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Featured Recipe: 35 Recipes to make the most of Asparagus Season

Butter Cookies

Friday, January 30, 2009

Marbled Butter Cookies

There are thick and thin types of butter cookies. To keep the shape of piped butter cookies, you will need relatively higher amount of flour or little amount of butter. The structure of cookies comes from flour, to bake thinner butter cookies, that spread out during baking, you need to use more butter. Use quality butter to make those cookies, because they do make a difference.

  • 140 g Unsalted butter
  • 90 g Confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 tbsp Whole milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 205 g German #405 flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Line the baking tray with parchment paper and sift the flour. Cut the unsalted butter into the smaller pieces and let soften to room temperature in a mixing bowl. Beat together the egg and milk in a small bowl.
  2. Beat the butter until soft and smooth. Add in confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until fluffy and light. Whip in egg milk mixture in 3 additions, beating well between each addition, and the vanilla extract until well combined. Gradually fold in the sifted flour and mix until just moistened. Excessive mixing and stirring could cause the batter difficult to pipe out and the cookies would turn out hard.
  3. Spoon the batter into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe into the moulds onto the prepared tray, leaving 2cm between cookies. Bake on the top shelf in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes until the edges of the cookies starts turning golden. Remove and cool them on a rack. Store the cookies in a airtight container they have cooled completely.

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Coconut Peanut Squares

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A creamy, flavourful and rich treat. The addition of coconut flakes simply enhances the taste of these peanut butter cookie squares.

  • 130 g Unsalted butter
  • 80 g Castor sugar
  • 1 package / 8 g Vanilla sugar
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 160 g Plain flour
  • 30 g Hazelnut, ground
  • 50 g Coconut shreds
  • 180 g Peanut butter, crunchy
  • 3 Egg whites
  • 20 g Confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Soften the butter at the room temperature. Beat in caster sugar and vanilla sugar until smooth. Add in egg yolk and whip on high speed until thick and smooth. Sift in flour, ground hazelnut and coconut shreds. Mix all the ingredients with your hand until a dough forms.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place on the cookie dough, top with the plastic film and roll it out to a 28x25cm rectangle. Prick the entire surface with a fork and bake on the top shelf in the preheated oven for about 18 minutes.
  3. Mix together the peanut butter and egg whites until combined. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Once the crust is done, remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 160C/320F. Spread the peanut butter mixture on the top of the baked crust. Return it to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove and cut into squares.
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Taro Balls / 芋丸

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Taro balls can be reheated by frying in fairly hot oil for 1 minute or 175C/350F hot oven for 15 minutes.

  • 1 tbsp Salad oil
  • Some cornstarch
  • 500 ml Oil for frying
  1. Steam the taro till soft, about 15 minutes. Mash with a fork until smooth while hot. Add in potato starch, sugar, salt and oil. Mix well.
  2. Using 1 tablespoon of mashed taro to make a oval-shaped balls. Pat the balls with cornstarch. Heat the oil until it reaches 160C/320F. Lower the taro balls in the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove, drain and serve.

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Boneless Lemon Chicken

Friday, January 23, 2009

Many cuisines have their own lemon chicken, this one carries a sweet and sour tang and perfect for a family gathering.

  • 180 g Boneless chicken breast (or thighs)
  • 4 tbsp Cornstarch
  • Oil for frying
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 Egg white
  • 2 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Jiafan rice wine
  • 1/4 tsp White pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp Sesame oil
  • 50 ml Lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 80 ml Chicken stock
  • 2 tsp Cornstarch
  • Lemon slices
  1. Cut the chicken breast in half. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Mix the chicken breast with marinade and set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat some oil in a large skillet to 190C/375F. Coat the chicken breast halves with cornstarch and fry until golden, about 5 minutes. Drain and then cut into serving size pieces and arrange on a serving platter.
  3. Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce boils and thickens, about 5 minutes. Take out the lemon slices to put on the chicken first, then pour the sauce over. Garnish with shredded spring onions if desired.

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Amaretti Cookies

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This is the classic Italian almond macaroon. Crunchy and chewy Amaretti cookies are made from either ground almonds or almond paste, along with sugar and egg whites and optionally flavored with Italian almond liqueur Amaretto.

  1. Preheat oven to 150C/300F. Place parchment paper on baking trays lightly brushed with oil. Combine ground almond and sugar together in a bowl. Beat the egg whites until firm and gradually fold into the almond mixture until combined. Add the amaretto liquor and fold in gently until you have a smooth paste.
  2. Fill the pastry bag with the almond mixture. Pipe even mounds onto the parchment paper, spacing mounds 2 cm apart as they will expand during the baking process. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven until golden. Remove from the oven and dust with confectioners’ sugar while still warm. Allow them to cool a bit and then remove from the tray.

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Ubi Purple Yam Two-tone Bread

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ubi, served as a potato dish as well as an ingredient, is the Filipino word for purple yam. Its flesh is a marbled violet color and is well-known for its aroma.

Ubi DoughLight Dough
  • 125 g Bread flour
  • 18 g Sugar
  • 1 g Salt
  • 2 g Instant dry yeast
  • 40 g Tangzhong Starter
  • 40 g Warm milk
  • 12 g Egg
  • 15 g Butter
  1. Prepare the ubi dough by placing all the ingredients except butter in a mixing bowl. Mix with dough hook at slow speed for 1 minute. Switch the speed to medium and continue mixing until a dough forms. Add butter gradually and mix for approx. 5 minutes on medium speed until gluten is fully developed, i. e. elastic, smooth, non-sticky and leave from sides of mixing bowl. Prepare the light dough at the same way.
  2. Place the two doughs in two lightly greased plastic bags separately and let rise for about 45 minutes at the warm area. Once they are doubled in bulk, punch down and allow the dough, covered, to rest on a lightly floured work surface for 10 minutes.
  3. Roll out each dough to a rectangle, about 22x10cm. Place purple taro dough atop the light and roll up tightly, beginning at short side. Place in a greased 26cm loaf pan. Cover and let rise till double in bulk, 45 to 60 minutes. Bake at 170C/340F for 30-35 minutes or until done. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

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Feuilletage Puff Pastry Slices

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Feuilletage [fuh-yuh-TAHZH] French for "flaky" or "puff pastry".

Pastry Cream
  • 1 Egg, medium
  • 50 g Castor sugar
  • 25 g German #405 flour
  • 10 g Vanilla pudding powder
  • 250 ml Wholemilk
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  1. Whisk the egg and sugar in a bowl until almost white. Mix in the flour and pudding powder. Pour the milk into a heavy bottom saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk, add the pod as well. Bring the milk to a boil and remove from the heat. Carefully pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Return the whole mixture into the saucepan, stir to the boil, for about 1 to 2 minutes while whisking constantly and vigorously. Remove from the heat and strain the pastry cream with a fine sieve into a clean bowl. pour into a clean bowl. Sprinkle the top with a little castor sugar to prevent a skin forming.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220C/450F. Roll out the pastry 2 mm thick into an even-sided square onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Use tines of fork to pierce the pastry crust many times. Cut in half and then cut each half in two to form four even rectangles. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turn the strips over after 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Spread pastry cream on one strip, place another strip on top and spread with jam. Place the third strip on top and spread with pastry cream. Top with the last strip, flat side up. Press down firmly with a flat tray.
  3. Cut white chocolate courverture into the smaller pieces and place them in a heat-proof bowl. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, then remove from the heat. Stir the bowl over the pan, making sure the bottom of bowl does not touch the water. Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted. Separate some white chocolate and place in paper cornet. Melt the dark chocolate at the same way and place in paper cornet. Pour the rest of white chocolate over the pastry in an even coat. Immediately pipe dark chocolate lengthwise in strips 1 cm apart. Quickly pipe on the reserved white chocolate in between. With the back of a small knife, wiping after each stroke, mark down the slice at 2 cm intervals. Turn the slice around and repeat in the same direction with strokes in between the previous ones. Allow to set and trim the edges neatly and cut into even portions.

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Fluffy Almond Pancakes

Friday, January 16, 2009

© 2009 |

  • 60 g Plain flour
  • 70 g Almond, ground
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 g Vanilla sugar
  • 1 Egg, separate
  • 125 g 3.5% Plain yoghurt
  • 200 g Milk
  • Butter to pan-fry
  1. Blend the flour, ground almond, baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla sugar together in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, and egg yolk. Blend into the flour mixture just until all ingredients are moistened.
  2. Beat egg white until stiff. Fold into the batter until well incorporated. Melt a small amount of butter in a pan or skillet on the medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons batter into the skillet, tilt skillet to spread slightly. When bubbles are popping about 2 to 3 minutes, turn over and cook the other side until browned, about 2 minutes longer.

© 2009 |

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Simple Milk Loaf

Monday, January 12, 2009

Recipe adapted from Dan Lepard The Handmade Loaf

  • 120 g Plain whole milk yogurt
  • 245 g Whole milk at 20C/68F
  • 10 g Fresh yeast, crumbled
  • 30 g Inverted sugar syrup
  • 430 g German #550 flour (all purpose flour)
  • 50 g Buckwheat flour
  • 7 g Salt
  • 25 g Warm melted unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp Olive oil
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the yeast with yogurt, milk and inverted syrup. Add the flours and the salt, and squeeze the lot together with your hands until you have a soft, sticky dough and the flour and liquid have evenly combined. Pour over the warm melted butter and then squeeze this into the dough. Scrape any remaining dough from the hands. Cover the bowl and leave for 10 minutes.
  2. Rub 1 tsp of olive oil on the work-surface and knead the dough for 10 seconds, ending with the dough in a smooth round ball. wipe the bowl clean and rub with 1 tsp olive oil, return the dough to it, cover and leave for a further 10 minutes. Repeat this light kneading twice more, at 10 minute intervals, then leave the dough for 30 minutes.
  3. Line a deep 12x20cm loaf tin with baking paper. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Drop them into the prepared tin and cover with a cloth. Leave to rise until almost doubled, about one and a half hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 210C/410F. Brush the top of the loaf with a little cream and bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 180C350F and bake for a further 30 minutes until the top of the loaf is golden brown. Remove from the tin, and leave to cool on a wire rack.
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Buckwheat Buns With Old Dough

Saturday, January 10, 2009

  • 350 g Minced meat
  • 1/2 tbsp Maggi sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Dark soya sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Chicken bouillon
  • 1/3 tsp White pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 80 g Water
  • 10 g Scallion
  • 10 g Ginger
  • 180 g Cabbage
  • 50 g Carrot
  • 1/2 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 185 g Milk at 40C/104F
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 70 g Buckwheat flour
  • 230 g German #550 flour (all purpose flour)
  • 4 g Instant dry yeast
  • 80 g Old dough
  • 1 g Baking soda
  1. Thinly slice the cabbages and carrots, sprinkle some salt over and set aside briefly. Use your hand to squeeze out the excess liquid from the vegetables. Set aside. Mix 80 grams of water, 10 grams each of ginger and scallion thoroughly in a blender. Season the minced meat with maggie, dark soya sauce, chicken bouillon, white pepper powder and sugar. Add ginger-scallion mixture into the meat and stir in a clockwise direction until thick and stiff. Add in drained cabbages and carrots, and finally drizzle in the sesame oil. Stir all until thoroughly combined.
  2. In a mixing bowl, place in milk and honey, then add the buckwheat, wheat flour, and yeast. Mix on low speed until a dough forms a ball. Add in old dough and stir until combined. Increase the speed and continue beating until the dough ball becomes smooth. Cover it with plastic film and rest for 20 minutes at warm spot. Shape the dough into a long roll and divide into 35 grams portions. Flatten each portioned dough with the bottom of your palm. Roll the dough out forming a disk of with the edges thinner than the center.
  3. Hold a wrapper with some filling in the middle with your left hand, fold the edges of the wrapper together in a pleated fashion with the right hand. Pinch edges together to seal and enclose the filling. Cut out squares of baking paper and place on the buns. Allow them to rest for about 30 minutes. Steam over boiling water for 10-15 minutes on medium-high fire. Turn off the heat and transfer the buns onto the serving plate after one minute.
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Peking Soup / 北京汤

Friday, January 09, 2009

Quick, easy-to-prepare, and most important, the soup is flavourful and delicious!

  • 50 g Sausages or hams
  • 50 g Carrots
  • 30 g Bamboo shoots
  • 15 g Black fungus, soaked
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 tbsp Fermented bean sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Cooking oil
  • 1 tsp Ginger, minced
  • 5-6 cup Beef or chicken bouillon
  • 2/3 tbsp Maggi sauce
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1/4 tsp Sesame oil
  • 1 stalk Scallion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp Dark vinegar
  • 1/3 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 tsp Chillie flakes
  • 1/4 White pepper powder
  1. Rinse the tomato and cut a shallow X on the bottom of the tomato. Then, drop the tomato into a bowl of boiling water. Once the skin starts peeling off, quickly remove the tomato and dip it into a bowl of cold water. Once the tomato has been chilled, peel the skin off and remove the seeds. Cut the peeled and seeded tomato into thin strips. Thinly shred the sausage, carrots, bamboo shoots, and black fungus. Combine together the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. Dissolve the cornstarch into the water. Set aside.
  2. Heat up a pan, and add in oil, fermented bean sauce and minced ginger. Stir until aromatic and then pour in the bouillon and maggi sauce. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Add in shredded carrots, bamboo shoots, black fungus and sausages. Once the soup starts to boil, add in prepared sauce and tomato. Thicken the soup lightly with starchy solution. Adjust the heat to slower. Beat the egg and sesame oil together and gradually add into the soup, stirring slowly in one direction with a spoon. Sprinkle the scallion over before serving.

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Beef Briskets Noodles With Chinese Angelica Root

Monday, January 05, 2009

With a trace of herbs (Chinese angelica is to tonify blood and tangshan root to strengthen Qi), this wholesome beef noodle soup tastes fresh and delightful. Perfect for the cold winter! In China, beef noodle is typically eaten as one and whole meal in a LARGE bowl filled with stewed beef, vegetables and noodles. In the West, this food may be served in a small portion as a soup.

  1. Wash and cut the beef briskets into smaller pieces. Blanch in boiling water and rinse in cold water. Heat up a pan with a tablespoon of oil. Add in ginger slices, scallions, garlic cloves, chillies and Szechuan peppercorns. Stir until aromatic. Add in beef briskets, rice wine, caramelized sugar, and maggi sauce. Stir until well combined.
  2. Transfer the beef into a large pot, add in tangshan root and Chinese angelica root. Pour in stock and bring it to a boil on high heat. Turn down the heat to low and simmer the beef until tender, about 30 minutes. Season with the salt.
  3. Meanwhile, cook noodles in a pot of boiling water until tender. Drain noodles well in a colander and place them in a soup bowl. Add in vegetables and beef briskets. Ladle broth over and sprinkle the chopped scallions on top. Serve hot.

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Pork Spare-ribs Turnip Soup

Monday, January 05, 2009

One trick to make good soup is to blanch the pork for 5-10 minutes and skim off fat and foam forming on the top.

  • 3 cup Water (more if needed)
  • 3/4 tsp Salt, or to taste
  • Pinch of white pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp Scallion, chopped (optional)
  1. Wash and chop up pork spareribs into inch pieces. Blanch in boiling water and rinse in cold water. Peel turnip, wash and cut at an angle into smaller chunks.
  2. Place pork spareribs, shredded ginger and rice wine in the cooking pot of an electric pressure cooker. Pour in water and lock lid in place. Select the program for meat or use it according to manufacturer's directions. The pressure cooker must never be filled more than 2/3 full, the unused space is needed to produce pressure.
  3. After cooking, the cooker automatically enters the "keep warm" status. Do not open the pressure cooker until the internal pressure has been reduced. Transfer the pork with soup in a large pot. Add in turnip chunks. Set the pot on medium heat and cook for about 20 minutes. Season the soup with the salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped scallions if desired.
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Matcha Piped Cookies

Friday, January 02, 2009

Those melt-in-your-mouth, sweet, buttery cookies, with a hint of pleasant bitterness from green tea are simply amazing. Crumbly, light, with each bite, there's mild aroma of green tea. Enjoy (with a cup of hot tea) for yourself or give them as a gift, esp. to those tea lovers.

  • 10 g Shortening
  • 50 g Unsalted butter
  • 80 g Powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 35 g Egg white
  • 100 g German #405 flour
  • 1/3 tsp Baking powder
  • 2 tsp Matcha tea powder
  1. Preheat oven to 175C/350F, and line two baking trays with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Use a spatula to stir the shortening, butter, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth, then beat with an electric mixer until blended. Add egg white in two additions and whip until fluffy.

  2. Sift the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix with a plastic spatula until just moistened. Combine 70 grams of the batter with the matcha tea powder in another bowl. Fill a pastry bag with a large star tip with two kinds cookie batters. Pipe cookies into curves onto prepared baking trays, spacing about 1 inch apart.
  3. Bake for about 15 minutes in the center of the hot oven. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store the cookies in the airtight container for up to one week.

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Oat Bran Sandwich Crackers

Friday, January 02, 2009

  • 40 g Unsalted butter, softened
  • 120 g Confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 20 ml Milk
  1. Except lukewarm water, place the rest of dough ingredients in a mixing bowl. Gradually stir in the water to form a smooth dough. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes covered with a plastic film. Line 2 baking trays with parchment papers. Place the dough on the work-top and roll it out to a rectangle 60 by 20 cm. Fold the top and bottom of the rectangle into the centre, folding the dough into thirds. Repeat the rolling and folding process twice more without the necessity of resting the dough.

  2. After the dough has been folded in thirds three times, roll it out until it is about 1/4 cm thick. Use a fork to prick the dough thoroughly. With a pizza wheel, cut the dough into 5 cm squares or cut shapes with desired cookie cutter. Using a spatula, transfer the crackers to the prepared baking trays. Cover and let cookies rest for 15-20 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. It is ready to bake the cookies when they have risen to 4 mm high. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for about 18 minutes until firm. When you press them lightly with your finger, almost no imprint will remain. Cool them completely.
  4. Beat the butter in a bowl until smooth. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Beat until combined and smooth. To make sandwich, spread one cracker with the buttercream and top with second cookie, pressing gently.

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