Friday, December 31, 2010

Espresso Shortbread Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips and a New Year's Resolution


I'm going to start off 2011 with committing to my resolutions. I want to blog about food, and stick to doing so! So hopefully I will be posting more often about the food we enjoy at home. There's something about New Year's resolutions that scare me. It's like if I don't follow through with them the entire year would end up a failure. I don't want to be harsh on myself, but I'm finally at a point in my life where I want to be doing what I truly enjoy.

These cookies have driven me crazy. And I am not even a coffee person! I don't drink Tea or Coffee, so it's kinda strange that I baked three batches of these cookies in less than two weeks! They're that good. I generally love shortbreads, but I didn't think I won't be able to stop eating those cookies the way I do, it's like whenever I open the tin, I can't have less than three.

I came across them on Annie's blog, a wonderful experienced food blogger, I am yet to try more interesting recipes of hers. These are fast, and easy to put together and somewhat forgiving. I baked the second batch a little longer than I was supposed to but they still came out great. I also ran out of chocolate chips on the third batch, so I ended up chopping some bittersweet chocolate and adding them in.
The market in Egypt is unreliable, some items disappear off the shelves for indefinite periods, which is now what's happening to chocolate chips, I can't find them any wherever I look. Which is somewhat a problem, because I'm running low on these cookies, I only have 7 little squares. I'm trying to limit myself to one a day, but that's not working. Help!

Espresso Shortbread Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from Smitten Kitchen
Ingredients:

1 Tbsp instant Espresso powder (I used Davidoff 57 Espresso, it was amazing!)
1 Tbsp boiling Water
227g unsalted Butter, at room temperature
80g Confectioner’s Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
280g All-Purpose flour
3/4 cup mini-chocolate chips (I used 1 Cup first batch, and half cup second batch, so I guess add to taste.)


Instructions:

1. Dissolve Espresso powder in boiling water, and let it cool.
2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter on medium until smooth. Add the Confectioners’ Sugar and beat until the mixture is very smooth, about 3 minutes.
3. Add in the Vanilla and the Espresso and mix well.
4. With the mixer on low speed, add the Flour and mix only until just combined.
5. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
6. Transfer the dough to a plastic bag. Place the bag on a flat work surface, leaving the top open.
7. Roll dough into a rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick.
8. After rolling the dough, seal the bag pressing out excess air, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
9. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
10. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Using a ruler (or just do it without one, like I did) as a guide, cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares. 11. Transfer the squares to baking sheets and carefully prick each one twice with a fork. Or you can do it with a tooth pick instead, but it will take longer. Be careful, the edges of the cookie might break when you prick with a fork.
12. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking 180 degrees and from top to bottom. They shouldn't color much, just lightly golden around the edges.
13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Devour!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lemon Cupcakes

I made these Lemon Cupcakes for my Father-in-Law's Birthday. They were delicious.

I had never had Lemon Curd before, and this was an amazing way to taste it for the first time. Everybody enjoyed these.
I made the Joy of Baking recipe, found here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mighty Cheesecake

I'm not a daring baker, I dare not be! Well, not yet atleast.
But I'm really interested in their recipe choices and I usually follow up after the reveal date and try what interests me. I just hate commitment, that's what's keeping me off of participating in their fun challenging activity.
So anyways, Abbey's infamous cheesecake is all over the internet, thanks to Jenny I can now bake a wonderful cheesecake that never fails. And gets raves from everybody that tries it. Give it a shot!



I make it all the time actually for Mr.WD40, with different topping including my choice of topping or rather his choice of topping, which is always sour cream and white chocolate.


I made it for my sisters's baby shower, with yellow and white and blue tye and dye effect.








I made it for a friend's birthday.




Sour Cream and White Chocolate Cheesecake topping Recipe:

Ingredient:

4 Oz Sour Cream
2 Oz Grated White chocolate (or to taste)

Instructions:

Mix the sour cream and white chocolate thoroughly, then spread evenly on Cheesecake.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mulukhiyah: Egyptian Potherb Soup or Jew's Mallow

Here we go, into the world of food blogging!

Mulukhiyah had to be the first recipe I post. It's by far the most popular dish in Egypt, right behind the Fool Medammes I suppose. It might as well be our national dish. I don't think I've ever met an Egyptian who doesn't like Mulukhiyah.
The wonderful smell of the garlic and coriander mixture of the "Add-ha" is overwhelming.




In Egypt and the Middle East, it's mostly prepared as a green soup wherein the mallow leaves are very finely minced, and added to meat or chicken stock. It's eaten with rice and a source of protein, which could be meat, chicken or even rabbits. But never with fish. Although in Alexandria people would actually eat it with shrimp, but I refuse to even taste that. Ha ha!


Fresh or frozen Mulukhiyah leaves can be used for this recipe. Although one ought to opt for fresh whenever available, the fresh leaves are time consuming, you wash the stems very thoroughly, pick the leaves off the stems and chop them so very finely (or even mince them to death) before starting to cook them. So I choose frozen or ask my grandma to do all the dirty work for me (I store them in ziplocks in the freezer), which thankfully pleases her oh-so-much. I'm blessed!

Sometimes found fresh in US at Middle Eastern markets, but probably more available frozen.



Rice should be served next to Mulukhiyah, or it can be eaten with Pita bread, but rice sits well with it.

MULUKHIYAH:


400g Fresh or Frozen Mulukhiyah (Finely minced and thawed if frozen)
1 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock (Meat or Chicken Stock is fine, I use Chicken)
1/4 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)


ADD-HA:

2 Tablespoons unsalted Butter
1 Tablespoon Garlic (minced)
1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder



For the Mulukhiyah:

1. Pour chicken stock into a medium sized pot, bring to boil.



2. Put heat on low, add thawed Mulukhiyah.



3. This is the tricky part: Making sure the mixture doesn't start boiling, with a hand whisk keep stirring until soup is formed and no lumps are to be found.





4. Add Salt, cover and set aside.


For the Add-ha:

1. In a small skillet on medium heat mix together butter, garlic and coriander powder. Stirring constantly until mixture is all bubbly and garlic is light golden. Don't burn the garlic.







2. Now heat the Mulukhiyah soup but don't let it boil, we want it very hot but not boiling so you might want to keep stirring it.
3. Pour the hot Add-ha onto the soup.



4. With a ladle pour some of the soup into the Add-ha skillet to get all the Add-ha you can into the soup.



5. Stir the soup until well combined, take off heat.





To serve it:

1. Have a bowl of rice ready.



2. Using your ladle, pour the amount of Mulukhiyah you prefer on top of the rice.



I usually like to add a small amount of Mulukhiyah, mix it with the rice and have the meat on the side, but Mr.WD40 likes to pour a large amount on the rice and top it with pieces of red sauce meat. (As shown in the first picture at the top.)