Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Shortbread (Cheat)

Guys I’m dying and my mouth is in food heaven. This shortbread oh em geee.

  

I’ll probably regret eating 4 of these decadent shortbread cookies later on when I’m having roast duck for dinner, but I couldn’t help it! There is just layer upon layer of flavor and texture and I can’t stop eating them.

When these first came out of the oven, I had to will every atom in me not to grab the whole chunk of shortbread and eat it straight away. It smelled so amazing. Then, I had to torture myself with letting the damn thing cool (not before eating a few crumbs first, of course).

Of course, I couldn’t help but eat a cookie as I was dipping the others in chocolate. The shortbread itself was soo amaaziinnggg. It was perfectly buttery and flaky and left behind a gentle saltiness that made me swoon. Not to mention, the salt brought out the undeniable flavor of pistachio. The pistachio itself offered a delicate crunch that differed in texture from the shortbread. I was blown away.

Then, I ate the shortbread dipped in chocolate, and my world changed again. The chocolate paired so beautifully with the shortbread and the pistachio and the saltiness and it was so decadent and delicious and perfect and I honestly have no words. My babbling is a lame attempt at conveying to you exactly how foodgasm these shortbread cookies are.

You’d think, “it’s just shortbread”, but no, these are the ultimate shortbread. Better than any shortbread you’ve ever had before. I can guarantee.

By the way, in the unlikely event that you were wondering why I haven’t posted anything in a month – I’ve been busy stressing out about my final IB exams in May, so I haven’t really had the chance to bake much, not to mention take photos/edit photos/write posts. Anyways, after my exams end, hopefully I’ll find the time then to bake up a storm in my kitchen to make up for all the time lost. In the meantime, wish me luck and enjoy these shortbread cookies xx

Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1/8 cup (25g) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (140g) flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (50g) finely chopped toasted pistachios
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth. Beat in both sugars until smooth.
  3. Gradually mix in the vanilla, salt, flour, and cornstarch until the mixture is fully combined and forms a crumbly dough
  4. Mix in 2/3 of the chopped pistachios
  5. Line an 8- or 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper and press the dough tightly into the pan
  6. Bake the shortbread for 30 minutes until lightly browned
  7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the cake pan. Cut the shortbread into wedges while it’s still warm. Allow the shortbread to cool completely before dipping into chocolate.
  8. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring in between intervals until it’s completely melted
  9. Dip the shortbread into the chocolate and sprinkle with remaining pistachio and sea salt. Enjoy!

Best Ever Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (Cheat)

HELLO FRIENDS IT’S BEEN TOO LONG.

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In case you were wondering – it’s cause I was dying in exams. I’ve been gone for like a little over two weeks. One week was dedicated to studying, the other was dedicated to dying taking the finals.

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I’ve gotten some grades back, and I’m happy to say that I didn’t do too badly on them, except for Chemistry, of course, but luckily my other Chem grades saved me from this reaaallly really bad final exam grade.

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So I know that I just posted an ice cream recipe, but:

  1. It’s ice cream season. C’mon – there’s no denying that. The weather is H-O-T and we all need ice cream
  2. I owe a lot to ice cream for getting me through the difficult time of exams

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Oh, side note – to anyone still struggling to get through finals, I wish you all the best (of luck) and I wish that you have ice cream to help you get through it.

Anyways, with that aside, let’s talk about this seeriously amaaazing ice cream recipe. It’s honestly one of my favorites. I literally could not stop eating the ice cream batter. I probably ate like a third of the batter before forcing myself to put it in the freezer and let it be ice cream.

It’s got this wonderful, rich, and tangy flavor of cream cheese, which pairs beautifully with the sweet blueberry sauce. Speaking of which – blueberries are in season! Yay!!

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Anyways, I kid you not, this will be one of the best ice creams you’d have ever made. Please make it now and continue making it until summer is over 🙌.

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Best Ever Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingredients

For the ice cream

  • 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the blueberry sauce

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 heaping cup crumbled Graham Crackers or digestive biscuits

Method

  1. For the ice cream, in a food processor, blend together the cream cheese, milk, whipping cream, brown sugar, and salt until smooth
  2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (about 30 to 45 minutes).
  3. While the ice cream is churning, make the blueberry sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, water, salt, and lemon juice together over medium-low heat. Stir until the berries burst and the juices thicken (about 5 minutes)
  4. Transfer the sauce into a small bowl and place in fridge until the ice cream finishes churning
  5. When the ice cream has finished churning, spoon it into a freezer safe container and swirl in the blueberry sauce and crackers/biscuits
  6. Place in freezer for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Allow to thaw before serving

Matcha Cream Puffs (Cheat)

Now, if any of you have seen my baking bucket list, you would probably call me out or being a liar or just a huge procrastinator due to all the things I’ve crossed off the list, yet with only 1 recipe of the 10 being posted (not including this one). The truth? I’m a huge procrastinator – at least when it comes to posting recipes.

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Number 8 on that list (I’m not following order) are cream puffs (or profiteroles)/eclairs. Beside it says August 6, 2015. If you look at the date today, it says January 9, 2016. So yes, it’s been 5 months now, but the recipe is finally here!

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The pastry cream in this recipe isn’t quite like the ones you see for traditional French eclairs or anything. Firstly, you’ll notice an absence of egg yolks, which is often used as a thickening agent. In this recipe, the thickening agents include a bit of gelatin, cornstarch, and whipped cream, resulting in a lighter cream as opposed to the denser, traditional pastry cream. Thus, I do recommend filling it as in the photo below as opposed to cutting them in half and filling them as the photo below the photo below.

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I probably should’ve made a classic eclair or cream puff to start off with, but it’s always more interesting to bring in an extra flavor, no? Ironically, I made classic eclairs a couple days ago (who knows when that recipe’ll be published?), and I have to admit, this recipe is quite different from that one. Most importantly, none of the eclairs exploded like the way one of these matcha cream puffs did, but that’s just because I overfilled it. It was my first time filling cream puffs, okay? Jeez, give me a break. Anyways, these cream puffs seem to feel lighter. The pastry cream flavor isn’t as evident, allowing the faint flavor of matcha to shine through. Also, I dusted these with powdered sugar as opposed to dipping them in chocolate, which paired beautifully with the matcha. All in all – this one’s a keeper.

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Matcha Cream Puffs

Ingredients

For the Choux Pastry

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 large eggs
  • Egg wash: 1 yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon milk or cream

Matcha Pastry Cream

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups full-fat milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons matcha powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Powdered sugar, for finishing

Method

  1. *For the choux pastry, preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, milk, water, salt, and sugar over medium heat until just boiling. Add in the flour and baking powder and beat together with a wooden spoon over the heat until the mixture resembles a dough that doesn’t stick to the sides of the saucepan. This should take a 2-3 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or into a bowl using an electric mixer. Start the electric mixer and beat in the eggs one at a time until fully combined. The dough should be smoother and less doughy.
  4. Transfer the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet, pipe mounds about 2 inches in diameter. Brush the tops with egg wash and bake for 30-35 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool.
  5. *For the matcha pastry cream, in a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin over the water to soften
  6. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar. Add in the eggs and whisk until smooth.
  7. In a large saucepan, heat the milk, butter, and salt until almost boiling. Whisk in matcha powder
  8. Pour about 1/2 of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until fully combined. Add the rest of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until fully combined. Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbling.
  9. Pour the mixture onto a plate or bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold
  10. When the mixture has cooled, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, and gently fold the cream into the matcha mixture. Transfer the matcha pastry cream into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip.
  11. To assemble, pipe the matcha pastry cream into the choux pastry and dust with powdered sugar.

*You can make either the matcha pastry cream or the choux pastry first. Both of them need to be cooled, though the pastry cream may take longer to cool. Also, separately, they can be prepared a few days in advance (without the heavy cream, for the matcha pastry cream). Filled, it’s best to eat them the day of, or within 3 days. Keep refrigerated.

White Chocolate Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies (Cheat)

I need to make cookies more often.

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I’ve always loved oatmeal cookies, but the addition of fresh, plump blueberries and sweet, smooth white chocolate take these cookies to a whole new level of yum.

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These cookies are crispy on the edges, yet still soft and chewy in the center. I didn’t chill my cookie dough before baking it, so they turned out to be a little flat, which personally, I don’t mind. If you want them to be more puffy and cakey, then I’d recommend chilling them for an hour or two before baking.

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White Chocolate Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Broma Bakery

Makes 14-16 large cookies

Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional, omit for a crunchier cookie)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ⅔ cup white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius, or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a medium mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. With the wet ingredients mixing on low speed, slowly incorporate in the dry ingredients until almost combined. Fold in oats and white chocolate chips with a spatula until fully combined, and finally carefully fold in the blueberries, making sure not to break them
  4. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto a lined baking sheet (or just roll them into balls using your hands), leaving 2 inches in between each cookie. If you want a more puffy and cakey cookie, chill the cookie dough in the fridge for 1-2 hours before baking (I didn’t)
  5. Bake cookies for 19 minutes, or until just beginning to brown. Allow to cool on cooling rack before serving

Rustic Blueberry Tart with an Oat Crust (Clean)

When I say that it’s blueberry season, I mean hell yeah it’s blueberry season!

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Throughout the entire year, during my hundreds of unnecessary visits to the grocery store, I always stop to check the prices of a) avocados, and b) berries. In the past week, blueberries have been on sale – the best kind of sale there is when it comes to fruit, and is usually nonexistent – buy one get one free! Guess who stocked up?

Being a berry-lover, I couldn’t resist the temptation, and ended up buying tons of blueberries. Being a baker, I couldn’t resist the temptation of turning at least half of them into baked goods and desserts.

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The filling of this blueberry tart is pretty standard. A solid amount of blueberries with starch and sweetener. The crust is something special. It’s a healthy crust, without any refined white flour or butter. Thus, it’s also gluten-free and vegan.

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While a regular slice of blueberry tart could get you feeling full and slightly guilty, and two slices would most certainly make you a little uneasy and guilty, that’s not the case with this one. The crust is light and crumbly, while still able to hold it’s pretty tart shape.

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Rustic Blueberry Tart

Adapted from Bakerita

Makes one 8-inch tart

Ingredients

Blueberry filling

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons tapioca or corn starch

Crust

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil, solid
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the blueberries, honey/maple syrup, and starch together until the blueberries are evenly coated in the mixture
  3. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the almond flour, oats, honey/maple syrup, baking powder, and salt until combined. Add the coconut oil and crumble it in with your hands or a fork until there no large clumps remain, and the mixture holds together when pressed
  4. Remove a heaping 1/2 cup of the crust dough for the topping and set aside. Press the rest of the dough in a loose bottom 8 or 9 inch tart pan
  5. Add the blueberry mixture onto the crust, leaving any extra liquid from the blueberries in the bowl
  6. Add the chopped pecans to the remaining crumble dough that you set aside earlier, and sprinkle on top of the blueberry mixture
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the blueberries are bubbling and the crust is starting to brown
  8. Let cool completely before serving