Brown paper packages tied up with strings…

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Brown paper packages tied up with strings…

About a month and a half ago, I was reading one of the maaany food blogs I subscribe to and came across The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  The concept is simple.  You sign up.  You wait.  Some computer does some handy-dandy scrambling and then you get an e-mail with the names of three other food bloggers and their addresses.  You bake up some cookies, eat too many of them, and then send the rest out in the mail .  In return, 3 people mail their cookies to you and you get to experience the joy of receiving baked goods in the mail!  Seeing as I love cookies, cute packaging, and getting things in the mail, I eagerly signed up.

I ended up choosing a cookie recipe that I’ve had my eye on for a while from Sugar Plum, a fabulous baking blog.  I’ve tried some of her other recipes before and they’ve all come out delicious.  This cookie one is no exception.  The only thing I changed in the recipe was to throw in more white chocolate chips (probably around 1 1/3 cup) cause I wanted white chocolate in each bite of the cookie.  It’s chewy cause of the bread flour and not too heavy since it has oil rather than butter.

White Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup oil
1 cup bread flour
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup old fashioned oats

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and toast oats for around 10 minutes.

2.  Process coconut and oil in a food processor until very finely ground (scraping down the sides every so often to ensure all bits get ground up).

3.  In a medium bowl, sift together bread flour, cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together ground coconut and sugar until well combined. Beat in vanilla and eggs until combined – about 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in white chocolate chips and oats until well combined.

4.  Chill dough in refrigerator or freezer for 20 minutes or until firm. Using a cookie scoop, place scoops of dough onto cookie sheets. Bake 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute before transferring cookies to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

These are the cookie packages that I mailed out.  It wasn’t until typing up this post that I realized I was 5 cookies short of the dozen we were supposed to send out………sorry, cookie swap matches!  Apparently, I’m terrible at following instructions…

A big thanks to the 3 bloggers that sent cookies my way!

The first cookie package I got came unexpectedly early and definitely put me in the holiday spirit with its festive packaging.  Inside were ginger cardamom cookies made by Carole.  They didn’t even last one full day cause my little sister is a big fan of ginger cookies.

The second package of cookies was also unexpected as it was delivered on a Sunday.  Mailmen work on Sundays?!?  These hot chocolate cookies came from Christine and had a little peppermint surprise tucked away inside.  Yum.

Finally, the last package of cookies arrived on a Saturday (what is going on with the post office?) and came from Katie all the way in Berlin!  Her letter even had a wax seal – oh so cool.  Much to my dismay, my little sister enthusiastically gobbled up the last few of these cookies..

Thanks to Lindsay and Julie for dreaming up and organizing such a wonderfully delicious event.

My little sister has already requested, no demanded, that I sign up again next year.  Can’t wait!

(Healthy) Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream

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(Healthy) Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream

For Hallowe’en weekend this year, my sisters and I kept it simple.

We painted pumpkins.

We watched The Shining.

And we ate this pie.

Recipe for the pie can be found here.  This recipe has transformed your typical pumpkin pie into something that’s baaaasically health food.  I made a few changes to the original recipe, like subbing in coconut flakes for the cornmeal in the crust, omitting the arrowroot powder from the filling, and using ground instead of fresh grated ginger.  Still scrumptious.  As for the whipped cream, I used this recipe.  I am still in awe that you can make whipped cream using coconut milk.

Looking for a last-minute pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving?  I think you should make this.  It’s lighter than the usual pumpkin pie (which means more room for stuffing and turkey, yum).

The cake that started it all…

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The cake that started it all…

Last year, I made a massive salmon nigiri cake for my sister’s birthday.  It was my very first fondant cake completely inspired by this baker in Vancouver.  It took days of planning, weeks of mental preparation, and hours to execute.

Challenging?
Yes.

Rewarding?
Absolutely.

It was definitely all worth it to see the look on her face when I lugged out this cake.

If it’s not already obvious, my big sis (whom we affectionately refer to as Jeige) LOVES sushi.  When her birthday rolled around this year, I had to make something even more over-the-top.  I went with a good ol’ sushi boat filled with your traditional sushi fixings.  You got your Tamago, your Ebi, some normal-sized salmon nigiri.  I even included the surf clam, but let’s be honest here, no one eats that chewy thing.

Here’s some cucumber maki..

And some maguro a.k.a. tuna nigiri and roe…

Surf clam (hokkigai) for kicks.

And of course, some ginger and wasabi to go along with all that raw fish.

Happy birthday, Jeige!

Oodles of love,
Your little sister (who proved her oodles of love by rolling out hundreds of fondant rice grains)