Banana Walnut Muffins!

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As you may have noticed, I have a new Put a Ring on Annie logo! I had commissioned this new logo from my friend Joyce Lin, who is a fabulous artist. I would love to formally introduce her to you all in my next post. I wanted to do her justice for doing a great job and for putting up with my demands. But first, let me introduce you to Banana Walnut Muffins. Bananas are a favorite amongst so many people when fresh, and when they turn brown, they become this intense flavor-bursting specimen. It really takes over the space you are in with its smells. When baked, it’s comforting and warm. Warm is a good word to describe bananas. I am going to use it from now on. Like I said in my last post about Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins, muffins are an amazing thing – they can be frozen, thawed, and microwaved back to the day it was made. Also, it leaves blackish streaks in your baked muffins which makes it look swirly cool!!! If you haven’t noticed, please notice now – it’s super cool! It can even warm up your hands while you walk to the bus stop. True story – I do this everyday!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies!

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This seems like the recipe of the pumpkin season! I’ve seen multiple people make these on their own – I’ve made it twice already! These are uber moist, soft, chocolate chip cookies with a spice. It’s fancy but easy at the same time. I plan to make these several times again this season, so they may be coming to your door in SF! I recently moved to SF and cannot wait to start my new job in the FiDi. Can’t believe I’m using that word. Always went through the area when I was younger to get to Chinatown or other parts of the city and have always looked up towards the sky inside the district. Can’t believe I actually will be working there, and in the building that houses the Montgomery Bart station. Should be a super fun time, and I get to have a kitchen again! Super excited (also dreading it) that I will be cooking daily again!

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Chocolate Chip, Marshmallow, Corn Flake Cookies!

 

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I still have never been to Momofuku Milk Bar! But I have the cookbook and have been making a ton of stuff since I got it back in 2011. If anyone asks what to buy me, please buy me a cookbook. I want to build a collection of those in my house library someday. Also any coffee table book or good novel you are reading at the moment. I actually talked about having a library in my home with some friends this weekend. I want a real old looking library, with black cherry wooden shelves and desk. I want a spinning globe in there and a big world map framed on the wall. I love the way old libraries look – walking in there, you can feel the wealth of knowledge that surrounds you. Feel the wealth of works created from people and the amount of stuff you can learn in the world. I have always been the person who wants to learn everything and see everything because I am interested in everything. We are only in one life, so why not make it one full of intellect and memories? Learning other people’s points of views gives perspective and also vigor to your own beliefs.

I made these cookies because I had more than half a box of leftover Corn Flakes from when I made my Oven Fried Chicken. I had guests over during the long weekend so I wanted to give them something to snack on. Momofuku’s cookies are always super buttery and sweet so beware. But everyone LOVED them so this one was definitely a winner.

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Double Chocolate Cookies!

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Doubly chocolate coooookies! Studying for finals and needed my chocolate fix. I wish I had luxurious dutch processed cocoa and dark chocolate chips, but normal cocoa and semi sweet does the job. Since double chocolate cookies are dark in the oven, you can’t really tell when they are done or not so slightly underbake them if you aren’t sure! I hope these cookies give me super powers to get me through my last 2 finals of my law school career. Crazy!

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Perfect M&M Cookies!

Yes yes, still baking Christmas cookies hahah I found these mini M&Ms at Target for half price after Christmas and decided to get them. I wanted to make these for my sister and my visit to the office tomorrow! So excited these turned out wonderful. They are the perfect crispy outside and soft and chewy on the inside.

Here are some crispy on the outside/soft and chewy on the inside lessons:

For a softer/chewy cookie:
Use bread flour instead of all-purpose because of the gluten in the bread flour
Use a more brown sugar to white sugar ratio
Melt butter/soften in the microwave
Refrigerate or freeze the dough for 30 min to overnight for the best results

For a crispier cookie:
Use a more white sugar to brown sugar ratio
Add an additional egg white to the mix

Of course there needs to be a good balance between it all and for this M&M cookie, I think I found a good mixture of goods to produce a crispy on the outside and soft on the inside cookie! Enjoy!

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Walnut & Pistachio Baklava!

There really isnt any place like home for the holidays! I love all the warm smells and holiday baking that goes on in my house! I think as I get older I feel like being at home and spending time with my family more and more. Maybe its the ‘getting old’ thats getting to me haha. I think it’s also the traditions that my family has – stuff we do every year – like put up the Christmas lights right after Thanksgiving, decorate the fresh tree the same way since my sister and I were born, presents under the tree, all the baking we do, nightly walks around the neighborhood to see our neighbor’s lights, drives around Lodi to check out Christmas lights… the list goes on and on! What are your family traditions during the holidays? On top of those regular traditions, we add new traditions every so often – for example, this year I baked some baklava and gave it to our neighbors to spread some good holiday neighborly cheer! I love how I live in Lodi and you can just walk to anyone’s house. Ever since our house got burglarized last year all of us neighbors have watched each others backs and have really stepped up in helping each other. I really hope when I get out into the real world and have my own house that I would live in a community just as friendly and welcoming as my own in Lodi. With all that said, what are you up to for the holidays and what are some of your traditions?

I had pistachio baklava at a Lebanese cafe in SD last week and didnt realize it was a holiday treat! Baklava is made of nuts and syrup and this thin phyllo dough! It lasts a long time without going bad and it’s easy to pack and cut. I hope you enjoy making it! It really isnt that hard! 🙂

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Fudgy Andes Mint Double Chocolate Cookies!

Christmas cookies ROUND 1!!! I love love LOVE Christmas cookies and I love baking with the Andes mint chips that they sell during this time of year. You can find them at Walmart or Target in the baking aisle! I usually make the normal Andes mint cookies which are a crowd favorite, but really wanted something fudgy and chewy and rich for my craving. This recipe uses Greek yogurt instead of eggs which I find super wonderful! Hope this makes it onto your Christmas cookie list!!!

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Snickerdoodles with Pumpkin Ice Cream!

Today has been a wonderful day. It’s finally a week before Thanksgiving and I am super duper excited to go home and get my holiday on! I even packed yesterday, which is so unlike me because I scramble at the last minute haha. I began today finally logging into my student loan account and found out that I owe a tad bit less than I thought – I mean it’s still an atrocious amount, but it’s not unmanageable either. I learned from my friend that I can peg it to my future income which is exciting!!! All in all, I am just super stoked about my adult life and really planning for the future. In addition, Venmo launched an awesome promotion where you win money by clicking on leaves that is falling off a money tree. And it spread like wildfire and everyone was totally spreading it that probably overwhelmed the servers. It truly is so exciting and fulfilling when you know you will be working for such an awesome, fun company that people love and get excited about. 🙂 I also had Thanksgiving lunch today at the school’s gourmet restaurant – La Gran Terraza. It is totally a hidden gem inside our school and only a walk across the street for me. I have come here several times now and I have loved every bit of it. Their unlimited buffet lunches are only $14 – it’s such a good deal given all the gourmet food and desserts you get – I had pumpkin creme brulee and pecan pie. YUMMY! So feeling festive, I came home having the itch to bake. I don’t like sweet things and I don’t have too many people who live near me I can drop them off to, but I just felt the urge. I came across this recipe a few days ago and became consumed with the thought of making them. I hope you will too 🙂

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Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips

I used to make this all the time, almost twice a month because I would bring it to work! But since I am not working this semester really that much and I don’t have an office to go to, I have delayed making this. I finally was like I’m craving chocolate and my roomies will eat it, so Sunday night baking commenced! This pumpkin bread is super easy. I can’t stress how something so delicious can be so easy to make! You can add the chocolate chips if you want, or not. I was craving chocolate at the moment. Ever since my epic half marathon, I have basically eaten everything in sight. I need to go on a cleanse ASAP. I keep delaying it, but I think I will do one after the holidays. In the meantime, get fat! hehe

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