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Almond Sandwich Cookies with Nutella

I baked a jar of Almond Sandwich Cookies with Nutella for Christmas and before Christmas begin this cookies was gone! I know this cookies must taste so good just by looking at the empty sign in my cookies jar.I quickly bake the second batch again since hubby and mother in-law love it so much.I would strongly recommend this recipe to my readers to try if you're into cookies baking .I'm not a cookies eater but I was amazed how yummy-delicious this nutty and chocolaty flavor of this cookies .


Ingredients:


2 cup blanched almonds


3 cup flour


3 sticks butter at room temperature (12 oz)


1 cup sugar


2 tsp vanilla extract


2 egg

1/2 tsp salt


For Topping


1 egg


1/4 cup sliced almonds


2 tbsp sesame seeds





Method:


1:Placed blanched almonds and 6 tbsp of flour in a food processor,blender or nut grinder and process until finely ground.


2:With electric mixer,cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.Stir in vanilla extract.Add the ground almonds and remaining flour and mix well to form a dough.Gather into a ball,wrap in a wax paper, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or more.


3:Preheat oven to 325 F.Line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper.


4:Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.Working with one section of dough at a time,roll out to a thickness surface of 1/8 inch on a lightly floured surface. With a 2 1/2 inch fluted pastry cutter,stamp out circles.Gather the dough scraps,roll out, and stamp out more circles.Repeat with the remaining dough.


5: With the small end of a piping tip or with a 3/4 inch cutter,stamp out the centers from half the circles.Place dough rings and circles 1/2 inch apart on the prepared sheets.


6: Whisk the egg with salt until just frothy.Brush only the cookies rings with the white egg ,then sprinkle over the sliced almonds and sesame seeds.


7:Bake until very lightly browned,12-15 minutes.Let cool for a few minutes on the sheets before transferring to a rack.

8: Drop a teaspoon of nutella over the cookie circles and sandwich together with the rings.Store in an airtight container with sheets of wax paper between the layer .


Note:

You can use any fruits jam to sandwich this cookies to suit your taste.

And here, I would like to wish all my friends,family and beloved readers a Happy New Year 2009!! May all your wishes comes true and soon!



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How to Make Savoury Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Bamboo Leaves (Zhang) Step by Step

I was surprised to find our local farmer market sell chestnuts. Usually this local farm market only sell American foods and vegetable but since they sell chestnut at $4.95 a pound ,I would love to get a pound or two to make something special.I love chestnut filling in bun or cake but have no idea how to process the bun filling. So another alternative is to use this chestnuts to make Zhang! I know ,I know Zhang Zhi is not here yet but I would like to practise my Zhang wrapping skill.This is the second time I wrap my own zhang.The Zhang (dumpling) festival is celebrated on the 5th of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar .I'm not an expert in Zhang wrapping but manageable so far.Too bad my mom live half globe away, I wish to learn more from her,she is the master of Zhang wrapping.


Ingredients:(A)


40 pcs dried bamboo leaves(boiled for 1 hour)


3 cups glutinous rice(soaked overnight and drained)


5-6 cloves garlic(minced)


1 tsp 5 spice powder


2 tbsp soy sauce


1 tbsp dark soy(caramel) sauce


1 tsp sesame oil


2 tbsp oil



Ingredients:( B)


2 lb or more pork belly


20 pc chestnuts (boiled for 1 hour or soaked overnight )


15 pc shitake mushroom(soaked and cut)


1/2 cup dried shrimp (soaked 1 hour)


5-6 cloves fresh garlic/shallot(minced)


2 tbsp soy sauce


1 tbsp caramel soy sauce


1 tbsp oyster sauce


1 tbsp pepper


1 tbsp sugar


1/2 tbsp 5 spice powder


3-4 dried red pepper(optional)







Method:


Prepared bamboo leaves and plastic string (or hemp) in advance.Boiled the leaves for an hour and clean again with cold water before drained.Set aside.


1:Heat up 2 tbsp oil,saute minced garlic until fragrant,add glutinous rice and all seasoning (A) and stir-fry until well mixed.Taste and dish up,set aside in a big bowl.


2:Heat up 1 tbsp oil,saute with minced garlic until fragrant.Add in pork belly,dried red pepper,shitake mushroom,chestnuts,dried shrimp and all the seasoning,stir fried until mixed well.(don't have to dry up ,just half cook since it's going to boil for hours).Dish up and separate each individual before set aside.



Wrapping Method:


1:Use 2 pieces of bamboo leaves to fold into a cone shape.Fill in 1/2 tbsp glutinous rice,one piece of chicken,one piece mushroom and one oyster .Top with another 1/2 tbsp glutinous rice to cover the ingredients.


2:Press the rice firm and cover the extended ends of leaves an form into the shape of triangle.Tie and secure with plastic string.(I don't have hemp) .Repeat the wrapping procedure until all the glutinous rice finish.


3:Prepared 4 liter water in boiling pot,pot must big enough to cook all the dumpling.


4:When the water is rolling boil ,add in the whole bunch of dumpling,pour in more water to cover all the dumpling if necessary.Boil the dumpling for 2-3 hours.


5:Removed the dumpling from the pot and hang up to drip dry.Serve it hot or warm.


Yield approx 15- 20 dumplings


It's not perfect wrapping ,I still need more practise.


This is the ingredients I prepared


Clean bamboo leaves


Glutinous rice with seasoning


Cooked Chestnuts with seasoning


Cooked Dried Shrimp ( Har Mai/Hei Bei) with seasoning


Cooked Shitaki Mushroom with seasoning


Cooked Pork Belly with dried red pepper .Remember to prepare some plastic string or hemp for 20 pieces zhang(dumpling) in advance



Step #1 - fold 2 pieces bamboo leave in triangle shape,then fill some rice in the bottom and add some dried shrimp,one shitaki mushroom,one pork belly and one chestnuts .You don't see salted egg here coz,I don't really care for salted egg.You can add salted egg into it but have to reduce other ingredients ,if not you can't cover or wrap nicely without leakage



Step# 2- top up with some rice to cover all the ingredients



Step # 3 - compact all the ingredients together,hold tight



Step # 4- I try to take the photos myself while wrapping the zhang.It's quite difficult with both hands oily



Step # 5



Step #6



Step #7 :then tight and secure with plastic string


Step # 8: Repeat all the same procedure until glutinous rice finish.Make sure the dumpling(zhang) not open during cooking period.


Step# 9: Prepare a large pot with water.When the water is rolling boil,add in the whole bunch of Zhang (dumpling) into it.Let's it cook for 2-3 hours.Remove after cook,hang it dry or let's the water drip before serve warm or hot.


Note:


You can used chicken or beef for the meat to replace pork. HERE
is my previous posting using chicken to wrapped savoury zhang.



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Chocolate Pound Cake

I bought a large flute tube pan for years but never use it for baking expect one time .The one and first time I used this pan was when Gertruda was here to teach me how to bake chiffon cake. At the time , I don't have any Angel cake pan yet! Well , so during this baking season ,I would love to take the advantage to bake something different and fabulous.I try to make the marble effect for this chocolate pound cake but the marble effect don't come out as I wanted.Anyway,here is my humble Chocolate Pound Cake .



Ingredients:


3 cups all purpose flour


1 tsp baking powder


1/2 tsp salt


1 container ( 8 oz) sour Cream


1 cup (2 stick ) butter,softened


1 1/2 cups sugar


5 eggs


2 tsp vanilla extract


1/2 cup semisweet chocolate,melted








Method:


1:Preheat oven to 350 F.Lightly grease and flour 12 cup flute tube pan or 10 inch tube pan.


2:Mix flour,baking powder and salt:sieve and set aside.Mix sour cream.


3:beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.Add in eggs,one at a time,beating well after each addition.Add in flour mixture,vanilla and sour cream until mixed well.


4:Transfer one-third of the mixture to melted chocolate and stir together.Pour the remaining mixture into prepared pan and then drop tablespoonfuls of the chocolate mixture on top.Use a knife ,gently swirl the 2 mixtures together to give a marble effect.


5:Bake in the preheat oven 70-75 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.Cool in pan 10 minutes on wire rack.Loosen cake from side of pan with small knife or spatula.Invert cake onto rack, gently remove pan.Cool completely on wire rack.Decorate with butte ricing or cream cheese icing or sprinkle with some sugar powder,if desired.


Makes 12 to 16 servings.


I top the cake with cream cheese topping and drizzle with some chocolate fudge.





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Grilled Lemongrass Chicken Leg with Coconut Rice

Dear Santa



I need your help urgently. Tomorrow ,I'm plan to cook a Christmas 's eve dinner for my family.I'm scratching my head now,what should I cook for our Christmas's eve dinner? .Or should I take a day off cooking to shop till I drop or savvy myself in the kitchen ?


from your dearest :


xoxoxobeachloverkitchenxoxoxo


-------------------------------------------------


While waiting for Santa reply,let's me present you my grilled Lemongrass Chicken Leg with Coconut Rice.


I still have plenty of lemongrass spices in freezer which I prepared during this summer.Usually I store my blended lemongrass spices in freezer for rainy day.Chicken whole leg was on sale last week, I bought a family pack chicken whole leg at $0.58 a pound .I decided to marinate the whole leg with blended lemongrass spices and serve with coconut rice for dinner.Sort of satay (grilled chicken on stick) but without spices.Actually this meal is quite simple and easy to cook especially I have the ready blended lemongrass spices in fridge.All I need is an oven to broil the whole leg.

Ingredients:


4 chicken whole legs (clean and fat removed)



4 tbsp Lemongrass spices



2 tbsp sugar



1 tbsp salt

4 tbsp coconut milk for brushing

For Coconut Rice



2 cup Jasmine rice



1 tsp salt



3-4 screw pine leaves (pandan)



1 can coconut milk (400 ml),plus extra if you want a softer version rice





Method:


1: Clean and wash chicken whole leg, cut or slide inner drumstick,set aside.Mix lemongrass spices with sugar and salt,then rub lemongrass spices mixture all over and cover the chicken for overnight or 5 hours in Ziploc bag.




2: Preheat oven at 375 F. Prepare a baking tray with rack over aluminum foil with some water,arrange whole chicken leg over aluminium and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked and tender.Brush some coconut milk on all the chicken leg,let it broil for another 5 -10 minutes before from the oven.




3: Meantime,wash jasmine rice for few wash before add in coconut milk and salt in rice cooker.




4: Use a chopstick or bamboo stick to pierce the meat all the way through to test the meat.Serve warm with coconut rice.



Note:




I didn't add in chili or pepper into this chicken coz afraid my daughter can't eat it.If you like spicy,add some spicy pepper with the mixture for marination. Or you can use spicy chili sauce on the side.

----------------------------------------------------

I would like to wish all my readers,family and friends a Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas!! May all your wishes comes true!! Ho Ho Ho!













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Pecan Bars

Recently I bought quite alot of baking book from Borden Book Store and Discount Book Store nearby. I would love to try some of the recipe in one of the fabulous baking book for this coming holiday.So far ,I never use any pecan in my baking.I'm debate whether I should make pecan bars or tarts.At last I choose a bar method but adapted the recipe to suit my taste especially the sweetness .I found this recipe is really great and easy to follow.The down side is I'm too excited looking at the newly baked Pecan Bars,didn't really wait for it to cool down completely before cut it.You can see some crust stick to the pecan and some crust break off easily coz it's still warm.Anyway,I would like to present my humble Pecan Bars to you..



Ingredients:


2 cup flour


pinch salt


1/2 cup sugar


1 cup cold butter or margarine,cut into pieces


1 egg



For topping:


3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks butter)


1/4 cup honey


1/4 cup sugar


1/4 cup dark brown sugar,firmly packed


5 tbsp whole milk


4 cups roasted pecan halves







Method:


1:Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch baking pan.


2:For the crust, sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.Stir in the sugar .With a pastry blender,cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.Add the egg and blend with fork until the mixture just holds together.( I used food processor to mix the dough)


3: Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.With a floured fingertips,press into an even layer.Prick the pastry all over with a fork and refrigerate for 10 minutes.


4:Bake the pastry crust for 15 minutes.Remove the pan from the oven,but keep the oven on while making topping.


5:Melt the butter,honey and both sugar.Bring to a boil.Boil without stirring, for 2 minutes.Off the heat,stir in the milk and pecans.Pour over the crust, return to the oven and bake for 25 minutes.


6:When cool,run a knife around the edge.Invert onto a baking sheet,place another sheet on top and invert again.Dip a sharp knife into a very hot water and cut into squares for serving.

Note:
I miss Method #6 to dip sharp knife into hot water before cut beside didn't wait for it to cool down completely.That the reason the crust look messy and crumbles.





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Dong Yuen (Glutinous Rice Dumpling Balls)

I called my mom in Malaysia 2 days ago,she informed me that this year Dongzhi or Tong Yuen Festival or Winter Solstice Festival fall on 21st instead of 22nd December.Luckily I have spare glutinous flour in my pantry.Usually this Chinese festivals originally were religious and ritualistic in character. According to Chinese custom, every year on this day, people make this sweet glutinous rice ball as an offering to Buddha or their ancestors.But since I live in US and A, it's not conveniences for me go to temple and pay my respect to the mighty god.So I just make some "Dong Yuen" with my daughter for ourself to enjoy and in a way to remind her of this special day.In Chinese "Dong" stands for reunion and "yuen" means round or complete.Eating tang yuan is symbolic of family unity and harmony .

Ingredients:


1 lb glutinous rice flour


1 1/2 cup water


Various food coloring ( I used Wilton's)


500 gm rock sugar


1 1/2 liter water for syrup


1 liter water for boiling and some extra for blanched


3-4 pandan leaves ( screw pine leaves)





Method:


1:Prepare a large bowl and wooden spatula,add in water and rice flour in a little at a time.


2:Knead the dough in the bowl until it is soft and smooth. If it feels a little dry, wet your hands and knead again.

3: Divided the dough into 5 little small ball. Add different color to each individual small ball,knead until the color well mixed, set aside.


4:Roll the dough in oblong shape first,then start rolling dough into a tiny balls.Repeat the process until finish.Place all the rolled tiny balls on a large flat tray or plate.


5:Prepare a large pot boiling water,when the water is rolling boil,drop all the tiny colorful balls .Once all the tiny balls floated ,it's mean cooked.Use a large sieve to scoop the colorful tiny ball into a large cold water to prevent them from sticking together.


6:Prepare water in a medium pot for the syrup.Add in wash screw pine leaves (pandan leaves) into the pot,boil for 10-15 minutes before add in rock sugar.When rock sugar dissolved ,scoop the colorful tiny balls from cold water and add into the boiling syrup.Quickly remove the pot from heat when the syrup is rolling boil.

7:Serve warm or cold as dessert.

Note:

You can use palm sugar or brown sugar to replace the clear syrup.








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Nyonya Curry Chicken

I remember when I was young my maternal grandmother love to cook Nyonya dishes.At that time I have no idea it's Nyonya dish,I thought it's Penang food since she lived in Penang and wear sarong.Well,some of you must question me what is Nyonya,right? Nyonya is the inter marriages between the Straits Chinese and local Malays who offers a delicate and diversify culture of Malaysia especially the food.The Nyonyas (the ladies) and the Babas (the gentlemen). Nyonya cooking is a specialty derived from the recipes of one's Grandmother, and sometimes, the influence of one's Grandfather. Their recipes were passed from one generation to the other with very little variance.
Every weekend,my grandmother will cook one authentic special dish for us to enjoy.Sometimes it's Assam Laksa,or Perut Ikan or Prawn Noodles Soup or Lobak and so on..Beside my maternal grandmother is a very good cook,my mom also inherit her skill.My mom can cook various of dishes in few hours without our help.She work fast and neat.Too bad,I didn't really inherit both their authentic cooking skill.One of the simple dish I love and learned from them is Nyonya Curry Chicken.


Ingredients:



10 pieces cut chicken thigh ( cut to 2 pc each)


5 potatoes ( peel and cut halves)


1 star anise


3 tbsp sambal belacan spices


4 tbsp Baba's X-tra Hot Curry Powder


1 can coconut milk (400 ml)


200 ml whole milk


1 tbsp salt


1 tbsp sugar


1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder


2 tbsp cooking oil







Method:


1:Wash and clean all chicken thigh,remove the fats and chop into 2 or smaller pieces.Drain and rub some salt and 1 tbsp curry powder over the chicken,then set aside.



2:Peel and cut potatoes in halves,wash and set aside.



3:Prepare a pot at medium heat with oil.Add in sambal belacan spices, anise star and curry powder.Stir fry for 1 minutes,then add in chicken pieces and stir until well coated in spices.



4:Add in potatoes, coconut milk and whole milk to cover the chicken.Add in salt ,sugar and chicken bouillon powder into the pot.Simmer until chicken pieces and potatoes are cooked and tender, approximately 15 minutes.Keep stirring time to time if you're using stainless pot.



5:Remove from heat and serve warm with roti paratha or rice.






Note:




If you like less spicy ,reduce the curry powder and sambal spices.





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Almonds Cookies

Few days ago I baked another batch of cookies.I bought some almonds,walnuts and cashews nut from Trader's Joe. I found that making cookies using almonds nuts is much much better than using almond flavoring.The almond flavoring smell weird and unappetizing but almonds nut is another whole different story .It's make the whole house smell good after baking.I was surprised with the unexpected result.And I love to use this recipe again for sandwich cookies.I used few different shape of small cookies cutter for this almonds cookies.It's also an excuse for me to use this new cookies cutter which I brought back from Malaysia.



Ingrendiets:


2 cup blanced almonds


3 cup flour


3 sticks butter at room temperature (12 oz)


1 cup sugar


2 tsp vanilla extract


2 egg


1/2 tsp salt



For Topping


1 egg


1/4 cup sliced almonds









Method;



1:Placed blanched almonds and 6 tbsp of flour in a food processor,blender or nut grinder and process until finely ground.


2:With Electric mixer,cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.Stir in vanilla extract.Add the ground almonds and remaining flour and mix well to form a dough.Gather into a ball,wrap in a wax paper, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or more.


3:Preheat oven to 325 F.Line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper.


4:Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.Working with one section of dough at a time,roll out to a thickness surface.With a cookies mould,stamp out the shapes until finish.Gather the dough scrapes,roll out, and stamp out more shape with cookies cutter.Repeat with the remaining dough.


5: Whisk the egg with salt until just frothy.Brush cookies top with the egg wash,then sprinkle over the sliced almonds.

6:Bake until very lightly browned,12-15 minutes.Let cool for a few minutes on the sheets before transferring to a rack.Store in an airtight container after cool down.


This almonds Cookies is really crunchy and fragrant





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About the Author:

Hi!! My name is Lesley and I'm a simple SAHM(stay at home mom) who currantly live in Long Island,New York with my daughter Mishu and hubby Eliot .I'm Malaysian who live in US and A for many many moon and I'm also a person who love to eat, cook and bake. If you have any suggestions ,questions or comments please feel free to email me at beachlover1917(at)yahoo(dot)com. To know more about my life or my kitchen you can always hop over to my other 2 blog.