One of the things I like to do during pumpkin baking season is revisit old favorite recipes and play around with them in hopes of improving on them.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorite pumpkin recipes. I was thinking of ways to improve on it, when this idea came to me.

Swirling in the Nutella made these soft and fluffy cookies even better. These cookies are like little bites of pumpkin cake. So good. The Nutella flavor is light but make these taste even better.

Up 2 You (or “Up Yours” as DH likes to call it because from far away the sign looks like it says “Up You”) is a fairly new dessert cafe located in the Convoy area, behind BBQ Chicken.

I didn’t actually know it even existed until reading Erin’s article for Serious Eats.

The cafe has a charming interior, with plushy chairs and mismatched decor which fits the theme of “it’s all up to you.” For example, each section of the walls has completely different styles of decoration.

The cafe offers three dessert options: crepes, snow ice and honey toast. For each one, there is a base price for the item, and then you can also choose to add fruits/toppings for an additional 50 cents each, and/or ice cream for an additional 50 cents. They also offer a variety of pearl tea drinks and coffee.

Milk “Snow Ice” with Mangoes

My main objective for coming here was to try the “snow ice.” I wanted to see if it was like the Taiwanese style snow ice I’ve been obsessed with and blogged about many times from all the places I’ve visited in LA and Taiwan that serve it.

Taiwanese snow/snowflak ice, as you recall from my old posts, has ice that is made with water and condensed milk. As a result of the condensed milk, the ice is much creamier than old school shaved ice and melts slower too. It is shaved through a special machine, which shaves the ice into thin ribbon-like sheets, creating light and fluffy layers when made correctly.

It seemed like they were indeed trying to make the snow ice, but didn’t quite get it right. I wonder if maybe they didn’t have the right equipment. I could taste the condensed milk in the ice and it was softer then shaved regular ice, but it was still icier than most of the snow ices I’ve had and also instead of falling in sheets, the ice was in tiny pieces.

The result was something in between regular shaved ice and Taiwanese snow ice. If I had never had snow ice before, I might have enjoyed this more. But having had some great snow ice, I found this to be disappointing.

Honey toast with pandan

I love brick toast and always order it when I see it at tea places. One of the topping options for the honey toast is pandan, which I’ve never seen offered, so I decided to try it. The pandan sauce is actually served on the side.

I came across a recipe for baked pumpkin doughnuts that looked so irresistibly tender and soft, I knew I had to try them right away. The recipe is from King Arthur’s Flour, and I’ve had a lot of success with their recipes.

The blog post was as convincing as the photos, stating “If you’re going to bake just ONE THING this month (or this week, or today – choose your preferred frequency)…Let it be these pumpkin-cinnamon doughnuts.”