French macarons with chocolate ganache

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I was so pleasantly surprised when I opened the oven to check on these babies. Behold!  Feet on my macarons!  After countless failures, I was thrilled of these results. I will keep on practicing to get them right every time.





Fortune cookies

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fortune cookies

What’s better than opening a fortune cookie and know what you gonna get?  You may not know what happens after you say “I do”, but if you make it, your fortune shall come.

So, as I was thinking of ideas for parting gifts or favors for a bridal dinner, I thought wouldn’t it be romantic to have personalized fortune cookies?  I researched online and it was costly especially if you consider the shipping costs.  The ingredients were inexpensive but the methods took some practice.  Since you had to make these right out of the oven while they are still hot since you need to bend them while it is still pliable. I dipped these in candy melts and  added edible pearls for a touch of elegance.  But, you can make add cocoa powder to make them chocolate fortune cookies and dipped them in white for a black/white theme look as well.  That is the good things about making them since the options are endless!

But it was worth it in the end, since I was able to insert romantic quotes from popular books and Buddha.  Since the bride to be is Buddhist, I was able to find spiritual inspirations for her.  I also included my favorite lines from Little Women such as “she will be rich in the possession of a good man’s heart, and that is better than a fortune.”

I gave these to the girls packaged in a hand made take out box.  Now, handmade cookies and fortunes that I had a hand in is like a red cherry on top of a great dessert.


Cookie 3: Chocolate chewie with toffee

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I wanted to bake and give away a variety of cookies to please everyone.  The chocolate chewie cookies has toffee which I love!  But, I think I will leave them out next time since the batter was a gooey mess!  It was a thin liquid batter and was difficult to scoop out prior to baking.  You really have to chill this dough.  They were more of a brownie cookies which would be great with milk!  Maybe I should leave these out for Santa instead of our usual chocolate chip cookies.  Hey, who wants to mess up with tradition.  Either choice would still be delicious.  I can speak on Santa’s behalf!

Other cookies we made included another new cookie recipe that I may not want to repeat: chai snickerdoodle.  I saw the winning recipe from this year Star telegram cookie contest and thought I would give it a try.  However, it did not do anything for me.  I guess I better keep searching for that snickerdoodle that is soft and chewy rather than puffy and crunchy.

Chocolate Chewie Cookie

Total time: 40 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling time for the batter
Servings: 1 1/2 dozen
1/4 pound (4 ounces) unsweetened chocolate
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) butter
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon molasses or corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag (12oz) of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes (optional)
1. In a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter.
Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
2. In the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a fork, combine the
eggs, vanilla, molasses or corn syrup and sugar. Mix just until incorporated and set aside.
3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. Add the melted chocolate to the egg mixture and mix just until combined. Stir in the sifted dry
ingredients and mix just until combined, then stir in the chocolate chips, nuts and coconut flakes
if using.
5. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to chill thoroughly. Heat
the oven to 350 degrees.
6. Divide the dough into 18 portions. Grease your hands (to prevent the dough from sticking) and
shape the portions into balls. Place the balls on a greased, parchment-lined sheet pan, leaving 2
to 3 inches between each.
7. Bake until the edges of the cookies are just set and the center is still soft, 10 to 12 minutes



Christmas Cookie 2: Gingerbread boys cookies

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“It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas” is one of my favorite lyrics as far as Christmas songs go.  I have decided to try making gingerbread boys( with my kiddos or (a.k.a elves) this year.  Although I do not like the taste of ginger, these cookies are not overwhelm with too much spices.  It has a touch of ginger, a dash of cinnamon, etc, all of the goodness that makes up the holiday. After all, the smell of the fresh pine trees and wreaths makes these cookies festive for the holidays.  Next year, I may hang these boys as edible ornaments on my tree.

Gingerbread cookies (source: Joy of Cooking)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.
  2. In a large bowl (KitchenAid’s great for this) beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended.
  3. Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended.
  4. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.
  5. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
  6. (Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but in this case it should be refrigerated. Return to room temp before using.) Preheat oven to 375°.
  7. Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface.
  9. Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin.
  10. Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick.
  11. Use additional flour to avoid sticking.
  12. Cut out cookies with desired cutter– the ginger bread man is our favorite of course.
  13. Space cookies 1 1/2-inches apart
  14. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies– very good!).
  15. Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack.
  16. After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like.
  17. I usually brush them with a powdered sugar glaze when I am in a hurry, but they look wonderful decorated with Royal icing.

Cookie 1: White chocolate chip with macadamias and dried cherries

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The holidays are just around the corner and I usually baked some cookies to give away as gifts to my family and friends.  I will be making 6 cookies this year and mailing them to my family or giving them to my friends near and far.

I usually am not a fan of white chocolate since it does not contain any cacao but mainly cocoa butter.  But somehow, the combination of the white chocolate with the salty macadamias was quite satisfying.  Also, the dried cherries offset the sweetness of the white chocolate.

Plus, these are really soft so it it may not packaged very well so you may not consider this one if mailing your baked goods.  I have made 6 different cookies and a brownies for my holiday gifts.    The holiday is a fun time in the kitchen for me and my littles elves.  So stay tune to see what we have been whipping up in our holiday bakeshop this year!

Make these cookies and leave it for Santa along with a glass of milk (I usually eat them on his behalf).  These cookies with dried cherries are the red cherry on top of a great dessert

Decorated sugar cookies

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What birthday girl would not want her first birthday to be all about her?  So, have these treats be monogrammed with her name or initials.  These delicious sugar cookies were iced with a glaze and detailed with royal icing.  I prefer the taste of glaze so I will use that primarily form here on.  But, royal icing does stay put so the detailing would stand out.  I also sprinkled on some disco dust with glimmer and sparkle.  After all, us girls love anything that sparkles (no matter what birthday we are celebrating…hint hint).

Sprinkle of disco dust is a red cherry on top of a great dessert!

Snickerdoodles cookies

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Say it again?  I have stumbled upon these cookies recently and thought the name was kinda peculiar.  It does not contain any snicker candy or anything.  It is basically a sugar cookie sprinkled  with a mixture of cinnamon and white sugar.  Generally, I am not fond of cinnamon, but the taste is subtle with these cookies.  Another distinctive flavor of snickerdoodle cookies is due to the cream of tartar that give a tangy bite.  I like these cookies since it is slight crispy on the outside yet soft in the middle.  Moreover, these were not too sweet even for a sugar cookie base.  Now, add some colorful sprinkles on top of the cinnamon is a red cherry on top of a great dessert.




(source: Martha Stewart)

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup pure vegetable shortening
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, plus more if needed
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven. Line baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, shortening, and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the ground cinnamon. Use a small (1 1/4-ounce) ice-cream scoop to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack (they will not brown), about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after 5 minutes. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.


Fairy jam thumbprints cookies

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What do you get with a 7 year old girl and a bake sale?  Colorful cookies with sprinkles! (and more sprinkles).   Anyone who is a girly girl knows that it is all about the sparkles and bling.  My daughter chose this cookie and I agreed to help her since the ingredients are simple enough. (Actually, I had a few jars of jams I needed to use up). This  was the first recipe we made from her Fairies cookbook that she just had to have from Amazon.  My kitchen ended up a mess with left over dough and jams everywhere.  But, I think of it as mess you can eat.  i suggest baking these halfway thru and then adding the jelly since my first batch melted in the centers. Next time you need something for a bake sale, make these buttery and sparkly cookies.  After all, sprinkles are just like red cherry on top of a great dessert.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I recently discovered that I like peanut butter when paired with chocolate,  The creamy peanut butter gives the cookies extra body and creamy flavor.  You all should know that I like my cookies soft and chewy.  So, this cookie is just that.   You can really bring it up a notch using peanut butter chips along with crunchy peanut butter.  Or better yet, toss in some crushed Reeses peanut butter cups as well.  On a hot day like today, a scoop of vanilla ice cream ( Breyers) sandwiched between these cookies will be delicious.  Now, if only I can find a way to incorporate some jelly into these cookies.  I suppose you can make mini cookies sandwiches with jelly spread in between. Go in your kitchen and make some of these…and pack them in your lunch bag.   Now what kid (or big kid) would not like that surprise in their lunch sack once in awhile?  I know I would not trade my lunch with anyone.

Peanut Butter cookie (source: Magnolia bakery cookbook)


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Place sprinkling sugar — the remaining tablespoon — on a plate. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Using a fork, lightly indent with a crisss-cross pattern (I used the back of a small offset spatula to keep it smooth on top), but do not overly flatten cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.

Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.



Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie..with chocolate chips

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So, I have a few containers of Quaker’s old fashion oats in my pantry.  Also, it has been raining all evening.  What is more cozy than good old fashion oatmeal raisins cookie.  It also happens to be my coworkers favorite kind.  I have never liked oatmeal raisin cookies but that was before I had a chewy soft kind.  The ones from the store are hard and dry (and overly sweet).  This recipe is similar to my favorite chocolate chip cookie but maybe slightly healthier.  Hey, it has oats and raisins!  I topped each cookie with a few chocolate chip before baking them.  I needed my chocolate fix. After all, the chocolate chip is like the red cherry on top of any great dessert.


Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (source: All recipes)
2 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter, melted (1½ sticks)
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
1 heaping cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Your cookies turn out so much better with parchment paper. Believe me! Buy some!

Melt butter and let cool slightly.

Mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the cinnamon, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy. Mix in the flour mixture until just blended. Add the oats, nuts, and raisins. Mix until just blended.

Place 1/4 cup balls of dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes. Do not over bake. The edges should look brown and the centers still slightly soft. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.