Best Snickerdoodle Cookies Ever!

As of right now, I am lying on my couch finally resting my sore feet and back. Lying down has never felt so wonderful!

For the past month, my kitchen turned into a cookie factory. 11 big batches of cookies and 1 giant size of apple crisp later, I am officially throwing in the towel to any baking for the holidays. Think my oven is dying for the well deserved break.

If you’re wondering where all that cookies went, it was all given away to neighbours, landlord, colleagues, bosses, yoga instructor, few lucky friends and pat’s family. One batch of cookies was also exclusively for my Pat who was beyond awesome for doing all the dishes the kitchen churn out. Anyway, me giving away cookies during the holidays has an alter motive too.

I grease the boss so I can get away with all the travelling in 2016. Grease the landlord so my rent hasn’t been raised in 3 years. Grease my yoga instructor so I have a couple bonus free classes under the table. So, all the hardwork really pays off but greasing Pat’s family is strictly for earning brownie points!

These cookies are so buttery that is so nice. I am not sure about your preference but I have a soft spot for soft chewy cookies and this one hits the bulls-eye!

Its so easy you can whip it up for your chistmas dinner in no time!

SnickerDoodle Cookies

Prep Time : 15 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Yield: 18 Cookies

Ingredients

  • For Dough
    • 1⅓ cups all purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ⅛ teaspoons salt
    • ½ cup unsalted butter- room temperature
    • ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For Coating
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

 

Steps

  1. Combine coating ingredients into a deep mug or bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment or a silpat. Set aside. Next sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside as well.
  3. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed for several minutes until they’re light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.
  4. Add the flour mixture in two batches, making sure the first is incorporated before adding the second. Stop when the second batch is fully combined.
  5. Using a cookie scoop (I use #20), portion out the dough (approx 1 inch) and roll into ball and lay onto a holding tray.
  6. Drop each ball into the bowl of coating mixture and swirl the bowl so the dough is coated with cinnamon sugar.
  7. Place 6 cookies to a tray and 2 trays into the oven for 10 mins, turning the tray halfway so it bakes evenly.
  8. Remove tray and allow to cool for a few mins before transferring to a cooling rack.

Recipe from TheBakerChick

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Easy Thai Basil Chicken

I don’t cook many Asian dishes because I personally  think it’s hard to master. Most good Asian cooks cook by touch, they can’t really tell you how long to cook something, how much of this and that to add, when it’s good or cook for how long. I’ve tried CharSiew and failed, tried sweet%sour pork and failed, tried easy chinese veg with oyster sauce and it turned out like grass.

My grandma and childhood domestic helper are the Asian Martha Steward and I bet many families grandmothers’ are too. If I knew back in the day that these recipes will be lost today, I would have learnt from them when I was much younger. Now, my grandmother’s taste buds are all over the map so she can’t cook anymore and I’ve lost contact with the domestic helper. So it’s too late for regret.

Recently, I discovered this group called TheMeatMen on Facebook and they re-create local Singapore Hawker dishes that you can cook at home. HOW AWESOME IS THAT! I was looking through the videos and it literally make me drool that I have to catch my saliva. They mainly do Asian dishes which I really love because it is a struggle to find good asian recipe sites. I’ve tried CharSiew and failed, tried sweet%sour pork and failed, tried easy Chinese veg with oyster sauce and it turned out like grass.

Anyway, I decided to try this one out. It looked really easy and I was able to find all the ingredients here as well so that’s a plus. Also, this is so quick to make that it’s perfect for a weekday dinner 🙂

Don’t forget that egg, it’s the best part of the dish.

Easy Thai Basil Chicken

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Yield: 3 Servings

Ingredients

  • 7 oz of Minced Chicken, preferably dark meat
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 3 chili padi, sliced and pound with a mortar and pastel
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce
  • 0.7oz thai basil leaves, cut into 3 sections
  • dash of white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of white sugar
  • 3 Eggs, fried hard
  • Rice to serve

Steps

  1. Add a tablespoon of canola oil into a deep skillet over med-high heat
  2. Add shallots and garlic. Fry till fragrant.
  3. Add minced chicken and fry till cooked. try to break up the pieces as small as possible
  4. Add fish sauce and sweet soy sauce.
  5. Mix well and add chili padi
  6. Add sugar and pepper, mix well
  7. Add basil and fry till till basil wilts.
  8. Serve with a fried egg and over rice.

Recipe from TheMeatMen

 

All Meat Lasagna

Back when I was in university, I used to waitress in a Japanese restaurant to support myself and on a very rare occasion, one of the restaurant managers would make lasagna when he feels likes it. It was the best lasagna I have ever eaten hands down, better than any restaurants. I actually popped over his place one Christmas because he was making it so I could learn but back then, I have never cooked much so everything seems pretty foreign to me. I never wrote anything down but just watch. His secret is using 2 different cheese and adding a lot of heat. I love the heat but am quite lazy to buy and have 2 kind of cheese on hand.

He soon left the restaurant and never really got in touch with him much but I remembered vaguely about that cooking lesson so I tried to replicated it. It’s not as good but I love it and it’s with no cheese layer so it’s not heavy and super filling like most lasagnas.

I know my layers are not perfect but I manage to dish this out with the layers intact and the cheese layer just so charred. You wanna know the secret? it’s TIME – you need to let it cool and sit after you remove from the oven before you start slicing it!

To quote Alton Brown again, often people don’t regard time as an ingredient.

So patience, my dear one.

 

All Meat Lasagna

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins – 1 hr

Yield : 1 loaf pan = 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pack (750g/1lb) of Italian sausage
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 white button mushroom, sliced
  • 1 Jar (700ml) of  pasta sauce
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • Oregano, to taste
  • Crushed Red Pepper, to taste
  • Thyme, to taste
  • Basil, to taste
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 6 Lasagna noodles
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Steps

  • Place pan over high heat and add some olive oil
  • Add Italian sausage and fry them till brown. Try to break the pieces as small as you can. Set aside on a paper-towel lined plate.
  • Lower heat to medium high and add some olive oil.
  • Add diced onions and fry till translucent but not burnt
  • Add red bell pepper and mushroom and stir fry for 2-3 mins
  • Add cooked Italian sausage then pasta sauce
  • Add black pepper,oregano,crushed red pepper,thyme,basil and bay leaf.
  • Give everything a good mix and cover. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer while you prep other stuff.
  • Bring a kettle of water to boil. Place lasagna noodles in a deep baking tray and add hot water till it covers the noodles.
  • Let it steep for 5-10 mins until noodles are soft but not cooked through.
  • Heat your oven to 350F
  • Remove the bay leaf before assembly

Assembly

  • Spray a loaf pan with vegetable spray.
  • Remove lasagna noodles from the water and pat dry with towel.
  • Trim the noodles by cutting off any excess length.
  • Layer as follows:
    • Noodle
    • Meat sauce
    • Mozzarella cheese
    • Noodle
    • Meat sauce
    • Mozzarella cheese …
  • You should have to layer the noodle 3 times and the very top layer should be cheese.

Cooking

  • Cover the loaf pan with foil
  • Pop it in the oven, centre rack for 20 mins
  • Remove the foil and adjust the oven rack to the second highest level
  • Broil the lasagna until the cheese is browned and slightly charred

Resting

  • Remove the pan from the oven and let it cook for 10 mins
  • Slice a desired size and serve immediately.

 

Note: You can do all the assembly the day before and keep it in the fridge. Allow the lasagna to come to room temperature before popping it into the oven or cook at 425F for 20mins straight for the fridge. Also, using fresh mushrooms will create some water in the lasagna but I prefer it that way so it will not be overdry. If you wish, use canned button mushroom instead so there will be less water.