Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

I think Homer Simpson said it best when he said, "mmmm....move over eggs. Bacon just got a new best friend....fudge." Bacon has got to be one of the most underutilized, under-appreciated amazing delicious ingredients in desserts. It may be going a little against the grain with the low fat, low carb, gluten-free, vegan craze our culture's experiencing but where would we be if we never stepped outside the norm every now and then.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon imitation maple flavoring
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cooked bacon chopped into bits

3 tablespoons maple syrup
4 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, softened
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cupcakes, beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine milk and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. Mix in bacon.
Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners. Bake at 350° for 17-22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
To prepare the frosting, beat 3 tablespoons maple syrup and butter at medium speed of a mixer 1 minute. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating just until blended (do not overbeat). Spread the frosting over cupcakes.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Sweetest Surprise of All

I think there's a hopeless romantic in all of us and for some reason on Valentine's Day it seems to come out just a little more, especially when you're getting to propose! CONGRATS to my dear friend Warren who used the truffies this Valentine's Day to offer a little more than their already pretty sweet chocolate stuffed surprise. What a sweet surprise!

I'm so happy to have been a part of such an awesome proposal!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Making Dumplings

Somehow when I go home I suddenly become a little more Asian. Besides the fact that my mom's always yelling at me to speak Chinese, we have a karaoke machine with over 1,000 songs and use on a regular basis, and we have mis-matched furniture with pieces that are over 30 years old, I think it's largely due to all the awesome food I get to eat when I'm home. This time my mom and I made dumplings from scratch, chive and ground turkey and Chinese cabbage and ground turkey - diverging a little from the more traditional pork but still incredibly delicious and really so simple.

Chive and Ground Turkey Dumplings:
Chives - chopped really really small
2 green onions - chopped small
Ground turkey - use very little
Soy Sauce
Sesame Oil

Cabbage and Ground Turkey Dumplins
Chinese cabbage - chopped really small
5 green onions - chopped small
Ground Turkey - you can increase the ratio for this one
Soy Sauce
Sesame Oil

Dumpling Wrappers

Start by creating your fillings. Once your fillings are complete - begin wrapping. Quick note on making dumplings with cabbage you must salt the cabbage after chopping to draw all the water out and then you have to squeeze all the excess water out into a bowl or you'll end up with very soggy dumplings. Okay, to begin wrapping simply take a wrapper, use your finger to put water around the edges, add a small amount of filing in the middle, fold in half and then begin curling up the sides. Once you've wrapped all your dumplings thoroughly freeze them before storing them.

When you're ready to eat them, you can either boil, steam or pan fry them. I like boiling the best. All you have to do is bring water to boil, place the dumplings in the water, bring back up to a boil, add cold water and bring back to a boil - you do this three times and after the third time you know you have perfect dumplings!!

So simple right?!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Always more special with cookies :)

Pictures of the Special Event. Props to Janette Schoelz of Hidden Door Designs www.thehiddendoordesign.com (don't forget the "design" in the address) for the awesome cookie display and table set-up. You rock girl!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Meaningful Meeting

There's many things I've come to love in starting this business but one thing I love love love is all the cool people I've met that just love the idea that I make cookies and love trying to connect me with other people who might be of help...and you ll know I need help :) Like Lucinda who I met at the Trader Joes on Monday who got the hunch from the 15 packs of mint chocolate creams I had to purchase that I may have a slight sweet tooth but certainly not one that was that bad. Anyway, we got to talking and she ended up hooking me up with her sister that owns a restaraunt in DC. Considering that I haven't been home since September of 2007, I thought it was too much a coincidence that I met Lucinda on the Monday before I was getting ready to hop on a plane to head home for a week! Too much of a coincidence to not agree to meet up with her sister Melissa, who owns Mia's Pizzas in Bethesda, MD. Unbiased by the yumminess of her pizzas our meeting was awesome. We chatted for about two hours, learning about each other's stories and getting some great guidance for The Cookie Chew. One thing she suggested was for me to maybe change the logo - to represent me a little more - maybe simplify it a little and square it off. She stressed that people need to not only buy the cookies becuase they taste great but that they need to feel an obligation to me. I get what she's saying in that I should personalize every buying experience. Besides it's all about the little things right that really make you stand out from the rest and you never know where that tipping point will occur.

If you're ever in DC - for sure check out Mia's Pizza on 4926 Cordell Avenue in Bethesda. For sure try the margherita pizza and the mozzarella, tomato, and basil salad - classic dishes very well made.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Home sweet home

Hi cookie lovers! So I'm home in MD now- I can't believe it's been over a year now since I've been back. It's crazy how this place is always changing. There's this one store that's on the very end of a shopping plaza off the street that leads to my mom's house that's probably changed 5 times in the last few years. It used to be a photo printing store, then maybe some other sort of film store, then it turned into a bubble tea shop, but was taken over by new management into a new tea shop but is now I think the grand opening of a Vietnamese noodle shop!! It's sad and crazy to think that so many business owners couldn't make it work in that particular location. The beer store a couple doors down has been there for years and years now and I can't think that it's that much better run than the tea shop owners. I don't know, perhaps people just really like beer but we live in Asia minor out in the suburbs so I find that hard to believe. It gets me thinking how important the location of selecting where I want to set up shop is and how I still have no clue. I keep debating between Little Italy since I love it there but it's gotten kind of dead, downtown maybe but it's expensive in the gaslamp, PB? but really do I want to deal with that kind of crowd, La Jolla would be nice but expensive too....it's a long ways away still but who knows...maybe not.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I've always liked surprises

GRAND OPENING! Previously only available online, local gift basket company, Pleasant Surprises is now open for retail! Everything's completely customizable cause you can just make it yourself. From cookies, to candy, to truffles, to inspirational mugs, to wine & cheese they carry pretty much anything and everything you need to create the perfect gift basket for those you love or just really want to impress. Located in Hillcrest and open Monday - Friday 9-5 definitely check it out.

325 W. West Washington St

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A little drama goes a long way

I personally try to avoid drama at all costs. Ever since my sister turned the whole summer camp against me in hopes of winning the title of homecoming queen for our sleepover Chinese camp. I know so lame but at the time I guess it was a pretty big deal. But I must admit that sometimes drama makes life just a little more exciting. And in this particulate instance, it might just make mine a little sweeter. Meet Mel, a Dramatic Mommy. Love her style, love her blog, and love her taste in sweets! Check it out http://www.meladramaticmommy.com/2009/01/bloggy-carnival-day-4-chocolate-truffle.html. Already 42 responses in less than 4 hours! Who'll it be I wonder?......

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Special Event's In San Diego

I keep thinking that if only I could get a cookie in everyone's mouth then everyone's going to love my cookies! So in keeping with this philosophy we're going to be sponsoring the Opening Night
Party for the Special Event at On Broadway this Wednesday.


Very excited! Not so excited about the massive baking that's about to ensue to get some cookies in at least 1500 mouths...but the cookie display will be fantastic!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

When I just can't eat another cookie

Although sometimes I'm in denial I know that man cannot live on cookies alone. Or at least my budget can't. So when I can't afford to buy new jeans, this is my go to meal. Super healthy, super delicious and pretty simple. Mirrored after a salad at Come On In in La Jolla - it really is amazing!
Spinach & Arugula Fennel Salad with Shredded Poached Chicken and Honey Orange Vinaigrette

8oz Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
Spinach & Arugula Salad Mix
1 Fennel Bulb (some stores call it Sweet Anise)
1 Can Mandarin Oranges
Shaved Parmesan Cheese

1/2 Orange - orange juice and zest
brown sugar
Dijon mustard
olive oil
(I'm not sure about the exact measurements because I just mix it until it tastes right but if you guys want me to I can totally make it again and measure this time :).

Boil the chicken in water with a little pinch of salt and oilve oil for maybe about 15 mins. Remove chicken from water and let cool for a bit. When chicken is cool enough to handle begin shredding the chicken.

Slice fennel bulb into thin strips, do not use the greeny fennel frowns. Mix spinach & arugula salad mix, with fennel, shredded chicken mandarin oranges, and shaved parmesan cheese. Top with dressing. Wal-la! Yummy salad in minutes!

The picture is taken with a carmelized onion, sweet potato and black bean burritto in continuation of my healthy kick. I'd post the recipe too but it was kind of lacking in flavor. Playing around with the recipe a bit more but I'll definitely post the finished product becuase I know these flavors could be delicious together!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lisa & Billy's Favors

Clear Favor Boxes with Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Toffee Truffies - Congrats guys!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Can't wait! Really - it's totally my favorite time of the year!


And this year - they're doing dinners for $20!! I'm slowly weeding down the list but my top choices so far are for sure:
Peohes - I've heard the Macadamia Crusted Halibut is Amazing....hopefully it's on the menu
Marble Room - I recently discovered that I'm NOT allergic to Sea Bass!! So excited!! For a while there I was very sad :(
and Hexagone....mmmmm...