Monday, October 19, 2009
I've seen some great pumpkin recipes lately and I started baking some of them this past weekend. First up was pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I've never heard or tried pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, but it sounded delicious.
I saw quite a few recipes, and I decided to try one on allrecipes.com submitted by Jennifer. While the recipe got really good reviews, I had trouble with the recipe as written. The cookies ended up tasting good, but I had to make some changes.
Here are some things I learned from this recipe. First, if you are expecting a more "autumn" spice type flavor, this recipe is not it. I enjoyed this recipe, but its definitely a more pure pumpkin taste.
Another thing is I felt that the amount of chocolate chips the recipe called for completely overwhelmed the pumpkin flavor. My first batch tasted just like regular cakey chocolate chip cookies and I couldn't taste the pumpkin at all. So on my second batch, I only used half the amount of chocolate chips.
Finally, the cookies didn't spread much during baking. So my first batch came out quite ugly. The cookies were dropped onto the baking sheet just like the directions called for, and they finished cooking looking the same way. So afterward, I ended up flattening and smoothing the cookie dough to look how I wanted the finish cookie to look. The original recipe calls for the baking soda to be dissolved in milk. I think that also caused the cookie batter not to spread as much.
Here is the recipe with my modifications (adapted from allrecipes)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1cup semisweet chocolate chips
pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir
together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt. Add flour mixture to pumpkin
mixture and mix well.
Add vanilla, chocolate chips.
Shape and flatten dough on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175
degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and
firm. The cookie dough should be almost the same size and shape as the finished cookies as the batter does not spread much.
Normally, I like the taste of cookies best when they first come out of the oven. However, the pumpkin cookies tasted better the next day after the cookies had cooled and the pumpkin flavor had time to set in.
The cookies are soft, cakey, with a mild pumpkin cake/bread taste.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The other day Ranch 99 had these cute fish shaped ice cream waffle sandwiches on sale. I've never seen them before, and had to try them out. I love eating cutesy foods. The outside is a fish-shaped waffle shell. The inside has a layer of vanilla ice cream and a layer of red bean.
The Melona brand is a Korean brand. I usually buy their melon bars, but this is the first time I've seen these cute fish shaped ice cream sandwiches. They were pretty tasty. Not too sweet.
I got these at the Ranch 99 in San Diego, but there are other Ranch 99 locations, so you can look for them there. Also if you have any Korean markets near you, you might be able to find them there as well. They are definitely a cute treat.
Ranch 99 Supermarket
7330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, #112
San Diego, CA 92111
Friday, October 16, 2009
Diddy Riese Cookies
926 Broxton Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90024
When I used to visit friends at UCLA, we always had to stop by Diddy Riese Cookies in Westwood. Diddy Riese is a very popular bakery, which is busy all day long and has lines out the door even late at night. (It's open until midnight or 1 am on most nights.) However, don't let the lines deter you because the staff is really fast. The main reason why Diddy Riese is so popular is their cheap prices. Currently it is 35 cents for a large, fresh baked cookie. Or 3 cookies for $1. It used to be 25 cents each when I first started going, then a couple years ago the price when up a little, but it is still really cheap.
The cookies might not be gourmet, but they are fresh and tasty. Diddy Riese offers a variety of flavors including chocolate chip, chocolate chip with walnuts, chocolate chocolate chip with walnuts, chocolate with white chocolate chips, macadamia nut with white chocolate chips, cinnamon, peanut butter, candy, white chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin.
I always get a large box of cookies, which fits four dozen. This time I got a dozen chocolate chip, a dozen candy chip cookies, half a dozen peanut butter, half a dozen cinnamon sugar, half a dozen double chocolate with walnuts, and half a dozen oatmeal raisin.
Diddy Riese also offers a couple of other baked goods, such as brownies. I never tried their brownies before, but they were so big, and only 50 cents each, so I got half a dozen of them as well. The brownies were rich and chewy and seemed to have a hint of sour cream.
One of the newer items at Diddy Riese is their shaved ice. I haven't tried it before, and I didn't get a chance to on this occassion.
One of the most popular items at Diddy Riese other than their cookies are their ice cream sandwiches. You choose two fresh baked cookies, and they make you a fresh ice cream sandwich with Dreyer's ice cream. The sandwiches are really big. They used to be $1. Now they are $1.50.
I got an ice cream sandwich with chocolate chip ice cream, one chocolate chip cookie and one candy chip cookie. Delicious but also very hard to finish because it's so big.