Tag Archives: baking

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Day 275/365: Oct 2, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • Finding new baking tricks. (Grate frozen butter before cutting into the flour mixture. Genius!)
  • Warm scones.
  • The husband coming home earlier than expected.

Wouldn’t have thought to grate butter… but frozen butter = clever!

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Days 192-195/365: Jul 11-14, 2014

Day 192/365: Jul 11, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • Glimpses of nieces and nephews grow up via email.
  • A boring bus ride livened by the sighting of the train going by.
  • A few Cutthroat Kitchen episodes on Youtube.

Can you tell this was taken before we were enthused about the train?

Day 193/365: Jul 12, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • A family bike ride to scout out a print shop.
  • Tasty treats rewarding sweaty bicyclists.
  • Seeing the lightbulb moment in a student’s facial expression.

Both dutifully waited till I snapped the shot to dig in… just one’s patience had almost run out.

Day 194/365: Jul 13, 2014

  • Enjoying a second round of cycling despite some soreness (and hearing my sister in my head saying, “No pain, no gain!”)
  • Eating Okonumiyaki and being reminded of Japan.
  • Being blessed by fellowing in the church nursery even if I missed out on the sermon.

Perhaps not 100% authentic, but it still reminded me of the real thing. (And at $3.50, I couldn’t complain!)

Day 195/365: Jul 14, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • Finding a toy truck that we had left in a public place outside.
  • A stranger carrying my heavy bag with groceries the rest of the way to the taxi stand.
  • A scrumptious home-made version of Somoa cookies.

Num.

 

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Day 94/365: Apr 4, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • 3 years-today, of a job for Andrew in Singapore.
  • An excuse to make a cake and homemade frosting.
  • The fun of getting messy while enjoying a taste of the frosting with the toddler.

Mmmm… it was met with approval. (Not that I expected otherwise.)

Easter Cookies Strike Again

It’s been 2 years since I’ve made Easter Cookies. (Click the link for the story and the tradition behind the cookie.) Wow, has it really been 2 years already!?

Last year, due to pregnancy, I was not in the mood to be doing much in the kitchen, much less make cookies. And the year before, we had just moved into our apartment and the cookies was one of the first baking adventures.

Now, two years later, so much has happened. The main event, obviously, has been Gideon. More recently the news is that we just moved into a new apartment. We are thrilled with the wonderful apartment God has blessed us with. (Hopefully we’ll have enough boxes unpacked soon to make the home reasonably presentable so we can show y’all.)

One of the many blessings in our new home, is a bonafide built-in oven! It even fits some of our larger pans that we brought with us from the USA but haven’t used in the last 2 years due to the size of our oven. Even though we just moved in, I have been looking forward to “Christening” our new oven with the baking of Easter Cookies!

Even though it seems like a small thing I enjoy the process of making these cookies the night before Easter and the symbols of Christ’s death and resurrection that are associated with the ingredients/baking process.

Last night after Gideon went to bed we set about making the cookies. Andrew helped out by chopping the nuts. And I made the cookies. We discovered two downsides: 1) Meringues never are perfect when made with Singapore humidity. 2) Because they need to cook slowly, you will be up late if you are making a double batch!

Mmmm...

Mmmm…

These two downsides weren’t so bad. For one, we had lots of “rejects” that we were able to eat. And also, despite going to bed late, Gideon did a record sleeping in till after 8am! He must of known we needed the extra sleep. Isn’t he thoughtful? 😉

Today we put together little baggies of the sweet treats for our friends.

A gift from our family to yours!

A gift from our family to yours!

I think that the best part of this whole Easter Cookie process, besides the symbolism, is the sharing of joy (and sugar) with loved ones! While out to get some lunch we stopped at our favorite drink place to pick up some caffeine and drop of some cookies.

Gideon with his favorite admirers from Each-a-Cup (picture taken in February)

Gideon with his favorite admirers from Each-a-Cup (picture taken in February)

After that we had a little break at home before we headed out to church. Because the meringues are so delicate, we needed something sturdy to transport them in.

A bucket load of Easter sweetness

A bucket load of Easter sweetness

I’m sure we looked like a pair of curious Western dorks as we were on our way to church. Our two adult persons were accompanied with the following: Gideon in a front carrier, folded up stroller, diaper bag pack pack, and a bucket full of bags of cookies!

After our WONDERFUL Easter Church service, we took the time to hand out the cookies to our brother and sisters at Crossroads.

Did I mention that Gideon dressed up for the occasion?

The wonderful friends that are responsible for Gideon's adorable outfit!

The wonderful friends that are responsible for Gideon’s adorable outfit!

He was so cute! But he wasn’t in the mood to smile for the group photos at church. Thankfully when we got home he was willing to smile some more!

All decked out!

Happy about Easter

I think Gideon has the right attitude about Resurrection Sunday! That smile is how I feel 🙂

He is risen. He has risen indeed!

Whoopie! It’s CNY!

Chinese New Year (CNY): The biggest holiday of the year here in Singapore.

I don’t think we really think much about the actual reason for the holiday, the lunar new year, but we still anticipate the holiday due to the time Andrew get’s off from work. Two vacation days: Whoopie!

The anticipation actually began a few weeks ago. One of the girls I tutor was at my house working on her homework after school. At some point during her afternoon studies, we were taking a break when I showed Ghislaine one of my recipe books. It was a book filled with recipes for Whoopie Pies.

Andrew's sweet indulgent gift to me

Andrew’s sweet indulgent gift to me

Andrew had bought the book for me several months ago when I had spied it in a local book store. But I had yet to take the time to make one of the recipes.

Ghislaine looked surprised when she saw the book, and she spoke about how she had a very similar recipe book which she too had yet to put to use! Aware that my friend shared a love for baking and could use a fun break from school stress, I mentioned to her that we should get together sometime soon and make one of the recipes. Then torn, she wistfully told me how she would love to, but didn’t think it would be a possibility considering the homework load that she had. However, we quickly realized that neither of us had plans for the upcoming break for CNY. This set in motion a plan for us to get together during the local holiday for a baking extraveganza.

As the days past, at our homes we looked through our own whoopie pie books and thought about which ones we would most like to make. Later in the week we compared notes she became pretty sure that we had the same book.

Chinese New Year arrived. Along with it came some time off and our planned baking date! Andrew graciously volunteered to take Gideon on an guys-only excursion while us girls stayed behind and went to work in the kitchen. Step one, take out books. We compared almost every page. The books were identical. Well… there was one main difference: hers was in Dutch. But close enough.

Het Whoopie Boekje

Het Whoopie Boekje

Though her book had a different cover, inside they both had the same recipes, same tips, same descriptions, and the same pictures! For my sake, we decided to go with my English version 🙂

Our first mission: The Classic (aka “klassieke“) Whoopie Pie

Soft, cake-like, chocolate cookies with a marshmallow fluff filling. I must say, I was shocked with how good they looked when they were done!

Doesn't it look like a whoopie pie?

Doesn’t it look like a whoopie pie?

They tasted great too. They were everything that a whoopie pie should be.

How to Eat a Whoopie (by Susanna Tee from “Whoopies!”)

When it comes to eating, you will be aware that some of the generous filling is lost out of the sides. When this happens, open it, collect up the filling that has oozed out with a finger, put back onto the bottom half, and then recreate the whoopee – only to do it all over again a few bites later. This is the correct way to eat a whoopie.

Everything the book's instructions promised came true.

Mmmm… Can’t wait to take a bite!

It was just right. The chocolate ends were soft and crumbly, but they still held together in a strong enough manner to contain the filling and be picked up. The filling’s marshmallowy taste complimented the chocolate and gave it that classic whoopie pie feel!

As we finished filling the last few whoopie pies, the guys walked in the door. (Okay, one of the guys was carried in the front door.) Gideon was ready for his afternoon meal, and I was ready for a break.

Our second selection: Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

The molasses, as called for in the recipe, is hard to find in Singapore. So we made do with some substitutions. We used molasses brown sugar and a type of sweet and sour sauce. Both included some molasses in their listed ingredients. It must have worked, because the batter was particularly sticky and the aroma that wafted from the oven caused my mouth to water as I waited to taste the warm and spicy combination.

We had some down time while we were waiting for the cookies to bake. It was the perfect time to pay attention to Gideon.

A baking date isn't complete without some Gideon smiles!

A baking date isn’t complete without some Gideon smiles!

Gideon was happy long enough for us to complete the baking of the Gingerbread whoopie pies. But before they could be tasted, we needed a filling to make the whoopies complete. The recipe recommended a lemon buttercream filling. I wouldn’t have initially thought to pair lemon with gingerbread, but it ended up pairing quite well. The lemon gave the filling the slight edge it needed to live up to the tang of the ginger, but still maintained the sweetness required for a whoopie pie sugar rush.

Two perfectly delicious delicacies!

Two perfectly delicious delicacies!

All in all, it was a GREAT way to spend a day during our CNY break.

Happy with our whoopie pie success!

(Note: even the lion on her shirt is ready to devour the delicious cookies!)

Of course, we couldn’t eat all the cookies ourselves. The majority of the sweets were sent home with Ghislaine for her to share with her family. Since Gideon (though he did seem interested) isn’t quite ready to partake of the treats, and Andrew is still being careful with his carb intake, I knew I needed a way to ration myself. The solution seemed to be to pack the cookies away so they weren’t out on the counter where they could tempt me as easily!

Packed away for a rainy day :)

Packed away for a rainy day (… did I mention that it’s rainy today?)

Now, I just need to avoid the temptation to open the refrigerator where they’re stored!