Posts tagged cookie
Honey Salted Peanut Mooncakes
Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food

Friday is the Mid-Autumn Festival! The Mid-Autumn festival is probably the second most important holiday on the Chinese calendar, right behind Chinese New Year. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve actually been home to celebrate with my family, but every year we would gather at my grandparents’ house, eat dinner, split some mooncakes, and go stand outside in my grandma’s garden to stare at the moon while eating taro. Despite the name Mid-Autumn Festival, it actually occurs at the beginning of Fall, when the seasons are changing and a new harvest is about to start. It you want to get technical, the Mid-Autumn Festival happens every year on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Lunar Calendar. I had to remind my mom this morning that it’s this Friday lol

My grandma grew up in a farming family in China, which you can definitely tell when you look at her garden. So I could imagine how important this tradition would be to her family and the community she grew up in. Farming families would offer things like mooncakes, fruit, and taro to the Moon to ensure a prosperous and bountiful harvest in the upcoming season. Mooncakes are typically incredibly dense. I think if you ate a whole one on your own you would get sick! You would cut up the mooncake into little wedges and split them amongst your family! I love this sweet little tradition. I also like that I can take little wedges and sample all the different flavors! My favorite flavor by far is white lotus with a salted egg yolk. It’s a classic. Some other favorites are red bean, black sesame, mixed nuts, and the ever elusive mixed nut and ham flavor! I recently tried a winter melon mooncake when I was home a few weeks ago and I was not a fan…

Chinese people almost never make their own mooncakes. Baking is not very common in traditional Chinese households and they rarely ever use their ovens. I don’t think my grandma has ever turned her’s on. Up until this year, I had only ever bought my mooncakes from the store. Then I finally mustered the energy to order some mooncake molds and try my hand at making mooncakes! The first time I made them it was sort of disaster. My filling was too loose and everything got too soft and goopy. NOT GOOD. I learned from my mistakes and pushed through. Thankfully, all my trials afterwards were actually super easy! I’ll go into detail about how I made these Honey Salted Peanut Mooncakes below! The filling is not traditional but inspired by the mixed nut variety of mooncakes. Somehow these Honey Salted Peanut Mooncakes ended up tasting like the best peanut butter cookie I’ve ever had! It made me so happy!

Before you panic, there is still plenty of time for you to go out to your local asian market to buy a fancy tin of mooncakes or to make your own!

Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food
Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food
Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food
Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food
Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food

Special Equipment for Mooncakes

I’m going to be honest with you, there are a few special ingredients and tools that you need to make mooncakes. I know it seems like a lot when this is something you’re only going to make once a year, but I think it’s worth it!

Mooncake Molds - this is the set that I bought, but you can use whatever pattern you like!

*** if you really don’t want to use a mooncake mold you could form them into little pigs like I did!

Golden Syrup

Alkaline Water

you could make your own golden syrup and alkaline water from scratch, but I really didn’t want to mess with the chemistry of these ingredients, so I just ordered everything online and made my life so much easier.

Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food
Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food
Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food
Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food

How to Make Cantonese Baked Mooncakes

Once you have all your special tools and ingredients in hand, you’re ready to make mooncakes! I just wanted to note this method is for traditional Cantonese baked mooncakes. There are a few other variety of mooncakes out there, one being more like a mochi and another that has a flakey pastry like crust.

To make the dough of the mooncake, you combine flour, golden syrup, alkaline water, and olive oil in a large bowl. Stir everything together until you have shaggy dough. Then begin kneading with your hands for a few minutes until you have a smooth dough ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow it to rest and hydrate for at least 45 minutes. This rest period makes the dough much easier to work with.

While the dough is resting make your filling. If your peanuts are not already roasted, roasted them in the oven or in a skillet until toasty and fragrant. Watch the peanuts carefully as they have a tendency to burn easily when you’re not paying attention. Allow the peanuts to completely cool before processing them.

Place the peanuts in a food processor and blend for a few seconds until you have a coarse crumb texture. Add the honey, coconut oil, and salt. If you only have salted peanuts just taste the filling before adding any additional salt. Blend again until you have a fine crumbly texture and the filling sticks together if you apply pressure. It’s important that the mooncake filling is fairly firm so it’s easier to work with.

Now that the filling and dough has been made, it’s time to form the mooncakes! Divide the dough into 12 equal parts. Roll the dough portion into a ball and then flatten the dough with the palm of your hand. Roll out the dough into 3.5”ish circle. Scoop out 1.5 tablespoons of the peanut filling and roll it into a ball, pressing firmly so it stays together. Place the filling in the center of the dough round. Fold the dough around the filling. The dough won’t initially cover all of the filling. Just pinch the dough until it completely wraps the filling. Lightly dust the round mooncake in flour and place in a mooncake mold. Apply pressure to your mooncake mold using the plunger to form the mooncake into the desired pattern. Gently release and place mooncake on a baking tray lined with parchment or a silpat. Then repeat with the remaining mooncakes. Place the mooncakes so that there is about 1.5” in between them.

Bake mooncakes for 8 minutes in a 350 degree oven and remove from the oven to cool for 10 minutes. Mix together egg wash and brush the mooncakes with egg wash, making sure to brush all edges. Using a bristled pastry brush works best. The silicone brushes take on too much egg wash and messes up the mooncake patterns. Bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the mooncakes to completely cool. Once cooled, place in an airtight container for 1-2 day to allow the exterior dough to soften. Then they are ready to enjoy!

Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food
Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food
Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food
Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food

How to Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival

The idea of making mooncakes at home might seem daunting, but I swear that once you get the hang of the mooncake press it’s actually pretty easy! The filling literally couldn’t be easier if you have access to a food processor. Again, these tastes like the best peanut butter cookies on the plant. The exterior of the mooncakes soften after a few days and the filling stays soft and gooey - almost candy bar like - after baking. My mom gave me the great of idea of using pistachios next year!!!!! It sounds soooooooo good, I might not be able to wait until next year to try making one.

I hope you give making your own mooncakes a try! It’s so satisfying to bake them and share them with your family. No shame in buying the ones out of the fancy tins though. The important thing this weekend is spending time with your loved ones over some good food, splitting a mooncake cake, and admiring the moon.

So do these things for me on Friday night:

  1. Invite your family and/or friends over for dinner. If your family is far away, give them a call!

  2. Cook a feast or order a feast from your favorite Chinese restaurant.

  3. Cut your mooncakes into little wedges and savor them.

  4. Step outside and admire the beauty of the full moon.

  5. Feel hopefully for a great new season!

Honey Salted Peanut Mooncake Recipe - Eat Cho Food

Honey Salted Peanut Mooncakes

makes 12 small mooncakes

dough materials:

1/2 cup golden syrup
1 tsp alkaline water
4 tbsp olive oil
2 cups all purpose flour

honey salted peanut filling:

1 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp salt

egg wash - 1 egg + 2 tbsp water

steps:

  1. Add all the dough materials into a large bowl. Mix together with a wooden spoon or spatula until you have a shaggy dough. Begin kneading with your hands. Knead for a 2-3 minutes, until you have a smooth and cohesive dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 45 minutes.

  2. While the dough is resting, make your filling. Add peanuts to a food processor and blend for a few seconds until you have a course chopped texture. Add honey, coconut oil, and salt. Blend again for 10-15 more. The peanut filling should be able to stick together when pressed together. Set filling aside until ready to form moon cakes.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  4. Unwrap the dough and divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Use a digital scale if necessary. Roll out 1 piece of dough into a 3.5” diameter circle. Roll up 1.5 tbsp of peanut into a ball and place in the center of the dough round. Fold the dough around the filling. The dough won’t initially cover all of the filling. Just pinch the dough until it completely wraps the filling.

  5. Lightly dust the round mooncake in flour and place in a mooncake mold. Apply pressure to your mooncake mold to form the mooncake into the desired pattern. Gently release and place mooncake on a baking tray lined with parchment or a silpat. Repeat steps 3-4 for remaining mooncakes.

  6. Bake mooncakes for 8 minutes and remove from the oven to cool for 10 minutes. Mix together egg wash and brush the mooncakes with egg wash, making sure to brush all edges. Bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the mooncakes to completely cool. Once cooled, place in an airtight container for 1-2 day to allow the exterior dough to soften.

  7. Enjoy!

the mooncake dough recipe was adapted from this recipe from Two Red Bowls!

Mochi Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Mochi Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake // Eat Cho Food
Mochi Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake // Eat Cho Food
Mochi Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake // Eat Cho Food
Mochi Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake // Eat Cho Food
Mochi Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake // Eat Cho Food
Mochi Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake // Eat Cho Food
Mochi Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake // Eat Cho Food

It’s SPRIIIIINNNNNNGGGGGGG TIME! Gosh, the warmth and sunshine is making me so freaking happy. It smells like spring, you know? I can’t explain it, but it just smells warm and fresh. Like all the trees are waking up and mustering up the energy to bloom. Ugh, I love it. We actually spent the weekend in Tahoe, where there is a ton of snow still lol. But it was so sunny! I was burning up during my ski lesson! Did I tell you I can ski now? Me! The girl that trips while walking on perfectly flat sidewalks. That girl can ski! Well, sort of. I can slowly ski down a small hill without falling! I’m pretty much in pizza position the entire time because I’m afraid to go too fast. I’m fine with that though because pizza position makes me think of Reuben’s pizza and I then I get hungry. French fries are great too though…

Wait, what am I talking about again?

Sorry, this beautiful weather turns me into that bubble headed kid that just likes to run around in a meadow picking daisies and spinning around in circles while staring at the sky. I have so much energy and just want to check off the bajillion things on my to-do list as quickly as possible so I have more time to frolic around in the park. It’s funny how the seasons impact the food that we make. In the winter we make hearty stews and braises that warm us up in the kitchen for a few hours. But then in the spring we’re making light and fresh dishes that come together quick, so we have time to go play outside!

This Mochi Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake isn’t necessarily spring time specific, because I would literally eat this 365 days a year, but it is so quick and easy to make that you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the glorious sunshine! If you haven’t had a mochi baked good before they are so addictively chewy on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside. Mochiko flour creates the most magical texture. Did you know that mochiko flour is also gluten free?? So it’s practically health food in my opinion.

I got the inspiration for this recipe after my Pinterest was inundated with skillet cookie cakes for some reason. They just kept popping up and I wanted to add my own spin on a cookie cake without adding more noise to the internet. I started to think about the main components of a great chocolate chip cookie. That would be browned butter, brown sugar, quality chocolate, and a ton of flaky sea salt. I love a beautifully caramelized crisp cookie. Then I started to remember that when I was developing my Black Sesame Mochi Muffin recipe I started by making simple browned butter mochi cakes (which includes brown butter and brown sugar as main flavor components) and it reminded me so much of chocolate chip cookies but without the chocolate. I ended up halving that recipe so it would fit in my cast iron skillet, omitting the black sesame (although a black sesame and chocolate cookie cake sounds insanely good!), and heavily sprinkling the batter with chocolate chunks and salt. OMGGGGG I’m not lying when I say that this is one of THE BEST things I’ve ever baked. It so gooey, chewy, crispy, melty, chocolatey, and salty at the same. All the best -y’s! Plus the fact that from start to finish it takes less than 1 hour to make somehow makes it taste even better!

Typically when I’m testing dessert recipes I’ll limit myself to one portion before sending out into the world so I don’t end up eating the entire tray of brownies or cookies myself. No joke, I ate two big slices of this in one second and started to go in for my third before I had to force myself to stop and demand that Reuben take it into work. I still dream of that long lost third slice…

Carve out an hour of your day, make this insane Mochi Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake and save me a slice! Or send me a photo of your cake, that works too!

Happy Spring, friends!


Mochi Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Materials:

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup of full fat canned coconut milk
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups mochiko flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz bittersweet chocolate chunks
flaky sea salt

nonstick cooking spray

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10” cast iron skillet or cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 4 minutes until it turns slightly brown. Turn off the heat and immediately whisk in coconut milk, evaporated milk, and brown sugar until evenly mixed and sugar has dissolved. Whisk in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.

3. Whisk together mochiko flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Slowly pour in butter mixture and whisk until smooth.

4. Fill skillet or cake pan with mochi batter. Sprinkle chocolate chunks over the top of the cake. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until cake is just set.

5. Remove the skillet from the oven, immediately sprinkle with flaky sea salt and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes until cool enough to eat.

enjoy! 

Cookie Butter Cake
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food

Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food

We went out 3 of the last 4 nights and my internal 80 year old body is hating me for it. Reuben’s holiday party was on Friday and I met a whole gaggle of his new work peeps. I ate a lot of patatas bravas and churros and then ended up dancing off maybe 2 churros at a bar down the street. I felt so young and so hip… until the next morning. But I ate a lot of dumplings and rallied. I mustered enough energy to go to a friend’s cookie decorating party, without getting completely overwhelmed with social anxiety, and had enough holiday spirit to go to my office’s holiday party that night. We stayed out to 2 am, ate late night gloriously mediocre bar pizza, ubered home, laughed at all the weird things that happened throughout the night before passing out hard. Miraculously, I woke up feeling ok and desperately craving something green. I put soft pants on, scurried to the farmers market for some salad fixings, came home, ate salad, and officially melted into the couch for the remainder of the day. I had big plans of baking some cookies, but my body was like NOPE.

I was hoping that spending Sunday being a blanket burrito would be enough recovery for me, but then I woke up with another big fat NOPE. The moment I got to my desk I just couldn’t wait to go back home and sleep. But then my boss asked if I wanted to go to the Warriors game that night and it took me like .00000001 seconds to say UM, YES. He has incredible season pass tickets to the Warriors. As much as I love my hometown of Cleveland, I can’t let my (lack of) hometown sports pride hold me back from insane front row (sort of) tickets. We were so close to the players, I could almost hug them. Reuben said if I tried to hug them one of the intimidating body guards would tackle me to the ground. Whatever. It was such a fun time and I couldn’t help but feel so thankful to be there. Generosity is such a great quality in people and there is just something about this season that really makes the generous spirit shine. Whether it’s gifting once in a lifetime NBA tickets to your employee, or surprising a coworker with thoughtful vintage pottery (thanks, Alex and Francis!), buying a friend coffee, or just making someone a cake. Doing nice things for each other is simply just so great, isn’t it??

I have lots of generous people to be thankful for this season, so I better get baking on all those last minute cookies! Gosh, 7 days until Christmas already?! If you’re looking to bake up a treat for the people you care about in the next week, you can either go the cookie route or the cake route. I shared a great little cookie recipe last week and this week I have one of the most delicious and festive cakes I’ve made yet! COOKIE BUTTER CAKE. Until a few weeks ago, I had never purchased the infamous cookie butter from Trader Joe’s due to fear of addiction and gaining 100lbs. But! I took the plunge and got myself a jar for the sake of recipe development. The hype is real. Cookie butter is really really good. The flavors of cookie butter in this year’s holiday cake were great because I’m not a huge fan of gingerbread. Cookie butter has a bunch of the same warming spices we all crave this time of year, but without the intense molasses flavor. Then I covered the whole cake in my true love: cream cheese frosting. If you’re making this recipe, you could totally stop right there and you’ll have a smashing good cake. Anyway, I obviously have nothing else better to do with my weekends, so I made a little sugar cookie house and matcha tuile trees. I may or may not have drafted up the elevations of the sugar cookie house in AutoCAD (for those designer nerds out there…). I took a pretty minimal approach to decorating the house and the cake in general. I just loved how delicate and vibrant the trees turned out and wanted to keep the colors and forms of the cake simple. Gosh, I sound like an architect, don’t I?? A few blobs of buttercream and gold sprinkles were all that it needed.

However, for next year I would ideally like more time to dedicate to cookie architecture. Maybe I’ll attempt a Luis Barragan or Sea Ranch inspired cookie structure. I’ll add that to my list of 2019 goals and make it happen.

I think this cake is going to be my last recipe for 2018. Crazy! I hope you all have a wonderful, restful, and belly filled Christmas!


Cookie Butter Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

makes 1 - 2 layer 8” cake

cookie butter cake material:

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (12 tbsp)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup cookie butter (I used Trader Joe’s)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

cream cheese frosting materials:

12 oz cream cheese - softened
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter (12 tbsp) - softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
6 cups powdered sugar

to make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  3. Place softened butter and sugar into the bowl of your standmixer set with the paddle attachment. Blend for 45 seconds at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in cookie butter and blend for another 45 seconds until evenly mixed, fluffy, and lightly tan in color. Add in eggs and vanilla and blend until just mixed. Scrape down the sides when necessary.

  4. While mixing the batter on low speed, add in dry ingredients in 1/3rds, alternating with buttermilk in between. Mix until just combined, avoid over mixing.

  5. Grease 2 8” cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Add batter to cake pans. Smooth the tops with a small offset spatula. Bake for 28-32 minutes until done. Remove from the oven and allow cakes to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing from pans and placed on a wire rack to completely cool.

to make cream cheese frosting:

  1. Blend together cream cheese, butter, salt, and vanilla for 1 minute on medium speed until smooth. Reduce speed to low and gradually add in powdered sugar until smooth. Scrape down the sides when necessary.

to decorate:

  1. Place 1 layer of cake on a cake board or plate. Plop some frosting on top and smooth out the frosting into an even layer with an offset spatula. Place second layer on top. Cover the whole cake with frosting. For the ruffle detail use a petal decorating tip (one end is skinnier than the other). Hold the piping tip at a 45 degree angle, with the fatter end touching the caking and pipe the frosting while also turning the cake stand.

  2. Top with a sugar cookie house or cut outs and matcha tuile trees! Recipes are below!

Tuile Cookie Trees Recipe
- I added 1 tsp of matcha powder and formed them around a cone mold immediately out of the oven.

Sugar Cookie Recipe
- I omitted the tahini from my recipe and made cardstock cut outs of my house to trace on my rolled out cookie dough. Adhere the cooled cookie walls together with royal icing or extra buttercream.

Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food