oatmeal hazelnut chocolate chip cookies


i’m scratching my head…why don’t i have this recipe from Judy Rosenberg’s Cookie Book up here? why? when it is one of kids’ top 5 favorite cookies that they eat cookie monster-style? i posted a photo of a variation on instagram and a fellow IG enthusiast requested the recipe. i was about to link her up but it’s nowhere to be found here!
so here it is… the only change i made from the original oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe was to substitute hazelnut flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand) for the whole wheat flour.

guaranteed to recruit many fans to your kitchen.

1 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour
6 tbsps. hazelnut flour (ground peeled hazelnuts)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 & 1/4 cups (2 & 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 & 1/4 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsps. vanilla
2 large eggs
2 tbsps. milk
2 & 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
8 ounces chocolate chips (i use dark, or 60% cacao)

preheat oven to 375 degrees F. line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

sift flours, baking soda and salt together into a bowl and set aside. (i just whisk this mixture vigorously until well blended.)

in the mixing bowl, with the mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter, both sugars and the vanilla until light and fluffy, 1 & 1/2 minutes. stop the mixer twice to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.

add 1 egg and beat on medium speed for 10 seconds. scrape the bowl and add the second egg and the milk. beat on medium speed until blended, another 10 seconds. scrape the bowl.

add the flour mixture and blend on low speed until almost incorporated. scrape the bowl. add the oats and blend on medium speed for 10 seconds; once again scrape the bowl.
add the chocolate chips and mix until well blended, about 10-15 seconds. scrape that bowl! 😉

(at this point i prefer to chill the tightly covered cookie dough for
at least 2 hours to firm up a bit. just don’t forget to preheat the oven.)

drop the batter by generously rounded tablespoons into the lined baking sheets 2 inches apart. bake until the edges are golden brown and the centers are lighter in color and just set, about 14 to 16 minute–depending on your oven. (i use the convect feature of the oven.)

cool them on the baking sheets and store in airtight containers.

glazed citrus ginger butter cake

well.   i found out the disadvantages of not posting memorable meals and standout recipes here.  i was scrolling through my Picasa pictures and saw some luscious looking blonde brownies…that i could not recall making. so!  to avoid that uneasy feeling of semi-panic and somewhat sadness, i am going to ((try and) keep better tabs on the continuing eating adventures of baby rambutan.

this cake is a blend of a couple of recipes, one from an old food magazine, and the other from our local newspaper food section.  i have to remember how to bake it because my boys (daughter’s still at university) declared it a keeper.



i really enjoy the zing of ginger–it just goes so well with the orange and lemon zests, but feel free to omit. (if omitting ginger, add the 1/4 cup sugar to the total sugar amount).
this moist and tasty cake just might take the edge off of the winter chill.

glazed citrus ginger butter cake

butter (for the pan)

flour (for the pan)
3 tbsps. chopped fresh peeled ginger
1/4 cup sugar

4 tsps. grated lemon zest
4 tsps. grated orange zest
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. orange juice

3 & 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 lb. (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp.
2 & 1/4 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 tsps. vanilla extract

2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk

set the oven at 350°F. lightly butter a 10-inch Bundt pan. dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
in a food processor, combine the ginger and 1/4 cup sugar and process till finely ground. mixture will be wet.

in a bowl, combine the lemon and orange rinds, and lemon and orange juices.

in another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt to blend.
in an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter for 3 minutes. add the sugar in 3 additions, beating for 1 minute after each. add the lemon-orange mixture and the ginger-sugar and beat for 1 minute. beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing only until incorporated. blend in vanilla. (scrape the sides and bottom of bowl and beater constantly.)

with the mixer set on low, add the flour mixture in 3 additions alternating the heavy cream, beginning and ending with the flour. scrape bowl and beater often. add the milk and beat for 45 seconds.

spoon the batter into the pan, and smooth the top.
bake the cake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer/tester comes out clean. the baked cake will pull away from the sides of the pan and the top will be set.

rest the cake on a rack to cool for 10 minutes.

1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice (or orange & lemon )

whisk the sugar and juice until somewhat dissolved. turn the cake onto a wire rack. stir the glaze before brushing on the cake, using little strokes with a brush.
(recipes from Gourmet magazine and the Boston Globe)

tamales in winter

i’m going to try and resuscitate this site. wish myself luck. almost a year without a peep from me* and to be honest i haven’t missed it much. we’ve had a kind of rough 2014, ups and downs and downs and downs but we must turn the page and start out new and fresh and look forward to a bright and sparkling year. yey.
today is my babybaobao’s 9th birthday and i’ll be making us a cake and giving him a special toy and treats, but for now i just want to record how i made tamales, Filipino style. we don’t call it tamale in singular form, always it is tamales. though it is similar in name to the Mexican snack made of corn masa and fillings, wrapped in corn husks, it is really more like the Chinese zhong or jong with rice, pork, dried shrimp, etc. wrapped in lotus leaves. i’ve been wanting to make it for so long–a bit of nostalgia for the snack my Ma and i bought from a vendor at a rest stop in Pampanga 4 years ago. the rice and coconut and peanut flavors are really out of this world. mine came out rather nice. but i would still like to go back with my Ma to Pampanga.

just out of the steamer
Continue reading

layer up, it’s cold! or, the coffee jelly.

i made this chilled dessert a couple of weeks ago on a warm weekend. well, it was relatively warm at 50°F, and it was just so wonderful, i vowed to make it again so our daughter could have it when she came home for her spring break vacation. and guess what! it’s a 50°F day again. :)
we rarely see her; with all her school work and busy social calendar, one would think she studies at a university across the continent (she’s only 6 miles away 😛 ).

layers of espresso panna cotta and vanilla panna cotta, with a coffee gelatin in between and as a garnish, i can’t get enough of it! but i do put it away after a couple of bites. really. it was a lot of fun collecting the wine goblets from the charity shop nearby–footed goblets make this dessert really elegant and fancy enough for a special-occasion dinner party.

i’ve made something similar before, something nostalgic, in an improvised version. this is from “Desserts,” by Martha Stewart.

cheers! happy New Year!

we’re still here. this is BaoBao checking in for my human mama. she let 2013 slip by and 2014 splash down, with nary a peep.
grrrowl. i just want to report, she seems ok, though she leaves me at home a lot more. grrrrowl some more. she still makes a big mess in the kitchen, which i hate because the clattering pots and pans make a sound that really makes me run and hide.
when she comes home she smells like chlorine, or she smells like little kids spilled chocolate milk on her sleeves. it must be something to do with her new job.
at least when she plops down on the sofa i get a chance to sit on her lap and stare at her until she gives me my Greenies. droool.

she munches a lot on these maple cinnamon walnuts, i think she thinks they’re healthy. sshhh, i like their scent better than those garlicky peanuts she used to crunch.

apple crostata

i can’t say goodbye to September without this apple crostata. apples apples apples! i love munching on them–the dizzying arrangements in the markets are simply irresistible. and we really love them baked in pies and pastries and tarts. just reading the varieties: fuji, gala, honeycrisp, cortland, McIntosh, Baldwin… use your favorite baking variety, the kind that retains its shape and bakes up sweet yet not oozing all over the pie or cake or crumble: that would be perfect.
i used my favorite Golden Delicious because i like how tart it tastes while retaining its bite.
the pastry is easy to make especially with a food processor but a pastry cutter would work out well too. the surprise ingredient doesn’t affect the taste of the tart at all…it’s just terribly good.
this is the after.
this is the before.

apple crostata from the Boston Globe.

for the pastry:

1 & 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsps. sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut up
1 tsp. vinegar
1/4 cup ice water
extra flour for sprinkling

in a food processor, pulse flour, salt, baking powder and sugar to sift.
add the butter and pulse till the mixture is crumbly.
in a bowl, combine vinegar and ice water.
sprinkle the liquids over the flour mix, and pulse the dough just until clumpy but not forming a ball.
turn the clumps out into a lightly floured board, shape into a ball, flatten into a 4 inch disk. wrap in plastic wrap/cling film and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.

for the filling:
3 large baking apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsps. flour
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. sliced almonds (optional)
1 tbsp. heavy cream or milk
sanding sugar for sprinkling (i used demerara)
confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling after baking

set the oven at 400°F. line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
in a bowl, toss the apples with sugar, salt, lemon juice, and flour until thoroughly coated.
on a floured surface, roll out the pastry disk to a 12-inch circle. lift the pastry onto a rolling pin and then lay out on the lined baking sheet.
heap the apples on to the pastry, with a 1 & 1/2 inch border at the edges. dot the apples with butter, then sprinkle with almonds, if using.
fold the edges of the pastry up and over the apples–it will pleat onto itself as it rests on the fruit. brush the edges with cream or milk and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
bake for 40 to 45 minutes, turning the sheet halfway through cooking time. the edges should turn golden brown and firm.
let it settle down for at least 15 minutes.
sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if you like, before cutting into wedges.

honey oatmeal bread

#2son has re-dubbed this “Elvish bread” –remember the bread that Frodo and Sam were given as “baon”(provision) for their mission to Mt.Doom? (J.R.R. Tolkien’s works)
my boy says one bite could fill his tummy and keep him feeling full all day. this was his lunch today, filled with chunky peanut butter, and he’s too full to accept an after-school snack :)

the recipe makes two loaves. after i tucked it in to rise, the dough went up so quickly that i got a bit alarmed that it might spill out into the counter. i could see it growing right before my eyes. i think it must have been the wheat gluten–it must have contributed to the soft fluffiness of its texture. ahh, the sweet, delightful mysteries of bread-making. someday i’ll study the science of it.

the recipe, follows… Continue reading

peachy peachy cake

feeling peachy-keen?
definition:peachy keen adjective
chiefly US, informal : very good : fine or excellent

yes, peaches are in, and what finer way to enjoy them than this fruit-laden cake. i used to hesitate in using stone fruits for baked desserts due to the labor intensive instructions on how to properly peel, which all called for some blanching in boiling water then gingerly handling hot fruit while carefully peeling…
and then i got my hands on this spiffy peeler with the jagged edges.
i’ve made these twice in a week now! first my daughter did the assembling and we brought them over to their grandparents, dessert for a take-out dimsum lunch in their condo, the second time for home consumption.

the recipe is based on one for plum cake, from the Boston Globe food edition; i substituted firm peaches and i only changed the cinnamon-sugar sprinkle on top to mostly-nutmeg and demerara, with a tiny smidgen of cinnamon. lovely lovely flavors in this cake! when it bakes, the peach slices exude a juice that seeps into the batter in the best possible way. recipe follows…. Continue reading

chicken ballotine, Jacques Pepin’s recipe

chicken ballotine
i watched Jacques Pepin deboning a small chicken on his public tv show, and i was really mesmerized by the chef’s technique. and the result i already know is delicious–having seen a favorite chef post online about her daring challenge. i just had to try it for myself. (i love our Filipino version**, stuffed with meat, but this is a simpler, straightforward yet still bold and tasty stuffing..)
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