Tag Archives: love baking

Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-free)

Our family is very lucky. None of us have any food allergies, intolerance, special diet or restrictions.  I do have many friends or their kids who cannot eat nuts, shell-fish, dairy or gluten. Cooking or eating out can be very challenging for them.  These restrictions, however, have given me opportunities to try new ingredients. This is my first time using coconut flour to bake. It is gluten-free, high in fibre and protein, and low in carbohydrates. It is very absorbent, so you cannot make a cup-to-cup substitution with grain-based flour. For every cup of all-purpose flour, you only need about 1/4-1/3 cup of coconut flour. You would also need more eggs, about 2 eggs per 1/3 cup of coconut flour. These cookies are soft, chewy and much healthier than regular chocolate chip cookies. So we can eat more and feel a little less guilty! 

Makes about 12-14 cookies 

  • 40 g coconut flour (about 1/3 cup)
  • 60 g brown sugar 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 60 mL coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 50 g semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Mix together brown sugar, eggs, coconut oil and vanilla 
  3. Add coconut flour and salt, stir until dough is formed (Mixture may look very runny at the beginning, but as you stir, the coconut flour will absorb the liquid)
  4. Stir in chocolate chips
  5. Roll dough into one inch balls, place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, then gently flattened each ball (these cookies don’t really spread, they remain pretty much the same shape before and after baking)
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes 

Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Advertisements

Cinnamon Bites

When I hear the words “comfort food”, I would somehow think of cinnamon buns ! Warm, sweet bread with ooey, gooey cream cheese icing……yum ! To no surprise, I found that they are originated from Sweden. (that’s why they sell them at Ikea?!) In Swedish they are called “kanelbulle”  which literally means “cinnamon buns” and October 4 is “Kanelbullens Dag” ,Cinnamon Roll Day. Wow, Swedish people must love their cinnamon buns !  I wish I can be there to taste the authentic flavour. Well, for now, I will comfort myself with these little cinnamon bites !  (I made them in bite-size pieces cause I often found the rolls too big) 

For the dough

    • 540 g (3 cups) bread flour
    • 1 cup warm whole milk
    • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 4 g instant yeast
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the coating

  • 100 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the cream cheese icing

  • 180 g soft cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Dissolve sugar in warm milk, add yeast and let sit for a few minutes until frothy
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt, egg, vegetable oil and yeast mixture
  3. Stir with hand and mix until dough starting to form
  4. Transfer to a lightly floured surface
  5. Knead dough until smooth and stretchy
  6. Wrap with plastic wrap and let rise for about 60 minutes until double in size 
  7. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  8. When dough is ready, punch air out, cut dough into 4 parts
  9. Roll each part into a long log, about 12 inches long
  10. Cut each log into about 12 small pieces
  11. Grease two 8 inch round flat pans or pans of your choice
  12. Mix cinnamon and 1/2 cup of sugar together
  13. Dip each small piece into melted butter, then coat with cinnamon sugar
  14. Place in pans, about 24 pieces each
  15. Bake for about 20 minutes
  16. Meanwhile, prepare icing by beating cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla together until blended
  17. When bread bites are ready, serve warm with cream cheese frosting

Cinnamon Bites

 

 

Pineapple Coconut Cake

My family took a vacation to Hawaii last week. Both kids and adults had a lot of fun. We swam, snorkeled, paddled even parasailed ! To be honest, parasailing at 300 feet high was a little scary, but it was really fun ! My daughter had absolutely no fear and she just loved it ! We enjoyed the food too. There were garlic shrimps, fruits, desserts of course. Their Japanese food was also really good. Food is always the best part of my vacation ! To reminisce some of these wonderful flavours, I baked this Pineapple and Coconut Cake yesterday. I used canned pineapple as I was too lazy to chop one up, you can definitely use a fresh one.  I guess I am still in holiday mode !  🙂  

Makes one loaf (I used a 4.5″ x 8.5″ loaf pan)  

For the cake

  • 225 g cake and pastry flour 
  • 1 +1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 120 g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 120 g cup granulated sugar  
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g canned pineapple tidbits 
  • 25 g shredded coconut 
  • 60 mL canned coconut milk 
  • 90 mL pineapple juice 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

For the glaze

  • 150 icing sugar 
  • 45mL pineapple juice 
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut 
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Drain pineapples well, pat dry with paper towel and save the juice 
  3. To make the cake, sift together flour,baking power, baking soda and salt, set aside 
  4. Using an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy 
  5. Add eggs, vanilla and coconut milk 
  6. Add half of the flour mixture and pineapple juice, mix until blended
  7. Add remaining of the flour mixture
  8. Fold in pineapples and shredded coconut 
  9. Pour batter into a lightly greased and floured loaf pan
  10. Bake for about 45 minutes
  11. To make the glaze, whisk together icing sugar, pineapple juice and shredded coconut
  12. When the cake is cooled, drizzle glaze on top 

Pineapple Coconut Cake

 

Chocolate Sweet Pastry Cookies

I love recipes that can be used in many ways. Sweet pastry is definitely one of them. Once you’ve found a good recipe, there are so many things you can do. Pies, tarts…..and cookies ! This is the same recipe I used for the shell of my Chocolate Pistachio Tart ! But instead of putting them in a tart mold, I cut them into squares and dressed them up with some melted white chocolate ! If you don’t want chocolate cookies, you can easily replace the cocoa powder with flour or even ground almond ! 

  • 120 g unsalted butter (cold)
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 170 g cake and pastry flour (sifted)
  • 10 g unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 20 g white chocolate chips (optional)

Makes about 30 cookies

  1. Mix together cold butter and sugar using a wooden spoon until no more lumps
  2. Add egg yolk, mix until blended
  3. Add flour and cocoa powder, mix with the wooden spoon, then transfer onto a table or counter and gently press dough together (just work until ingredients are mixed in)
  4. Wrap with plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF
  6. Knead dough until pliable
  7. Roll dough out to about 1/8 inch in thickness on a floured surface, dock with a fork
  8. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters (dough scraps can be re-roll, but only do it once or twice or it may crack)
  9. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart 
  10. Bake for about 10 minutes 
  11. Cool on cookie sheets for about 10 minutes, then completely on rack 
  12. Melt white chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, cool slightly
  13. Drizzle on top of cookies 

Chocolate Sweet Pastry Cookies

 


Mini Blueberry Loaves

To me, the best part of summer is the large variety of fruits we get to enjoy, berries, watermelon, peaches, etc. And blueberry is our no.1 favourite ! Every summer, we can easily go through over 30 pounds of blueberries!  There are many blueberry farms in our area, fresh, local, sweet and at a very reasonable price. How can I resist ? And as a baker, how can I not bake with them ?!  Again, I tried to use less sugar. So, I used use vanilla-flavoured almond milk instead of milk and added some honey, and was very pleased with the result !
I asked my daughter, who is my “art director” for my blog, to draw me something with blueberries and here is what she came up with ! I guess she is right, blueberries made you happy and healthy rather than blue ! 

You Aren't Blue

Makes about 6-8 mini loaves

  • 150 g fresh blueberries 
  • 270 g all-purpose flour + extra for coating blueberries 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 120 g unsalted butter, at room temperature 
  • 60 g granulated sugar 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 mL vanilla-flavoured almond milk 
  • 60 mL honey
  • 15 mL lemon juice 
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • zest of half a lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Sift together flour,baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside 
  3. Coat blueberries with about a tablespoon of flour, set aside 
  4. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy 
  5. Add eggs, honey, almond milk, lemon juice and vanilla
  6. Add flour mixture in 2 portions, mix until blended, scraping sides and bottom of mixing bowl (it’s ok if batter is slightly lumpy)
  7. Gently fold in blueberries and lemon zest
  8. Spoon batter into slightly greased and floured mini loaf pans
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes 
  10. Cool for about 10 minutes in pans, then completely on rack 

Mini Blueberry Loaves

 

 

Chocolate Pistachio Tart

As a mom, my kids are always my priorities. But sometimes I feel it’s necessary to do something for myself….in order to keep my sanity ! So I made this dessert just for me ! It’s loaded with chocolate with a bit of crunch and saltiness from the pistachios. Did you know that pistachios are called the “happy nuts” in Chinese? Their partially opened shells look like a smile. They are an excellent source of vitamin B, fibre, potassium, magnesium and many more. No wonder I felt fantastic after eating them! 

Makes about three to four 4-inch tarts

For the chocolate tart

  • 120 g unsalted butter (cold)
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 170 g cake and pastry flour (sifted)
  • 10 g unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)

For the filling

  • 2 ounces dark chocolate (finely chopped)
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (finely chopped)
  • 4 ounces whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 30 g salted pistachios (shells removed)
  1. Mix together cold butter and sugar using a wooden spoon until no more lumps
  2. Add egg yolk, mix until blended
  3. Add flour and cocoa powder, mix with the wooden spoon, then transfer onto a table or counter and gently press dough together (just work until ingredients are mixed in)
  4. Wrap with plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF
  6. Knead dough until pliable
  7. Roll dough out to about 1/8 inch in thickness on a floured surface, dock with a fork
  8. Place inside slightly greased tart molds, trim off excess dough (dough scraps can be re-roll, but only do it once or twice or it may crack)
  9. Bake for about 12 minutes till golden, let cool
  10. For the filling, crush pistachios into small pieces
  11. Heat whipping cream in a non-stick pot over medium heat until starting to bubble
  12. Pour cream over chopped chocolate, let stand for 1 minute
  13. Add vanilla extract, stir until smooth
  14. Mix in half of the crushed pistachios
  15. Pour into baked tart shells, sprinkle remaining pistachios on top 
  16. Let cool then put in refrigerator until set

Chocolate Pistachio Tart

 

Original chocolate tart shell recipe by Chef Marco Ropke at the Vancouver Pastry Training Centre 

 

Cherry Puff Tarts

Cherry is another fruit that we love to eat in the summer. My parents used to have 2 giant cherries at their old house. I still remember my brother and I would pick as much as we could before the birds get to them. There would be so much cherries that we would fill almost every single basket and bucket in the house….Oh, how I miss those good times.  My folks have moved and we no longer have our own cherry trees, but I can make these yummy tarts for them instead !
I always keep a box of puff pastry in the freezer. It’s really handy if you need to make something quick, both sweet and savory. I yet to try making my own puff pastry…. Well, it’s on my list! 🙂

Makes about 10-12 tarts

  • 200 g pitted fresh cherries
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 box puff pastry (about 400 g)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • vanilla sugar or granulated sugar for sprinkling
  • Icing sugar for dusting
  1. To prepare the fillings, heat cherries, 3 tablespoons of sugar and lemon juice in a non-stick pot over medium heat
  2. Turn heat down to low when liquid starts to bubble
  3. Cook until cherries softened, set aside to cool
  4. To make the puff pastry, preheat oven to 350°F
  5. Roll out pastry on a floured surface to about 1/8 inch in thickness
  6. Cut with a round cookie cutter into circles, about 2-3 inches in diameter
  7. Place half the number of circles on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper
  8. Dork with a fork, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated or vanilla sugar 
  9. Cut out the centres of the other circles using a smaller cookie cutter, (or a bottle cap would work too) to form rings
  10. Place rings on top of the circles
  11. Brush ring tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar (You can collect all the dough scrapes and re-roll, but only do it once, otherwise it will lose its puffiness)
  12. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden, let cool
  13. Spoon in cherry fillings, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately

img_20160628_180422.jpg