Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I hope everyone had a good Labor Day holiday. I spent my three day weekend going home to visit my parents in the Bay Area. Usually when I go home, I bake my parents some desserts that I think they might like.
I didn't have much time this week for baking and I ran out of eggs. So one of the things I decided to make were pecan pralines. These cookies look cute and are easy to make and don't require any eggs.
I was able to whip these up the morning before my flight.
The cookies have a mildly sweet, buttery crunch to them. I love how the pecan in the middle of the cookie looks.
Pecan Pralines (adapted from Cooking on the Side)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecan halves
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Cream together butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt. Mix well. Chill dough 30 minutes.
3. Form dough into 1-inch diameter round balls. Place on ungreased
cookie sheets. Place a pecan half in the center of each ball. Press
down lightly. Bake 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Yes it's another mochi post. I went on a mochi binge for a while. I think with my grandma visiting from Taiwan, all I could think about was the delicious mochi we always eat there.
Anyhow, for those of you who liked the chocolate Hello Kitty mochi I made but don't have a Hello Kitty mold, the chocolate mochi taste great cut up into small squares too and are easier to make since you just pour the batter into one large pan.
Surprisingly (and a bit deceptively) these look a lot like brownies. The are soft, sweet, chocolatey, chewy all at the same time. I never knew East meets West flavors could match so well together, but then again, what doesn't go well with chocolate?
Without the fruit inside like some of my other mochi cakes, these last a few more days. In the past, I've been asked how to store mochi. I would keep it out at room temperature. The mochi stays chewy for a few days so if you are making this to bring to guests, you can definitely make it the night before and it'll taste just as good. Don't put leftovers in the fridge though because the mochi will loose its chewy texture and become a hard, non-chewy substance and it won't go back to being chewy even if you microwave it or let it sit out.
1 cup butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. baking powder
16 oz. box Mochiko flour
1 cup dutch processed cocoa or regular unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
3/4 cup coconut milk
Preheat over to 350 F. Cream the butter with sugar.
2. Beat in the evaporated milk and coconut milk to the butter/sugar mixture.
3. Beat eggs into the mixture.
4. Beat in the rice flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and vanilla.
5. Pour batter into a 9x 11 pan.
6. Bake in oven for one hour, until an inserted toothpick comes out
7. Cool completely before serving.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
19261 Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
With its high chinese population, Rowland Heights has chinese bakeries aplenty. I like most of the bakery chains in the area, but one little bakery caught my attention because they make crab and pig shaped breads, something the standard chinese bakery does not offer.
On a recent trip to RH, I specifically visited NiNi bakery to try their crab shaped breads. The bakery is quite small, and offers a variety of breads and cakes. The bread variety offered is kind of on the small side. Most of the breads are standard plain buns, which is the same type of bread used to make the crab and pig shaped breads, but with variations on that bread.
These breads have a firmer texture than traditional chinese breads, which are known for their softness. The crust is firm and brown, which I'm guessing makes it easier to make the animal shapes. I really liked how the crab shaped ones looked. I thought they were so cute, and they even had skinny little bread legs.
The taste was just okay. It tasted like chinese bread, though the firmer types of chinese breads, and I prefer the softer ones. Nothing else about the selection of NiNi's really stood out for me, so I didn't buy anything else.
Most likely, I will visit other bakeries for my chinese bread cravings, but I might stop by here again for the cuteness factor.