Monday, October 22, 2012

one-bite mini sliders

One-Bite Mini Burger Sliders via design. bake. run.

over the weekend we had another birthday party again (it was our third birthday party, three weekends in a row). to change up the food from weekend to weekend i went ahead and did these mini burger sliders. i knew i wanted to do little sliders, but wanted something different for the bun. you can say i didn't really want to shell out $5 for 12 or 24 dinner rolls. plus, those would be too big for what i was trying to do anyway. so what did i do instead? make my own buns? umm.. yeah, you can say that. now, these buns are not your typical bready buns. i have yet to bake a single loaf of bread in my life (i believe it'll happen some day, just not this past weekend, or today, or anytime soon).

for these one-bite mini burger sliders i actually used a drop biscuit recipe. the recipe came from cook's illustrated's website. i say it's pretty good. no, make it excellent! especially if you eat it warm. the biscuit was just delicious and the small size was great, making it the perfect little bite in one mouthful.

below's the recipe for the biscuit should you want to make your own drop biscuits. for these mini slider buns, i actually used a tiny circle cutter and shaped them to get the biscuits to the right shape and size (about 1 tbsp or 1-inch in size). of course you can do what i did if you're going the mini bun route or just leave them as is (drop biscuits). both variations will be just fine.

One-Bite Mini Burger Sliders via design. bake. run.
these one bite burger mini sliders turned out fantastic!

Drop Biscuits as Mini Slider Buns via design. bake. run.
don't they just look so good?

One Bite Mini Cheeseburger Sliders via design. bake. run.
this drop biscuit recipe makes for the perfect alternative to typical burger buns

One Bite Mini Cheeseburger Slider via design. bake. run.
these biscuits are really good, especially right out of the oven when they're still nice and warm

best drop biscuits
recipe from cook's illustrated

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp table salt
1 cup buttermilk (cold)
8 tbsp unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly (about 5 minutes), plus 2 tbsp melted butter for brushing biscuits

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees F. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and 8 tablespoons melted butter in medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps (see tip).
  2. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl. Using greased 1/4-cup dry measure, scoop level amount of batter and drop onto parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (biscuits should measure about 2 1/4 inches in diameter and 1 1/4 inches high). Repeat with remaining batter, spacing biscuits about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes.
  3. Brush biscuit tops with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 12 biscuits. Enjoy!

Tip: When you stir slightly cooled melted butter into cold buttermilk, the butter will clump. Although this might look like a mistake, it's one of the secrets to this recipe. The clumps of butter are similar to the small bits of cold butter in biscuits prepared according to the traditional method and help guarantee a light and fluffy interior.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies via design. bake. run.

since those brown butter chocolate chip cookies, i've been on a cookie baking spree. i wanted to try other variations of the classic chocolate chip cookie and here i think i've found another great recipe. this one comes from cook's illustrated. these thick and chewy cookies are just perfect whether they're eaten warm or cooled. it's not thin and crispy like how some cookies are. i feel like these cookies have some substance and the chewy center makes it just so delicious. i love how there's a generous portion of chocolate chips in the cookies making every bite a chocolatey one.

i really do love this recipe. it's a change from my typical go-to recipe. feel free to try it out for yourself and let me know what you think. i know i'd be making this one again soon.

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies via design. bake. run.
these thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies have just the right thickness and super chewy center – delish!

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies via design. bake. run.
these are so good!

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies via design. bake. run.
i think i've got my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe now. :)

thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies
recipe from cook's illustrated

2-1/8 cups bleached all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
12 tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark), 7 ounces
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 cups chocolate chips or chunks (semi or bittersweet)

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.
  3. Form scant 1/4 cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball using fingertips of both hands, pull into two equal halves. Rotate halves ninety degrees and, with jagged surfaces exposed, join halves together at their base, again forming a single cookie, being careful not to smooth dough’s uneven surface. Place formed dough onto one of two parchment paper-lined 20-by-14-inch lipless cookie sheets, about nine dough balls per sheet. Smaller cookie sheets can be used, but fewer cookies can be baked at one time and baking time may need to be adjusted. (Dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month—shaped or not.)
  4. Bake, reversing cookie sheets’ positions halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes (start checking at 13 minutes). (Frozen dough requires an extra 1 to 2 minutes baking time.) Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight container.
Makes 18-20 large (3-inch) cookies. Enjoy!

Note: To ensure a chewy texture, leave the cookies on the cookie sheet to cool. You can substitute white, milk chocolate, or peanut butter chips for the semi- or bittersweet chips called for in the recipe. In addition to chips, you can flavor the dough with one cup of nuts, raisins, or shredded coconut.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

brown butter chocolate chip cookies

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies via design. bake. run.

c wanted to make some chocolate chip cookies this past weekend. we haven't made any in a while so i decided, why not?! instead of our typical chocolate chip recipe we usually do (you can find the recipe here), i decided to try a different one. i must say, these brown butter chocolate chip cookies are sooooo good! they are definitely a new favorite and we will be making them again and again.

these are nice and soft and chewy. the smell of the brown butter is just sweet bliss. it's so good, i don't know why i've never even thought to use it in my recipes before.

below's the recipe should you be interested in baking some yourself. trust me, you will not be disappointed. we love love these!

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies via design. bake. run.
this brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipe was an instant hit!

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies via design. bake. run.
these brown butter chocolate chip cookies are now one of our new favorites

brown butter chocolate chip cookies
recipe from london bakes

115g (1 stick) unsalted butter
75g (1/3 cup) unrefined caster/granulated sugar
90g (1/2 cup) light brown soft sugar
1 medium egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
175g (1 1/2 cups or 6 oz) whole wheat pastry flour (regular whole wheat or all-purpose flour will do just fine too)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp instant coffee
110g (2/3 cup or 4 oz) chocolate chips
Sea salt for scattering on top (optional)

  1. Put the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat and cook until it starts to bubble and has turned a lovely golden brown colour. Take off the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda/baking soda, salt and coffee.
  3. When the butter has cooled, cream it together with the sugars until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again. As this isn't a recipe for a cake, you don't need to keep on beating forever - you just want everything all nicely mixed together. You can do it by hand if you want although I used my electric mixer.
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the chocolate chips.
  5. Chill the mixture in the fridge for any time between 30 minutes and 24 hours. I don't have that much patience so my chilling time is normally closer to 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and prepare a couple of baking sheets with either greaseproof paper or a silicone mat.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop or a cookie scoop, place spoonfuls of the dough on the baking sheet and, if desired, scatter a little sea salt on top.
  8. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes until the edges of the cookies just start to turn golden brown and are firm to the touch.
  9. Allow to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes 20 cookies. Enjoy!

Monday, October 15, 2012

nwm 2012

Us at the finish line - Nike Women's Marathon 2012
C and I with MN at the finish line

yesterday was the nike women's marathon and i wasn't a participant, but a spectator. i decided to skip out on it this year a few weeks ago when i heard about their last chance spot on facebook. i'm so competitive with myself and knew that if i ran it this year i wouldn't beat my time from two years ago. that's because since baby #2 i haven't gotten my pace back to where it was before. anyway, i didn't run it, but my lil half sis did. she did fantastic for someone who's never ran longer than 5 miles in her entire life until yesterday! yeah, you can say she didn't train for this event. her "training" was going on a few runs prior to yesterday's race and finally running about 5-1/2 miles 5-6 days before the race. she did pretty darn good for a first timer, i say – finishing the half marathon in 2:37:21! great job girl! :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

sprinkles-inspired mini red velvet cupcakes

Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes via design. bake. run.

i am still experimenting with different red velvet cupcake recipes. upon doing a quick search on the web for red velvet cupcake recipes, i came across sprinkles' red velvet cupcake recipe. these cupcakes here (the recipe i did in the end) were derived from that famous cupcake shop in los angeles. i also came across a whole bunch of others such as magnolia, ina gartin and martha stewart's but opted for this one instead. maybe sometime next week if i'm brave enough (more like have some time to make them) i'll try those other three and see which one(s) i like best. otherwise, this one may have to be the one.

now, having made these, i'm not sure if i've found one that i really like yet, but so far this one here is pretty close. i think i baked it a tad too long for my liking though. typically i bake all my cupcakes for only 17-18 minutes. with these, i accidentally set the timer to 20 minutes, then instead of resetting it, i told myself i would check the timer before the 20 minutes was up. well, i never did and sure enough, the cupcakes were in there a bit too long. they still turned out great, but personally, i wished i had taken them out at "just" the right time. oh well, will have to make these again and do it properly next time. now, everyone in the office did loved them, so you can say these were a success nonetheless. the cream cheese frosting with these were superb!

below's the recipe should you be interested in baking your own batch. i actually halved it because i only wanted to make 24 mini ones, not the entire recipe. enjoy! ;)

Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes via design. bake. run.
these cream cheese frosted mini red velvet cupcakes are so cute!

Sprinkles-Inspired Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes via design. bake. run.
these cupcakes were a hit! yay! ;)

Red Velvet Cupcakes
adapted from Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcakes

1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp red gel food coloring (you can use 1 tbsp liquid red food coloring if you prefer)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 recipe cream cheese frosting, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and baking soda, set aside. In a separate large mixing bowl, with an electric hand mixer on medium speed, whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time stirring after each addition. (Now stand back and change out of any nice shirt you have on and) Add red food coloring and vanilla extract and mix until combine. Add milk and flour mixture to cupcake mixture, alternating in two separate batches, mixing until combine after each addition. Divide batter evenly among 15 paper lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven 18-21 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool about 2 minutes in muffin tin, then transfer to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to an airtight container to cool completely (this just helps them retain more moisture). Once cooled completely, spread generously with Cream Cheese Frosting. Enjoy!

Makes 15 regular cupcakes or 48-52 mini cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup salted butter, softened
6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Milk or cream if necessary

In a large mixing bowl, using and electric mixer, whip together butter and cream cheese until pale and fluffy (about 1 minute on high speed, then 3-4 minutes on medium high speed). Mix in vanilla extract. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

goat cheese garlic pizza with fresh greens

Homemade Pizza with Fresh Greens + Almond Slivers + Goat Cheese + Balsamic Vinaigrette via design. bake. run.

over the weekend i wanted to be a little bit adventurous with my party food options so i decided to try a totally random recipe. actually, there really wasn't a recipe for this particular pizza that i made here. i just sort of made it up. i think it turned out quite well. it's like killing two birds with one stone. you get a pizza and salad in one! the pizza was definitely a hit with the hubby. he absolutely loves pizza but such a tough critic at times. this time, he actually said there was a lot of flavor picked in one bite. so the overall verdict? yay! he loves it; and everyone at the party liked it too.

below's the recipe should you want to try this out yourself. i hope you'll enjoy it as much as everyone did here. enjoy! :)

Goat Cheese Garlic Pizza with Fresh Greens + Almonds + Balsamic Drizzle via design. bake. run.
on a whim i made this pizza topped with goat cheese, fresh spring salad mix, almond slivers, and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette

Goat Cheese Garlic Pizza with Fresh Greens + Almonds Slivers + Balsamic Drizzle via design. bake. run.
a bite of this pizza packs quite the flavor punch

Goat Cheese Garlic Pizza with Fresh Greens + Almonds Slivers + Balsamic Drizzle via design. bake. run.
yum! try the recipe out for yourself and let me know what you think ;)

Goat Cheese Garlic Pizza with Fresh Greens + Almonds Slivers + Balsamic Drizzle via design. bake. run.
i think this is a new favorite, simple and easy to make

goat cheese garlic pizza with fresh greens, almond slivers + balsamic vinaigrette


1 ball of pizza dough
1/4 cup flour (or enough for rolling out pizza dough)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp pizza or italian seasoning
1/4 cup mozzerella & cheddar cheese mix, shredded
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled + 2 tbsp for topping
1-2 cups spring salad mix
1/2 an apple, sliced thinly
almond slivers, as much as needed

balsamic vinaigrette (for drizzle before serving):
1 tsp dijon mustard
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil


preheat oven to 450°F.

sprinkle some flour on a working area where you'll be rolling out your pizza dough. form dough into circular or any shape you'd like for your pizza. once you've shaped your desired pizza shape, put it on a pizza pan. make sure to dust your pan with flour or spray it with some oil before putting the dough on there so that the pizza doesn't stick once it's baked (that happens sometimes to me when i skip this part, it can be very annoying trying to get the pizza off the pan). once your rolled out dough is on the pan, mix the chopped garlic cloves and olive oil together. then brush (generously) 3/4 of the garlic oil mixture onto the dough (it's okay to leave the garlic pieces on the dough). once that's done, sprinkle in some pizza or italian seasoning. then add in the 1/4 cup mozzerella and cheddar cheese mixture.

put the pizza crust in the oven and let it bake for 5 minutes. after 5 minutes, take it out and brush the rest of the garlic oil mixture onto the partially cooked crust. sprinkle 1/4 cup of the crumbled goat cheese onto the crust and put it back in the oven for another 12-15 minutes or until golden.

once the crust is baked, take it out and let it cool for a few minutes before cutting. once cut, sprinkle the spring salad mix along with the rest of the crumbled goat cheese (2 tbsp), apple slices and almond slivers. then drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over the topped pizza and serve. enjoy!

makes one whole 10-12" pizza (about 8 slices depending on how big/small you cut the slices).

Monday, October 8, 2012

dessert table for a first birthday party

Dessert Table via design. bake. run.

i just wanted to share a photo i took with instagram. i really think my first attempt at a dessert table this past weekend turned out beautifully. you can't really go wrong with mini cupcakes and macarons; oh, and of course, the full birthday cake. everything was lovely and cute as can be for a little girl having her first ever birthday (party).

so how was the party and goodies? a big successful! ;)

for the (similar) recipes shown in the pictures above, you can access them here:

- eggless vanilla (and chocolate) mini cupcakes
- coconut and raspberry macarons (coconut macaron recipe to come – no recipe posted yet. but you can get other macarons recipes here)
- martha stewart one-bowl chocolate cupcakes



UPDATE: a few more photos from the party ;)

Eggless Vanilla & Chocolate Mini Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream via design. bake. run.
not only are these mini vanilla and chocolate cupcakes so cute and adorable, they're egg-free and perfect for any no-egg diet!

Coconut and Raspberry French Macarons via design. bake. run.
i had been meaning to make these coconut macarons and i think they turned out great! so yummy, and the raspberry ones are just as good.

Yummy Birthday Dessert Table via design. bake. run.
so here's a (similar to my instagram) photo of the dessert table (this one was taken with my canon). i love how cute this dessert table turned out!

Friday, October 5, 2012

eggless vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream

Mini Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream via design. bake. run.

i had been wanting to bake some cupcakes for a while. finally this morning i was able to. i figured if i got up early enough (typically we do with two little ones around here), and had enough time getting all the usual morning routines out of the way i would squeeze in a quick bake session. and lucky for me i was able to do all of that!

these eggless vanilla cupcakes are delicious. you'd never thought there weren't any eggs in them. these are great for parties or little ones who may have an egg allergy. i've made this recipe a bunch of times before and every time they always turn out just right. try them for yourself and you'll see what i mean. scrumptious, i know!

Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream via design. bake. run.
these eggless mini vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream topped with chocolate covered almonds are so adorable!

Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream via design. bake. run.
very simple and easy to make egg-free cupcake recipe

eggless vanilla cupcakes
adapted from love and olive oil


1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup milk (if using buttermilk, skip vinegar)
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

chocolate buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
3 to 3-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

milk or cream, as needed


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine milk and vinegar and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes. Mixture will curdle.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Whisk sugar, oil, vanilla extract into curdled milk mixture. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until relatively smooth. Fill cupcake liners with a scant 3 tablespoons of batter (cups should be just under 2/3 of the way full). Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden, and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

For frosting, cream butter in electric mixer for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Slowly add 1 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and beat until smooth. Add creamer or milk and mix until combined. Add remaining confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla extract and mix at medium-high speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add cream or more sugar as necessary to achieve proper consistency. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Makes 12 cupcakes.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

double chocolate shortbread cookies

Double Chocolate Shortbread Cookies via design. bake. run.

what do you do when you have no eggs in the fridge but lots of flour, butter, and sugar? well, you make shortbread cookies! actually, double chocolate shortbread cookies, that is – because we also have cocoa powder and chocolate chips! :)

these double chocolate shortbread cookies are very good, nice and crispy, and crumbles in your mouth as you bite into it. i say the added chocolate really changes up the typical shortbread cookie recipe.

try them out for yourself. i even turned some of them into little cookie ice cream sandwiches. it's like eating all your delicious goodies in one! cookies and cream ice cream + double chocolate shortbread cookies = delicious goodness. mmmm... mmm... good! :)

Double Chocolate Shortbread Cookies via design. bake. run.
crispy and crunchy double chocolate shortbread cookies – they go so well with a nice cold glass of milk!

Double Chocolate Shortbread Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches via design. bake. run.
who doesn't like cookie ice cream sandwiches? these are perfect for any day, hot or cold. ;)

double chocolate shortbread cookies
recipe from here

3/4 stick (6 oz) butter, softened
3/4 cup (6 oz) golden caster sugar
3/4 cup + 1-1/2 tbsp (7 oz) plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
4 oz chocolate chips, milk or dark

Mix the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon. Stir in the flour and cocoa, followed by the chocolate chips – you’ll probably need to mix it together with your hands at this stage. Halve the dough and roll each piece into a log about 5cm thick. Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hr or for several days. Can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Heat oven to 350° F (180°C/160°C fan/gas 4). Slice logs into 1cm-thick rounds, transfer to a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake for 10-12 mins. Cool on the tray.

Makes 10 cookies.

Monday, October 1, 2012

running at lunch time

Dowtown San Francisco via design. bake. run.

for the last three weeks i've been running during my lunch break, at least twice a week, in addition to my other morning runs that i do 3-4 times a week to start my day. so i guess you can say i'm running a lot, but really, it's not. sure, maybe i am running more often (5-6x/week), but my total distance is still not that much; averaging 15-20 miles a week isn't too bad.

two years ago to get ready for my first half marathon (nwm in october 2010) i started running during my lunch break. that was the only time i could squeeze in a run because the days were getting shorter. this time around i'm not training for any particular race, i'm just running to be running. six o'clock in the morning is no longer light and by the time i get home from work, i don't have time to go out and run. of course, i'm not sure if i'd be up for after work even if i did have time. so to find any kind of time to run during daylight, i decided to pick up running at lunch again. what's great about that is that the weather is usually always nice. it's typically sunny in downtown sf where i work; not too hot or cold. plus, i only run such short distances, anywhere between 2-3 miles that even if it was hot, it's okay. of course dodging people along market street can be tricky at times, but that's part of the fun you can say. i also don't enjoy stopping at red lights but i've since decided that red lights are good for me because it forces me to slow down and pick up again. may work for what some call it "interval" training. ;)

so what's on my current playlist? right now i love running to these:

Primadonna – marina and the diamonds
You Make Me Feel... (Feat. Sabi) – cobra starship
Yeah 3x – chris brown
Domino – jessie j
Young Forever (Feat. Mr Hudson) – jay-z
The One That Got Away – katy perry
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