Everyone loves Chocolate Chip Cookies. It’s the world’s most popular cookie! Last week I shared the recipe for The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie. It is one of my favorites! But sometimes I get a craving for more chocolate and that’s when the Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies come in handy. They are simply delicious!
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I’m sure you’ve seen them at Starbuck’s and other retail bakeries. I think there are even some packaged ones by Pepperidge Farms. But nothing comes close to my Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re definitely chocolaty but the white chocolate morsels I add give it that extra yum! They like crunchy brownies with a kick of delicious white chocolate. They go great with a cold glass of milk!
Another tip for making bakery quality cookies is to have the proper tools. In this case to make really good looking (and tasting) cookies you’ll need a measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, an electric mixer (a standing mixer is easier but costlier so a hand mixer works too), a 1 Oz. Scoop (they make the cookies all the same size) and a Silicone Baking Mat (or you can use parchment paper, either one works well, but the mat ends up cheaper in the long run and is definitely more eco-friendly). I know it seems frivolous to buy these things specially if you don’t bake often. I remember back in the day when we really didn’t have the extra money to spend on them (they were much more expensive then) I used to make do with whatever I had. But these days with online shops and big box stores baking equipment has become much more affordable!
But you don’t have to rush out and buy mats, scoops, and whatever. Use what you have or borrow from a baking friend or your mom! Just make sure you use the best ingredients that you can find, that’s the most important thing!
Contrary to it’s name French Toast did not originate in France. In fact it originated long before France was even a country.
French Toast is basically made with stale bread dipped in an egg and milk mixture then fried up for a tasty meal. Being that bread, eggs, and milk have been staples since they started to prepare bread in some form it makes sense that it’s been around for centuries. And of course back in the day people weren’t wasteful so turning stale bread into a meal using basic ingredients that were readily available makes sense too.
The first mention of a similar dish dates back to a cookbook attributed to Apicius back in 4th. Century Rome. It was then called Pan Dulcis, or sweet bread, and made pretty much how we make it today. The dish spread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, specially the practice of using stale bread. In France it was known then as it is now as Pain Perdu which literally means Lost Bread. It is known by this name in Belgium, New Orleans, and other places where the French had some sort of presence. We call it French Toast for the similar reason we call fried strips of potatoes French Fries; simply because it was popularized in America by French immigrants.
French Toast has become a staple on diner and coffee shop menus. In fact it is one of my favorite breakfast foods mainly because not only is it easy to make and very tasty, I almost always have all the ingredients in my kitchen!
Now there are many fancy variations of this humble dish like the Crème Brûlée French Toast I make on Christmas mornings. Now that requires a bit more fussing. But the basic French Toast recipe is so easy that you can make it even on weekday mornings, or at the very least on weekends.
This year Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday so I know cooking breakfast is pretty much not on the top of your priority list. But wouldn’t it be super sweet to wake up just 15 minutes earlier this Valentine’s Day and surprise your sweetheart with a stack of French Toast?
Garnished with fresh fruit, powdered sugar, or whipped cream can dress up this humble dish and make it look like you’ve been up for hours preparing it! So go ahead, wake up your Valentine with the cinnamony aroma of fresh made French Toast! The kids’ will love them too! Here’s my recipe!
3 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Vanilla
6-8 Pieces Bread – any type will do, you can use day old or fresh, whatever you have on hand.
Garnishes like fresh fruit, powdered sugar, whipped cream, etc.
Beat eggs in a shallow bowl.
Add milk and sugar and stir well.
Stir in cinnamon and vanilla.
Melt butter in a frying pan.
Dip both sides of each piece of bread in egg mixture.
Place bread in frying pan and cook until both sides turn golden brown.
Place French Toast on serving dish and garnish any way you want.
You can place butter, syrup, and garnishes on the table so everyone can serve themselves.
Sans Rival is also known as Butter Cashew Layered Meringue Cake. It’s a popular dessert in the Philippines. It’s a Filipino dessert made of sandwiched French Buttercream in multiple layers of meringue infused with chopped cashews. It has a flaky, nutty and buttery goodness and enriched with vanilla extract. A creamy and crunchy mouth-watering goodness in every bite.
you might be wondering why it has a French name? (Sans rival) or without rival in English has its French roots, it was brought over by Filipinos who studied in France during the 1920’s to 1930’s. During those times these Filipinos learned many French cooking techniques which they brought home.
This is my version of Sans Rival Cake Recipe, Enjoy!!!
For the Meringue Wafer:
10 pcs. egg whites
1 c. sugar
1½ cups cashew nuts, finely chopped
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla
For the Butter Cream Filling:
6 pcs. eggs yolks
½ cup cashew nuts, roughly chopped for toppings
1½ tsp. vanilla
1 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
Place parchment paper, grease and flour heavily 3 or 5 (8×1 inches) round pans depends on how many layers you want to make then set aside.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks formed.
Add cream of tartar and beat, gradually add the sugar, beating well after each addition.
Continue beating until egg whites are very stiff.
Fold in vanilla extract and cashew nuts.
Divide in 3 or 5 portions and spread in prepared pans.
Bake at 300F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let it cool just enough to handle.
Immediately loosen the parchment paper while it’s warm in a flat surface because they are hard to loosen as they are crisp when cool.
For the Fillings:
In a bowl beat egg yolks until thick.
In another bowl cream the butter and add the vanilla, then set aside.
Boil sugar and water until it spins a thread.
Place the bowl of an egg mixture over a bowl of cold water.
Pour hot syrup into the egg yolks in thin streams while beating, this method will prevent the egg yolk from curdling.
Whisk vigorously to incorporate and to cool down the egg mixture.
Blend egg mixture into the butter and whisk well.
Add and sieve only fine cashew nuts and reserve the remaining.
Place meringue on cake board and spread a cashew butter cream on top, sprinkle with reserved nuts and follow the same procedure on the 2nd and last meringue.
Use the remaining cashew butter cream to frost all over the meringue, sprinkle remaining nuts on top and coat all sides evenly.
Refrigerate overnight before serving, to have a firm layered cake and not a crumbled one.
Buko Pie is a popular Filipino delicacy from the southern regions of Luzon especially in Laguna Province. Tourists and locals travel to Laguna for the pie. They buy extra to take home. It’s a traditional pasalubong or homecoming gift.
Buko Pie is a 2 crusted pie filled with creamy coconut juice, soft young coconut meat, evaporated milk, sugar and cornstarch. Buko Pie is an excellent mid-afternoon snacks, paired with your favorite coolers.
Halayang Ube is a Filipino Dessert made from purple yam. There are several ways of preparing this sweet dish; some versions use condensed milk to sweeten the yam, while others cook it using coconut milk. My version is very simple, but the outcome is something that you’ll love!
“Ube” is the purple yam ( Dioscorea alata) that grows abundantly in the Philippines. Purple Yams are amazing and Filipinos love it. It’s mostly used for flavoring desserts including Ice Cream, cakes, cookies, tarts, and other pastries.
This yam’s peak season is at the end of each year which is why Ube flavored desserts are traditionally made and served during the holiday season. One of the most popular ways to use this purple yam is called Halayang Ube.
The name is derived from the Spanish word “jalea” which means jelly or jam; so Halayang Ube is quite literally Purple Yam Jam. It can be eaten alone or as a filling for tarts, rolls, sweet buns, and other pastries. It is also one of the ingredients of Halo-Halo a very popular Filipino iced dessert which means “mixed together”. Halo-Halo is a variety of sweets served with crushed or shaved ice, drizzled with milk, and topped with Halayang Ube, leche flan, or ice cream.
We’ll be sharing a Halo-Halo recipe as part of our Merienda Series, but for now I will share my recipe for Halayang Ube. After all you’ll need some of this delicious Purple Yam Jam for your Halo-Halo!
Halayang Ube is made by boiling purple yams, grating or mashing it, then cooking it with coconut milk or condensed milk until it thickens. It’s then cooled down, then placed in a mold or pan, and refrigerated until it solidifies/ It is served cold, and can be topped with toasted shredded coconut or condensed milk.
Here’s my recipe!
2 Lbs. purple yam
2 cans (12 ounces) condensed milk
1 can (14 ounces) evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 tsp of vanilla (optional)
Boil the unpeeled purple yam in a pot with water and simmer for 30 minutes.
Drain and let cool.
Peel and finely grate the cooked yam.
Heat a big wok in medium heat.
Melt butter or margarine then add the vanilla flavoring and condensed milk and mix well.
Add the grated yam then lower the heat.
Keep on stirring and mixing the ingredients for about 30 minutes or until sticky and a bit dry (but still moist).
Add evaporated milk and continue to mix for 15 minutes.
Let cool and place on a large platter, pan, or mold.
Refrigerate before serving.
Serve it cool, you can top it with toasted coconut or drizzled with condensed milk.