Chocolate Almond Toffee Crunch

Feng and I spent Thanksgiving at his family's house. One of his Aunt is known for making the most delicious desserts, one of which is a batch of Chocolate Almond covered Cookies. She made so many that we got to take home a whole Ziploc bag full of them! My friend stopped by and accidentally finished them all in one sitting! So I decided to make more for Feng and my colleagues to enjoy. So here is my take of the cookies that she made, it’s not exactly the same but these are good too. :)

What you need:
1 box of graham crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped almonds, toasted

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 rimmed cookie sheet with non-stick spray, or line with parchment paper (one for almonds and one for the cookies)
Cutting the crackers:  If you're a perfectionist like me, you like your crackers to be the same size... So to cut the graham cracker without breaking it into weird sizes, get a paper towel damp through (but not soaking), wrap it around the graham cracker, and microwave for 15 seconds. This will soften the cracker enough to cut it. Using a serrated knife, cut the cracker into the dotted lines provided. Don’t worry, the graham crackers will re-harden.

Toasting the Almonds: Line a cookie sheet with non-stick parchment paper. Take the chopped almonds and crush them in a bowl a little bit more. Spread the almonds on the sheet and bake them for 7-10 minutes. Let them cool.

Line the crackers on the cookie sheet side by side.
Melt butter and brown sugar in a medium pan on medium-high heat. Stirring often, heat the mixture for about 3-5 minutes until it turns into a nice caramel looking sauce.
Pour the sauce over the crackers until they are completely covered.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over the toffee covered crackers. The chocolate will begin to melt. Spread chocolate over the toffee mixture (with a spatula) and top with nuts.
Allow the crackers to completely cool before breaking toffee up in pieces. 
Hope you like them!

Get your Tummies Ready!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

We have officially entered our favorite part of the year – Thanksgiving - Christmas.. It’s the time when we get to celebrate with our family and enjoy the season of giving.. it’s also gorgeous in Hong Kong when all the skyscrapers are decorated with flashing lights. But we must not forget the best part… THE FOOD! 

I’m sure you’ve all been working hard with stretching your tummies out to fit all that yummy food in it.. so here are some of our favorite pins and recipes we found for the holiday season to try!

I'm so hungry now..

peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

I think I have the biggest sweet tooth in my family.. and I'd like to blame it on all the yummy desserts my sister made when we were growing up :) One of my favorite kinds are soft and chewy cookies (not hard and crispy). They’re always good with milk, ice-cream and sometimes (or maybe always) good for breakfast. They’re a great snack for in between long hours of staring at the computer. AND they make great gifts for any kind of holiday/season/birthday/thank you. We used to always have desserts on our breakfast bar at home, and Trisha was the one who made the most delicious cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. The family joked about helping her start her own bakery - but I was only a quarter joking. We used to have so many people living at home including our grandparents and their caretakers that desserts would never go to waste! But now that we are all oceans apart,  we don’t have as many people at home to enjoy our baking... Therefore Trish will bring her desserts to church and I will bring my desserts to work!

This recipe was a request from some of my biggest cookie fans in LA :) - peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. It took me awhile to find the perfect recipe but I found this one and posting these photos are making me crave one! These were definitely a big hit at the office!
Here’s what you need:
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
½ cup rolled oats (I used gluten free rolled oats)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside.
3. Cream together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract for about 5-7 minutes. (With an electric mixer, set on Medium speed and mix for 3 minutes). Add the egg and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour until just combined (Electric mixer on low). Stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.
4. Drop balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. *DING* They’re done!! You can either eat them while they’re warm (one of my favorite things to do after baking) or let them cool completely on a cookie rack and keep them at room temperature in a sealed container. 
yummmm :) thanks browneyedbaker!

baileys white chocolate chip cookies

1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 TBSP Bailey's or other Irish Cream (I used caramel Bailey's)
2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. espresso or instant coffee powder
1 1/2 c. white chocolate chips

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Reduce to medium-low and beat in vanilla and eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  Add Bailey's in two additions, scraping down bowl in between.  Return mixer to medium speed and beat 1 minute more.

2.  Meanwhile, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder in a separate medium bowl.  Add into wet mixture in three additions, scraping down sides of bowl with each addition.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Refrigerate at least two hours.

3.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare two baking sheets (so you can alternate them to speed up baking process) with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or generous tablespoonful, scoop out dough and place on prepared baking sheet.  Bake, one sheet at a time, 7-9 minutes.  Place baking sheet on a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes.  Remove cookies and place directly on the rack, allowing them to cool completely.  Store cookies in airtight container up to one week.

Yields approx. 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

Recipe from appleaday

Pistachio Ridiculousness

I love pistachio nuts and I love baking. So why not celebrate the holidays with some pistachio sweetness? Here are three dessert recipes that are easy to follow and super delicious.

White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies
This recipe is adopted from here
The only thing I added was 1 cup of white chocolate chips when you add the cranberries to the batter.

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee
This recipe is super easy and scrumptious!
It makes a great holiday gift as well!

Pear and Pistachio Cake
This last cake I actually haven't tried making yet but doesn't it just look delicious?