Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sweet Melissa Sundays: Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

This week's SMS was chosen by Megan from My Baking Adventures - Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies. I really wanted to make these cookies because first off, I love chocolate chocolate chip cookies. I made them once for a district board meeting and I just couldnt stop eating them. So, when I saw the cherries, I thought well I know that my parents have cranberries at home so I subbed out cherries for cranberries. I knew that my parents may not like the cranberries so I made half with and half without, satisfying everyone.

I also decided to cut mine up in half-in ones instead on 1 in blocks. They didn't flatten as much, but they are very cute cookies.

This is my last weekend in Socal, but next weekend equals moving back up to Berkeley for summer school which means more baking. Maybe I can make up some of the SMS recipes already made or get started on making some of the things on the 5 page long list of things that interested me on other sites.

Taken last night after baking, so the lighting isnt so good.
In the morning, I took more when the light was better.

With Dried Cranberries
Without Dried Cranberries
<3 Nina

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Bakewell Tart

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.

This was my father's day present to both my dad and another dad from this family we're pretty close with.
We had met the family originally in Tulsa when both the fathers were getting their PhDs at Tulsa University (?)...something like that. We had moved to Fullerton afterwards when my dad found a job here, and they had moved too. But their adventure is a lot more interesting. They then moved to Northern California, Houston, Nigeria, and finally now are in Indonesia. Life is just so interesting. They do come by and visit every year or so and all the parents try to meet up and have dinner together and catch up. This year they have a purpose, college searching =]. I remembered that year for me, lots of college looking and finding the right fit, somewhat.

Anyways, this had given me the opportunity to get a new tart pan, well a tart pan since I've never had one, and bake something possibly spectacular for the dads.

Everyone was tooting my horn afterwards, but I know it wasn't the best it could have been.

I used strawberry jam that I found at the supermarket, and the tart pan was a little bigger than the one suggested. I had used the 9.5 in one, but all good. I had also used the Victorian sponge cake because I was worried about allergies with the other family. I would rather avoid an instance of allergies popping up under my watch. No nuts at all!

Also this weekend, we got our floors changed from carpet to hardwood floors. While I was baking, they were tearing up the kitchen floors and the carpet from almost all the rooms. It was a mess all over.

The tart part was a bit underdone, but oh well, it's okay, it was still edible.

*This month's Daring Baker's challenge was hosted by
Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar.*

going, going,
<3 Nina

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sweet Melissa Sundays: Butterscotch Cashew Bars

Sorry to disappoint, nothing this week. I barely had enough time to finish my Daring Baker's project for my dad for his Father's Day present. We're getting the floors changed into hardwood floors so there's just a whole bunch of people and no room in this house right now. I'll make sure to make next weeks!

<3 Nina

Monday, June 15, 2009

Broken Glass Jello

Ever since I saw the Food Librarian's post on Broken Glass Jello, I knew that eventually, I would need to make it. I had made Jello Shot cupcakes that were inspired by these, but alas, I had no unflavored gelatin so I was not able to make it again. Friday night, while on the phone with Brent, he told me that he was sad that I had not made anything for him yet. Realizing that this was the fact, I knew that I needed to make something for him. He said that he didn't like cupcakes - BLASPHEMY - so I needed to think outside of the box. So I looked through this list that I had made about all the things that I wanted to make at least once in my baking career, and I saw it, Broken Glass Jello. He loves Jello so why not make this? It's creative and thinking back now, I might have wanted to do the Lakers Broken Glass Jello, but oh well, I'll make it up to him with USC Jello during football season.

I hope he likes them!

Although I did end up buy cherry, lemon, orange and lime jello, none of which are his favorite, at least they're in his top ten, right? I tried my best, I needed some color and there was no way I was going to do black cherry, cherry, and strawberry together.

After refridgerating them over night, the jello was set, but it was really hard to get out of the tupperware, maybe next time I'll get real jello and not the store brand instead. Regardless, I somehow got most of the jello out in square-looking blocks, and put them into the 9x13 pan. Mixed up the condensed milk and unflavored gelatin mixture and put it back into the fridge. I tried to cool the mixture down, but being lazy, just poured it in.

I turned out pretty well and it tasted really good. I ended up only bringing him a couple of pieces, but I'll figure out a way to get him to eat the rest of them...probably give them to him in piles, every single time I see him.

kind of blurry but that's okay. it has all the color jello in it!all of them - brownies, cookies and jello - on one dish for Brent.

Congrats to finishing your second year =].
<3 Nina

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sweet Melissa Sundays: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted Almonds

Well, this is my first participating since I just got the book! It made me so happy when the package came - it had the cookbook and a book that came highly recommended from a friend. I have yet to open the other book, but I decided to bring out the book on Friday. So Fridays, my dad comes home from his weeklong business trip and generally he comes home around 5. I was going to bake these after dinner, so after he came home. His flight was cancelled due to mechanical issues and so I was not able to bake most of the cookies until after I picked him up at 9:30pm. Enough with the random stuff.
This week's SMS (short for Sweet Melissa Sundays) was hosted by Melissa Murphy herself. We had chosen these cookies, and I was about to take my week off since I am at home where I can't bake as much, but I though, why not? My parents can say what they will, but since I enjoy baking, they can't stop me. I put all the ingredients together, although I did change some things since I didn't have some stuff. So since I'm only at home for a month, I decided to not buy baking soda and then not use it, so I just replaced the baking soda and salt with baking powder - apparently it works. I also decided to put in chocolate chips instead of chocolate chunks because I could not find any decently priced chocolate bars. Also, I had some slivered almonds already so I had toasted those instead of whole almonds. I decieded to be lazy as well and just refridgerate the dough and drop them (tablespoon sized of course). Although it was not completely the same, I believe that they are somewhat the same. They tasted really good.
My grandma thought that they were too sweet, but then again, she thinks everything is too sweet. My mom thought that they were really nice and told me that I should have taken the picture at night, but I told her that natural sunlight was best and that it was not possible for her to eat the 30 cookies that was still left. I had ended up with 32, but one broke and one my mom ate.

Make sure to check out everyone else did on this cookie recipe! I'm sure everyone's was amazing as well! =]

<3 Nina

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hershey's Brownies

So, I decided to bake for my brother's Cake Walk. Apparently the Cake Walk is some sort of musical chairs type game where you walk around and you get to a number and you can get a prize if you standing/sitting on a certain number that they call out after you already have sat down or something like that. Well, they were advertising on the newsletter on how they need people to bake cakes/cupcakes/brownies/cookies for them. After seeing that, immediately I thought that I would bake cupcakes since that's what I love to do. Thinking through a bit more, I realized that I would need to cover them because they need to go the school Friday morning, I though, cupcakes aren't the BEST idea.
So browsing through some of my favorite brownie recipes, I found that I needed some things that aren't that ridiculous, but I knew my mom would find it quite useless other than for me baking so I decided to skip those. I finally found one that only used cocoa powder. Being a big fan of chocolate, I also decided to add in a whole layer of chocolate chips. I can never have enough chocolate and there's no reason for me to have what I want.
I had found this on one of the blogs that always has great recipes. It's a great simple Hershey's Brownie recipe. I loved it. It was quite simple to make as well.


The whole thing.
trying a different perspective...
<3 Nina

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sugar Cookie Bar

Oh, this recipe was both easy to make and really good.
So, my little choir kids are graduating - they just grow up so fast. It makes me realize that I'm getting older and therefore have to take on more responsibilities and learn how to be an adult. We had a long conversation at night talking about how our parents treated us. If you were to think that your parents were strict because they gave you a curfew and didn't let you drink and do drugs, think again. Asian parents are even worse. None of that stuff, and you weren't allowed to go ever. Anyways, back to the story about these, I dropped them off, and I'm sure they all like it. When I went "backstage" after the concert, half of it was gone. I'm sure most of them were just eating it =]

The bar itself came out to be a little bit undercooked. The middle of the sheet was still like cookie dough, but then again, who DOESNT like cookie dough. I also used canned frosting because first off, I was running a little late and second off, I'm a lot lazy. I know I'm normally totally against canned frosting, but seriously, I had no time, and I didn't want to clean up afterwards, the kitchen back at home is smaller than the one at school so I didn't want to clean.

I had bought the funfetti kind so that's the sprinkles, and decided to dress it up a little bit by putting the crystals on it.

<3 Nina

Thursday, June 4, 2009

S'mores Bar

So being at home means less baking. EEK! But I had time to make these s'mores bars. There was a potluck for UCLA Circle K and I decided to bake for it, even though we didn't need to bring food. Regardless, I knew my two friends, Andy and Jaymie wanted me to bring things for them. So I baked these S'mores bars. I'm not sure if the recipe can be seen without a LJ account so I'll repost it here.

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 regular sized milk chocl (e.g. Hershey’s)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt.
Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.
Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.
Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff.
Place chocolate bars over dough. Break them up to small pieces to fit them better.
Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the chocolate bars (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned.
Cool completely before cutting into bars.


S'mores Bars with some noodles next to it =]. That's how college students do it. All on one plate!

<3 Nina

Monday, June 1, 2009


So those ice cream cupcakes finally get to be voted on. The competition is very fierce, and some of them, I genuinely think that it's very cute and I would want to try making them...eventually, some other day. But yeah, vote for me?

<3 Nina

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