Saturday, July 28, 2012

Banana Walnut Muffin

For this week tea-time snack, I have decided to bake banana walnut muffins since we got some good and cheap banana from Pete’s Frootique yesterday . This recipe is pretty simple and yield about 12 muffins. Sorry for not having any photos but you can view it from here. The only modification I made to the original recipe is to reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup as I figured out that banana is sweet in its own way. And this is absolutely true!


  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed DSCN6701
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp espresso or strong coffee (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (toasted or raw)

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.

2 Mix in the sugar, egg, espresso and vanilla.

3 Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.

4 Add the flour, mix until it is just incorporated. Fold in the chopped walnuts.

5 Pour mixture into a prepared muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, it's done. Cool on a rack.

Chinese Peanut Cookies (Hua Sheng Bing)


This time round I am baking something that have been sitting on my to-do list for months (since CNY 2012). Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I wasn’t able to bake it for this year CNY despite I already have all the ingredients on hand.

This Chinese peanut cookie is a staple for every Chinese New Year since I was a kid. I remember helping my mum to shape the cookies when I was young. Back then, we used lard instead of peanut oil. Of course, it is much tastier with lard but at the same, it is bad for health. Over the years, my mum has changed the recipe to use peanut oil instead.

As I didn’t have the time to obtain the recipe from my mum, I have decided to try the recipe from Viet World Kitchen. Strange isn’t it!! It should have from a Malaysian/Singaporean website. Anyhow, what we can tell from here is that Chinese in South East Asia do have some food in common.

Anyhow, the outcome is good and hubby loves it much. Never did I know that peanut cookie is one of his favourite cookies.  This recipe is definitely a keep and I shall bake it for the next CNY! Perhaps, I shall try mum’s secret recipe next time round.


2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsalted, roasted peanuts
1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
10 3/4 ounces (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour, bleached or unbleached
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup fragrant peanut or canola oil
1 egg, beaten 


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325F degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

2. Put the peanuts in a food processor and grind into the texture of coarse crumbs. Add the powdered sugar and process until there is a mixture of fine crumbs and powder, stopping to scrape the bottom of the bowl if needed. Do not over process or you'll end up with peanut butter.

3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Dump the peanut mixture into bowl and stir until well combined.

4. Drizzle melted butter and the oil into the bowl. Use your hands to mix and knead the ingredients to form soft dough. It will soften as you knead it. The dough texture feel a bit like coarse play dough. If the dough becomes too soft to handle and feels oily, refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes to firm up. If the dough feels dry, add oil by the tablespoon.

5. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and put them on the baking sheets, spaced 1 1/2 inches apart. If you like, put a little decorative stamp on top. I used the top of a clean and dry Sharpie pen cap!

6. Brush the tops with lightly with beaten egg, then bake for 20-22 minutes until light golden in color. Transfer to racks and let cool completely before eating or storing in an airtight container. These cookies are very delicate and can smudge easily. Be gentle with them.