Tag Archives: coffee

Compost Cookies

Call em compost cookies, garbage cookies, kitchen sink cookies — they’re more like everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cookies!

These chewy-crunchy treats are full of snacks snacks snacks. What kind of snacks?

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Your favourite kind, of course!

Not only are they full of snack foods, but these magical cookies can lead you to a place of epiphany and a greater self understanding — for example, up until a few days ago I would have certainly, definitely not considered myself a “potato chip” person.

But, when I had to buy chips in order to make this recipe for a friend — insert snobby foodie eyeroll here — what did I do with the left over chips? I ate them. All of them.

In, like, 10 seconds flat.

Then I realized that I had no more chips left over for any photos, so I went back to the 7-11 to buy more chips and take some final photos, and then I ate those, too.

Arrgh!

Much to my own chagrin, I’ve come to understand that the real reason why I don’t usually buy chips is because must I have a very deep, very dark, and (up until now) very secret — secret even to me! — love in my heart for them.

But that’s okay — because I can make compost cookies. They make me feel justified in my brazen potato chip love.

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Upside-Down Hot Chocolate Pudding

First, a disclaimer: this isn’t really pudding (at least not in the “North American” sense).

This is a British-style pudding — the rich, gooey, and cakey kind.

The way you make this pudding is a little unusual — it starts as a stiff, doughy batter, then gets covered in a thick layer of loose sugar and cocoa powder, then drizzled with fresh coffee, and, as it bakes, it turns “upside-down”!

The moist cake bakes and puffs up and oozes with chocolate, while the bottom remains a sticky chocolate sauce.

It’s been ages since I’ve made this treat at home, but I decide that this Upside-Down Hot Chocolate Pudding was going to be the last dessert I would make for lunch service at school.

How bitter-sweet it was!

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Christmas Recipe Round-Up

I have to confess — while recipe round-ups are not normally my style, I felt like there was too much of a gap between my stöllen and my next post, so a wee bit of filler was in order.

Coming soon: cookies and big news!

So, I’m currently bogged down with cramming and exams — that just means that some of the delicious treats I made last Christmas get an extra minute in the spotlight — like these rich and velvety Mucho Mocha Shortbread.

That’s win-win, right?

Especially because I think some of these creative recipes, like Mandarin Cupcakes with Clove Buttercream, definitely deserve a second look.

I did crazy, mad, frantic, enthusiastic baking during my first few weeks of blogging, and it just so happened to be over the holidays!

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It’s bitter-sweet to think about the lovely Pear & Cranberry Cake with Orange Buttermilk Glaze that hardly anyone ever looked at, simply because I hadn’t yet learned about networking, making fellow blogging buddies, or the glories of photographing with natural light.

Sad, but true!

I mean, these Cranberry-Pecan Sandies are the type of cookie that my coworkers pestered me to make again over and over (I just indulged them this last weekend — and they’re good as ever), but I just didn’t know how to make them shine in front of a camera.

Especially since I didn’t know anything about food styling or adding props to photos either.

The gold star embossed tissue paper behind these Toasted Coconut Icebox Cookies was about as complicated and intricate as it got with me.

Maybe a sad piece of shriveled holly bush managed to sneak itself into the frame when I photographed these Chocolate-Dipped Marzipan Cookies — but adding props like that didn’t happen very often!

Behold — a whole dish, napkin, and spoon! I had started to branch out!

A bowl full of nutmeg-dusted Cranberry Syllabub aside, the last year has been a serious learning experience for me — there’s more to making a blog work, to making food work, making writing work, than just churning out recipe after recipe.

You’ve gotta have a story to tell, a life to share, and a love of food to impart to the world!

This funny-looking Rum-Spiked Brownie Bits with Candy Cane Frosting has a story to tell, too — one about how half my coworkers wouldn’t touch these chocolately morsels because of the sluggish, speckled grey frosting on top.

That is, until someone had the guts to try this odd-coloured creation and declared it delicious!

Sometimes food blogging can be made pretty and easy and neat, like these Perfect Gingersnaps, and sometimes it’s so much stress that you want to tear all your hair out and sleep for an entire month!

I know that in my last post I said I fear the impending holiday rush — and, well, it’s still true.

But all your kind comments (and some like-minded facebook statuses from my friends) made me realize that it’s best to meet things head on!

Here’s to the holidays — the stress, the joy, the festive food, the amazing baked treats — and keeping your head screwed on as tightly as possible from now until the new year!

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Strawberry Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Cake isn’t the only thing I have on the brain these days.

I’ve been thinking about New York City, too!

Not that I’ve ever been, but, c’mon, I have to go — you’re not a real foodie if you haven’t eaten in NYC (and Daisy has been torturing me with her posts)! That said, I can’t tell you if New York style coffee cake is actually popular in New York or not.

Out here on the west coast it’s not all that common — just because people are too healthy!

They just want oatmeal and egg whites for breakfast before they drive off in their Jetta to go do yoga in their Lululemon and grab a latte from Starbucks.

Not my thing. Cake and an opportunity to sleep in for me, please!

Coffee cake ought to be crazy popular around here, though — I mean, just look at it.

Look at this cake: a sweet, crumby, melt-in-your-mouth topping, with light and fluffy layers of tangy, vanilla-scented cake, sandwiching soft strawberry and cinnamon filling.

Beat that, dry toaster bagels and mass-produced muffins! Ha!

In other news, I just recently finished a class project that tickled my serious cake-on-the-brain itch all over again: having to make a rolled fondant-covered wedding cake.

I gotta admit, at first I was really, really, really not pleased with having to do this project — I mean, there’s no cake inside that cake!

See, I’m what my chefs have been calling a “production” person — as in, I’m more interested in what goes inside the cake/pie/tart/cookie than I am about how it looks on the outside.

But doing a wedding cake was more fun than expected, and by the end I was surprisingly into it.

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Cappuccino Bavarian Cream

Now that I have to wake up at 5:30 am at least five times a week, you’d better believe my caffeine addiction has kicked into high gear!

Stumbling into the ye-that-shall-not-be-named-global-coffee-chain and getting my drink of choice (a small quad-shot Americano, touch of cream and sugar) is a vital part of my morning routine.

As they pass me that steaming cuppa joe from behind the espresso machine, I always feel like Barney Gumble in that episode of the Simpsons, the one where he kicks his alcoholism until he’s presented with a massive amount of Duff beer for winning a short film contest and he shrieks, “JUST HOOK IT TO MY VEINS!”

Yeah — that’s me and coffee.

The only real downside to having that much espresso during the week is that I turn into such a grumpy bitch if I don’t get it on the weekends, too.

That’s okay, though — I don’t care if I’m addicted. Sweet, sweet Americano, you’re so much safer than cocaine!

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♥ Mont Blanc // モンブラン ♥

So, here it is: my last post of June’s Japanese dessert month.

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It’s been a challenge — I had to make the matcha castella three times before I got it right — the soufflé cheesecake, twice — barely salvaged a dango disaster — but it’s also been fun.

Reminiscing about Japan through baking and blogging has been bittersweet.

Although it didn’t seem as rosy-coloured to my adult self as it did to me as a teen, I still gathered a lot of unique experiences and new perspectives.

Japan is a historically rich and culturally diverse nation, brimming with beautiful landscapes and architecture, and full of kind people.

And, of course — Japan is full of amazing food!

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