From Cupcakes to Traditional Korean Food and Everything in Between

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!

Cookies

These chocolate chip cookies are soft, chewy and thick with a toffee like caramel flavor that blossoms throughout each bite and each of those bites are stuffed with the explosion of ooey-gooey chocolate.  Be still my heart!!  The browned butter lends a matured flavor profile to the dough while the melted aspect of it will yield an even chewier cookie.  Making them even chewier is the higher proportion of brown sugar to granulated sugar.  The salted tops balance out the sweetness while the soft hint of coffee compliments the chocolate and the cornstarch mixed in with the dry mixture allows the dough to stay even softer with the aid of baking soda which will help tenderize the dough too.  The extra yolk imparts a richness {and extra chewiness} that can’t be achieved any other way.  Basically, these are super star cookies that cover every angle for achieving the perfect anatomy for an exception chocolate chip cookie.

You’ll never bite into a softer or chewier cookie.  These are cookies that actually taste fresh and delicious days later.  I found this out during the half dozen trial runs in my kitchen testing this recipe, tweaking and perfecting it as I went.  You see, I’ve searched my entire life for the cookie.  Nothing seduces me more than a warm chocolate chip cookie.  Ooey-gooey love of my life!  This cookie is just exploding with chocolate and as they bake, what they leave behind are intense luxurious puddles of sinful melted chocolate.  I use almost an entire bag of chocolate for these.  It’s optional, but why wouldn’t you?  Stuff those suckers, you only live once!  If you never bake one thing in your life from scratch, please let homemade chocolate chip cookies be the one exception.  Particularly this one because I’m that deeply in love with them and I just know you will be too.

As they have lasting power after they’ve been baked, the same goes for how long they age in the fridge.  This alone will double the success of any ole plain cookie dough but when it’s applied here, it elevates it to a whole other level.  I beg you to chill your cookie dough.  If you’re in a huge rush, you could get away with a 24 hour period but as they sit and the flavors co-mingle, truly magical things happen as I mention to you in my how-to recipe video.  Speaking of, come and hang out with me and I’ll demonstrate each step and show you how I make these epic homemade chocolate chip cookies and how you can too.

 

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!
 
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Author:
Serves: 1 Dozen
Ingredients
  • 2¼ c unbleached flour
  • 2 ts cornstarch
  • 1 ts baking soda
  • 2 sticks unsalted, browned butter
  • ⅔ c brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ c granulated sugar
  • 1 whole room temp. egg + 1 room temp. egg yolk
  • 2 ts pure vanilla extract
  • ½ ts instant espresso powder
  • ¼ ts fine salt
  • 10-12 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips/chunks
  • Flaked sea salt for topping {like Maldon...Fleur de Sel is nice}
Instructions
  1. In a sturdy pan, slowly melt the butter {go low and slow}, swirling every so often until it gets golden brown and smells nutty. Be watchful so it doesn't burn, which can happen very quickly.
  2. In your first bowl, cream the cooled brown butter with both sugars for 3-5 minutes. Blend in the egg yolk then egg.
  3. Add the espresso power, salt, and vanilla.
  4. To the second bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, and baking soda.
  5. In thirds, pour the second bowl into the first bowl, taking care not to over mix
  6. Finally, fold in almost all of the chocolate.
  7. Scoop and roll each dough ball and press extra chocolate chunks into the tops of each.
  8. Triple wrap and refrigerate for 2-5 days.
  9. When ready to bake, allow the cookies to sit out for 20-30 minutes before baking then preheat the oven to 325* and line a baking sheet with either silpat or parchment {never wax}.
  10. Lightly press flakes of salt onto the tops of each cookie and bake for 8-11 minutes. {This is how long it takes for 2 oz cookies} When in doubt, slightly undertake as the cookies will continue to heat on the baking sheet even after they've been pulled out.
  11. After baking, allow the cookies to set up on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes then carefully transfer onto a wire rack.
Notes
Prep time does not include inactive chilling time.

Tips for success:

  • Always cream cookie doughs for at least 3-5 minutes so that the sugars get suspended in the fat and get completely blended to impart a soft and tender texture.
  • Scrape the bowl as you go so you don’t end up with unmixed pockets.
  • Never over mix which leads to the over development of gluten making for a tough, bread-y cookie.
  • Salt and coffee are your friends.  They enhance the flavors with salt highlighting the doughs sweetness and the coffee complimenting the chocolate. The browned butter blooms a tangle of flavors making the finished cookie taste caramelized and nutty all at once.   At the very least, always use salt.  Cookies and most all baked goods are just sad and flat without it.
  • Cornstarch lends a super soft and thick consistency to the cookies while the extra yolk makes them extra rich and chewy.
  • Chill the dough!  This allows the flavors to meld and redistribute while the flour absorbs into the liquid, hydrating it for a chewy and moist cookie.  If you roll/scoop out the dough then chill, it will also produce a much thicker cookie.
  • When in doubt, under bake rather than over bake.  You can always hit it with a little bit of heat later but you can’t ever take it back.
  • You can definitely freeze pre-scooped cookie dough balls.  I like to line them on parchment/silpat and allow them to freeze this way and then transfer them to a zip top bag.  My double wrapped batches stay good for up to 4 months.

Cheers to warm, chocolate chunk cookies!

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

Soft Glazed Lemon Cookies

These soft lemon cookies are melt in your mouth delicious with a pillowy texture and a glaze that’s as easy to whip up as the cookies themselves.  Each bite sparkles with the brightness of lemon infused two ways.  First, the freshly squeezed juice and second, the vibrant zest where a ton of the flavor lives in the essential oils packed in the rind.  The natural sunny disposition of lemons which are then packed into a cookie make for a great treat for your #epicnic

A picnic on the beach is precisely where I took these babies with me and I may or may not have gobbled up 4 of them {after a fairly hefty sandwich, quinoa salad, and 2 glasses of sparkling lemonade, mind you}.  I rationalized that my frequent dips in the water would easily take care of the extra calories.  Glazed lemon cookies and the first day warm enough to swim in the ocean?  Epic all the way in my book.

As easy as they are to eat, they’re easy to make too. These puffy cookies only take 5 ingredients and then 2 of those ingredients are reused for a most simple lemon glaze that sets up incredibly thick and glossy atop each cookie with flecks of lemon zest “sprinkles.”  The results are soft and tender cookies that are an almost hybrid of both cake and cookie with a dough that you don’t even have to chill.  It goes from bowl to oven to mouth in 20 minutes or less.  An added bonus?  You can make these with a spatula or whisk and a single bowl with no mixer necessary, if you so choose.  If you love lemon, cake-y or glazed cookies and recipes that require minimal effort, this is the cookie for you.  As I mention in the video, it’s like sunshine in your mouth and I mean it.

 

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
Soft Glazed Lemon Cookies
 
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Author:
Serves: 3-4 Dozen
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks of soft, unsalted butter
  • 1¼ c powdered sugar
  • 2 room temperature eggs
  • Zest of 3 unwaxed lemons
  • 2 c self rising flour*
Glaze
  • ½ c powdered sugar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together for 3-5 minutes. Blend in the eggs, one at a time with the lemon zest.
  2. Mix in the flour in thirds just to combine. Do not over mix.
  3. Scoop and bake at 350. My 2 tablespoons of dough baked for about 8 minutes.
  4. Cool completely.
  5. For the glaze, whisk everything together. You want the consistency of glue to ensure that it doesn't slide off.
  6. Spoon 1-2 ts of glaze onto each cookie and allow to dry before serving.
Notes
Homemade self rising flour: combine 1 c unbleached flour with 1½ ts baking powder and ¼ ts kosher salt or ⅛ ts fine salt.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

Homemade Fudgsicles with 3 Ingredients

Fudgsicles

These homemade fudgsicles are made from scratch with just 3 ingredients.  No funky or hard to acquire ingredients either, just fast, easy and straightforward.  Just like my 3 ingredient Korean melon bars.  This is another recipe that will yield a creamy and fudge-y popsicle but this one has a rich chocolatey flavor that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and the nostalgic pull of the ice cream truck that would draw you to trail after it during those sweltering summer months when you were a kid.  Those were the days, huh?  It was summer vacation and you didn’t have too much more on your agenda than playing with the neighborhood kids which was further highlighted by the presence of the ice cream truck where cold, fun treats gave way to instant, cooling satisfaction and a sugar rush that could fuel you for several more hours of play time.  No bills, no meetings, no commitments.  Just endless days of play time which were regularly broken up by meals that magically appeared and and yummy treats like fudgsicles that would be just part of your summer routine.  That’s pretty much what these fudgsicles symbolize for me.  Childhood on a stick.

Besides the fact that you can make these at home with just 3 ingredients, all of which you can pronounce by the way, it’s a cool creamy treat that will help you beat the heat.  They’re also fun to experiment with.  This past weekend, I layered salted nuts pressed into my 3 minute homemade caramel sauce then filled the rest of the way with my fudgsicle mixture making for a sweet and salty combination and the possibilities are endless from spicy chocolate to a swirled peanut butter and banana fudgsicle.  Let me know if you try any fun variations, I’d love to know and until then, enjoy my recipe for super simple 3 ingredient fudgsicles!

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Fudgsicles with 3 Ingredients
 
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Serves: 6 Pops
Ingredients
  • -2 c whole milk or whole half and half*
  • -1/2 c unsweetened natural cocoa
  • -3/4 c sweetened condensed milk
  • Optional ingredients: 2 tb bourbon or orange liquor, pinch of sea salt, ¼ ts instant espresso, vanilla extract, etc.
Instructions
  1. Gently warm your milk and whisk in the cocoa and sweetened condensed milk.
  2. Freeze in desired molds. My small paper cups took about 4 hours to set when filled ¾ of the way.
Notes
*I highly recommend the half and half but you may also use a dairy substitute or even an avocado

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

Cherry Cheesecake Mochi 찹쌀떡

My most popular video to date is my mocha mochi video and for good reason.  It’s wonderfully soft and tender with a burst of chocolatey goodness tucked in the middle.  Not to mention, it’s incredibly simple to make.  It takes all of 10 minutes to make the mochi wrapper which can then envelope an endless list of creative fillings ranging from options like cookie butter and lemon curd to more traditional ones like adzuki beans.

Traditionally, mochi is a rather strenuous process that involves a lot of elbow grease.  I remember my mother making mochi for us and watching as she’d pound and stretch the steaming hot dough over a large pot, often taking breaks to wipe the sweat off of her brow and to catch her breath.  It certainly wasn’t an easy task but one that produced wonderful mochi that we kids knew were precious since we only got them on very special occasions.

Today, we’re going to whip up an easy cherry cheesecake version over the stovetop {especially for all of you who requested a method without the microwave which is how the mocha mochi is made}.  It’s got all the flavor of a cherry cheesecake but all wrapped up in a chewy rice cake.  In my video, I’ll even show you tips on how to achieve a mochi rice cake that is bouncy and plush with all the delightful chew that it’s loved for.  We’re swapping out the chocolate for a creamy cheesecake filling but you can of course swap out the cherries for any fruit you like.  You may or may not know this but pink is my favorite color and you just can’t beat a naturally blushing pink color like this and with Mother’s Day this weekend, it would be a fun and unique addition to your brunch.  The cherries also pair gorgeously with the cheesecake filling and ties together a unique east meets west in this classic American flavored Korean style rice cake treat.

 

 

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Cheesecake Mochi
 
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Author:
Serves: 8 Mochi
Ingredients
Rice Cake:
  • 1 cup of *sweet* rice flour - not regular rice flour
  • 4 tb sugar
  • ½ ts fine salt
  • ¾ c unsweetened cherry juice
Cheesecake Filling:
  • 4 oz soft room temperature cream cheese
  • 2 tb cherry preserves or freeze dried cherries
  • 1 c sifted powdered sugar
  • Optional: pinch of salt or zest of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. For the filling, blend the cream cheese and sifted powdered sugar together. Blend in the preserves. Chill for 1-2 hours. This makes it easier to work with.
  2. For the mochi, in a sturdy pot, whisk the sweet rice flour, sugar, salt, and juice together.
  3. Constantly and vigorously whisk to create a smooth and thick dough. When in doubt, go low and slow with the heat.
  4. The mochi dough is ready when it's sticky, hard to stir, and very, very thick. After it's cooked, set it off the heat and stretch/beat it vigorously. This definitely takes some elbow grease but ensures a soft and chewy end result.
  5. Lightly dust your work surface with sweet rice flour and scrape the mochi dough out onto it.
  6. Dust everything so nothing sticks and press the dough out into a flat log {as shown in my video}.
  7. Portion out 8 even pieces and flatten each piece.
  8. Tuck a frozen cheesecake ball into the center and pinch to seal.

This is the sweet rice flour I use {you cannot sub with regular rice flour} http://amzn.to/1wfcUYT

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

3 Ingredient Chocolate Whipped Body Butter

IMG_8937

This body butter is magical.  Though it only has 3 ingredients, it pampers, comforts, and nourishes your skin without any lingering residue.  It’s rich and creamy yet light and fluffy, deeply penetrating for a baby soft experience.  Needless to say, this is the only body moisturizer I’ll use anymore.  At first glance, it looks like whipped frosting and the wafting scent of chocolate doesn’t lessen the temptation to lick it off the spoon.  Because it’s all natural with food grade ingredients, it’s definitely possible but not recommended {as it doesn’t really taste like much since it doesn’t have any sugar}.  However, if you’d like to make some chocolate with the cacao butter too, I have a recipe for homemade chocolate.  A little bit of this body butter goes a long way, a dab will do ya and your skin will literally drink it up.  Smeared on freshly shaven legs the night before, I always wake up to incredibly silky smooth skin the next day.  It’s like butter baby…literally.

Since my whipped body butter utilizes cacao butter as its base, it will naturally smell of chocolate but it can also serve as a great platform for essential oils.  I personally love halving each batch and using one for moisturizing purposes and the other to use as a massage butter with frankincense and lavender, which is just heavenly.  For the latter, I use 10-20 drops altogether for each batch.  Just make sure to obtain the best quality essential oil you can get your hands on as to not ruin your batch of body butter.

I hope you enjoy my recipe.  I love it so much that I’m actually spreading the love to my own mother and future mother in-law, Jan {who is like my second mother!}  I love you both so much!  I hope it will serve as a great addition for your own mama’s homemade beauty or spa basket too.  Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
3 Ingredient Chocolate Whipped Body Butter
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 1½ cups
Ingredients
  • 4 oz cacao butter
  • 2 oz coconut oil
  • 2 oz grape seed, jojoba, olive, or sweet almond oil
  • Optional: 10-20 drops of pure essential oils*
Instructions
  1. Go low and slow to melt the cacao butter in a pot, double boiler, or in 35-45 second increments in the microwave.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Allow the oils to partially solidify {either at room temperature or in the fridge for about an hour}.
  4. It is ready when it's beginning to harden but still soft enough to scoop.
  5. Whip either by hand or use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer. Beat until fluffy and stiff peaks form. This is when you can add in essential oils.
  6. Store in a glass container below 75 degrees.
Notes
Prep does not include inactive time.
*This is the frankincense I have: http://amzn.to/1HWryyd
And the lavender: http://amzn.to/1HWrQ8e
Cacao Butter: http://amzn.to/1P4rDib

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

 

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