Monday, February 27, 2012

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

How many of you like Mrs. Fields cookies? Of all their products, this is my favorite. This cookie is the object of my late-night cravings. Back when we didn't have Mrs. Fields in Manila, I used to buy a tin of freshly-baked cookies when we go on holiday to Hong Kong. When they opened shop in Manila, my shopping excursion would not be complete without buying one.

But times are hard and mall visits are limited. So I must make these cookies myself at home. They're very simple to make and the dough can be made ahead of time and frozen till needed.
It is best to underbake these cookies a bit. Or eat them warm from the oven for the best experience.

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1/2 cup refined sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup white chocolate chunks
1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Cream butter and sugars till fluffy about 5 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
4. At lowest mixer speed, add dry ingredients a tablespoon at a time.
5. Fold in white chocolate chunks and macadamia nuts by hand.
6. Scoop dough and place on ungreased cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
7. Bake for 12 minutes.
8. Cool on wire racks.
9. Keep in airtight container unrefrigerated for three (3) days.

Makes 36 to 40 medium-sized cookies.

photo courtesy of

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Best Thing I Ever Ate!® Manila Edition

I don't know if I can officially call myself a foodie but I do like to eat. I think of food 24/7 that I am now convinced that thinking about food makes you fat. But there's just no escaping food. It's everywhere! On billboards, in print, at the supermarket, at the mall and on tv.

Television, you will be the death of me. If you made me come up with a list of favourite television shows, 7 out of 10 will be food and/or cooking shows. Ambient noise of choice is always any Asian Food Channel or Food Network show. So as a nod to the Food Network's segment Best Thing I Ever Ate!®, I thought of listing the best things I ever ate.

Guilty Pleasures - Caramel Praline Cheesecake from T.G.I. Friday's

Crazy Good - Claw Daddy's Crab Maritess

The Classics - Oysters Rockefeller at Mario's Restaurant

Spicy - Champion Buffalo Wings from Buffalo's Wings and Things

In a Bowl - Red Mango's frozen yoghurt

Fast and Easy - Krispy Kreme doughnuts

Healthy and Light - Roka Salata from Cyma

Meaty Goodness - Wagyu Steak from Melo's

Grilled - Flame grilled burgers from Brothers Burgers

Breakfast - Breakfast buffet from EDSA Shangri-La Hotel

Bang for a Buck - Dilly bar from Dairy Queen, an absolute steal at PHP28 and low fat to boot

Salty - without a doubt still Doritos® Nacho Cheesier

Fried Bites - Ebi Tempura from Kimpura and Saisaki

Ice Creamy - a toss up between Selecta Hershey's Heath and Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia

Crispy- Baklava from the Middle East

Sweet- Oreo cheesecake from Starbucks and jumbo pastillas from Iya Guingona

Chocolate- Ferrero Rocher chocolates and dulce de leche chocolate fudge cake from Mom and Tina's

There you have it, my top 15 list of the best things I ever ate. Care to share yours?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Jungle Safari Birthday Cake and Cupcakes

Ah, children's parties. How I used to adore them. I can still remember when I used to throw children's parties for Mr. M (my son) and my nieces and nephews. The amount of prep work will really break your back; not to mention the expense and sleepless nights!

Since most of the kids are grown, I've since graduated to making cakes for my friends' kids. This was a cake and cupcake tower and cookie pops I did for Diego's 1st birthday. It was made with two layers of cake -- one layer chocolate, one layer carrot walnut with a cookie #1 on top. The cupcakes were a combination of chocolate and red velvet.

I love this theme. It's fun choosing which animals to do in royal icing and what colors to use. Even if it took days to make the decors it was worth it. Since then, I've made this design three times. Clearly it's quite a popular theme for first birthday parties.

The first time I made a jungle safari birthday cake was for my nephew Kyle's 1st birthday back in 2004. I got the inspiration from the book The Whimsical Bakehouse by Kaye and Liv Hansen. Kyle's turning 9 in a few months (how time flies). I hope to make a small cake for him then (fingers crossed). Lord, give me the will to make birthday cakes again (more on that in another post).

Happy baking!