Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mini Sponge Cakes

Going along with my Asian-inspired sweets recipe from last week, I decided to post another popular Chinese bakery favorite: sponge cakes! I seriously grew up eating these. When I was a child, people would gift my grandma with so many of these paper-lined cakes, I was always overjoyed to get one.

These tend to be sold in a more old fashioned kind of Chinese bakeries. I`ve been to several nicer Chinese bakeries and I never see them sold. However, those small mom and pop shops in Chinatown are sure to have many. They are pretty tall, about 4 inches. And, they`re so soft and sponge-y. It`s like biting into sweet, cushy clouds. I don`t have the correct pan to get the right shape, but they look like this, in case you were wondering!

These cakes are just fantastic. You know how I know? I made them THREE times in ONE week. That`s how you know they`re good. I was sad to discover this recipe only yields 6-8 cakes, depending on the size of your pan. I wanted to gift them to my extended family and friends for Lunar New Year, but my parents kept eating them!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Traditional Mini Egg Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream

For those who celebrate this joyous holiday, Happy Lunar New Year!!! It`s going to be the year of the ram/sheep! It will officially start on Thursday, February 19th, this year. Growing up as a Chinese Asian American, it never occurred to me why my parents didn`t really give much thought to New Year on January 1st. I used to beg them to allow me to stay up so I can do the countdown with my sisters, but they said, it`s just another day. I guess, they`re not party people and people partayyy for New Year. Haha!!

As rich and ancient as Chinese history goes, there are a lot of Chinese New Year traditions, which varies greatly depending on the location. Did you know, in China, people get like a whole week off (probably more) to celebrate the new year? I was totally shocked when I found out! I was like, uh, in America, only the 1st is considered a holiday. Of course, people celebrate only on New Year's Eve. Well, Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days. Can you imagine all the food and festivities going on throughout these 2 weeks? It must be crazy awesome.

Okay, anyway, this mini cake has nothing to do with Chinese New Year. It`s NOT a traditional cake eaten during Chinese New Year, so don`t get confused. I leave all the traditional Chinese baking to my dad. Sometimes, I like playing around with some Chinese cake recipes, though. I made these months ago for my dad`s birthday because he loves Asian/Chinese cakes way more than the sweet "American" cakes you and I frequently eat. I thought, it`ll be a good opportunity to share an Asian recipe this week with the holiday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dulce de Leche Bourbon Brownies

There are probably millions of brownie recipes out there and I sure have a lot of brownie recipes on my blog, as well. We, as humans, just can`t resist chocolate. Once in awhile, the chocolate craving is intense and can only be satisfied with a pan of brownies, you know?

Yes, Valentine's Day is totally and completely a commercialized and heavily marketed holiday. Products, such as those cards children pass out in classrooms, are produced for the sole purpose of this holiday. Even bloggers, like me, are part of this marketed holiday with our posts on Valentine's Day treats for your love ones. I may contribute towards this in a way, but I don`t want you for your money. Nope. I just want you to enjoy fantastic food! So, even though this holiday is probably produced from economists trying to make money, sweets are involved and I love sweets! It`s just another excuse for me to make (and eat!) a special treat. And, I get to share these recipes with you! :)

Chocolates are popular and great gifts for Valentine's Day. I`d say homemade chocolate desserts are an even better gift! The addition of bourbon and dulce de leche in these brownies make them extra special and decadent.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chocolate Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

Well, the first month of 2015 just zoomed by.Valentine's Day is next Saturday!! I`m not sure why I sound so excited, I`m not really that excited. Haha! However, it makes me exercise my brain by trying to think of something cute to bake for the occasion. I`m always down for baking cute treats, if you can`t tell already.

These cookies aren`t as easy as the red velvet s'mores cookies or this fantastic banana berry bread pudding, but they have adorable heart cut-outs which makes them worth the extra step. I`ve never made sandwich cookies before. Not sure why...I think it`s because I find them a bit too much? Since, you`re basically eating two cookies with a filling, or frosting, in between them.

I went with chocolate, since chocolate cookies tend to have this bitter-less-sweet taste to them from the cocoa powder and melted chocolate. It`s not too sweet, which I love about these. Plus, the dulce de leche is just divine. You can make your own dulce de leche, or buy the 14oz can one.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Red Velvet Oreo S'mores Cookies

I debated between two recipes to share with you this week and I guess the Valentine's Day theme game was just too strong. I baked some cupcakes for my sister last week, as it was her lovely birthday, and wondered if I should dedicate a post and recipe for her birthday. Ah, well, I decided I should post all my Valentine's day recipes first! Plus, I did a post for her last year and the cupcakes are fit for Spring, not the middle of Winter.

In hindsight, I should`ve added Valentine-themed sprinkles and jimmies on top of these cookies. But, the idea just didn`t occur to me until now. So, totally do that, if you make these! In my book, any red colored food (or any luscious sweets, really) is fit for Valentine's Day. Hey, what can I say, I love me some sweets. ;)

The beauty of these cookies is the fact that they`re not complicated cookies. You don`t need to make a billion different colored royal icing to outline and fill sugar cookies. These red velvet Oreo s'mores cookies are simply drop cookies with a little pizzazz.