Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mad About Minis: Single-serve Chocolate Chip Cookie


I had to work an all-nighter this week for a software deployment. You see that’s my day job: I used to be a coder. Now, I do not code anymore, but still stayed in the field and late night deployments are usually par for the course. Now, I usually just keep my fingers crossed and wait for testing.

What that has got to do with cooking.

Nothing, but baking is a different story.

In the middle of the evening, I had a craving for a chocolate chip cookie, but did not have any on hand (I should have been more prepared). Since all the stores are closed by this time and I had a bit of time before testing, I decided to make one.

I baked this cookie before (the last time I had a late night cookie craving), and it hit the spot. I think I ran into this recipe in The Instructables via a Google search, and it certainly was a great starter recipe. 

It certainly met my criteria: It's an actual cookie, not a mug cookie; chocolate chip; and lastly, single-serve. Since it is already summer, I do not want to warm up my big oven, so I just used my toaster oven.

I also did some tweaks that I found in an article in InStyle Magazine (Yes, the fashion magazine) and some from my own. I changed the mix-ins to be a combination of chocolate chips, nuts, and toffee, since I love a nutty chocolate chip. I was satisfied with the results. I hope you will be too.


Mad Gourmet’s Single-Serve Chocolate Chip Cookie

Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp Whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp of mix-ins (chocolate chips, nuts, toffee - whatever you want)


Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter.
  3. Dissolve sugars in butter.
  4. Add vanilla and water to butter-sugar mixture.
  5. Combine flour, oats, salt and baking powder. Mix.
  6. Combine wet ingredients to dry. Mix until combined.
  7. Add your mix-ins.
  8. Form cookies and bake. You can make one large cookie or two smaller ones. Bake on parchment paper or a greased baking pan (The latter is my preferred method – ends up in a crunchier cookie) 
  9. Bake for about 13-15 minutes (Temparatures in toaster ovens vary, so just check after about 13 minutes).
  10. Cool for about 5 minutes before enjoying. Serve with milk (or almond milk).


Note: This is great for Saturday night binge watching too. You can binge on the shows, but not on the cookies. Actually, I may make one more batch tonight.  It's also good to share with your significant other... or not.

My next mission - make chocolate cookies. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mad Gourmet's Pineapple Muffins


It may seem to some that I have completely abandoned cooking and baking since my last two posts were more on discovery and exploration. This is not entirely true: in fact, it seems that I am cooking more (or at least making salads more). There has also been a lot of experimenting, mostly with new ingredients. It has been fun!

But we got to get serious now... It’s Mother’s Day Weekend.

My Mom and I actually like sweet treats, but summer is coming up, and we got to watch our treats. After all, bathing suit season is just around the corner (Not that Mom and I like bathing suits; heck, bathing suits do not like us).

I saw an episode in Dr. Oz that pineapple could make “your legs looks slimmer”. Actually, I think it is something like can reduce the “bumps” in your legs (we all know what that is), so why not give it a try.

I have been meaning to make pineapple muffins ever since I enjoyed the tropical cupcakes from Plumeria Flours. Although they did not have pineapple cupcakes that time, it did remind me of this recipe. It's time to make these again... even though these are not cupcakes.

I have made  pineapple muffins before but I cannot find the original recipe. However, I saw this mini pineapple pound cake recipe from Eating Well magazine that seems to be close. Of course, I had to tweak it.

First, I halved the recipe; this way I can try the recipe first to see if I like it. Then, I had to satisfy my obsession with oat bran a bit and added a boost of fiber (although I am not sure if soaking it in pineapple juice defeats the purpose). I also partially used applesauce instead of pineapple chunks since I am mindful of my husband’s concern for sugar. According to him, pineapple is one of the fruits that has a lot of sugar in it (although it’s naturally occurring). I also added nuts and chia seeds for added texture. Lastly, the obvious change of mini loaves to muffins (since I like muffins – they are more portable).

I probably did a bit more… but I lost track. I am mad after all.

Here’s what I have so far….

Mad Gourmet’s Pineapple Muffins

Ingredients 
  • 1/2 cup + 2T whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • a pinch or two of salt
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3 TBSP white sugar
  • 3 TBSP agave nectar
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of chopped hazelnuts (or macadamia nuts), optional
  • 1/4 cup of white chocolate, optional
  • 1 TBSP of chia seeds, optional


Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Apply non-stick spray on muffin pan.
  3. Combine pineapple chunks and applesauce. Soak oat bran in pineapple mixture.
  4. Whisk flours baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  5. Add sugar, agave, coconut oil, and vanilla in pineapple mixture.
  6. Beat egg and add to pineapple mixture.
  7. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Fold until combined.
  8. Divide batter in the muffin pan.
  9. Bake the cakes until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.
  10. Cool for 10 minutes.


Verdict

I love this recipe and am planning to make it for Mother’s Day. It has a very tropical flavor and using the coconut oil gave it a hint of coconut (not too overpowering).

I did try to use mashed bananas instead of applesauce thinking that the flavor would be more “tropical”… it did not quite work and applesauce worked better.

In one batch, I also used oat flour instead of whole wheat and quinoa flour instead of AP flour, for a (hopefully) gluten-free option. Since we need that gluten for that cool muffin rise, I ended up with pineapple-oat cakes (which were equally delicious). I think it needed more time in the oven though.

I think another nice touch would be to add shredded coconut to the batter... but I do not want to go back to the store. Next time.

Hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think.

I hope Mom likes it!