May 24, 2024

Memorial Day M&M's Cookies


The other day at work I was hankering for a dessert and ended up buying an overpriced M&M's cookie.  It was alright but I knew I could make a better one myself.  So in honor of Memorial Day weekend I made some Memorial Day M&M's Cookies using the red, white and blue colored chocolate candies that I already had on hand.  The recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated and is very similar to your typical chocolate chip cookie dough - simply replace the chips with M&M's.

I love that the dough comes together quite easily and requires no mixer, handheld or stand, so it's the perfect recipe to make with little ones in your life.  In less than thirty minutes you have delicious cookies that will delight the child in any of us.  All that's missing is a cold glass of milk.

May 10, 2024

Fresh Fruit Cream Cake


Among my relatives the highest accolade I could receive for my baking is, "It's good - not too sweet."  Is that an Asian thing?  Maybe.  Possibly.  Definitely.  When I saw the recipe for a Fresh Fruit Cream Cake from Cook's Illustrated's May/Jun 2024 issue I knew it was the exact dessert that my family  would like.   I decided to make it for a get together jointly celebrating my Dad's birthday and Mother's Day.

The cake itself is similar to a castella, the light and sponge-y cakes you would find in a Chinese bakery.  There is no baking powder or baking soda in the recipe; egg whites are the only leavener used to make the cake rise.  In the past I hadn't had the best luck with these types of cakes if they weren't baked in a tube pan.  When I used a regular pan the cake inevitably ended up sinking during the cooling process.  Happy to report no such issues with this recipe.   The cake baked up nice and tall and didn't cave in when it cooled.

For the frosting heavy cream is whipped with instant vanilla pudding and sugar.  The pudding mix helps to stabilize the whipped cream so that it can stay in the fridge longer.   As for fruits I went for the classic berry combination of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.  

I'm looking forward to serving this to my family to get their review - let's hope it's a thumbs up!

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