The end of this year marks the graduation of my first batch of students – and it is sure going to be bittersweet. It’s funny how I grew close to a particular bunch of lovely kids – even the circumstances were baffling… I only taught half of the class when they were in Year 1 and was their Assistant Supervising Tutor for Project Work last year. I was never their home tutor but this is one class that I believe I would remember for quite a long time to come.
I remember the first thing I baked for them nearly 2 years ago – chocolate cupcakes with chocolate fudge frosting. It was towards the end of the year, when the exams were nearing. And as they say… the rest is history.
I guess the perks of teaching older kids is that interaction is much more meaningful. Last year I brought a group of them out to break fast, and then we spent a night playing lanterns during the Mid Autumn Festival and the year culminated in a barbecue after the exams.
Tomorrow I am meeting them for a meal and since their exams will be after the holidays, I made them these:
adapted from Cookies Galore; Jacqueline Bellefontaine
125g butter, softened
40g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g plain flour
4 tbsp cornflour
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.
2. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flours and mix to form a soft dough.
3. Roll out the dough between sheets of clear plastic (I just plonked it in between greaseproof paper) and roll out to about 5mm thick. Cut out cookies as desired.
4. Bake till crisp and golden, about 8-10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring on a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Roll out ready-made fondant and use the same cutters. Dab the cookie with a little milk to ensure that the fondant shapes stick. Deocrate as desired.
I should start thinking of what to give them nearing their graduation, eh? 🙂
no-frills recipe – baked these during the march break. a shortbread base with chocolate filling, how can this go wrong?
recipe here. made a slight modification – i replaced the light corn syrup with butter to make the chocolate filling. this will ensure that the chocolate sets hard… and of course, hundreds and thousands for good measure.
chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting – part of a wedding gift for kel & bani whose wedding was held last saturday.
brownie with chocolate ganache – a colleague ordered for her friend’s bridal shower.
iced sugar cookies. must keep in mind that when using royal icing, the cookie should be made less sweet.
i’m not really a fan of double chocolate cookies, but these little dark beauties may have changed my mind. i adapted a recipe from woman’s weekly cupcakes and cookies and it turned out to be an absolute keeper.
today we sprang a surprise (fancy being “ambushed” after coming out of the toilet!) on one of the boy’s friends, ridhwan, who is flying off to laos for the sea games in a couple of days. he likes dark chocolate – “the darker and more bitter the better”, according to the boy.
125g butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
275g firmly packed brown sugar
150g plain flour
35g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
35g cocoa powder
250g chocolate chips
70g macadamia nuts, chopped
1. preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. grease a couple of baking trays.
2. beat butter, vanilla extract, sugar and egg in a bowl with electric beaters/mixer until smooth; do not overbeat. add in dry ingredients, then nuts and chocolate chips. mix with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.
3. roll dough into balls (mine was about a little smaller than 1 inch in diameter) and bake for about 12-15 minutes. stand cookies for 5 minutes on tray before transferring to wire rack to cool.
feel free to play around with the mix-ins – the recipe called for raisins but i substituted it with nuts. i used the macadamia nuts that my good friend bought for me all the way from perth, which i received yesterday. i also used a mixture of chocolate chips and chopped dark chocolate. fans of white/milk chocolate, you could use those!
happy birthday wan!
kick box some ass in laos! 🙂 i would send you off if i were around; but i’ll be there in spirit. all the best!
i have been wanting to recreate a coconut raisin cookie one of my friends baked for me a couple of years back but she can’t remember which recipe she used. i had to use up the packet of sweetened flaked coconut i got weeks back so i decided on a simple recipe.
the coconut taste came through sufficiently – it was not overpowering. the cookie also had a nice crisp.
5 oz butter, softened
3 oz caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
5 oz self-raising flour
2.5 oz sweetened flaked coconut (Baker’s brand)
glace cherries, quartered
1. cream butter, sugar and vanilla essence till light and fluffy.
2. add flour and stir with a wooden spoon. add coconut and mix until combined.
3. prepare ungreased baking sheets. roll into small balls and flatten slightly by pressing the cherry quarters in. bake for about 15 mins or slightly brown on the edges. leave to cool on sheets for about 10 minutes before transferring onto wire racks.
i was craving for something nutella sometime last week, and spreading it on bread didn’t help much. initially i thought of baking self-frosting nutella cupcakes, but i wasn’t particular feeling cake-ish, so i googled for a cookie recipe… and found this:
1 1/3 cup plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
7 tbsp butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup Nutella
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 170C.
2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla essence and Nutella. Mix in egg.
4. Add in the flour mixture. Add chocolate chips, if desired.
5. Bake 11-13 minutes.
the boy loved it; so did his couple of friends who got a taste of it. i thought the taste of the nutella didn’t come through that much (as it usually does after baking). probably next time i shall leave out the chocolate chips.
i like how these look. they are chunky cookies – very buttery and melt-in-your-mouth. i spread a couple with nutella and made them my pre-bedtime snack. 🙂 recipe from here.
this batch of cookies is for another friend whose birthday is coming up. this cookie is intensely chocolatey; having both cocoa powder and chocolate chips. it has a crispy exterior and a softer, chewy interior.
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
115g butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips (i used a portion of “duo-tone” chocolate chips)
1. preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. grease baking trays with oil/butter.
2. in a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
3. in a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. beat in egg, followed by vanilla extract. gradually, with the mixer on low speed, blend in the flour mixture, stopping when no streaks of dry ingredients remain. stir in chocolate chips.
4. place rounded tablespoons of dough (about 1-inch balls) onto prepared baking sheet. (alternatively, you could use your hands to roll dough into balls)
5. bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies begin to crack on the top.
6. cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
(makes around 50 cookies)
i made this for a friend as part of her birthday gift. it’s really simple – no need for a electric mixer!
adapted from: 500 chocolate delights by lauren floodgate (makes around 24 cookies)
140g plain flour, sifted
2 tbsp cornflour
55g caster sugar
115g butter, diced
90g chocolate chips
40g dried cranberries
1. preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. sift the flour and cornflour into a bowl, add the sugar and stir to combine. using your fingers, rub the butter into the mixture. add the chocolate chips and dried cranberries and stir well.
2. shape into balls (refrigerate for a while if dough is too soft) and arrange on ungreased cookie trays. bake for 10 minutes or until sides of cookies are brown. allow cookies to stand on tray for a couple of minutes before cooling on a wire rack.
the beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can practically add anything – M&Ms, orange/lemon zest, diced dried apricots, chopped dark chocolate… the resulting cookie is really crisp and buttery.
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