Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Holiday baking

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies:

Cranberry bliss bars:

cranberry bliss bars

Luckily, I’ve been giving treats out almost as fast as they cool. This is good for our waistlines, as well as for keeping our kitchen ant-free, as the recent torrential downpours in LA have encouraged the buggers to voraciously seek dry ground.


LDW: Macarons!







Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crack

It’s Passover week, and as with last year, coworker A brought me a box of matzo from her family’s stash.  Which I use to make this yummy, addictive Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crack!

Step 1: Lay out a single layer of matzo in pans.  Break to fit.

Step 2: Melt 1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks) + 1 cup of brown sugar.  Watch it carefully – when it begins to bubble, put 3 minutes on the timer.  Take off heat when time is up, sitr in 1 teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of sea salt.

Step 3: Distribute toffee mixture over each pan.  Spread with a spatula to evenly cover the matzo.

Step 4: Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Watch carefully for burning.  The toffee mixture will bubble and carmelize further in the oven.  Once out of oven, sprinkle semi-sweet choco chips over the top.  Spread when melted.

Step 5: Once the matzo crack cools and the chocolate hardens, it can be broken into pieces and stored in an airtight container up to one week. So they say.  It’s never lasted that long…


Last night, in a feeble attempt to distract myself from the usual Sunday night blues, I decided to whip up a batch of madeleines since I had all the ingredients on hand.

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Nian Gao [年糕]

Next weekend is the Lunar New Year, and that was my excuse for making this nian gao/dduk/mochi (年糕, 떡, もち) again.  This time, it came out nearly perfect!

The Chinese language is fascinating…I had picked out the characters for “sticky cake” (粘糕) which IS nian gao, to use in the title, only to have my mom point out that those weren’t the right ones.  You see, the reason nian gao is so popular around Lunar New Year is because the words are a homonym for “higher year.” So while I wasn’t wrong per se,  the characters actually used for nian gao mean “year cake” instead of “sticky cake.”

This pan of nian gao was cut into about 5 minutes after being removed from the oven, and the above picture was taken only 10 minutes after that.  What can I say, we couldn’t resist! My mom and I love the browned edges, and my brother and dad prefer the gooey middle.

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Brownies from scratch (or, why I should stick with Duncan Hines)

Edward (you know, from Twilight?) checked my Chewy Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies to see if they were ready to come out of the oven.

[Recipe from Annie’s Eats]

Verdict: I wouldn’t really call these fudgy. or chewy. The texture is just a bit on the powdery side, but it’s not exactly dry. The only thing I did different from the recipe was to use just 1/8 cup less sugar and alter the ratio of the hard chocolate used. If I ever try them again, I would maybe completely leave out the cocoa powder and reduce baking time to 30 minutes. And use 2 oz milk chocolate, 2 oz unsweetened. See, this is why I shouldn’t bake. I can’t follow the recipe.