donuts by The First Year Blog

Note: You can keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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Oreo Hot Chocolate

This Oreo Hot Chocolate is so creamy and delicious – not too sweet. It uses homemade instant hot chocolate mix and with added grounded Oreos. Also with homemade whipped cream and more Oreos on top. Oreo overload, I say! 

When the weather is cold, what do you want to do? Or what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Me? A delicious hot chocolate, a good book, and a comfy couch. I am not a blanket person, so no for the blanket. I prefer having a huge and fluffy pillow. Just thinking about those things makes me want to wish that it’s raining right at this very moment coz my Oreo Hot Chocolate would be perfect!

I love hot chocolate alone, but with Oreos is a level up. What’s not to love? I used the homemade instant hot chocolate mix I have on the blog which I got from Laura Vitale. The instant hot chocolate mix has 70% dark chocolate and espresso powder along with the other main ingredients like sugars and cocoa powder.

This instant hot chocolate mix can be used as a base for hot chocolate recipes – add Oreos, graham crackers, Lotus caramelized biscuits… The choices are endless. It happened that I wanted hot chocolate and I had Oreos with me (well, I am keeping a box of Oreos with me… in case of emergency, haha!) – I found this tempting recipe from The Recipe Critic. When I saw ‘hot chocolate powder’ from the ingredients list, I thought I could use the instant hot chocolate mix recipe I got from Laura.

This Oreo Hot Chocolate is super creamy and delicious! I was told that this is better than one of the Oreo drinks she had before. That feedback was enough to put a wide smile on my face! One of the good things about this one? If you are not able to finish it (which I don’t understand why?? Haha!), you can let it cool at room temperature and you can keep in the fridge. After at least two hours, you’ll have somewhat like an Oreo Milkshake. 😀 See? I am telling you – this recipe is AMAZING!

I used homemade whipped cream which I think better than store-bought. I just whipped 150 ml heavy/whipping cream till stiff peaks and I added 1 tbsp of powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. I placed a dollop (or two, I guess) on top of the warm Oreo hot chocolate and it was the best Oreo hot chocolate I ever had!

I am sharing this with you and it is so sad that this will be the last Fiesta Friday of the year, but I am also excited what 2018 brings! Happy Fiesta Friday #204. Our solo co-host this week is Sandhya.

Oreo Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 250 ml heavy/whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup instant hot chocolate mix
  • 1/3 cup Oreos, finely grounded & filling removed (this is to be mixed with milk and cream – I have used 6 Oreos for this)
  • 1 tbsp (or more) crushed Oreos for each serving (but it really depends on you – add as much as you like)
  • Whipped cream, homemade or store-bought

Instructions:

  1. Prepare about 6 Oreos. Remove the filling and place in a saucepan. Set aside.
  2. Place the Oreos without filling in a small grinder. Pulse until grounded finely. (You can also put them in a ziplock bag, making sure to finely ground them.) Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan with the Oreo filling, add milk and cream. Place on a stove over low-medium heat. Heat until you see little bubbles forming around the edges. DO NOT BOIL.
  4. Add instant hot chocolate mix and grounded Oreos and stir using a whisk until hot chocolate mix is dissolved.
  5. Transfer to mugs. Add whipped cream on the top and more grounded/crushed Oreos on top.

Notes:

  1. This makes 500 ml / 2 cups of hot chocolate, serves 2-3. 
  2. You can use store-bought hot chocolate mix, but it might be too sweet. 

 

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Calamansi Crinkle Cookies

These crinkles cookies are flavored with calamansi juice – sweet, citrusy and so yummy! 

I fell madly in love with the Calamansi Crumb Muffins I have made before, so I kept looking for a recipe with calamansi… Then I found this recipe. I thought, ‘I love crinkle cookies and I love calamansi, so why not give it a try?‘ And there I was – I fell in love again! You can probably tell that I fall in love easily – not with people, but with food, of course! 😀

These crinkle cookies are flavored with the juice from calamansi and it was so good! I wish I could be more passionate when describing how the food tastes like or I hope there is a smell button. These cookies are citrusy and sweet – they are so perfect to be paired with tea (tea lover here!) or even with a strong coffee. Ahhhh – so so delicious!!

These are easy to prepare, too, coz you can make the dough ahead of time, keep in the fridge and bake the next day. I must also add that these are perfect for last minute baking for Christmas. 😉

I used less sugar in this recipe and I added a tiny tiny bit of yellow food color just to enhance the color as I saw my dough was a little sad. I have thought of using green food color (coz calamansi is green?), but that happened when the yellow food color was already added. What’s done is done, so maybe I will try the green color when I make these again or maybe another batch or cookies that are prettier with green color. Hmmm…

If you find calamansi in your part of the world, you have to try these! Otherwise, you can sub with lemon – just play with the measurement, though. I am sure they would be delicious, too. 😉

I am sharing these at Fiesta Friday #203. I hope you all enjoy these. Happy Fiesta Friday!

Calamansi Crinkle Cookies

  • ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • ¾ cup + 2 tbsp white sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp calamansi zest
  • 2 ½ tbsp. freshly squeezed calamansi juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add in egg, vanilla, calamansi zest and juice. Beat until just combined.
  3. Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides.
  4. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and keep in the fridge to firm up, about an hour up to overnight. (I kept mine overnight to develop more flavor.)
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  6. In a bowl, add in powdered sugar.
  7. Using a small ice cream scoop, take out some of the dough (or about 1 1/2 tbsp) and roll to form a ball. Roll the ball into the powdered sugar and arrange them on the parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure to keep each apart by 2 inches.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies turns light brown. Let stay in the pan for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes:

I made 24 cookies.

The cookies can be kept in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Source recipe: Calamansi Crinkle Cookies by Latitude Adjustment

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Maple Syrup Tart

These tarts have a flaky crust and sweet maple syrup filling. These would be perfect with tea or with a strong coffee. 

Sooooo I have just tried pure maple syrup and it was so good. Of course, the first try had to be with pancakes. 😀

I was given a can of pure maple syrup straight from Canada and it has been hiding in my pantry. It’s not that I am not excited to try it, but I have a habit of keeping food stuff until the expiry date is near. So yeah – blame me for all those ingredients that are soon to be expired. 😀 This maple syrup, though, is not so close to its expiry date.

I have been daydreaming about these Maple Syrup Tarts and I knew it was a sign that I have to open that can and have a maple syrup party! 😀

I used the crust from the Filipino Egg Pie I have on the blog, but I used less sugar. The maple syrup is also sweet enough for me, so I used less sugar in the filling as well.

The crust was baked perfectly – flaky and sweet. The filling was delicious. Perfect! These tarts are like a hug from your sweetest friend. 😀

I am sharing these at Fiesta Friday #203. I hope you all enjoy these. Happy Fiesta Friday!

Maple Syrup Tart

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 113g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp cold water

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp butter, melted
  • Pinch salt

Instructions:

For the crust:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt. Mix well. Add cold butter and mix using your clean hands or a pastry mixer. While mixing, slowly add the cold water until you get a crumbly texture. (This process can be done in the food processor.)
  2. Shape the dough into a ball and keep in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  3. Sprinkle flour on your work surface and roll the dough into 1/4 thickness using a rolling pin. Cut the dough about 4 inches round. You may need to use the scraps and form them again.
  4. Arrange the flattened dough on your muffin pan, trimming the edges with kitchen scissors.
  5. Keep in the fridge while doing the filling.

For the filling:

  1. In a jug, combine all ingredients for the filling.

Baking the Pie:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Remove the pie crust from the fridge and pour the filling onto it, about 3/4 full.
  2. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 F then lower the heat to 325 F and continue baking for 20-30 minutes or until filling is set.
  3. Remove the muffin pan from oven and allow the tarts to cool down in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack.

Note: This recipe makes 7-8 tarts.

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Monggo Braided Bread

Sweet bread with delicious mung bean paste filling – so perfect with your cup of coffee

Sooooo… I’ve been baking few kinds of bread lately – it is so fun! Thanks to my lovely friend who passed on her stand mixer to me coz she got a new one and so I don’t have to knead with the hands. (It is not fun to knead when you have RA)

It was crazy the first few times with the mixer, but I am glad we got along. I was told that the dough can be kept in the fridge to rise overnight so it will be easier to handle it the next day, especially when you are making a braided bread. I was hesitant at first (I don’t trust myself enough), but I finally tried.

Of course, it had to be one of my favorites – Monggo Bread or Monggo Braided Bread in this case. Along with keeping the dough in the fridge overnight, I also tried braiding. (This does look like a braided bread, yes??)

If asked what is my favorite bread, I can’t tell you one specific answer, but any bread with monggo or mung bean paste filling is definitely my favorite. Remember these Pan de Monggo? Ohhh! I just love them so much! The mung bean paste filling is everything. This, on the other hand, doesn’t contain much filling (coz they will burst out from your dough!). Of course, it is delicious, especially with that margarine and sugar topping. Ahhhhh! I know, I know – margarine is not good. You can use butter. I just prefer margarine for this one.

I also made mung bean paste filling:

The bread is super delicious when it’s warm, but please be patient and wait for it to cool further before cutting or you’ll get slightly wet, somewhat like uncooked dough. Yuck! I know coz you know I can’t wait. So please do yourself a favor and wait!

The bread stays soft until the next day, but the sugar topping will melt. The margarine and sugar topping is completely optional, but I love the bread more when it is topped with margarine and sugar. Any leftover can be reheated in a microwave or in a preheated oven.

I am taking this at Fiesta Friday #202 with our lovely ladies – Angie, Aunt Juju & Laurena – thanks for hosting! Happy Fiesta Friday!!!

Monggo Braided Bread

  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Ingredients:

Red bean paste filling:

The filling can be prepared ahead of time. I prepared mine one night before making the buns.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red mung beans/adzuki beans
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup condensed milk (optional)
  • Water to soak and/or boil the beans

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, add washed beans and place water just 2 inches above the beans. Leave overnight. The next day, drain water and place the beans in a deep pot. Add water and boil until soft. (You can also skip the soaking, just boil the beans for more minutes.) You may also need to add more water.
  2. When the beans are soft, add sugar. Turn off the heat and let the beans cool down a bit. Transfer the beans to a blender to puree them. Alternatively, you can also use a stick blender. (I tried using a food processor, but I did not like the result.)
  3. When the beans are pureed, return back to the pot. Add condensed milk, if desired. You can do a taste test. You may want to add more sugar or condensed milk as the sweetness will lessen when eaten with bread.
  4. Stir constantly until the consistency becomes a thick paste. Let cool down a bit before filling the dough. Since I made mine a night before, I kept the filling in the fridge.

For the bread:

  • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided (you may need additional for your work surface)
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup milk, warm
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • additional melted butter, for the topping

To serve (optional):

  • Margarine or butter
  • White sugar
  • Additional mung bean paste

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl of your stand mixer with dough hook attachment, add 3 cups of flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast. Mix until well combined.
  2. While the motor is running at medium speed, add melted butter and warm milk. If the dough is not ready after 7 minutes of kneading, gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour (you may not use all of them or you may need to add more). Let the machine knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. (This may take another 3-8 minutes, depending on the speed of your mixer.)
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a greased bowl and keep in the fridge overnight. (I strongly suggest to keep the dough in the fridge overnight to let it rise there so the dough will be easier to handle when you roll and shape). Alternatively, you can keep it in a warm place until doubled in size (45 minutes to 1 hour).

When the dough is ready,

  1. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Punch down the dough to remove the air.
  3. Flatten the dough and form a  rectangle about 20 inches long, 12 inches wide.
  4. Spread the mung bean paste filling over the flattened dough leaving 1/2 inch on each side. From the long side, roll the dough tightly but carefully.
  5. Cut the dough lengthwise. Bring one dough over the other to make a large X. Now, twist twist twist over each other again until you reach both ends. Bring both ends together to make a ring and carefully seal. Cover loosely with kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size again (around 45 minutes).
  6. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 F.
  7. When ready, carefully brush the tops of the buns with melted butter.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. (Time will vary, depending on your oven.)
  9. Let the bread rest for about 15-30 minutes before adding margarine and sugar on top and cutting. You can also spread additional mung bean paste before eating.

 

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Nutty Peanut Butter Cookies

These peanut butter cookies are nutty, crisp bottom but still soft, not too sweet and perfect to dunk in milk or even to pair with tea

Do you like peanuts? Or any nuts? Hmm, how about peanut butter?

I remember my youngest sister eating peanut butter straight from the jar when she was little. She was lucky we didn’t share the same love for peanut butter. However, I loved (and still do) PB&J, especially the one with guava jelly – ohhh so so good! I could finish an entire bread loaf 😀 Just kidding… or maybe I’m not!

Where was I again?

Oh yes – peanut butter! I don’t know why I don’t like PB when it’s not with J. Well, it’s not that I really don’t like peanut butter like I don’t eat it, but I will avoid it if I can (more like of a love-hate relationship). My love-hate relationship with peanut butter is like my future – I can’t be sure of it. Just like when I saw these Soft Peanut Butter Cookies by A Dish of Sanity – I knew I had to try and check my relationship with PB.

I added peanuts coz I love, love peanuts. It is very dangerous to keep those in front of me so I decided to add them to these cookies.

Guess what?? I love the cookies – nutty, crisp bottom but still soft, not too sweet and perfect to dunk in milk or even to pair with tea. I love that crunchy texture from the peanut.

I kept some more than 4 days to check what will happen to them. The cookies got crispier like the ones you can buy from the store. I love both textures – soft and crispy and all gone.

I am taking these with me at Fiesta Friday # 201 (where did time go??) where Monika and I are co-hosting. Our Amazing Angie will be there, too. 😉 I hope you join us this week – food and friends = fun, right? Also, please visit other party goers as well. What’s fun in link and run??

Nutty Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ tsp  vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup peanuts, chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, add peanut butter, butter, white and brown sugar. Using an electric mixer (or your stand mixer), beat until creamy.
  2. Add egg and vanilla extract, beat again until combined.
  3. In another bowl, add flour, baking soda and salt. Add this mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and beat until just combined. Place this in the fridge for one hour up to overnight to firm up.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop, take out about 1 ½ tbsp of dough and form into balls. Gently press chopped peanuts all over the dough (or you can roll them over peanuts). Place the cookie balls on a baking sheet, keeping 2 inches apart from each other.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom has turned brown. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool further.

Source recipe: Best Soft Peanut Butter Cookies by Dash of Sanity

Note: If you want softer cookies, you can bake for 8-9 minutes. I like mine more on the crisp side, but still soft so I baked them longer.

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Kalamata Olive Hummus

Take your hummus to the next level by adding Kalamata olives – the saltiness of the olives along with the brine gives the plain hummus an extraordinary make over

Kalamata Olive Hummus 2
sorry for the not-so-good-quality of the photo

I fell in love with hummus about three or four years ago (?).

At first, I thought hummus can’t be more exciting. I thought:  having a bread on the side, some veggies and scrambled egg would keep me love the old, plain hummus like no other.

The good thing with hummus – when you have the basic recipe, you can add whatever you fancy. I have tried with roasted red bell peppers and it was amazing! I have also tried this Gochujang Hummus – oh my! It was really good!!

So it happened that I had kalamata olives and I don’t know what to do with them (I only eat olives when they are in pizza). I had to look for recipes and this caught my attention. Again, I was like, ‘Why I haven’t thought of that?

You know what happened next – I took my food processor to do its job. I used the same Easy Microwave Hummus recipe I have on the blog and added chopped kalamata olives along with its brine.

Thanks for the inspiration, Christine!

Oh my! This Kalamata Olive Hummus is so good I could eat the whole thing in one go! The saltiness of the olives and that brine – it is extraordinary! If you are a hummus lover, you’d definitely love this twist! Trust me coz I really did!

I am taking this with me at Fiesta Friday # 200. No co-hosts for this week, so we will come back on Tuesday to vote for our favorite recipes. 😀 Thanks to our lovely Angie for hosting! Happy Fiesta Friday, people!

Kalamata Olive Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, water reserved (optional: you can reserve 1 heaping tbsp for serving later)
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp olive brine
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

To serve (optional):

  • Olive oil
  • Few pieces chickpeas
  • Paprika
  • Roughly chopped parsley

Instructions:

  1. Separate the chickpeas and its water. Reserve the chickpeas water for later.
  2. In a bowl, place your drained chickpeas and remove the skins by taking pieces with both of your hands and rubbing them together. You will notice that the skins with be removed easily and float, then you can easily discard/pour out the water along with the skins.
  3. Wash the skinned chickpeas and drain.
  4. Place the chickpeas in a heatproof bowl and put back the reserved chickpeas water.
  5. Add the garlic cloves and microwave for 4-5 minutes. Let cool.
  6. In a food processor or blender, add in the microwaved chickpeas with garlic along with chopped Kalamata olives, brine, lemon juice, salt and tahini. While the food processor/blender is mixing, add olive oil. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Adjust the seasoning at this point, if desired.
  7. Transfer to container and place in the fridge to thicken up and develop flavor.
  8. To serve, drizzle more olive oil, pitted Kalamata olives, chickpeas, roughly chopped parsley and paprika. Serve with your favorite crackers, veggies or pita bread.

Note: Skinning the chickpeas is totally optional. You may start with 1/3 cup tahini and add as needed.

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Calamansi Crumb Muffins

Calamansi flavored muffins with crumb topping and citrusy, sweet glaze – soft, moist and so delicious!

You may think that I am insane if I tell you that am not a huge fan of baked goods that are citrusy. Well, I love my Mom’s orange chiffon cake – ahhh so good! That’s another story – never made it still. Anywaaaaay, as I was saying – I am not a huge fan of baked goods that are citrusy (except anything orange – orange cake, orange brownies… you name it). I was given few lemon-flavored treats before and I liked them, but I never reached the point of wanting to make them. But these Calamansi Muffins from Lalaine really got me curious.

I had a good quantity of calamansi and I wanted to make something out of it aside from cutting in half and squeeze the juice in my mouth with salt.

Back to Lalaine’s Calamansi Muffins, they sound really good. I imagined my Mom’s orange chiffon cake, but in muffin form. Huh? Crazy imagination. Also, the crumb topping really did a good job in convincing me so I gave the recipe a shot.

And I made the right decision. The muffins were beyond perfection – the sweetness and the calamansi flavor is just in the right balance. The muffins itself is delicious, but who wouldn’t want a crumb topping and a citrusy sugar glaze?? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think it is a good idea to skip them.

I added calamansi zest to the sugar glaze as I really want the calamansi flavor to stand out in every bite! And don’t you just love that color in the glaze?

The muffins came out really soft and I loved the brown edges. I was a little disappointed at first when I found out I didn’t have muffin liners. In the end, I was thankful. 😀

You really have to try this one. Hmm, in case you don’t find calamansi, you can use lemon. I just don’t know if you can use the same quantity of calamansi.

I am taking these with me at Fiesta Friday # 200. No co-hosts for this week, so we will come back on Tuesday to vote for our favorite recipes. 😀 Thanks to our lovely Angie for hosting! Happy Fiesta Friday, people!

Calamansi Crumb Muffins

Ingredients:

For the crumb topping:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

For the muffins:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or any light-tasting oil
  • 1 tbsp calamansi zest
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed calamansi juice
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the calamansi glaze:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed calamansi juice
  • 1 tsp calamansi zest (optional)
  • Pinch of salt, to balance the sweetness

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Generously grease 1 or 2 muffin pan. Set aside. (Alternatively, you can use muffin liners.)

For the crumb topping:

  1. In a bowl, add all ingredients for the crumb topping. Mix using your clean hands or fork until it crumbly.

For the muffins:

  1. In a bowl, add eggs and beat until frothy.
  2. Add sugar and oil, and beat again until creamy.
  3. Add calamansi zest, calamansi juice and yogurt. Mix just until combined.
  4. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt. Lightly mix the dry with the wet ingredients until combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Fill the greased muffin pan until 3/4 full. Add crumb topping on top of each muffin.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the calamansi glaze:

  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients for the glaze and mix.
  2. Drizzle over muffins.

Source recipe: Calamansi Muffins by Kawaling Pinoy

Note: I made 14 muffins.

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