Thursday, May 29, 2014

Butterscotch And Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

As I have been busy baking buns, it is a while since I baked any sweet treats for us. The boys are having school holidays so it also turns out to be a fun activity to get them involved in mixing the batter, sprinkling extra chocolate chips, popping some chocolate chips into their mouth and then licking the spatula clean.

The cookies might look or sound like the usual chocolate chip cookies, but they are definitely not. I have always been intrigued with the idea of baking oatmeal type of cookies. Or rather compelled to look into at least one healthy ingredient to cancel out the usage of butter and sugar.

I had found this recipe on the Joy Of Baking and I kinda got the basic idea. And then I took a leap of faith and did some amendments, added something, reduced the sugar and chips, hoping to get desired effect.

You Need: 
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar (or you can mix equal portions of white and brown sugar)
1 egg
1 cup flour
2 tbsp dessicated coconut
2 tbsp instant oats
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup chocolate chips
pinch of salt 
1) Whisk the butter till creamy. Then add sugar (brown & white) and whisk some more. Whisk in the egg, and then add the vanilla, whisk until incorporated.
2) In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, dessicated coconut and oats together.
3) Add the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Divide into two equal portions.
4) Add chocolate chips in one portion. And add butterscotch chips into the other. Mix well.
5) Refrigerate for 30 mins to 2 hours.
6) Scoop about 1.5 to 2tbsp for each cookie and arrange on a prepared baking tray.
7) Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 10-15minutes.
I just love love the butterscotch chips, it not just gives you an extra taste, but also this very comfort aroma, perhaps very buttery? You can actually skip the part where I divided the batter into two portions and go ahead to mix both the different chips into every cookie, it tastes pretty wicked that way too! Yes, tried and ate that.

I chose to refrigerate the batter because it hardens the batter, and after that you can just roll it with your hands and arrange them on the baking tray. This also gives thicker cookies. If you skip chilling the batter then the cookies will spread out more and be flatter.

The result is crunchy in the outside, nice and chewy in the inside. Having oats and the dessicated coconut also gives a nice texture in the inside. Almost reminds me of the Quaker honey oat biscuits I love to buy. My best cookie by far, and for something I tried after so long, feeling kinda proud of myself. I can't help myself popping one cookie into my mouth every time I see the jar. That's my vice, I can dodge chocolate or ice cream, but cannot say no to a good buttery cookie!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hokkaido Butterscotch Loaf Recipe

I am on butterscotch cloud nine after baking this little beauty!

During this craze of bread baking I had discovered that they actually sell butterscotch chips here, which meant we could just whip-up the Gardenia's famous butterscotch bread right in our home! Once seeing the recipe circulating around, it took me a while to spot the butterscotch chips available at the local baking supply store, approximately 1 month.

On the day of my casual visit to the store, there it was, shining with a silver lining. Without even glancing at the price tag, I just grabbed one. And then there was no turning back (drama yo!).

After being crazy about tangzhong recipes, I wanted to give a non tangzhong recipe a try. Partly also because I had no thanzhong standby and I wanted to bake like, now!

The original recipe called for bread and cake flour, but I just used bread and plain flour. Also the original recipe calls for whipped cream, but since I did not have it, I used homemade yogurt instead.

Following is the recipe I used:

Ingredients A
270g bread flour
30g all purpose flour
half a tsp salt
30g sugar
40g yogurt
125g milk
1 egg
15g milk powder
5g instant yeast

90g butterscotch chips

Ingredients A to be knead together. If the mixture it too soft, add 2 tbsp flour, and then apply butter to your finger to avoid the dough from sticking to your fingers. Once dough is incorporated, mix the butterscotch chips and knead some more. First proofing for 1 hour. Punch the dough down and place dough into the loaf tin. Proof for another 40 mins.

Bake it in a preheated oven at 180C for 15-20minutes.

Yes, you see it right, and it looks and tastes exactly like Gardenia's!

Like many, we too are the butterscotch fans because of its nice sweetness, its a delight to eat with just butter. I chose to bake it on a Sunday afternoon so the hubby could have plenty to bring to work the next day, but would you believe it, not much left, and he only managed to bring a small amount of souvenir for his breakfast the next day.

The 90g of butterscotch however turned out to be a tad overwhelming for our taste, so I will be reducing it to two thirds the next time I make this again. Which definitely will be happening like, soon!

Movie Review: Return To Zero

"It means returning to a place where you need to rediscover a new philosophy for life. When you lose a child in this way, in a way you never thought possible because no one ever talks about it, it makes you question your faith, how everything works. It takes you back to a zero point, where you have to start over. [It means] building an entire new life philosophy from scratch"
                                                                                                   Sean Hanish
                                                                                                   Director & Writer of Return To Zero

I have been invited by Lifetime (Ch 709 on Astro) for an exclusive blogger preview of the new Lifetime movie, Return To Zero, which will be premiering on 20th May 2014, at 8pm, only on  Lifetime.

Based on a true story, Return To Zero tells the story of a successful couple, Maggie and Aaron who are preparing to welcome the arrival of their first child. However just weeks before the due date the couple is devastated to discover that they have to prepare for a stillbirth.

The two attempt to go on with their lives and try to escape postpartum grief in their own ways. This affects them not being available to provide emotional support to each other, and brings their marriage apart.

Find out how the couple bring it together when hope strikes for the second time, when Maggie discovers she is pregnant again. With the help of an empathetic doctor, Maggie learns to cope with the grieve and the coming bundle of joy.

Being a mother of two myself, it was painful to imagine the pain and agony of a couple going through such situation of a stillborn. As how it was quoted at the memorial service for the baby, "This child never knew anything but LOVE.  He was never hungry, he was never cold…." nothing stands more true than this.

Director/Writer Sean Hanish has done an impressive job in capturing emotions at all different situations in the movie. Not just a parent, but everyone would be able to feel for the couple facing the loss of their baby. He and his wife lost their son Norbert in 2005, after 37 weeks.

Sean used the actual diagnosis of his baby in the film as well as the beautiful moments at the memorial service. It is really not common to have movies on this subject of stillbirth.

When life gets tough, we find our hope and move on with the positive side of life. Follow Maggie and Aaron as they find theirs.

Return to Zero will be premiering on May 20th on Lifetime Channel (Ch 709 on Astro) at 8pm.


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