Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cinnamon Baked Doughnut Holes

I was reminded of the National Doughnut Day that fell on 6 June 2014 when I was clearing my email inbox as I came across a mailer which I have subscribed from this famous doughnut brand, which created a craze (and was there an overnight queuing?!) when it first launched in Singapore last October. I was astonished when I was told of the prices of the doughnuts sold there compared with the prices of the doughnuts sold here in United States. @_@

During my childhood days, I remember my Mum would often buy us the "traditional" sugar-coated doughnut rings and doughnut holes on a skewer from our neighbourhood bakery for our tea-time snacks. Unlike these days, the assortment of doughnuts I could recall came only in chocolate coated, chocolate coated sprinkles and chocolate coated nuts back then. And if I wasn't wrong, each assorted doughnut cost only a dollar or slightly over. It is unbelievable how the prices of the fancy doughnuts these days have sky-rocketed (let alone the cause of inflation) just with its novelty transformation and branding. But well, it has been proven that there are still people who are willing to queue and pay for it. 

I've never thought of making doughnuts at home because of the dough proofing and oil frying involved until I pullout this recipe which I have bookmarked sometime ago from what I've watched on my all-time favourite food channel. 

Cinnamon Baked Doughnut Holes

The addition of the cinnamon spice to the doughnut and coating creates an elegant touch and taste to the plain sugar coated version I had during childhood which was already tasty. Unfortunately I ran out of skewers, or else savouring these doughnut holes from a skewer would have resembled much like every bite taken during the childhood days. ^_^

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

White Lover's Cookies (Shiroi Koibito)

Recently, my sister posted a photo of the souvenirs she'd received from a friend's recent Japan trip. It reminded me of my own trip to Tokyo, Japan with my husband last May after we got married in November the year before, which he had always regarded as our "mini" honeymoon. Well, I kind of agree with him since it was a place we haven't been to, but only so reluctantly because I didn't consider honeymoon a honeymoon anywhere within Asia. Haha~ But don't ask me where we went for our "actual" honeymoon because it wasn't really planned to date, although we went on a holiday to New York last fall. @_@

Thinking back about the Japan trip, I miss the snacks and the food there more than anything else. One of the goodies that I couldn't resist from buying was this 白い恋人, also known as "White Lover" in English translation, which is a very popular snack from Hokkaido (no, we didn't travel up to Hokkaido but this snack can be found easily at the airport and many departmental stores in Tokyo). Here's a picture of the packaging I took back then if some of you don't know what I'm referring to. It is also called the "Chocolat Blanc et Langue de Chat" as the name on the packaging suggests. It consists of chocolate sandwiched between two butter cookies.

Nowadays, with the advancement of international trade and shipping services, one may easily get it from a local store or purchase it online even if one don't get to travel. But ever since I got into baking, my natural chain of thoughts wasn't to look up an online store that sells and delivers the snack to where I am, but instead, the possibility of making them myself at home. ^_^ I hope everyone will enjoy these home-baked Shiroi Koibito as much as I do.

White Lover's Cookies (Shiroi Koibito)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake (Shotokeki)

Today is one of my bestie's birthday, and I'm sure this year's (and the forward years') birthday will be especially different for her. Not (entirely) because her bestie (me) won't be able to feast with her this year like we did in the past, but (significantly) because she will be celebrating it with a new addition in the family (as a mother), her baby daughter who is about 3-1/2 months' old now. Thinking back, our affinity with each other was quite an interesting one.

She's three years my senior and we first got to know each other when we attended the same part-time degree course at a local institution. I could still remember I was one of the few students who had arrived late on the first day of class and there were two or few empty seats left, and I made my choice to take the seat next to her. We were both "shy" and didn't speak to each other until break-time, and she was the first to initiate the conversation. But what we didn't know until (days, or maybe weeks) later was, we were actually from the same secondary school (some call it high school) after we bumped into a mutual friend. We were both extremely surprised as we had no impression of each other back then. And since then, we had endless topics to talk about and conversations seemed to flow like old friends catching up. Perhaps this is what fate is all about. To date, we have known each other for about seven years and still counting. Looking back, it was a tough time coping with studies while working full-time. But I could imagine it would have been tougher if I didn't have her with me during the two years of the course. ^_^ Reminiscing our good old times would make this blog post lengthier than the combined blog posts I have written to date. Just want to say a big thank you to her for being a friend more than anyone could ask for. *_*

And coincidentally, today happens to be the birthday of a new (local) friend I got acquainted in this foreign country. She has been rendering me her companion in many of our social activities and I thought I could make her a cake as a surprise since I'm sure she would be missing the blast celebration with her family and friends had she not been away from home. It was a risky surprise though because this baking experiment was my maiden attempt. But yes, the surprise pulled off successfully and the cake was not a disappointment at all. Although this bake wasn't made specially for my bestie (as she wouldn't get to savour it anyway), I would also like to dedicate this cake to her on this special day and to let her know that I will definitely make her one someday! ^_^

Strawberry Shortcake (Shotokeki)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lemon Cranberry Scones

The summer weather has been unbearably hot and I've been so reluctant to step out of the house lately. Since I've barely made any trips out, I was searching through my pantry cupboard to see what's left when I found a packet of dried cranberries which has been sitting in there for some time. I recalled buying these dried cranberries with the intentions to try out a cranberry chiffon cake recipe which I've been putting off. Yet, I just couldn't find any good timing for that since the hot weather has literally drained my energy for what I considered a "tedious" bake. Considering I wasn't in the mood for any outing and reckoning that I would be staying home during most of the days in the coming week, I thought I should bake something for my stay-home afternoon tea for the next couple of days.

Though I don't really remember having tried scones, let alone really tasty ones, I thought I would have a go at it after recalling the simple steps involved in the making process from an episode on the food channel. As usual, I did some online research and comparison before settling on this recipe. And the results of my experiment? Double thumbs up! ^_^ Feeling so happy with the discovery of another simple and easy recipe to share with all, especially beginner bakers. After the sampling session, one of my "taste judges" even remarked that I can forget about trying store-bought scones as I'll just be lowering my standards. *_*

Lemon Cranberry Scones

So what are you waiting for? Nothing beats experimenting and experiencing it yourself. Not a fan of cranberries? No worries, simply substitute with any other dried fruits, nuts or even chocolate chips!

I am sharing this post with the event, Little Thumbs Up (June 2014: Butter) organised by Bake For Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY hosted by Jozelyn of Spice Up My Kitchen.

I would also like to share this post with The Biscuit Barrel Challenge (June 2014: Summer) organised by Laura of I'd Much Rather Bake Than… because these lemon cranberry scones will be one of my good companions for my stay-home afternoon tea this summer.

I would also like to share this post with the summer event of Four Seasons Food (June 2014: The Colour Red) organised by Louisa of Eat Your Veg and Anneli of Delicieux hosted by Tina of The Spicy Pear.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Danish Butter Cookies

Danish Butter Cookies

One of my favourite childhood snacks is the danish butter cookies that come in assorted shapes and flavours packed in a round blue tin, which I'm sure many are familiar with. I recalled my brother, sisters and I would always snatched up those coated with sugar while leaving the ones that contains raisins, which are the least favourite to the last. Although I have been eating these cookies for years, I have little clue as to why they are called the danish butter cookies, except that the association is probably due to the famous butter cookies brand originating from Denmark. 

Ever since I got into baking, I have always like to try out recipes of every favourites that I enjoy, or as many as possible, in my home-made ways. While not every recipes could replicate the taste of store-bought ones, these danish butter cookies recipe which I've found is definitely a must-try recipe. It is simple yet versatile. It takes almost just one step or at most two to combine all the ingredients together to form the batter before turning them into yummy cookies. And it is versatile because the batter can be pressed (piped) out into shapes for baking immediately without first chilling the batter. At the same time, the batter can also be chilled to harden, before rolling out and cutting up into shapes for baking. This is definitely a must-try recipe for all danish butter cookies lover and beginner bakers.

I am sharing this post with the event, Little Thumbs Up (June 2014: Butter) organised by Bake For Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY hosted by Jozelyn of Spice Up My Kitchen.

I am also sharing this post to the event, AlphaBakes (June 2014: Letter "D") hosted by Caroline of Caroline Makes and Ros of The More than Occasional Baker. The name of this recipe says it all. The letter "D" represents Danish Butter Cookies. ^_^

Last but not least, I am submitting this post to Treat Petite June 2014 theme, Childhood Memories hosted by Stuart of Cakeyboi and Kat of The Baking Explorer.