Sunday, December 26, 2010

Simple to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies

Blessed Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Joyous 2011!

So recently I added another 'gadget' to my collection of 'gadgets'. This gadget does not come from the Ikea family instead I got it from a small shop known as The Kitchen at Tropicana Mall. You see I've been wanting a Cookie Sheet for a while now. Yes, the flat metal pan which cookies are baked in.

The one I had didn't get along with me. I tried baking cookies with that a couple of times and they always turned out burnt at the bottom. So I wanted a new one which I believed would yield better results. And boy was I right!

So here is said cookie sheet with Christmassy frame. I put it to the test the day after I bought it. I turned to one of the recipe books I had won back in October to try out something from there.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes about 30 cookies)
What you need:
180g plain flour (sifted)
1 tsp baking powder (sifted)
140g butter
80g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g chocolate chips
70g chopped walnuts

What to do in 4 easy steps:
Pre-heat oven to 180C. Grease your cookie sheet or baking tray.

Step 1

Put butter and sugar in mixing bowl. Be sure butter is soft and at room temperature which means remove from fridge at least 20-30 minutes in advance.

Cream with mixer until light and fluffy like this:

Add egg and vanilla essence and continue beating. Mix in sifted flour and baking powder and continue to beat.

Step 2
Mix in chocolate chips and walnuts to the batter.

Note: I recently made this Classic Chocolate Cake for my sister's birthday and had some leftover dark chocolate. So instead of using chocolate chips, I just chopped up the dark chocolate to bits and used them instead.

This is what I had:

I chopped it up to bits (with small chunks), added in the chopped nuts and mixed with a spatula.

Step 3
Drop dough with a teaspoon on a greased baking tray.

Step 4
Bake at 180C for 15 to 20 minutes. I baked mine for 15 minutes only.

Allow cookies to cool on a wire rack.

#1: You can omit the walnuts, but if you don't wish to, then pre-roast the walnuts first in a preheated oven at 160C for about 8-10 minutes (before mixing in with batter).
#2: Drop only a teaspoon full of batter on the baking tray. Otherwise the cookies would turn out quite large. I prefer my cookies smaller in size.

The crunchiness of the cookies was just right! Also they were not too sweet.
They go great dunked in a mug of steaming hot coffee!!

Happy Holidays all!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Homemade Chicken Soup

I have never made chicken soup. Until now. And all I can say is I followed a damn good recipe hence I was very satisfied with the outcome. For that, I have a specific blogger to thank. She is a very good cook and a highly talented baker. I call her Ann. You can call her that blogger who inspired The Sudden Cook to make chicken soup.

The reason I wanted to try her recipe was because it reminded me alot of the type of soup my mum used to make for us growing up. Whenever one of us was sick, the others would silently jump for joy cause we knew then that 'homemade chicken soup' was gonna be on the table.

Homemade Chicken Soup (taken from Ann's blog known as Fabulous Sugar)

What you need:
1 small chicken
2.5 litres of water
2 inches fresh ginger (sliced)
6 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 medium onion
1 carrot cubed
2 medium potatoes cubed
20 black peppercorns (whole)
Pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste

Tip: Chop up ingredients such as onions, ginger, garlic (crushed), carrots and potatoes and have them ready.

What to do:

1) Cut chicken in small pieces (I got the lady from the 'pasar segar' to do it for me). Once home, set aside meaty pieces for another dish. Choose bony pieces to use for the soup. Cut away any additional fat and skin. Wash the pieces.
Note: Be sure there are enough chicken pieces being used to make the soup otherwise the soup will not be flavourful enough.

2) Put a pot large enough for making soup on medium fire. Put in onions, ginger and lastly garlic. Heat through quickly until you get a fragrant smell. Be careful not to burn the ingredients.

3) Add in water, chicken, carrots, potatoes and peppercorns. Add a pinch of turmeric powder.

4) Cover pot but leave a gap for steam to escape. Let it boil on a low flame for 45minutes to 1hour. Skim any impurities that may rise to the surface.

5) Add salt to taste. Your soup is ready.

1) Check the soup after 40-45 minutes. If the carrots and potatoes are soft, it's done. Turn off flame.
2) After adding salt, taste the soup to see if its flavourful enough. If not, keep adding (about 1/2 a teaspoon at a time) to see if it's enough. 
3) You can add finely chopped coriander leaves on top. I don't fancy coriander so I left it out.
4) I've also cheated before and added a chicken stock cube to flavour the soup further. You can try this, but of course it's best if the soup is flavoured by the chicken bones itself.

The soup was very tasty. I served it with toasted bread, buttered and sliced in half. Yum - sick or not sick - good for the body and for your soul so I've heard.
You may also serve it with rice.

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