Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chocolate Salty Oat Cookies


One of my fantastic recent discoveries at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge is these chocolate salty oat cookies from Kayak cookies. It was subtly sweet...curiously salty as described. Unable to find the recipe on web, I had to try to create my own chocolate salty oat cookies. The biggest challenge was to keep the "DOME shape" of the cookies after baking- during baking, the butter inside of cookie dough melts and the cookies flattens. After some trials and errors, I ended up with a quite satisfying recipe.


I did blind taste test with my five friends who have discerning palate. Guess what ! 4 voted for mine! Although my wish was to hear " I can't tell any difference", it was good enough. They said mine is less OATy but more chocolaty and moist. My cookies are sweeter (very valuable critique from a person who voted for Kayak cookies. It has to be SUBTLY sweet).
Me? I still personally like Kayak cookies better honestly but I am very proud of the result.

2 cups of all purpose flour
2/3 cup of dutch pressed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 and 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter/room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar/ tightly packed
3/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 and 1/2 cups of rolled oats (not instant kind)
2 cups of chocolate chunks ( I mix 70 % and 40% together, Valrhona or Schaffenburger)
good quality sea salt flakes (I used Murray River salt)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment papers.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt together. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, cream butter with brown sugar for 3 minutes in med-high speed. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl as needed. Add vanilla extract, beat until all the ingredients mix thoroughly. Stir in the dry mixture, in 3 times. Mix in oats and coconut flakes. Turn off the mixer. Then mix in the chocolate chunks.
Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the dough to 6 golf ball sizes portions on a each pans. Bake for 13 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes as soon as the cookies come out of oven. Cool down completely on the sheet pan.

The dough is very hard to mix but it is supposed to be like that. Don't worry and don't give up. I guarantee that the cookies will knock your socks off!


Spiced syrup

I made several batches of Baklava during holidays, found out that the syrup for Baklava is quite versatile. Try this with plain yogurt, cheese, fruit, chai...

ingredients to make syrup (adapted from "Spice" cookbook by Ana Sortun)
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
5-6 whole cloves
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

In a small sauce pan, combine all the ingredients except lemon juice, bring it to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes until the mixture become syrupy. Stir in the lemon juice.

to make chai
Boil some low fat milk in a small sauce pan with 3 cardamom pods, a dash of ground ginger and tea bags (or loose tea leaves, I use Indian kind Ceylon tea bags). Simmer for 3-5 minutes and remove the milk skin on top, mix in some syrup.


Monday, December 27, 2010


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fried Oysters with sweet soy sauce

It's the day after Christmas. I thought about going to down town Boston for shopping but well, I was as lazy as the usual days after Christmas. Anyways I ended up with creating yummy dish using left over oyster from the party last night. The menu for a big hungry crowd on Christmas night was Bo-Ssam, it's kind of "surf and turf dish" in Korea. Slowly cooked and sliced pork belly, although you can use all sorts of meats, is served with various kinds of spicy condiments and lettuce leaves to wrap the meats with the condiments. Fresh oysters are key ingredient to elevate the flavor to the extreme level.

It's a shame that I was too busy cooking and entertaining to take pictures of Bo-SSam last night and the hungry crowd would have been so mad at me if I had taken time to take pictures before devouring anyways. It is snowing outside, the city just left a message about snow emergency, fantastic!!!

I would like to share my impromptu fried oysters recipe.

serrano chilie/ thinly sliced with seeds
cucumber/ jullienned
lemon wedges
sweet tempura sauce/ store bought kind
1/4 Cup of potato starch
1 egg
1/2 cup of Panko

Heat 3 Cups of carnola oil in a deep frying pan. Shuck the oysters and remove excess water from the oysters. Coat the oysters with potato stach very lightly, then egg and Panko. When oil is hot enough to fry (test with some Panko, it's ready when it bubbles and float up immediately). Deep fry the oysters to golden brown color, then drain the excess oil on the paper towel. You need to work promptly from this point. Arrange the fired oysters on a bowl, mound with cucumber and chile on top of it. Just right before serving, pour the sweet sauce over. Serve with lemon wedges.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!