Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jade: Bitemyboef

I think I must have watched the film Julie and Julia about 5 times. Love love love food-themed movies. Meryl Streep's falsetto aside, the one thing that made a real impression on me was the much revered Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon ~a dish that was just about cooked to death on the show. I'm not usually a fan of beef and 5 years of hospital food has pretty much guaranteed a shudder at the mere sight of anything resembling stew. But I am an utter pushover...and the heartfelt 'yumm' from the Amy Adams and Judith Jones were really very convincing ;)

Boeuf Bourguignon with Quenelle of Mashed Potato[ While it was based on Julia Child's recipe found here, after all the shortcuts I took, I rather think I would get shot point blank if I dared call it Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon]

2oz cooking bacon
500g stewing beef, cubed
1 carrot, cut into chunks
2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 tbsp flour
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 tsp thyme
1 crumbled bay leaf
6 shallots, brown braised in stock
200g mushrooms, sliced and sauteed in butter
Salt and pepper and a bit of sugar to taste

** Julia Child said to put everything in a casserole and braise it in the oven. I don't have one, so I did everything in my trusty stock pot.

1. Pour stock into a small pot, add shallots, and braise slowly for about an hour or 2.
2. In the meantime, brown the bacon in a non stick pan, set the bacon aside and reserve the fat
3. Dry the beef thoroughly with a paper towel and toss in flour to coat lightly. [ Damp beef won't brown, neither will beef in a crowded pan]
4. Brown beef in bacon fat. Do it in batches so you don't overcrowd the pan.
5. Set the beef aside
6. Now brown the chopped vegetables in the same pan..I know, I nearly fell asleep reading the recipe too. Thank god for shortcuts
7. While the vegetables are browning, put the beef, bacon, and the braised shallot, stock and all into fairly large pot.
8. Add the red wine so you have enough liquid to barely cover the meat.
9. Add tomato paste, garlic, herbs and give it a quick stir.
10. Now chuck in the vegetables, pop the lid on, and simmer gently for 3-4 hours.
** I get quite annoyed with the electric hobs here~they're essentially big black metal plates which heat up fairly slowly and then retain said heat like a bitch. The words 'gentle simmer' are but a distant dream...normally..but I now have a new toy that completely solves that problem. Heat diffuser. Get one.
11. Prepare the mushrooms and add them to the stew during the last hour of cooking
12. Season to taste, dish up your meltingly tender beef and that beautifully robust gravy...and top with a pretty little quenelle of mashed potato for a truly hearty meal :)

** It's a little quirk of mine, but I don't actually like my stews piping hot simply because I can't taste anything. I find you can appreciate all the different layers of flavour so much more once the food has cooled down a situation for me since I talk so much my food always ends up getting cold anyway ;)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Jade: Bitemyfish

I never liked fish, growing up..I was perfectly happy staring at them in my favourite tropical fish shop, but eating them was a completely different story...I'm not sure if it's the guilt I felt towards the countless guppies and goldfish that ultimately ended up being flushed down the toilet, or the horrific memories of choking on pesky little fish bones....All I know is, up till about 6 months ago [when I discovered cod loin, skinless and boneless thankyouplease], the number of fish dishes I deemed worthy of a cursory prod with my fork came up to a pathetic 2. There was "Hu Bngui"...thick slabs of fish layered over sugar cane, dried shiitakes, dried chillies and garlic, bathed in lush soy broth..braised for hours and hours until even the bones all but disintegrate...and Assam fish...refreshingly tangy with just the right amount of sweetness..and lots and lots of vegetables to soak up the rich, spicy gravy--the kind of dish that is perfect for those days when you're craving a big bowl of sticky white rice :)

Assam fish [adapted from Rasa Malaysia, tweaked to taste like the Assam fish my mum makes at home]

1 slab cod loin
6 ladies fingers, cut in half
2 baby brinjals, pared into chunks [ My mum makes it with native idea what the proper name is, but they're round and orangey...they look a bit like bloated persimmons..taste like a cross between brinjal and cooked the stuff]
1 tomato, cut into wedges
1/2-1 tsp turmeric powder
small handful mixed fresh coriander and mint, chopped [ original recipe called for laksa leaves, I couldn't find any :(]
1/2 -1 tbsp gula melaka/ palm sugar
fish sauce to taste

Spice paste:
1 clove garlic
half a stalk lemon grass [ I had a very small stalk so I used 1]
2-3 shallots
2 birds eye chillies
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes [ depends how spicy you want to it to be]
1/4 tbsp belachan/ shrimp paste

1/2 cup water
1 tbsp tamarind pulp

1. Grind spice paste
2. Soak tamarine pulp in 1/2 cup warm water for a few minutes, squeeze and drain, reserving the tamarind juice...or whatever you call it
3. Heat up some oil and fry the spice paste till fragrant
4. Add vegetables, toss to coat in spice mix
5. Add tamarine juice, turmeric powder and bring to boil
6. Pop the lid on and let it simmer till vegetables soften
7. Add sugar and fish sauce to taste. It's all about finding that addictive balance of sour, sweet and salty
8. Add fish, simmer on low heat until fish is cooked..should take about 5 minutes
9. Dish up some steaming jasmine rice, spoon over the fiery and deliciously zingy gravy...sigh...I'm so glad I decided to start eating fish:)
*Having said that, with a few oyster mushrooms thrown in, sans the fish, this would make for an amazing vegetarian dish as well.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jade: Happy New Year, everyone:)

It's here!! My favourite holiday! and the fact that all 4 of us girls are Tigers makes it all the more special, so happy tiger year, ladies;) And can someone please check if the Tiger has pissed the Tai Sui off again this year?...because if that's the case, I'm going to pretend I'm a different animal...just until finals are over.

I couldn't decide what to have on new year's petulant as it sounds, nothing seemed elaborate enough to make up for the glorious spread I would've gotten back at home. Call me spoilt, but if you had an uncle who sees any festival as an opportunity to cook up an absolute storm~ 4 types of slow-boiled soups, ginormous braised lionhead meatballs, fat pomfrets steamed 2 ways...and a mum who makes the best 'lor ak' [braised duck] would be an insufferable little food snob too. So I opted for a quiet evening in with a friend and my new flannel pyjamas, munching on the tubs of cookies piled high on my desk and the one dish that never fails to remind me of home:)

Ma's char bee hoon...well..wannabe anyway..[ my mum's version uses sayur paku, a fern that I've only seen in Sarawak...possibly Sabah..Since the UK isn't exactly known for its lush rainforests and exotic tropical delights, I had to do without]

3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp dried shrimps, rinsed and roughly chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
Chili flakes
Mixed seafood, because I had some left over from my laksa

Rice noodles/bee hoon. [I got mine in one of those ready prepared packs from Asda, best bee hoon I've had in this country. Perfect amount of bite, and it didn't disintegrate into mush despite all the tossing and stirring]

Fish sauce and light soy to taste

1. Heat up some oil, chuck in the garlic, shrimps, and spring onions.
2. Fry till fragrant and the garlic bits start 'popping'. Hurts, but it's worth it
3. Add the chili flakes and rice noodles and toss till noodles turn a pretty pale gold
4. Add seafood, toss
5. Season to taste
6. I served mine with a sprinkling of spring onions and chili flakes in a pretty white bowl...but when I'm at home, I just wait around with a fork until my mum's done. Then I all but run over and eat..straight from the wok;)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jade: Bitemylaksa

My friend made the most amazing curry laksa a few nights back. I tried so hard to eat it as slowly as I could..and when it was all gone, I licked the bowl clean..and when there was nothing left, I was sad.. I love a good laksa. Coming from a country where each state has their own brand of laksa and I don't mean slapping a different name on what is essentially the same bowl of noodles; from the tangy, fish and tamarind based Penang Laksa to the richer Sarawak Laksa~thick, coconuty broth jazzed up with fiery sambal and a squeeze of lime, each type of laksa is so delightfully unique.. a perfect reflection of local cultures..What can I say..I'm a lucky, lucky girl ;)

Now that I'm here though...there are times..only about 5 times a day..when I get mad cravings for a scaldingly hot bowl of spicy laksa. I could just go to this hole-in-the-wall Malaysian restaurant in town, but now that it's gotten to the point where I have only to walk through the door for the chef to shout: 'yes, yes, curry laksa!', I figure it's time to sort myself out. So when I saw a recipe for pumpkin laksa on
Masak-masak, I just HAD to head into the kitchen.

Roasted Butternut squash and seafood laksa~[adapted from Masak-masak who adapted it from Nigel Slater..*shockhorror* ang moh making laksa! what to do..I am that desperate]

Spice paste
2-3 cili padi [or normal chilli]
2 cloves garlic
About an inch of galanghal
2 stalks lemongrass
a handful coriander leaves, stems included [the recipe called for coriander root but I had no idea what that was so..]
2 tablespoons sesame oil

400ml chicken or vegetable stock
400ml coconut milk
350g butternut squash, peeled, cut into chunks and roasted at 180 degrees for about 45 minutes. [ original recipe said steamed pumpkin, no steamer..improvise]
3-4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
Mixed seafood[ so prawns, mussels, fish...whatever makes you happy]
light soy sauce to taste
juice of 1 lime

Egg noodles

Rice noodles [ you could choose to use either, but I used both~egg noodles for body, and rice noodles to soak up the flavours of all those gorgeous spices.]

1. Blend ingredients for spice paste
2. Heat up some oil and fry spice paste till fragrant
3. Add coconut milk and stock, bring to boil
4. Add roasted squash and simmer gently for a few minutes
5. Season with fish sauce, soy and lime
6. Blanch seafood in laksa gravy~ I used pre-cooked seafood, so if you're using fresh, just dump them in the pot and simmer for a few minutes
7. Arrange noodles in bowl, ladle laksa gravy over it, garnish with some fresh coriander and mint or basil, chili flakes, and a spritz of lime.......What are you waiting for? Slurp!;)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jade: Bitemymomo

Before I go on my usual rants, which kind, clever person did the fancy hyperlinking for the macaron references?? Thank you!!! *Hugs*

I remember my first kuih momo..I was 5 and it was huge-the size of one of those bouncy balls you get from the 20cent plastic egg machines. could've just seemed enormous because I was only 5...But whatever...Point is, I took my first bite..was hit by an instant burst of buttery, milky fragrance...and then.. at the tender age of 5..I fell in love. I was always a precocious little thing ;)

So as much as I love pineapple tarts, I think Chinese New Year just would not be complete without one of my favourite cookies~ kuih momo. [Honestly, on the basis of that endearingly ridiculous name alone, how anyone can not like it is beyond me]. Not just any kuih momo though..a perfectly made cookie should be firm enough to pick up, yet crumbly enough to shatter and melt the instant it hits your tongue...gorgeously buttery but not too rich, with a slight nuttiness to it that you'll only get by slowly toasting your flour. I love Chinese New Year..dum dee da...

Kuih momo

250g plain flour
50g milk powder
150g butter [ It's usually made with ghee..but the ghee in this country tastes like margarine..which just ticks me off; so I tried butter after reading Greg and Nee's blog and absolutely loved it...but use ghee if you prefer]
1 egg yolk

1/4 cup icing sugar
2-3 tbsp milk powder
[ I've been told to use powdered glucose to coat but I always find there's a very unsettling metallic aftertaste...maybe it's just me..but I don't like it, so there you go.]

1. Roast flour and milk powder in 150 degree oven for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Once it's turned the shade of lightest caramel, let it cool.
3. Melt the butter, takes about 30 seconds in the microwave. Let it cool and whisk in the egg yolk
4. Pour mixture into your bowl of flour slowly, mixing as you go along.
5. You'll end up with a really crumbly, slightly sandy dough.
6. Preheat oven to 140 degrees
7. Most recipes say to roll into little balls, but I find it so much easier to press the dough into spheres instead...only because it is very fiddly. And I quite like the knobbly surfaces you get by pressing.
8. Bake for about 15- 20 minutes. In the meantime, mix icing sugar and milk powder in a bowl
9. Once the cookies are done, let them cool for a few minutes..until they're warm enough to touch, and coat with sugar mix. You don't want the cookies too hot, because it'll just melt the sugar and you won't get that lovely powdery coating; too cold and the sugar won't stick too well.
10. Now pop one in your mouth and wait for afore mentioned flavour explosion ;)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Jade: Bitemymacarons!!

I've been on a bit of a baking spree lately...slight understatement...So now besides the 2 cakes in the fridge and the 5 filled cookie jars in my room, I also have 6 egg whites sitting in a pretty little ramekin wrapped in cling film. I could make a massive egg white omelette ..but I have no cheese..I could do egg fried rice..but it wouldn't look very good without the yolk for that burst of colour..or maybe a lemon meringue pie..actually ya la...I should've, considering the huge jar of lemon curd and kilo of butter I still have..damn hindsight. pfft..

I digress. I have been aching to make my own french macarons since I paid GBP 2. 50 for an uninspiring one from Paul's London. So with 6 aged egg whites and some leftover ground almonds I found at the back of my cupboard, remnants of an orange cake I made many moons ago [ I disgust myself sometimes], I had the perfect excuse to attempt a dessert that is the bane of most bakers/food bloggers. I have to say, with all those impassioned posts floating about the blogsphere about 'feet' and 'flowing magma', I was properly excited ..even though I don't actually like macarons ;)

Vanilla French Macarons with Nutella and Lemon curd
[adapted from Tartelette, who has an 8-page pdf document on her blog detailing tricks for the perfect macaron and this excellent video on youtube by the owner of Kitchen Musings...I don't know how to do the fancy hyperlink stuff so google it]

3 egg whites [aged, so store them in the fridge for a few days and bring to room temperature
before using. Something to do with reducing moisture.. aren't I helpful]
Pinch of cream of tartar [optional, but I've always used them in meringues so..]
50g castor sugar
200g powdered sugar
110g ground almonds
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

1. Mix powdered sugar and ground almonds, and give it a few quick pulses in the food processor to break up lumps. Set aside
2. In a separate bowl, add cream of tartar to egg whites and beat on medium speed till foamy
3. Add castor sugar gradually, still beating on medium speed, until you get soft peaks
4. Add the vanilla and beat until glossy. The mixture should stay put even if you tip the bowl upside down. I know because I tried....3 times.
5. Now add the almond mixture in about 4-5 batches, giving 1 or 2 quick folds with each addition, just to wet the dry ingredients a bit.
6. When all the almond has been added, beat with a rubber spatula. I did 5 rounds of 10 counts each. Shouldn't take more than 30 seconds.
7. Now take some mixture and drop it on a plate. If it flattens, giving you an even surface, it's ready. If you're still getting little peaks at the top, give the mixture a few more folds.
8. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe onto parchment paper or a silpat. All the blogs I've read recommend drawing a template, but really, if you have a steady hand, I wouldn't bother. It will flatten out into nice circles anyway. Or if you're really lucky like me, you'll have an awesome friend called Robynne who got you a silpat that comes with ready drawn circles for your birthday!
9. When you're done piping, give the tray a few gentle taps on the kitchen counter to get rid of air bubbles, and leave it to dry for 30-minutes to an hour.
10. Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
11. Touch the top and the sides of the unbaked macarons, they should have formed a skin.
12. The recipe said to bake for 10-12 minutes, but my oven is a bit funny, so mine had to bake for about 15-18 minutes.
13. The instructions above may have sounded like a pain, but it took all of 15 minutes to pull together. The most difficult bit for me was getting the damn things off the tray. Be gentle
14. Let cool and let your imagination run wild with ideas for fillings! I used nutella mixed with melted dark chocolate, for that bitter edge to take the sweetness of the macaron down a notch; and a very tangy lemon curd. Anything to cut through all that sugar.
15. Fill, sandwich, and enjoy~Crisp meringue shells that melt away to a chewy centre...unctuous chocolatey cream....the perfect accompaniment to a steaming mug of thick, black coffee :)

Jade: Bitemycocoa

We were terrified of our mum when my sister and I were younger. One of the things we were not allowed to have were sweets. And whenever we were offered any candy by aunts and uncles, we would first sneak a tentative glance at Ma..see, as much as we were dying to reach out for the beautifully packaged sweets..all it took was one disapproving glare from her to completely kill any sugar craving we might have had and reduce us to a quivering mess..fine, I may have exaggerated a little bit...bottomline: candy-less childhood. I think it's probably why I've never quite taken to chocolate...or desserts in general for that matter. But in lieu of upcoming festivities, 'chu yi' being the same day as Valentine's day, I thought something chocolatey was rather necessary...nevermind the fact that I will probably not eat it ;)

Kek batik

120g butter
35g brown sugar
60g castor sugar
pinch of salt
4 large eggs
1 can 396g condensed milk
45g milo
60g cocoa powder[ feel free to adjust the ratio of milo to cocoa..I prefer a less sweet cake]
1/2tbsp vanilla
150g rich tea biscuits, or marie biscuits if you're in Malaysia

1. Line a cake tin with cling film, leaving quite a wide edge so you can fold it over the top of the cake later
2. Mix condensed milk, milo and cocoa so it forms a thick paste
3. Break biscuits into pieces, DON'T BASH THE BISCUITS. You want fairly sizeable pieces, not crumbs so you'll get that lovely pattern that defines this cake when you cut into it later
4. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar
5. Add eggs one at a time and beat on low speed
6. Add vanilla and the cocoa mixture and beat on low speed to combine. You'll end up with a very liquidy batter
7. Transfer to a large pot or non stick wok and cook on LOW heat
8. Keep stirring, because what you're basically making is a thick, fudgy custard.
9. Takes about half an hour or so till you get a soft doughy batter..a bit like thick brownie batter.
10. Take off the heat, and fold in the broken biscuits.
11. Spread into your lined cake tin, and use either a spatula, or if you're like me, stick your hand in a plastic bag and smooth the top and press the mixture into the sides of the tin.
12. Let cool, cover with the excess cling film and chill overnight.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Jade: Bitemyacar

The best thing about Chinese New Year, besides being an extra reason to shop for new clothes and shoes...being given the money to shop for aforementioned necessities..being given money by complete strangers...being given money for not being married..who am I kidding, there is no one best thing about my favourite holiday...everything about it is sheer fantabulousness. But the one thing I look forward to every year, so much so that I've been known to beg for doggy bags of the stuff to take home because my mum doesn't believe in deep-frying, has to be my favourite treat ~ crispy prawn crackers heaped with tangy, spicy vegetable pickle..gah! Gives a whole new meaning to the term fire cracker..Strips of red, green and bright orange with flecks of pale gold sesame a Pucci scarf..only so much better ;)

I grew up eating my grandma's acar..but having trawled through blog after blog and comparing countless recipes..I am now resigned to the fact that my gran's acar probably isn't the most authentic one around...sorry ah ma....See, all the acar recipes I have come across involve chunky crudité-ish vegetables and the addition of long beans. Call me sentimental, but in a bid to recreate my favourite thing to eat and preserve what I remember of ah ma's acar, I have decided to do away with chunky cuts and stick instead with the dainty strips from my childhood.

My take on Ah Ma's acar

Half a cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
100g cabbage, sliced
2 small carrots, grated/ julienned [ I used pre-packed coleslaw mix ~160g of ready shredded cabbage, carrots and red onions ..because life is too short to julienne half a pound of vegetables; but if you'd like to stick to the conventional chunks, good luck]

Spice paste:
3 fresh chillies
1/2 tbsp chilli flakes [go easy on the spice..I think I went a bit overboard with mine..]
3 shallots
2 cloves garlic
1/2tbsp ground turmeric
1/2 inch galanghal
1tbsp pine nuts, toasted [I think the proper thing to use is candlenuts, but I didn't have any and I figured pine nuts are used to thicken pesto anyway...turned out pretty well]
1/2 stalk lemon grass, bruised and thinly sliced

Blanching liquid:
300ml water
200ml rice vinegar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup of blanching liquid
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup rice vinegar [or lemon or lime juice..probably not the most cost effective thing to do in this country though]
3-4 tbsp brown sugar
salt to taste [ go easy on the salt, the blanching liquid is very salty]
5og roasted peanuts, crushed
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds [ I stupidly toasted the sesame seeds with the pine nuts...which left me painstakingly picking out pine nuts and feeling a bit like the girl who had to separate seeds because her stepmother didn't want her to go to the ball...only no birds came to help me..I think it's because they've all flown south for the winter..ho hum]

1. Rub cucumber with 1 tbsp salt, leave for an hour, then squeeze out all the excess water and spread out on a kitchen towel.
2. Bring the blanching liquid to a rapid boil, and blanch the carrots and cabbage for about 5 seconds. Drain, reserving the liquid.
3. Squeeze out excess water, and spread out on a kitchen towel.
4. For the spice paste, if you have a blender, good for you. Toss everything in the blender and blend into a smooth paste. If you're using a stick blender like me, roughly chop the ingredients first before blending. It will take awhile, so if you're looking to make a large batch, buy a blender.
5. Heat up 2 tbsp oil, and fry the spice paste till fragrant..about 5-10 minutes on low heat..By which time your kitchen will smell divine...I was so tempted to ditch the vegetables and throw some chicken and coconut milk into the spice paste..
6. Now stir in the brine, adjusting the seasoning as you go along.
7. Bring to a boil and cool completely
8. Stir in the vegetables, peanuts and sesame seeds and chill.
9. Now take a prawn cracker, pile on the pickle....and tell me that does not make you smile :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Jade: Bitemyonions

It struck me today as I was stirring my jam into oblivion...that ICheck Spelling have an affinity for stinky food~enter garlic, cheese..( remind me to tell you about the time my Chinese flatmate threw my mature french brie away because she thought it'd gone bad) sauce..shrimp paste..durian..and who can forget the one thing dating sites tell you to avoid at all costs on any date...besides stories about an unhealthy relationship with your cats...Onions. Personally, I think onions have been rather wronged in this instance. I get that raw onions are quite pungent, albeit deliciously so..but cooked the right way, onions are possibly one of the most delightful vegetables around~tender, almost melty, all the sweetness coaxed out of it and none of the acridity. And because the flavour of cooked onion is so delicate, it goes beautifully with just about anything. So the one thing I make sure I always have in the fridge is a jar of onion jam...ready to be slathered onto a hunk of good, crusty bread, topped with whatever I'm in the mood for. I promise you.. you'll never look at a store-bought sandwich again ;)

Onion jam

3 large onions [ or red onions, which I find sweeter..both make lovely jams]
olive oil
freshly cracked black pepper
dry thyme
3-4 tbsp brown sugar
75ml white wine [or red wine if you're using red onions..for no other reason than the fact that I'm shallow and like to colour coordinate stuff]
2-3 tbsp vinegar [ I used lemon juice because I had one lying around]
Worchestershire sauce to taste [optional]

1. Peel onions, cut in half and dunk in ice cold water for about 5 minutes or as long as it takes to get yourself sorted. I find it helps cut the sting a fair bit.
2. Slice onions thinly
3. Heat up a generous glug of olive oil is a non stick pan, toss in the onions and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes
4. Add salt, pepper and herbs, cover and cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Check it once in a while to make sure nothing burns. It should be a light golden brown at this point
5. Add sugar, wine, vinegar and Worchestershire sauce, bring to a boil and lower the heat so the mixture simmers gently.
6. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring as you go along until you're left with a very sticky, toffee hued mixture. It will burn if you're not careful, so bad time to make phonecalls.
7. Taste and adjust seasoning, I quite like a slightly sweeter jam as it balances out the saltiness of the cured meats and cheeses I usually have it with..but your jam, your call.
8. Let it cool and store...or if you're like me, pop a ciabatta roll into the oven to crisp up when the jam is nearly ready; once it's done, pile on the piping hot caramelized onion, top with cold roast chicken and eat standing.. over the stove:)

* This jam also goes wonderfully with roast vegetables and feta cheese on a crunchy baguette.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sush: Peanut Cookies for CNY

Because I promised Jade that I would finally update my space here :)

Been on a baking frenzy of late, just because I've been quite stressed out with work etc. Also, it was an excuse to have trial runs to bake cookies since Chinese New Year is right around the corner! My weekends are completely filled up for the next few weeks with me being in London so baking has to be during the weeknights.
I tried Jade's pineapple tarts recipe below over the weekend, and they turned out beautifully! Thanks again, babe! The crust melts in the mouth like a dream.

I have to admit, I'm a peanut butter addict. I can devour a whole tub of peanut butter in one sitting (okay, maybe two sittings). I love adding peanut butter to my chocolate chip cookies, I get cravings for peanut butter and jam sandwiches. And I LOVE Reese's!!! The British find it very hard to comprehend the fascination the Americans have for peanut butter and some can't even handle the fact that peanut butter is eaten with chocolate!

Tonight, I made peanut cookies. :) Besides pineapple jam tarts, these are my next best favourite Chinese New Year cookies. Fragrant, salty yet sweet, and with the crunchy yet soft texture. Its like confusion in your mouth! :P Have I mentioned that they're delicious?

This recipe was adapted from Lily Wai Sek Hong's blog. She's like the queen of oriental desserts and dishes for online recipes. :)


1 1/2 cups skinless peanuts , fried/roasted and processed till fine
1 cup fine granulated sugar
2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 - 6 fl oz cooking oil (preferably peanut oil)

Egg yolk + 1 tsp water for glazing

Mix the dry ingredients like sugar, salt, processed peanuts and flour until they are well-mixed and crumbly.

Add oil bit by bit and knead the mixture until the sugar is dissolved and a small piece of dough can be formed into a ball. (I didn't use all the oil given in the recipe).

Roll the dough into small balls and place them on a lined baking sheet. Use a straw and press gently on the top of the balls to make round indents. My house didn't have straws, so I improvised and used a knife to make crosses across the center.

Glaze with egg and bake in preheated oven 350F (180C) for about 12 - 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Wait until cooled completely. Don't be deceived, they're HOT! The cookies have very high propensity for latent heat. Then pop into mouth and devour and savour the way they should be :) Best taken with a mug of coffee or tea.