Sunday, February 28, 2010

Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie


It has been a while since we lastBig Fat Chewy Cookie baked these  cookies. It was our favourite when we first arrived here and we used to get the Mrs. Field Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. However, we stopped buying it ever since we found this recipe from

The contributor of this recipe mentioned that “these cookies are the pinnacles of perfection! If you want a big, fat, chewy cookie like the kind you see at bakeries and specialty shops, then these are the cookies for you”!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F  and grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
  4. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted.
  6. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

This recipe is definitely for keep. It has never failed me so far. We really love the cookies as it is crunchy in the outside and chewy in the outside. A perfect snack for us while watching the 2010 Olympic Men’s Gold Medal Game (Canada vs US). Go Maple!!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Baking Conversion Table


As different countries use different kind of measurement units, different recipes tend to come with different unit of measurement as well. For myself, I am more familiar with using cups and spoons  nowadays to measure my baking ingredients. However, back in my home country in Malaysia, I was more familiar with grams and ml.

To make life simpler, we just need to stick with one type of measurement unit and simply let the conversion chart do the work for us. Despite there are many conversion charts available online, I prefer to use conversion charts that are specific to baking as I find them to be more accurate.

Here are my compilation of useful conversion charts:

  1. Cups to grams conversion specific to each baking ingredient
  2. Cups, grams and ounces conversion specific to each baking ingredient
  3. Cookie Baking Conversion Charts and Equivalents
  4. Complete Measurement Conversion Table (Oz, grams, oz., ml, cup, tbsp., tsp.)

So, it really depends on what kind of conversions that you are looking for. Hope the links above help and solve your headache!


Baking Ingredient Substitution Table


I am pretty sure that many bakers out there often face with the same problem like me of not having certain specific ingredients as required by the recipes from time to time. It can be frustrating especially when you have all the ingredients that the recipe called for but ONE is gone missing.

Not to worry. I have faced with this situation many times and what I usually do is to substitute the missing ingredients with ingredients on hand. But how?

I would usually Google online for it but I found this method to be very inefficient. Thus, I have always wanted to compile a list of all substitution for baking ingredients. However, there is no point to reinvent the wheel when similar work has already been done.

To keep long story short, I would use this site Baking Ingredient Substitution Table as my main reference. As the author of the table mentioned, using a different ingredient may change both the taste and texture of your baking, so it is a good idea before substituting to understand the role that ingredient plays in the recipe.  Do use the table as a guideline only.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Whole Grain Mixed Berries Muffins

Whole Grain Mixed Berries Muffin Muffins have always been my favourite as the recipe is simple to whip up. Since I  have some leftover fresh blueberries, it’s a shame if I don’t put it to good use and let it rotten.

For this time, I would prefer some healthy muffins. I made some modification to the original recipe on Whole Grain Blueberry Muffins by substituting the frozen blueberries with half cup fresh blueberries and half cup frozen cranberries.

The original baker described the muffins as “nice juicy blueberries with a subtle muffin background, and the blueberries were the start of the show…..”


  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen cranberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix the sugar, honey, egg, milk, butter and vanilla together until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and fold lightly until just combined (don't over mix or the muffins will toughen). Fold in the mixed berries.
  5. Spoon the mixture evenly into 6 muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

The texture of the muffin is great but it is just too sour to hubby’s liking. I am fine with it. Probably I shall add more sugar if cranberry is used to replace blueberry. I would think the recipe is good if I would have used blueberries only. Anyhow, I will leave that for the next time.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Honey Wheat Bread


From the blog history, I noted that we have stopped baking bread for the month of February. Probably we were too caught up with preparing food for CNY and Valentine’s Day. Guess it’s time to get back to our weekly bread baking in addition to other baking. We have just gotten ourselves a food processor that comes with a dough blade few days ago. In addition, we also bought another large loaf pan ( 9 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 2 3/4) with bonus recipe on honey wheat bread. The recipe looks good and easy to do. I decided to give it a try using the new food processor and the new loaf pan. Despite the food processor came with a plastic dough blade, we decided to use the normal stainless steel blade that came with the processor. From our online search, we found out that there are many complaints on the plastic dough blade. Anyhow, the dough came off well with the normal blade. Making bread is more simpler now with a kitchen helper :-).Honey Wheat Bread


  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups whole wheat bread flour


  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Heat milk, honey, water and oil until hot to touch (125 degrees F).
  3. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat for 2 minutes using medium speed. Scraping bowl occasionally.
  4. Add 1/2 cup all purpose flour and beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Scraping bowl occasionally.
  5. Stir in whole wheat flour and enough additional all purpose flour into processor until dough is stiff. Beat at medium speed and scraping bowl occasionally.
  6. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic for about 4-6 minutes.
  7. On another large bowl, grease the bowl with a small amount of oil. Place the dough in the bowl and flip the dough to cover the dough with oil.
  8. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 10 minutes.
  9. After 10 minutes, remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Punch down in the dough to release the air from the bread and knead out bubbles for 5 minutes.
  10. Shape the dough into a 8 inches log and place seamed side down into a lightly grease loaf pan.
  11. Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
  12. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place the loaf pan in center of oven for 35 minutes.
  13. You can test if the bread is done by thumping the bottom of the bread and it should sound hollow.
  14. Let the bread cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before slicing it

The recipe is good and the bread turns out well. It’s crusty in the outside and soft in the inside – a perfect loaf for sandwich bread or toast bread. I like this recipe for it’s short proofing time yet yields a good result. A loaf of bread like this provides us with about 13 –14 slices of bread which come up to 3 meals. Probably I should bake 2 loaves in the future to save time and minimize the washing. The bread can last for 4-5 days.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blueberry Muffin


During last week grocery shopping, we got ourselves some fresh blueberries. Apparently, blueberries are good for health and help in promoting alertness. I got this “To Die For BluBlueberry Muffineberry Muffin” recipe by Colleen from There were thousands of good reviews for this recipe.

The author herself described that "These muffins are extra large and yummy with the sugary-cinnamon crumb topping. I usually double the recipe and fill the muffin cups just to the top edge for a wonderful extra-generously-sized deli style muffin. Add extra blueberries too, if you want!"

The recipe is very simple and I got it all done in half an hour. The modifications that I made to the original recipe based on other bakers’ comments are adding 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and reducing the crumb topping to half.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/6 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla extract and fold in blueberries.
  3. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

To Make Crumb Topping:

  1. Mix together 1/4 cup sugar, 1/6 cup flour, 1/8 cup butter, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

The muffins smell good,delicate, moist and yummy delicious. In addition, you will get refreshing cinnamon aroma all over your house. Hubby said this is the best muffin so far. We especially love the crumb topping. It’s crunchy in the outside and soft in the inside. I will definitely bake this muffin again probably with different types of berries. If you want, you can even use dried apricots and walnuts. Overall, this is an awesome recipe!

Tips: For beginner muffin makers, it is crucial to know not to mix the batter too long or else, you will end up with tough, poorly risen muffins.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Vanilla Cupcake

Vanilla Cupcake


For Valentine’s Day this year, we decided to prepare our very own home fine dining at the comfort of our own home. We have gotten ourselves some sort of wine, wine glasses and napkin way before the V day. Hubby never really like V day as he feels it’s too commercialize. As he is more of an expressive and emotional person, he prefers to celebrate love when he feels like it rather than on a fixed date. Adding on, he always like to be different. On the other hand, being myself, just like every other woman out there who enjoys being showered with love on the V Day, hubby still makes every effort he can to celebrate it with me. Dear, if you are reading this blog, thanks for all the little things you do as well as for a memorable 2010 Valentine’s Day. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I do.

Guess I am getting too much into telling our own stories. Let’s move on to stories on baking for the week. As it was V Day, I wanted to bake some sweet stuff for the desert and at the same time, I want to apply some icing/deco. Cupcakes have been something that I always wanted to give a try but keep postponing it. Probably I was put off by the fact that it’s not unique as everyone is hyped over cupcakes over the past few years. Like hubby, I always like to be different too! Anyhow, I see things from a different perspective this time. The challenge with cupcakes can come from successfully decorating the cupcakes with an evenly smooth icing and nice deco. I love all the cute and lovely cupcakes that are decorated for all different occasions. Since it’s V Day, I thought of using some homemade vanilla butter cream frosting and decorating the cupcakes with some heart-shaped candies and chocolates.

While browsing for recipes, I came across this simple vanilla cupcake recipe from Cupcake Creation that came along with the recipe for frosting. I couldn’t believe that it was so simple to make cupcake. Basically, you just need a few ingredients. As I do not have self raising flour on hand, I substituted it with all purpose flour, baking powder and salt.


  • 2/3 cup  butter – softened
  • 2/3 cup  superfine (castor) sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 8 medium cup cake pan, with cup cake papers.
  3. Crack the eggs into a cup and beat lightly with a fork.
  4. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until light and creamy.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the cake cases.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes until risen and firm to touch.
  7. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
  8. Allow to cool fully before icing.

Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting


  • 1/3 butter – softened 
  • 1/2 cup confectioners (icing) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (for vanilla frosting) or 1 tablespoons cocoa powder (for chocolate frosting)
  • 2 teaspoons very hot water


  1. Beat together the butter and sugar until well mixed.
  2. Once well combined, add the combined cocoa powder and water. Beat until smooth and creamy.

The cupcakes turn out well and hubby loves it. I love it too as the texture resembles my favourite “ma lai koh” (standard steam egg cake). Probably I should replace the white sugar with brown sugar in the future to turn this recipe into the “ma lai koh” recipe. Overall, I am very satisfied with the cupcakes and will definitely bake it again. I should be more adventurous with the icing decoration next time. Hmm…next on my shopping list is a set of equipments for making icing :-)

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Peanut Butter and Banana Muffin


I just can’t wait to try this recipe from the book Muffin Galore as darling really loves peanut butter and I love banana. Thus, this is a perfect combination from us. In the book, the author mentioned that “the combination of peanut butter and banana is a popular sandwich filling, used in this recipe to create the delicious muffins”.Peanut Butter and Banana Muffin


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix the flour and oats in a large bowl, then stir in brown sugar. Add the baking powder and salt and stir to mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the peanut butter, milk maple syrup and mashed banana until well blended. Add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients mixing until just combined.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it evenly. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle this mixture over the tops of muffins.
  5. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until risen and golden. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack.
  6. Serve warm or cool.

The muffins turn out right.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sesame Sausage Bun

Having left home for about a year, we truly miss the type of buns that we used to have back in our home country. I have noticed the trend of my baking is more towards the Western type of baking. However, in order to be a good baker, I should have an inquisitive mind and willing to explore all kind of breads from from all over the world.Sausage Bun

For this week, I would like to bake something different - the sesame sausage bun. The recipe is adapted from 


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, soften
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 100 ml milk
  • 5 sausages, cut into half
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt


  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, butter, yeast, egg, sugar, salt and milk.
  2. Combine until all the ingredients finely mix together.
  3. Knead the dough until the surface turns smooth and bright.
  4. Dust some flour, cover with cling wrap and leave it at a warm place for an hour for the size to double.
  5. While waiting for the dough to grow, prepare the sausages. Lightly fry the sausages.
  6. After an hour, punch the dough to release the air.
  7. Divide the dough into 10 small pieces.
  8. Roll the dough into long shape.
  9. Wrap it over the sausages and place into a baking tray laid with parchment paper. Cover with a cling wrap and leave it for 20 minutes
  10. After 20 minutes, brush the bun with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  11. Place in preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until golden in colour.

The sausage buns are just fresh from the oven. It resembles those we used to have back home. It’s crusty in the inside and soft in the inside. Only setback is that the amount of bun is more than the sausage. Hubby complaining the bread is a bit bland. Probably next time I shall use the whole sausage rather than half a sausage for each bun.

Coffee and Cookie Session

Today, we invited a Vietnamese couple over to our place to have a coffee and cookie session. In conjunction with this event, I have baked some vanilla chocolate chip muffins, oatmeal cookies and cranberry cashew biscotti. We had good time catching up and sharing our cultures. Most of all, I just simply ensure the pleasure of sharing our coffee and cookies  with others.

Cookie and Coffee Platter

Looking forward to more session like this and watch out for more upcoming new recipes. From the photo above, the cranberry cashew biscotti is in the center. Surrounding it is the seedless red grapes,apple cinnamon cookies, grape tomatoes and almond chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Muffin

I have been looking for a muffin recipe that has chocolate chips in it as I have a friend who is a lover of chocolate chip. Not to mention that chocolate chip is also my hubby’s favourite.

While browsing through the book Muffins Galore by Catherine Atkinson that we borrowed from the public library few days ago, I am attracted to the simple recipe of vanilla chocolate chip muffin. It will be a perfect serving for my coffee and cookie session today. Vanilla Chocolate Chip Muffin


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line 12 cups of medium muffin pan with paper muffin cups.
  3. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and chocolate chips.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Then, pour the milk mixture all at once into the dry ingredients. Mix briefly until just combined.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups,  dividing it evenly.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until well risen, golden and firm to the touch.
  8. Cool in the baking tray for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
  9. Serve warm or cold.

Overall the muffin turns out good. Hubby commented that this muffin brings out the flavour of chocolate chip better in comparison to banana chocolate chip muffin. I fully agree with him. This muffin is not as moist as banana muffin and it’s ideal for people who prefer it this way.

Cranberry Cashew Biscotti

Last week, we got ourselves some baking books from the public library. I was very much attracted to one of the books which has biscotti recipe. From my last baking of biscotti, I found out that a real Italian biscotti should not consist of butter/oil. Egg should be the one and the only one binding factor. Coincidently, the recipe that is featured in this book fits perfectly the description of real Italian biscotti.

Cranberry Cashew Biscoti

As we are inviting some friends over for coffee and cookies session this afternoon, I have decided to try out the cranberry cashew biscotti as can be found in the book “Baking Simple to Sensational” by Jean Pare. We would like to introduce to our Asian friends the art of drinking coffee and having biscotti.

The author described the biscotti as crunchy biscotti that are perfect for dunking. Lively flavours of cranberry and lemon delight the taste buds.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs, fork beaten
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup chopped toasted cashew
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


  1. Combine flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.
  2. Add in beaten eggs and mix until stiff dough forms.
  3. Stir in remaining 3 ingredients until all well blended.
  4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide dough in half.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Shape each half into an oblong 8 inch roll, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Flatten slightly.
  7. Place the dough onto a parchment paper in the baking tray.
  8. Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.
  9. Remove from the oven and let stand for about 1 1/2 hour until cool.
  10. Remove to cutting board and cut on diagonal with serrated knife into 1/2 inch thick slices. Never use a bread knife to cut.
  11. Bake for another 20 minutes until dry and browned on bottom.

This recipe makes about 2 dozen biscotti. This is definitely a recipe to keep. Healthier, tastier and perfect to go with a cup of our favourite coffee.