Kenzie Boy

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Gavin boy

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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Butter Cookies

Attempted to bake butter cookies yesterday as I am already in Chinese New Year mood now. I tend to associate CNY with cookies. Moreover, I love butter cookies, especially store-bought Danish butter cookies, so I have decided to attempt to bake it yesterday.

I baked the cookies after dinner yesterday. As usual, I reached home at about 6.40pm. Oh, before that, I had already called hubby to take out the butter to let it set at room temperature on the way back from work. When I reached home, hubby has cooked dinner and laid everything on the table. After dinner and doing the dishes, it was about 7pm (we are fast eaters). I then started preparing and mixing the ingredients, started baking at about 7.20pm, and by 7.50pm the cookies were ready and I could go to have my shower. Easy peasy as the recipe is only for 16 pieces of cookies.

Here's my version for just two persons, yield about 16 pieces of cookies, depending on how you shape them. For me, I just rolled it into balls with my hands (as I don't possess any fancy cookie moulds or whatsoever cookie cutters) and gently pressed them to form a flat circle.

I used: 1/4 bar good quality butter (SCX brand), 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, some vanilla essence, 1 egg yolk, 1 tbsp milk powder and chocolate chips (optional). I used my hand to mix everything in a bowl until it formed a clean, dry dough.

Pre-heat oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 170 degrees before putting the cookies in. Bake for about 20 minutes until cookies turned slightly brown.

Result? Hubby said it tasted better than any other commercial CNY cookies selling at the stores and commented I could consider baking my own cookies for the next upcoming CNY, haha. What a joke! The cost of baking my own cookies to distribute to friends and relatives would be more than then current DIY method which I am using for this upcoming CNY: Buy 2 or 3 kg worth of cookies from the sundry shop (only cost about RM30 or less), put it in cookie jars (recycled from last year), sealed nicely and ta-daaa, I don't have to buy any cookies to "bai nin" during CNY (yes, these cookies are just for "bai nin" and usually people will just chuck them aside and recycle the cookies when they go "bai nin" with somebody else later). 

Cookies are getting more costly each year, up to RM28 per jar, crazy !!! Last year, I was a fool to spend close to RM400++ on just cookies. And yes, just to distribute to friends and relatives during "bai nin" session and not for own consumption. Anyway, I don't have guests coming to my house for CNY (everything will be at my parents' or in-laws'), so I don't prepare any cookies at home. I only standby some boxed drinks or carbonated drinks, just in case, that's all.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Cream Puffs

Backdated post. I made this during the weekend as I suddenly craved for cream puffs. Most bakeries are selling cream puffs with whipped cream filling, but I prefer custard filling. And I know one cream puff shop that sells 3 pieces for over RM12++, call me stingy, whatever, but I was stunned at the overpriced puffs with just whipped cream filling. So I decided to make my own.

For the puff: 1/4 cup butter, 3/4 cup flour, 125ml water and 2 eggs.
Boil water and butter in a saucepan. Once boiling, add in the flour in one go, stir quickly until it forms a clean lump. Remove from stove and cool the lump. Whisk 2 eggs and stir hard. I used a spoon to scoop 1 spoonful onto a baking tray, already lined with parchment paper. 1 spoonful for 1 piece of puff. Bake at 220 degrees for 20 minutes.

For the custard filling: 1 tbsp custard powder (I used Bird's Custard), 1 tbsp sugar and 8oz milk.
Prepare the custard following instructions on the custard packet.

Cool the custard. Slit the puffs into two, fill them up with custard using spoon. Hubs and I finished half the puffs on the same day. I put the remaining puffs in the fridge and it still tasted good when I ate them the next day, better, because the custard was cold and melted in my mouth!

Maceroni And Sardine Puffs For Dinner

Again it was a public holiday yesterday so I had mood to cook dinner again. Maceroni and puff again as the bag of half-full maceroni is still in the cabinet. But this time, I did not put the puff on top of the maceroni as I bought another two packets of puff pastry when I went for grocery shopping during the weekend, so I can make more puffs rather than just layer two miserable slices on top of the maceroni just for the sake of finishing it previously.

Anyway, here was what I cooked: Sardine puffs with mayo and baked maceroni with brown sauce.

The sardine puffs - I used:
5 slices of frozen puff pastry (I used Kawan brand)
1 small can of Marina sardines (gravy drained)
Japanese mayo (I used Kewpie)
Some chilli sauce
Spread mayo and chilli sauce on the thawed pastry, followed by a spoonful of sardines. Fold according to preference. Bake at 200 degrees until puff becomes golden brown.

The baked maceroni with brown sauce - I used:
5 handfuls of maceroni
2 white onions, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
Minced meat 
1 packet of meatball gravy (I used Ikea meatball gravy)
Salt and pepper
Boil maceroni. In a saucepan, cook the brown gravy according to the instructions given on the packet. Put aside. In another wok, fry onions, tomatoes and minced meat in olive oil. Pour the maceroni into the wok, mix in the brown gravy, stir, add pepper and salt to taste. 
Scoop half the maceroni into a caserrole, layer with cheddar cheese. Scoop the remaining maceroni and layer with more cheese on top. Bake at 200 degrees until the cheese melted.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Roast Chicken And Baked Maceroni Casserole

Was in the mood to make dinner yesterday as it was a public holiday. Made something simple: Roast chicken and baked maceroni casserole with cheese and puff pastry.

I marinated the chicken with salt, pepper and butter. Baked them for about 1 hour at 220 degrees.

I also made maceroni casserole. Very simple maceroni with cream of tomato, carrots, onions and minced meat, topped with cheese and puff pastry, since there are two pieces of puff pastry left in the freezer for almost a year already. I boiled the maceroni for 10 minutes. In a separate wok, I fried the onions, carrots and minced meat. Once the carrots (and pasta) softened, I scooped the pasta over, mixed it together with everything, and poured in a can of tomato soup. Added salt and pepper to taste. Here was how it looked like:

I then added 3 pieces of cheddar cheese on top of the maceroni, and two puff pastries on top of the cheese. Here was how it looked like after baking for about 15 minutes at 200 degrees:

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Mini Butter Orange Cakes

Somehow my baking mood could not stop and I had the mood to bake some mini butter orange cakes yesterday during dinner time. Yes, during dinner, after work. Hubby was cooking, and since dinner was not ready yet, I took the opportunity to whip up some mini butter orange cakes since I have a mandarin orange sitting in the fridge for a week already.

Here's my recipe, very mini sized cakes, enough for two:

1/2 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 bar good quality butter (I used SCX brand)
2 tbsp of orange juice and zest of 1 orange (I used mandarin orange because I do not have normal oranges+the mandarin has been sitting in my fridge for a week)

I just mix and whisk everything in a bowl.

Pre-heat oven for 10 minutes in advance at 170 degrees, grease baking pan, scoop batter into the pan and bake for 15 minutes or until fork comes out clean.