The Science Behind Baking the Most Delicious Cookie Ever

Tricks for baking your own perfect chocolate chip cookies 🙂

TIME

This post originally appeared on Ozy.com.

You like soft and chewy. He likes thin and crispy. If only there were a chocolate chip cookie recipe that pleased everyone…

There is! And, no, it’s not Martha Stewart’s. It’s science.

We’ve taken our cues from a few spots: a bioengineering grad student named Kendra Nyberg, who co-taught a class at UCLA called Science and Food, and chef and cookbook author Tessa Arias, who writes about cookie science on her site, Handle the Heat.

There’s also an illuminating Ted Talk animation on cookie science. And if you really want to go nuts (or no nuts, your call), Serious Eats offers 21 painstakingly tested steps for the Perfect Cookie, including kneading times and chocolate prep techniques.

“Even though I can describe what I like,” says Nyberg, “I didn’t know the role of each ingredient in the texture and shape of cookies.” So…

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Pechay or “Bok choy”

pechay

“Pak Choy” or “Bok choy” is the Cantonese name under which most U.S. groceries sell the nutritious green vegetable known in the Philippines as “pechay.” Pechay is a relatively bland vegetable related to cabbage. Its whitish chopped ribs and green shredded leaves are often used to add nutrients, crunch and color to stir-fried dishes.

Nutritional Facts:

Vitamin A

Just 3 oz. of boiled pechay contains 72 percent of the average daily requirement for vitamin A. Vitamin A has been dubbed the “anti-infective” vitamin, according to the Linus Pauling Micronutrient Information Center at Oregon State University. It received that designation because it protects and supports the epithelial cells that are vital to immune system defenses. Vitamin A is also important for good eyesight. Without sufficient vitamin A, a condition called “night blindness” can develop. In night blindness, the eyes are incapable of adjusting to low light. For personalized information about the vitamin A intake that is appropriate for you, consult your physician or a qualified nutritionist.

Vitamin C

Pechay has 30 percent of the average daily value for vitamin C in a 3 oz serving. Vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, a major building block of the connective tissue. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants can help protect the body from the harmful effects of oxidative stress, a biochemical process that may contribute to cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses. A high intake of antioxidant-rich foods such as pechay has demonstrably more beneficial health effects than antioxidants taken in supplement form, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Folate

Folate, a member of the B vitamin complex, is critical to the development and maintenance of cells. A 3 oz serving of pechay contains 10 percent of the average daily value for this important nutrient. Without adequate folate consumption prior to conception, pregnant women run the risk of bearing children with devastating birth defects that affect the spine and brain. Folate deficiencies can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms, headaches, sore tongue, behavioral disturbances and an increased risk of heart disease, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health.

Other Vitamins

Pechay contains small amounts of niacin, thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin B-6. Niacin facilitates numerous metabolic reactions, according to the 2009 textbook “Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition.” Thiamine deficiencies cause beriberi, a sometimes fatal disease of the nervous system. Riboflavin helps unlock the energy in nutrients, and vitamin B-6 is a factor in cognitive functioning, immune system health and hormone activity. These nutrients are all members of the B vitamin family.

Reference: http://www.livestrong.com/article/492124-vitamins-in-pechay/#ixzz2mMk2psLP

The most important health benefit of pechay is its vitamins and minerals, which helps in keeping you healthy in terms of attaining stronger bones and glowing skin. A serving of pechay also contains:

  1. Calcium for strong bones
  2. Phosphorus for bone formation, digestion, excretion, and hormonal balance
  3. Potassium for muscle control, blood pressure regulation, and hypertension prevention,
  4. Vitamin A for promoting growth, reproduction, and the improvement of vision
  5. Iron which helps carry oxygen in the blood
  6. Magnesium for body’s detoxification
  7. Zinc for improving the immune system against infection and even cancer
  8. Vitamin C for glowing skin
  9. Thiamin, vitamin B-6 and folate for better functioning heart, muscles, and body nervous system

Reference: http://www.letsfacediabetes.com/health-benefits-of-pechay/

As for me: I made a recipe that I hope everybody will love. It’s easy to prepare and cook, super economical and exceptional in flavour.

Stir fry Pechay

Ingredients:

1 Can tuna in vegetable oil

250 grams pechay or 2-3 bunches (shredded)

1 whole tomato cut into wedges

1 onion sliced

2 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp of oyster sauce

1 tbsp of soy sauce

2 tbsp Canola Oil

salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

1. In a heated wok, saute garlic, tomato and onion.

2.Stir in the tuna, oyster sauce and soy sauce.

3.Mix in the shredded Pechay.

This process will only take 5 to 10 minutes in a well heated pan or wok. Make sure that you stir constantly to avoid burning it. Once Pechay is cooked ( Cook it enough that it still has its crunch) you can add in salt and pepper as desired.

If you want, you can add sliced chili pepper to make it a little spicy.

Go ahead and try it! Bon Appetit!

Chocolate Raisin Bars

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Since I’m not yet that confident in mixing my own cake batter, I’ve tried using Maya’s Brownie Fudge Mix to boost my confidence in baking. Luckily, it was a good product to start with. I added a few ingredient which I think made it more healthier (because of the raisins and dark chocolate) and will arouse your cravings more. Try this recipe and it will surely awaken the Pastry Chef in you!

Recipe:

1/2 cup melted Butter

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 medium size eggs

2 bars of Goya Dark Chocolate

1 pack of Raisins ( I was not able take a picture of the exact brand I used, and sadly I forgot the brand 😦 but it looks like this: Raisins

Sprinkles

1 Tbsp canola oil

and Maya Brownie Fudge Mix 500 g

Procedure:

Preheat the oven at 250. Mix Maya Brownie Fudge, Butter, Vanilla extract and 2 eggs to make the batter. Pull out your cake tray (about an inch thick), pour the batter, top it with the raisins and put it inside the oven and cook for 15 mins. While waiting for the batter to cook, melt the Goya Dark Chocolate bars in a bowl by adding 1 tbsp of canola oil inside a microwave for 1 minute (make sure to break the chocolate bars).

To check if the batter is cooked thoroughly, pinch a clean tooth pick on your batter.If there is a minimal batter sticking on the tooth pick, your Brownie fudge cooked perfectly with a little gooey inside. Pull it out of the oven and let it cool down.

Once it has completely cool down. Top it with the melted Chocolate bars shower it with sprinkles ( or you can use nuts if you want).

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It feels good to satisfy your cravings once and awhile. Don’t deprive yourself, just don’t over eat and do a lot of exercise 🙂

Have a fun day everyone!

Teacher’s Day Tokens

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I’ve made this treats by request of my daughter Tanya for her Teachers.

All weekend she was busy writing letters for her Teacher and asking what to give them as tokens of how she appreciate everything they’re doing for her. So today, (though it’s a day late) I decided to make them a special treat.

Chocolate cups with Vanilla Butter Cream frosting and Sprinkles

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Recipe:

Chocolate cups

Cupcake pan/tray

cupcake liners

Maya Brownie fudge mix

1 medium egg

1/4 cup melted butter

2 tbsp water

Procedure;

Combine Maya Brownie fudge mix, egg, butter and water until free from lumps. Put the liners in the pan. Pour in the batter. Preheat the oven to 250 and cook for 15-20 mins. Let it cool down completely before putting the frosting on top. You can put any type of sprinkles you have and to make it extra special make your own cupcake toppers.

Frosting:

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp heavy cream

Procedure:

Mix together sugar and butter, add in vanilla extract and heavy cream beat well until you reach the right consistency you want for your frosting.  Set aside

Buttered Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This is my first ever attempt to make a cookie. My family loved it. They say it tasted like butter cookies with chocolate chips so, I’m naming it Buttered Chocolate chip Cookies 🙂

Recipe:

1 cup flour

2-3 Tbsp of sugar

0.4 oz of  butter (if you’re going to use unsalted butter add in a  pinch of salt)

1 Tsp of vanilla extract

Chocolate chips

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Procedure:

Combine flour and sugar. Add in the butter and vanilla extract. I think it’s better to use your hand in mixing to blend the mixture well. Just make sure to wash your hands before doing so 🙂 Lastly, add the chocolate chip.

Preheat oven to 250 and cook for 15-20mins.

Let it cool down. You can add powdered sugar on top before serving to add drama 🙂

Instead of Chocolate Chips, you can also add in any type of nut like: walnuts or peanuts to add more crunch.

Go ahead and try this recipe and enjoy eating!

Cheesecake

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Cheesecake is a sweet dish consisting of two or more layers. The main, or thickest layer, consists of a mixture of soft, fresh cheese, eggs, and sugar; the bottom layer is often a crust or base made from crushed cookiesgraham crackerspastry, or sponge cake.[1] It may be baked or unbaked. Cheesecake is usually sweetened with sugar and may be flavored or topped with fruitwhipped creamnuts, fruit sauce, and/orchocolate syrup. Cheesecake can be prepared in many flavors, such as; strawberrypumpkinkey lime, chestnut, or toffee.

Cheesecake is usually served as a dessert.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org

Cheesecakes originated from ancient Greeks evolved in so many ways. Whether baked cheesecake should be classified as a cake, a custard, a torte, or something else is a matter of debate.The early Greeks considered it a cake.Some modern authors point to the presence of many eggs, the sole source of leavening, as proof that it is a torte. Still others claim that the separate crust, the soft filling, and the absence of flour prove that it is a custard pie.

As for me:

Whether it’s a cake, a custard or a torte, cheesecakes are easy to make, delicious and is a very versatile dessert. You can go wild with the berries and make blueberry, raspberry or blackberry cheesecake.  Top it with a whipped cream and go locco! Whether it’s healthy or not, It’s always pleasurable to indulge into something that you crave for once and awhile.

Be happy! Enjoy life! As they say, “You only live once!” So go ahead and indulge but don’t forget to work hard and exercise!