Snickers Peanut Butter Squared Cookies

If there is one candy that I cannot resist, it is Snickers Peanut Butter Squared.  It is not all that common locally so when I find them, I hoard!  My problem now is that we have too much and I can’t finish them all!!!  (and Hubby is not a fan of peanut butter…) so… I decided to convert them into… cookies!!!

The original recipe estimated a yield of 4 dozen.  Frankly, I don’t know how all of that would be consumed (even assuming that I was giving half away!!!) so I used only half the recipe (using all butter also instead of a butter-shortening mix) and added a little less than 2 cups of chopped up Peanut Butter Snickers!

1/2 cup butter
3/8 cup each brown and granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/8 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups chopped Snickers Peanut Butter Squared candies

Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla; mix well.  Stir in flour and baking soda.  Fold in chopped candies.  Drop by round tablespoons (a 1-oz scoop is very convenient) on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 375F oven for 8 to 11 minutes.


They are so yummmmyyyy! And the smell that wafted through the house as the cookies were baking – so heavenly!

I was done in less than an hour and the cookies were soft and chewy! The peanuts in the candy provided the crunch while the caramel and nougat in the candy bits provided just enough sweetness! I got about 30 cookies from half the recipe. I’m definitely making these cookies again!  Maybe I will try adding different kinds of chopped candy…

The original recipe is from this book:

The recipe can be found here, with a couple of its variants.

Upside Down Apple Cake

The usual upside down cake is pineapple, and that’s the kind I made when I was younger but my favorite these days is apple!

My first attempt at it (it was not pretty at all!) –

A look at a slice –

And I really love this cake!

I followed the recipe for the pineapple upside down apple cake in this book (image courtesy of google images) –

The recipe is also online here

Basically I followed the recipe, except…

1. I used 2 smaller pans instead of 1 big pan
2. I used all the schmear in the 2 smaller pans (it’s really delicious, but I might have over done it, seriously…).
3. I sprinkled apple pie spice over the “schmear” before putting in apple slices.

By the way, I used Fuji apples… and they were still crunchy even after baking!

The recipe (and hence, the cake) was absolutely spectacular! A tad bit sweet for me but otherwise, super yummy!!! So from now on, this is my go-to upside down cake recipe!

 

 

Inihaw na Piña!

I’ve often felt that barbecuing over charcoal took a long time and was so tedious that it was better and faster to buy barbecue, or anything inihaw (grilled) and just eat it at home.  But that is not to say that I would not have a barbecue night, because I wanted to try having a whole dinner that’s barbecued!

Our menu –

Inihaw na Liempo (Grilled Pork Belly)

Inihaw na Puting Mais (Grilled Native Corn)

Inihaw na Pinya (Grilled Pineapples)

The best of the lot were the grilled pineapples! We bought a fresh pineapple from the wet market and skewered the slices. The skewered pineapples were basted with a glaze then grilled.

I found a recipe for the glaze in this book… on the very last page!

A similar recipe is here.

But, as always I made a couple of changes, here and there… basically I skipped the honey and used coconut sugar instead. I also used my homemade apple pie spice instead of cinnamon…

For my glaze, I melted 1/4 cup butter then added 2 tablespoons coconut sugar, juice from 1 small lemon, 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice and a pinch of nutmeg. When the coconut sugar was almost melted, I took the pan off the stove and added 1 tablespoon of gold rum and 1/2 teaspoon of my homemade vanilla-rum extract.

The pineapples were absolutely delicious!

 

Kesong Puti

Kesong Puti is, literally, “white cheese”.  It is a cheese that is truly Filipino!

This kesong puti has got to be the easiest cheese ever!  The most difficult part of this recipe might be sourcing the carabao milk!  In my case, I found fresh carabao milk at the weekend market in Centris.  I have been told that certain supermarkets do sell pasteurized carabao’s milk.

Anyway, the recipe has only 4 ingredients… carabao milk, salt, vinegar and lemon juice.  That’s it!

Stir 1/2 teaspoon salt in 500 ml of carabao milk.  Heat in a double boiler for 15 minutes.  I started counting when the water underneath reached boiling.

Remove from heat and immediately mix in 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons vinegar, in my case I used Datu Puti.  Curds should form almost immediately.  Leave to cool and set for an hour.

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Pour the curds into a cheesecloth-lined strainer.  I used an old birdseye cloth diaper, sterlized of course!  Gather the ends together and squeeze lightly.  If a soft creamy cheese is desired, then it is done at this point.

But in my case, since I wanted a drier, crumbly cheese, I squeezed more whey out.

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Whether soft and creamy, or dry and crumbly, wrap the kesong puti in a softened banana leaf and store in an airtight container.  Chill and enjoy!

Consume within 7 days.

The original recipe is from yummy.ph.  I halved the recipe and used a bit more salt.

A final note about salt – adjust it as you like.  We found the original recipe to be lacking and added a bit more.  When I make the recipe again, I may add a little bit more since hubby commented that it could use a tad more…

Tablea Chocolate Cake

Tablea is what we call our locally produced, pure cacao tablet.  Recently, a friend gave me a pack of tablea that she claimed was the renowned one in her province…

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And while I could use them to make sikwate – a hot chocolate beverage made with locally produced tablea, I decided I wanted to make something else… a chocolate cake using tablea!

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The basis for my cake is from the local Yummy magazine – http://www.yummy.ph/recipe/chocolate-tablea-cake-a185-20120319.  I used about 100 grams of tablea.

So how does the tablea chocolate cake compare with the regular chocolate cake?  Well, there is a different dimension to the the tablea choco cake and a slight tang but it was delicious in its own special way!

 

 

 

Fruit and Seed Bars

When I saw the recipe for the Fruit and Nut Bars on the Joy of Baking website, I knew I had to make it for my sweetie – he absolutely loves dried fruit. But, he dislikes nuts!

So I simply substituted a seed mix for the nuts… 

My adaptation – 

1 1/2 cups mix of sunflower seeds and pine nuts
2 1/2 cups mixed dried fruits (raisins, apricots, prunes, dates and cranberries)
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 XL egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Toss and mix the seeds and dried fruit with the chocolate chips, flour, sugar,baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

Beat the egg and vanilla together until light, fluffy and frothy.  Gently mix the seed-fruit mix and beaten egg until thoroughly mixed.  Pat into a buttered and lined 8-inch baking pan.  Bake in a preheated 325F oven for about 40 minutes.  Cool before cutting into bars.

Hubby’s verdict?  He loves it but requests next time to skip the chocolate chips!

Original recipe here

Peanut Butter Choco Chip Bars

It had been a while since I indulged in my favorite – peanut butter.  So I plucked a cookbook from the shelf and picked a recipe…

The cookbook…

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The recipe…

00_pb-bar-recipe

My adaptation…

1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup peanut butter
2 XL eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
3/4 to 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Beat butter, sugar and peanut butter until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla.

Combined flour, baking powder and salt; stir half into the batter.  Mix in the milk.  Stir in remaining half of flour.

Fold in half of the mini chocolate chips.

Spread into a parchment-lined 13×9-inch baking pan and smoothen top.  Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.  Cool before cutting into bars.

 

Bolo Rei

Like I said, this is the year of fruitcake for me.  And I know I said I had baked my last fruitcake, but hey, technically, this is not cake, it is bread!

Bolo Rei is the Portuguese Christmas King’s Cake, but like I said, it is really bread, with yeast and everything.

I basically followed the recipe here – https://food52.com/recipes/2157-christmas-king-s-cake-bolo-rei-portugal but I scaled the recipe down to a third.

Yes, this was Christmas Day breakfast!