Wednesday, 1 January 2014

#21 - Salted Oatmeal Scotchies with Chocolate Chips





Happy New Year to one and all!! It is the start of a brand new year for all of us and I'm pretty sure it is going to be a splendid year ahead. Other than growing a year older, I am pretty excited to get the year started! 

Personally, 2013 has been a really great year for me. I finally took a step towards my own vision of how I wanted my life to be like (personal as well as work wise) and with the support of my love ones, everything has turned out just right! 2013 has also allowed me to spend more time with my family and friends. This is so important to me now, especially when my brother is out of the country. In terms of work, I have found the stability I needed and I am loving every minute of my teaching time now. The past year has also allowed me to bond with these new students of mine on a different level and I'm so proud to say that I have done my very best to coach each and everyone of them at their differing learning levels and to add on to my pride, all my students did well for their examinations. Kudos to them for their hard work and perseverance. They have proven to me that I have made the right choice and it is all worth it. 

Carrying forward the positive energy from 2013, I hope 2014 is going to be filled with good health, sweet happiness and so much love from your love ones! Let us all count our blessings from 2013 and welcome the joy that 2014 will be bringing us. 



At Mrs Minty Cream, what better way is there than to start off our 2014 with a lovely post on my latest baked goodies, Salted Oatmeal Scotchies with Chocolate Chips. For those of you who are familiar with oatmeal cookies, you will know that many of the recipes involved the addition of raisins. While I agree that the texture of the oatmeal and raisins do complement each other very well, I did not want to do that as both my hubby and myself aren't great fans of raisins. Furthermore, since I have some butterscotch morsels left over from making my Butterscotch Molten Lava Cake with Chantilly Cream last week, I decided to make these Oatmeal Scotchies. I have also added in some chocolate chips to make the cookies more flavourful and at the same time, I added a touch of sea salt to the cookies which in my opinion, was the icing on the cake! The contracting flavour in the salt and the sweetness from the morsels/chips was a great combination. Hubby and I love these cookies so much! Trust me, you will have to make these to share with your family to show them some love today. You just have to do it! 









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Recipe: Adapted and modified from here

Servings
Make approximately 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients
1 and 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
3/4 Tsp Cinnamon
198g Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Fine Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Cups Oats
1 Cup Butterscotch morsels
1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 190C.

2. Prepare 2 large baking trays and line them with baking paper. Set aside for later use.

3. Combined the flour, baking soda and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Sift this flour mixture and set it aside. 

4. In a bowl, cream together butter with both sugar until light and fluffy. Do this for at least 2 to 3 minutes to ensure a good mix.

5. Add egg and vanilla extract into the mixture and beat until smooth. 

6. Add in the flour mixture (in Step 3) 1/3 portion at a time and mix well to combine.

7. Add the oats, butterscotch morsels and chocolate chips to the batter and use a spatula to mix well. Ensure that all the ingredients are well-incorporated.

8. Use a small ice-cream scoop to divide the dough into small portions (ball-shaped) and place them on the baking trays. Ensure that they are at least 3 cm apart from one another. Flatten the top of each small cookie dough with the back of a teaspoon lightly. 

9. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges of the cookies start to turn light golden brown. Allows the cookies to cool on the baking trays for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Before serving, sprinkle the top of each cookie with a few flakes of salt. 

Friday, 8 November 2013

#20 - Lemon & Garlic Roast Chicken


When we first moved into our own house, I always thought that the first recipe I was going to try out in the kitchen is going to be a perfectly oven-roasted chicken. Somehow, it seemed to me that it is only right (and simple enough) that a oven-roasted chicken is to be the first dish coming out of the newly bought oven and right onto the dinner table for our first Christmas dinner in our own home. Pity, this did not happen in our case. 

2 years had passed and it finally stuck me the other day that I have not tried roasting any poultry using the oven yet! How can I let that be the case? Finally, a couple of Sundays ago, I decided to give the 'Roast Chicken with Lemon & Herbs' recipe a try. As usual, I made some small changes to the original recipe and the chicken turned out really well! 

Personally, I feel that this dish is great for beginner cooks like myself, with minimal ingredients and attention required. This time round, I even tried to cook the roasted potatoes together with the chicken (and some bacon as well) but it turned out that the potatoes were kind of overly done. Though the potatoes tasted great but I wouldn't advise anyone eating too much of them due to the burned skin. Not that good for health, you see? In fact, the next time I try this recipe, I would probably cook the roasted potatoes and vegetables separately as there will be plenty of time to do so while waiting for the chicken to cook in the oven. Most importantly, add plenty of lemon, garlic and rosemary! They impart a light and soft scent to the meat. They are such an excellent combination! 

 

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Recipe: Adapted and modified from here

Servings
Serve 2 to 4 persons

Ingredients
1 whole Chicken
2 tbsp Rosemary, finely chopped
3tbsp Butter, room temperature
2 cloves Garlic, grated
1 Lemon, zested and juiced
Salt
Pepper
1 whole head Garlic, halved 
1 Lemon, halved

Roasted Potatoes
4 large Potatoes
10 cloves Garlic, unpeeled
2 tbsp Rosemary
4 slices of Bacon, fried and chopped
Salt
Pepper
2 tbsp Olive Oil

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 200C and drizzle roasting dish with some olive oil. Set the roasting dish aside for later use.

2. Rinse the chicken inside and out, and pat dry it with kitchen towels. Season the chicken with salt and pepper (including the cavity) and set aside on a large plate for later use. 

3. Wash, dried and cut the potatoes into large chunks, depending on size of potatoes (about 8 to 12 pieces per potatoes) and place them in the roasting dish together with the garlic cloves and pieces of bacon. You may also add in sliced onions or vegetables if you prefer. 

4. Add the chopped rosemary to the roasting dish as well and season them with salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss everything together in the roasting dish to ensure the seasoning is well spread out.

5. In a small bowl, add the finely chopped rosemary to the soft butter. 

6. Using a grater, grate 2 cloves of garlic and add the grated garlic to the butter mixture in Step (5). Also add in the zest of 1 lemon. Season this mixture with salt and pepper. Using a spoon, make sure that this mixture is well mixed together. 

7. Rub 3/4 of the butter mixture under the skin of the chicken, between the breast and the skin of the chicken. Massage well to ensure that the butter mixture is evenly spread out. Rub the remaining 1/4 of the butter mixture all over the chicken. Drizzle the lemon juice of 1 lemon over the chicken. 

8. Cut the remaining lemon and garlic into half and stuff them inside the cavity of the chicken. Also add in some rosemary inside the cavity of the chicken and tie the legs together either using kitchen string or aluminium foil. 

9. Place the chicken in the roasting dish, making sure that the chicken wings are tucked under the chicken itself. Sprinkle some salt and pepper evenly over the top of the chicken. 

10. Bake for 45 minutes, baste and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the juice of the chicken comes out clear after cutting a slit at the chicken thigh. 

11. Remove the chicken from the oven and cover it with aluminium foil for 15 minutes before carving. 

Take note 
(1) Take chicken out of fridge at least 1 hour before roasting it. 
(2) Use fresh chicken instead of frozen chicken. 
(3) If roasting potatoes together with the chicken, check on the potatoes after 30 to 45 minutes. Once the potatoes are done (dark-coloured), remove them from the roasting dish before continuing to roast the chicken. This is to ensure that the potatoes will not be burnt. Alternatively, cook roasted potatoes / vegetables separately. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

#19 - Lemon Mint Granita


I saw this recipe at the back of a magazine which I read every month. Lemon & Basil Granita! Basically granita is a Italian frozen dessert which is related to Italian ice and sorbet. It is not as compact as the sorbet but still provides that cooling kick you need on a hot afternoon.

The recipe I chanced upon looked simple enough for me to give it a try and so, it was bookmarked. But then again, me being me, I just couldn't be contented with following the recipe alone and I had to give it a little spin of my own. Decided to replace basil with mint (and you wonder why this site is named as mrsMINTYcream?) and since I have these gorgeous mangoes sitting in my pantry, I decided to add them to my Lemon-Mint Granita. I don't believe there's anyone out there who doesn't like some sweet and gorgeous fruits to go with some good old citrus like lemon and lime. 

The end product was somewhat like a combination of ice-jelly cocktail and ice-kachang (minus the sugary syrup). Go make some granita and keep it in the freezer just because it is so versatile and can simply goes well with just about anything! 

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Ingredients
Handful of fresh Mint Leaves (about 50 leaves)
4cups of Water
3 tbsp Fine Sugar
4 Lemons, juiced 
1 Lime, juiced and zested

Mixed Fruits
1 Mango
30g Blueberries
1 Yellow Kiwi
1 Green Kiwi
1 Peach


Directions
1. Wash and dry fresh mint leaves. Using a food processor or a blender, pulse the mint leaves until they are mostly pureed. Set aside for later use.

2. Boil the water and sugar to make a syrup. Stir well to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

3. Combined and lemon juice with the lime juice. Stir in the zest of one lime into the mixture.

4. Add the mint leaves puree to the lemon-lime juice mixture and stir. Once combined, also add in the sugar syrup and taste. Adjust the mixture to the level of sweetness you desired by adding in more sugar if needed. 

5. Pour the mixture into a freezable container and freeze for at least 4-5 hours. After every 1-2 hours, remove from freezer and flake it using a fork.

6. While waiting for the granita to freeze, prepare the fruits. Wash and diced all the fruits. If you do not have fresh fruits, you may also use canned fruits (without the canned syrup). 

7. Place the fruits at the bottom of a serving cup/mug/bowl. Top with the lemon-mint granita and mint leaves, then serve. 

Monday, 21 October 2013

#18 - Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins


I have never been a great fan of green tea items (other than sweetened green tea which really isn't much of a green product anyway) so when bff suggested baking some green tea muffins, I was actually glad to give it a try. I know that if she hadn't suggested it, I would probably not try out much green tea recipe due to my lack of interest in this ingredient. Thanks for the suggestion! 

For the muffins, I must say that they turned out tasting better than I thought they would. It was soft and sweet and the green tea flavour was rather subtle, which really cater to my liking. Not to mentioned, the  yummy chocolate chips brought the taste up a level! 


Note:
(1) For green tea lover, you should increase the amount of green tea to 2 or 3 tbsp instead, depending on your preference.
(2) To prevent the muffins from sticking to the paper liners, you may either omit the use of paper liners or substitute 95ml of vegetable oil with 50g of butter and 45ml of vegetable oil instead.

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Servings
Make approximately 10

Ingredients
250g All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp Green Tea Powder
2 and 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
60g Chocolate Chips
1 Egg
80g Fine Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
95ml Vegetables Oil
3tbsp Yogurt
190ml Milk

Toppings (optional)
Additional chocolate chips
Green Tea Powder / Green Tea Whipped Cream

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 200C and line muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside for later use. 

2. Sieve the dry ingredients (flour, green tea powder, baking powder and salt) together and set aside. 

3. Using a small bowl, toss the chocolate chips with 3 tbsp of flour. Once all the chocolate chips are coated in flour, set aside. This will ensure that the chocolate chips will not sink to the bottom of the batter and will be able to spread well across the muffins.

4. In a mixing bowl, beat in an egg until it is pale. Add in sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk these ingredients together using a whisk until the mixture is light-coloured. 

5. Add in vegetable oil, yogurt and milk and whisk them together until they are well combined and a thick mixture is obtained. 

6. Combined the wet ingredients in Step (5) to the dry ingredients in Step (2). Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the wet ingredients into the well. Fold in the flour mixture slowly using a spatula until the combined mixture is well-mixed, with no trace of flour. Be careful not to over mix the batter.

7. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips into the mixture using a spatula. 

8. Using an ice-cream scoop, divide the batter evenly into 10 muffins cups. Each muffin cup should be filled up to 2/3 of the way. 

9. Tap muffin tray on tabletop and shake it gently to ensure that the batter is level and evenly spread out. This also help to make sure that any excess air is removed from the batter. You may then sprinkle some chocolate chips on each muffin cups before baking them in the oven (optional).

10. Bake for 20 minutes (turn the muffin tray front-to-back after 10 minutes) or until the top of the muffins become golden brown and toothpick when inserted comes out clean. Remove muffins from oven and cool in muffin tins for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to allow them to cool completely. 

11. You may want to dust the muffins with green tea powder or frost the muffins with green tea whipped cream before serving (optional). 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

#17 - Oreo Cookies and Cream Popsicles


Yeah! Another popsicle recipe! This is like the fourth popsicle recipes which I have tried in the last 2 months or so. (Note to self - That reminds me of something. I have yet to put up the recipe on my Nutella Banana Fudgesicles.) How can any one say no to a yummy creamy popsicle like this. It is the Oreo Cookies and Cream Popsicles! I kind of fancy the addition of the milk & whipping cream to the recipe as it really enhanced the taste of the creaminess in these popsicles. 


While these popsicles were freezing in the freezer, I was sitting impatiently in front of my television. Can't wait! I could hardly wait for them to be ready so that I can have a taste of this creamy delightfulness. I am sure you understand what I mean, don't you?

If you are not a great fan of dairy products, you may find this popsicle a little too milky on your first few bites. But, hold on to that thought! Wait till you bite into the soft and chocolatey Oreo Biscuits! It is so soft, creamy and sweet! Unbelievable! Once you have tasted that, you will understand how the milky cream part comes into play. It is totally a match made in popsicles heaven! 


Look at me! I was enjoying my yummy Oreo Popsicle while playing my favourite game, Hay Day, on my iPad. This is total enjoyment, I tell you. 


For those friends of mine who have been infected with my recent craze with Popsicles, go try this recipe out! You will not be disappointed, that I am sure! 

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Recipe: Adapted and modified from here

Servings
Make 6-8 Popsicles (depending on size of the mould)

Ingredients
150ml Whipping Cream
150ml Milk
3 tbsp Yogurt
1tbsp Native Honey
14 Oreo Cookies, quartered

Directions
1. Combine the whipping cream, milk, yogurt and honey in a liquid measuring cup. Whisk the mixture well to ensure that the honey is fully dissolved into the cream. 

2. Slice each Oreo cookies into 4 pieces (quarters) and distribute the cookies among the popsicles moulds (8 quarters in each mould). 

3.Pour the cream mixture in Step (1) into the popsicles moulds. Freeze for at least 3-6 hours until the popsicles are firm. (I freezed mine overnight to ensure firm popsicles)

4. When removing popsicles from moulds, place the moulds under running water. This will ensure that the popsicles come out smoothly from the moulds.