Baker at Heart ♥

Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Last Wednesday, my mom asked me to bake some cream cheese brownies. Being a good daughter that I am, I decided to make a batch of blondies as well. I went to the grocery store (which is known for stocking eclectic and high-end/foreign-made stuff) looking for some butterscotch chips. I know that in this side of the world, butterscotch chips don’t exist, but that time, I was secretly hoping that I’d be able to find a bag.   I didn’t find one, but I saw some Reese’s peanut butter chips so I grabbed a bag (plus a small cup of Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream!) and went home. Started baking and these came out from the oven –

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Totally awesome. Unfortunately, I only got to eat few pieces each since these were for my mom’s friends. Lucky them.

So back to the peanut butter chips. I don’t know what to to do with them, but I have already spied on some food blogs and peanut butter blondies seems to be the best thing to do next. I also have some cream cheese bricks here. I went to the grocery yesterday again and I saw that there was a buy-1-take-1 promo on them. These babies are going to expire on March 31st though, explaining the sale. I bought some cornmeal too, plus Oreos and pancake mixes. Ah, my love for grocery window shopping and the actual shopping is endless. Too bad I get broke afterwards.

I have peanut butter chips, cream cheese bars, cornmeal, Oreos and pancake mixes. Actually scratch that, I made wicked Oreos this morning (double-stuffed Oreos!!!) and this was the result –

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I just dipped them into the batter and fried them (not deep-fried, didn’t have enough oil at home). I don’t know how to make the batter stick to the cookies, though, that’s why they ended up looking like that.

Peanut butter chips for peanut butter blondies. Check. Cream cheese bars for individual cheesecake cups. Check. I just have to buy milk, eggs, sour cream and more butter. I love buying and stocking up on butter.

On another note, since I have been searching the Internet for recipes for the past few days, I occasionally stumble upon local food blogs talking about the local dining scene. From home-cooked meals, to fast-food dining and now to eclectic, specialized restaurants, it’s nice to know that the people here are becoming more adventurous and maybe mature when it comes to food. There are burger bars, ramen bars, all-day breakfast restaurants popping up all around the metro. And here I am, wishing that I can try them all. I don’t mind shelling out extra money to eat because in the end, it’s the experience that will make these things memorable. Actually as I type this down, I’m imagining myself sinking my teeth into some juicy burger patty (I hate buns, I just want to eat the meat).

Food. Food. Food. I’m posting recipes for the next entry. FOOD.

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It’s hump-day Wednesday on this side of the world! It’s 10AM here and I’m thinking of what to cook for lunch. I’m on the last week of my three-week long staycation and I’m already dreading the coming Monday!

Last week was pretty busy. I had my last few days of driving lessons (manual really is hard!). Thursday last week turned out to be really crazy, given the amount of alcohol I had ingested that night. I was supposed to go to a party last Friday but plans changed the last minute and I ended up sleeping instead. Good thing the party wasn’t that fun (according to the rumor mill ) – it turned out to be one drama-filled party.

Now, I present you my take on calamansi muffin (or cupcake, whatever, they look similar to me LOL). Calamansi is our local version of lime and lemon. It probably tastes more like lime than lemon though. Calamansi is usually used while it’s still in its unripened state (green in color). It’s used to flavor drinks, cakes, etc and it’s also used as a condiment. It gives food some kick to it.

Pepper.ph made a food hack of the calamansi muffins found in probably one the best beaches in the world, Boracay. I have never been there and I don’t have plans of going there soon. I’m not a beach person because I’m half blind and I’m deathly afraid of riding small boats. You need to ride those small boats to get to the island. If the government puts up an airport on the island itself, then maybe that’s the time that I’ll think of going there.

So why cupcake? I used cupcake liners for this recipe because I didn’t want to bother with cleaning my muffin pans. It wasn’t a bad idea actually, it was just that the sides didn’t turn out as golden as the ones on Pepper.ph’s photos. Mine were pale, like vanilla cupcakes but boy, they tasted amazing!

Calamansi Cupcakes

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adapted from Pepper.ph / Makes 12 / Bakes in 18-23 minutes at 350F (180C)

You’ll need:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup calamansi juice

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners. But if you want that golden hue and crust on the sides, grease well the muffin pan holes and put the batter directly to the pan.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

3. Combine calamansi juice and milk in a small bowl.

4. Cream butter and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time. Make sure to mix thoroughly between additions.

5. Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients to the creamed mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.

5. Scoop into the muffin pan and bake for 18-23 minutes. Mine were okay at 19 minutes.

6. Cool cupcakes in the muffin pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool further.

These can be stored on air-tight containers for about three days. Best eaten on the same day of course! If you check Pepper.ph’s photos, you’ll see that the sides of their muffins are golden. You can achieve this by doing away with the liners and putting the batter directly to the muffin pan. The heat will give them that crusty, golden look.

Cheers to the final weekend of 2012! It’s Saturday and I was supposed to sleep in but lo and behold, I was wide awake at 8 in the morning and was already fiddling with WordPress. I realized I should start a blog that would document my adventures in cooking and baking. I’m a new baker (and cook), you see. I have been baking for just a year now. It started when I helped out my best friend make cookies for her church-mates. I remember feeling giddy while mixing the dough and using the cookie cutters and seeing the final products of our labor. When I went home, I bought ingredients and baked on my own. I wasn’t as successful as her though, so I tried using a cupcake box mix. It turned out okay, nothing spectacular. But my love for baking just grew exponentially bigger from there. I researched, watched videos, read numerous food blogs and tried their recipes. I was ecstatic! I just had one teeny problem, I didn’t have an oven that could accommodate a tray or a pan as big as 12-cup muffin pan. Baking a lot of cupcakes took forever, plus our electricity bill went high from time to time. So Christmas 2012 came and yes, I bought a bigger oven! It’s still a table-top oven though, but it can now fit a 12-cup muffin pan inside, which is good since most cupcake recipes yield 12 cupcakes anyway.

Cooking is another story. I can fry and make traditional Filipino soup dishes like sinigang and nilaga (it’s kind of like throwing everything in the pot right?). I don’t know how to make adobo, menudo and such, though. And I just remembered, I can make pasta too! Everybody here loves my aglio olio, whose recipe I have gotten from Rachel Ray. Now I can hear my tummy begging to be filled again. Goodbye South Beach diet.

It’s still a little bit early and I don’t know what to do today, aside from baking snickerdoodles which I’ll blog about later. I haven’t tried baking this cookie and I have searched the interwebs for a recipe that has nutmeg since I have the ground variety here which I have been itching to use since I bought it at Chocolate Lovers. Woah long sentence there, eh? Anyway, it’s been a great year of baking and a little bit of cooking and I look forward to more kitchen adventures in 2013!

PS. I think this year-end/start of new year post is a little bit early. I just want to write, that’s all. 😀