Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

My dog loves pastry and this is one of her favorites. I’ve been trying real hard to bake anything with no chocolate in them so I could share this with her.
She loves it and I love giving it to her that for some reason I’m beginning to plan what to bake according to her tastes.
Heh.

Lemon Bars

For the Shortbread
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup butter

Procedure
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line the bottom and side of an 8×12 inch rectangular baking pan with parchment paper, allowing it to extend over the sides for lifting the pastry after baking,
In a bowl, blend butter and sugar. Add flour and mix just until dough holds together. Press dough in the pan to form a crust. Bake for 15 minutes.

For the lemon filling
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups white sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
powdered sugar for sprinkling

Procedure:
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick and pale. Add flour then juice, mix until blended. Pour over hot crust and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until top is firm. Remove from oven and cool.
When cool, carefully lift from the pan using the extended paper. Slice into bars. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

Polvorone cookie bars (with chocolate cookies)

polvorones cookie bar

You’ve heard of polvorón, right?

Every Filipino child, past and present, knows what a polvoron is. I’d say that this generation is lucky enough to have the opportunity to sample a wide variety. The most commercially known are the ones sold in every Goldilocks bakeshop. I’m certain however that there are more of these specialty shops out there who grew its increasing number of customers solely through word of mouth ( and perhaps through food bloggers like myself). I have yet to sample their polvoron but I’m sure they’re out there.

I won’t consider myself to have an special affinity (read: addiction) towards these sweet treat. I like it, that’s a fact. The polvoron and I prefer to meet once or twice a year. Like a meeting of long lost friends or lovers making the union feel refreshing, renewed and rejuvenating. It’s like falling inlove. I’m romanticizing, uh, before I go chanel cupid let’s go back to my main topic.

I’ve been considering making polvoron for my little pals (Vince, Dian, Hanna and Kevin) as their summer break treat but I didn’t realize it would be difficult looking for a traditional recipe.

I wanted to make something that isn’t like the ones sold in sari-sari stores OR the ones from Goldilocks. So, by the power vested in me, I searched online for an alternative treat and there it is. Popping in on my screen like a rabbit out of a magician’s hat.

I found one from Spicie Foodie’s April post. I had to make changes in her procedure and recipes due to my limited kitchen equipment namely: oven. I know, I’ve been complaining about that busted oven since last year’s oatmeal cookie and red velvet cake failure but it is not wise for us to buy a new oven since I’ll barely use it anyway.

So yes, I used an oven toaster. Please check Spicie Foodie’s site for the oven baked recipe, if you’d prefer that.

Here’s my version.

polvoron cookie bar

Polvorone cookie bars (with chocolate cookies)
makes 16-18 bars
1 cup flour (approx value)
2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
¼ cup powdered sugar***
Pinch of salt
6 pcs chocolate cookies, omit the cream filling (oreos, crumbled THEN powdered)
2 tbsp powdered milk

Procedure:*

In a large bowl, mix the flour, powdered sugar, pinch of salt, powdered chocolate cookies and powdered milk. Then add unsalted melted butter.
Line the small oven toaster tray with parchment paper. In the center of the tray, gather a small amount of the crumbly dough into a cookie cutter to shape your polvoron, press gently so it contains its shape.
*My oven toaster was a bit smaller than (about 4.5″ X 7.5″) most so I can only make at five each time.
**Please test at least one cookie first. I didn’t have a digitally measured heat so I timed the cookies to cook in 5 minutes (+ 2 minutes cooling time in the toaster). Spicie Foodie’s recipe stated she pre heated the oven at 180°C then baked at 8-10 minutes.

The polvoron should come out holding its’ shape but still soft and crumbly when eaten. That’s how you’d know you’ve made it right. Just a reminder whether you’re using the traditional oven or the unconventional oven toaster like I did, should you bake some more, take notice of the residual heat from the oven first.

Continue baking until you’ve used up all the crumbly dough.When your done baking and cooling, wrap the cookies in colorful cellophane wrap or Japanese papers.

*** I find that powdered sugar is the best way to control the sweetness of this polvoron version.

I have here a piece of information that you might find useful.

polvoron info

And yes, the kids loved it, specially Vince. I think Vince is my biggest fan. His mother said that he eats every and any type of food I feed him even if he normally doesn’t eat them. Isn’t that the nicest compliment of all? I remember one time when he ate a big fat piece of bitter gourd and red pepper egg roll and asked for more. Oh that was a surprise for his mother and I he was around 2 1/2 year old  that time.

 

 

Churros con Chocolate

churros con tsokolate

There was a time in my teen age life where all I thought about was Gaia Moore. Gaia Moore is the female protagonist in one of Francine Pascal’s book series Fearless. The Fearless series made me scrap all of my SVH (Sweet Valley High)collection (also by Francine Pascal) and focus on Gaia’s life. She was a teenager born without the fear gene (hence fearless). Back then that kind of premise sounded really outstretched but now with the slew of SciFi TV shows it’s not that hard to get into anymore.
Perhaps Gaia was a part of an experiment? Her family was after all were/are some kind of super spies/ double agents.

Well, I could tell you a lot more but the thing about Gaia that I loved the most is her undeniable “eat-all-I-can-sweets” habit. She loved junk food and sweet treats. She really does. She even buys a one dozen Krispy Kreme and gulps them in one go in Central Park. I tried that, with Dunkin’ Donuts (there was no Krispy Kreme in the Philippines at that time) and I conclude it is best left poetically prettier in books.
One of the memorable is the churros scene.So as I went on and left my teen age life behind I kept a few of her habits for myself.

Here’s a recipe for churros that involved a lot of dipping in hot cocoa.

tsokolate in a cupita

Churros

2 cups water
1 cup unsalted softened butter
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)*
8 whole eggs

Paste: Boil together water, butter and salt. Stir in flour and sugar. Stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball. After about 1 minute remove from heat.

Add eggs one at a time. Continue stirring until smooth. Spoon mixture into a piping bag with a star tip (large-sized).

Deep fry.

Hot cocoa (Kablon Farms tablea)

1 tablet 10 g tablea
1 cup water 180 ml
milk sugar to taste

Finely chop the tablea and place it in a saucepan with salt(a pinch) and water. Melt over low heat stirring constantly and taking care it does not burn. When the chocolate is smooth and shiny stir in milk and sugar, bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Be careful because the chocolate will bubble up and thicken rapidly.

Serve hot.

So now it’s time to have that afternoon churro con tsokolate merienda (snack).

churro cocoon

YOU WOULD NOTICE that the churros’ shape doesn’t look anything that came from a piping bag with star tip.

Yes, it did not. You see after placing the paste in my piping bag (which isn’t really a piping bag but a re-purposed thick plastic bag) it burst after piping one flimsy lame 2 inch churro. So since I was in a very dire (with a smoking hot oil in front of me) situation I pulled the closest shaping kitchen utensil I could find, which was vegetable cutter.

At first once I saw the finished product I thought of cocoon. The thing that births a butterfly, those pretty fluttering things that wander about in the garden on a misty morning. They do look like cocoons don’t they?

I suppose you may eat these with melted chocolate milky bars instead but nah, this is way more precious. You may also just sprinkle powdered sugar.

So, now that you the cup of hot cocoa and plate of just fried churro in front of you, time to eat. Dip a piece into the hot cocoa, savor the sweet warm sensation. Yes, that’s it. Now, continue popping this rich fried (Thank you Spain for creating these treats) dough into your mouth.

Have a nice day.

*The recipe I based this from (The Mandarin Oriental Hotel via Food magazine) did not specify what type of sugar they used (It was either white or brown, I presumed) but since we have been using brown sugar for years, I used that.

Yes,I love. (recipe for crepe two-ways)

Precious Joy

This is always difficult. Talking about love and all. It’s easier for me to just show it or feel it. Be it thru a song, a meal or a sucker punch.
Just like right now, I really have nothing to say. Literally even.
I tried preparing what to post in advance but still nothing. My head is filled with Dan Humphrey and Four Tops.

So instead I’m sharing a poem from a Chinese artwork. This is an almost ethereal longing spreading all over me. This for is far better than the wedding vow “’till death do us part.”

Jiang Cheng Zi (Su Shi)
For ten long years,we two have been separated by life and death;
I say I do not yearn, yet I cannot forget.
Your grave separated us by a thousand miles, leaving me unable to pour out my grief.
You would not recognize me even if we were to meet; me with my face covered in dust,my hair streaked with frost.
At night, I fly home in my dreams,
I see you through your window, brushing your hair and painting your face.
We watch each other without a word, only with tears making thousands of streaks.
I suppose at the grave every year, the bright moon shines in the night,on a hill with short pines.

Maya Crepes Two-ways

Basic Crepe:

2 large eggs
2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
1 cup full cream milk
1 cup Maya Original Hotcake mix

Beat eggs slightly,then add butter, milk and hotcake mix. Beat with a wooden whisk until mixture is free from lumps. Heat an 8-inch non-stick pan or flat skillet and lightly brush with oil. Over low heat, pour 1/4 cup of the mixture into pan. Quickly tilt from side to side to spread batter as thinly and evenly as you can. Cook until set. Flip to cook other side. *Do the same for the remaining mixture.

chocolate drizzled crepe

Sweet: Chocolate Drizzled Crepe
Drizzle with chocolate syrup after tilting from side to side. Wait until set, then flip to cook other side.

Ham and Cheese Crepe

Savory: Ham and Cheese Crepe Packets
Right after tilting from side to side,arrange a slice each of ham and cheese in the center. Cook until crepe is set. Form a packet by folding all four sides towards the center making sure you cover the ham and cheese. Brush the last fold with butter then flip to cook the “seal”.

Classic Belgian Waffle

fine dusted waffle

For me making a batch of freshly made waffles is very easy. Compared to let’s say cupcakes (I love them in a completely different manner), I’m saying there’s no baking time and hope that each and every piece of cupcake is cooked at least evenly.

I know, there are steps that needs to be especially done and that there would still be more bowls and utensils to be cleaned afterwards but hey, after the lights go off my flat waffle iron it’s done!

Speaking of the waffle iron, I intentionally insisted in this square-shaped flat kind because I didn’t like the oblong shaped ones. It’s already sold out there by Waffle Time (I do like Waffle Times’) and I’m pretty sure this one’s more old fashioned and classical as I like it.

Here’s my Belgian Waffle recipe with an easy breezy procedure.

Belgian Waffle

2 c cakeflour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs,separated
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp unsalted butter,melted
2 cups milk( I used buttermilk)

1. Sift together cakeflour, baking powder and salt.Set aside.

2. In another bowl,beat the egg yolks and sugar together until creamy and pale in color. Set aside.

3. Fold in vanilla and buttermilk to egg yolk mixture.

4. Add buttermilk and egg mixture to flour mixture. Blend well.

5. In another bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy then fold into the rest of the ingredients. Let rest for about 25 minutes.
Cook according to waffle iron instructions.

imperfect shaped belgian waffle

Oh and as you can see this one’s has an imperfect shape. That is because I don’t have an exact measuring cup/laddle good enough for the iron plates. I sort of just eyeball them, I once made a standard sized piece but I just poured that from a bowl as well so I can’t remember how much the volume was.
In any case, enjoy.

These maybe eaten with any food paring you’d like; toasted pecans with honey, fried chicken with gravy (waffle sandwich), scoop of vanilla ice cream and much more. I choose a simple salted margarine and powdered sugar.