Monday, June 29, 2015

Mississippi Mud Cupcakes

While reading one of Baked cookbooks, I came across their Mississippi mud pie. Not only the picture of the pie looked so pretty, but the recipe itself was very inspiring. I thought and thought about how to modify their recipe to dairy free and came up with a solution.

Since I already made dairy-free brownies and chocolate pudding, I knew I could made this pie for my kids. For cookie crust, I used my cream filled cookie recipe. Keep in mind that there would be plenty of leftover cookie dough to make regular chocolate cookies. They freeze well so no worries. Creamy filling is not needed. If you wonder about the whipped cream, no worries. Most of the recipes that ask for whipped cream toppings, I usually substitute them with my marshmallow fluff.

There are a lot of recipes that go into these Mississippi mud cupcakes. So plan accordingly. I bake cookie and brownies in the morning. While those are baking, I make chocolate pudding and place it in the fridge to cool down. When I'm ready to serve the cupcakes, I whip up a fresh marshmallow fluff. I assemble the cupcakes then call for my kids to devour. Afternoon snack done... and messy!!!

Mississippi Mud Cupcakes
inspired by Baked Explorations' Mississippi mud pie
makes 6 regular size cupcakes

Cookie Crumbs
1/2 cup of my chocolate cookie dough recipe

1 recipe of my brownie bites recipe, without the nuts and chocolate chips

Chocolate Pudding
1 recipe of my chocolate pudding recipe

Marshmallow Fluff
1 recipe of my marshmallow fluff recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degree. Line the muffin pan with foil liners. Set aside.
  2. Make the chocolate cookie dough as directed.
  3. Place 1-1 1/2 Tablespoons of cookie dough into each foil liner.
  4. Using the back of the Tablespoon, press the dough into the bottom, bringing the dough up to the side.
  5. Bake the cookie dough in a preheated oven for 8 minutes
  6. While the cookie is baking, make the brownie batter as directed.
  7. When the cookie is baked, take it out and let cool for at least 10 minutes.
  8. Using a small scooper, divide the brownie batter evenly on top of each baked cookie.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven until the toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 15 minutes.
  10. While the brownies are baking, make the chocolate pudding and marshmallow fluff.
  11. Place them in the fridge to cool down. TIP: Chocolate pudding can be made a day in advance, keeping it cold in the fridge. It's best to whip up fresh marshmallow fluff when ready to serve.
  12. After the brownies are baked, set it aside to cool completely.
  13. Place the chocolate pudding in a piping bag and pipe it on top of each brownie.
  14. Top each chocolate pudding with marshmallow fluff. Enjoy.
STORING: Because the marshmallow fluff may separate, these Mississippi mud cupcakes taste best on the day they are made. Without marshmallow fluff, the cupcakes can be kept in a container in a fridge for up to 3 days. With out both pudding and marshmallow fluff, the cupcakes can be kept in a container at a room temperature for 3 days.

Allergy Info: These Mississippi mud cupcakes are free from dairy, corn, legumes (soy), nuts, and fish. I made these Mississippi mud cupcakes while my kids were on dairy and legume free diet. Eggs were not questionable in their diet back then. If you want to make these cupcakes egg free, make slight changes to the listed recipes. For the chocolate cookie dough, substitute 2 tablespoons of applesauce for a large egg. For the brownie bite recipe, substitute 2 teaspoons of baking powder for a large egg. Chocolate pudding is egg free. Use my maple syrup marshmallow recipe instead of marshmallow fluff. See, just because you have a strict diet doesn't mean you can't have something sweeter. Enjoy.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies (dairy and egg free)

Since Camden's started an egg-free diet, I went over all of my recipes and retested them using absolutely no eggs. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I mean, the last time I baked without eggs was when he was a baby. Then I added quail and duck eggs into this diet when he was over a year old. But to not have eggs in any baked sweets at all? Perplex, right?

I started off easy. Chocolate chip cookies. Then I tested the cookie dough with nuts, dried fruits, even freeze dried fruits, like my strawberry cookies.

After testing different combinations for awhile, I came to luv hazelnut flavor the most. The hazelnut flavor pairs well with chocolate. And then the hazelnut aromatic brings it to another level. Ok enough said. Let's bake some cookies.

I bake just hazelnut cookies for my kids' nighttime snack. Because they don't allow to eat chocolate after 5pm, they can still have these cookies without the caffeine.

Hazelnut Chocolate Chips Cookies
makes 16

1/4 cup (2 oz.) palm shortening
1/4 cup (1.8 oz.) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1.8 oz.) granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons (1.4 oz.) unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup (3.7 oz.) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup raw or roasted hazel nuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips or chunks
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F degree. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or nonstick matt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the shortening, sugars, and apple sauce with a hand mixer until creaming.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, nuts, and chocolate chips or chunks.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the shortening cream.
  5. Mix it with the hand mixer until just combine.
  6. Using a small scoop, scoop the cookie dough on to the prepare pan, making sure they are about an inch apart. TIP: I bake about 8 at a time and freeze up the rest of the pre-scooped cookie dough.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for exactly 12 minutes.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool on a pan for 5 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!!!
STORING: These hazelnut chocolate chip cookies can be kept in an air tight container at a room temperature for up to 3 days.

Allergy Info: These strawberry cookies are free from or can be make without dairy, egg, corn, legumes (soy), and fish.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Mango Sorbet

I came up with this mango sorbet when Camden asked for a mango ice cream. Mango is one of his favorite fruits. But he said he wanted ice cream without coconut (milk) in it. Well, how on earth was I suppose to make mango ice cream without a type of cream. I searched online and found out that sorbet is a frozen sweet without any egg or cream. Perfect!!!

The type of mango is very important. Don't use the Haden mangoes as they are too firm. Those are better eating raw with meals. Use mangoes with creamy texture. I tested this mango sorbet recipe with Ataulfos mangoes. I made just enough for my kids. But my recipe can be double or triple to feed a big crown. Remember too, it's only one ingredient: mango!!! And no ice cream machine is needed. Easy summer frozen treat.

For more info about mangoes, check out

Mango Sorbet
serve 4 (or more for tiny tummy like my kids)

3 Ataulfos mangoes
  1. Peel the mangoes.
  2. Cut the mango meat around the seed. NOTE: No need to be neat. Just get as much meat out as possible. And you or your kids can scrape off the meat from the seed. Deliciously messy!!!
  3. Place them in the food processor.
  4. Run it until the mango is smooth.
  5. Place it in an air tight container in a freezer until frozen, about 4 hours. NOTE: If you double or triple the recipe, tag a few more hours to the freezing time. How about making the mango sorbet ahead by freezing it overnight.
  6. Place the mango sorbet out at a room temperature for a few minutes to soften it. Or microwave it for 9 seconds interval until it is easy to scoop. Enjoy!!!
STORING: Keep the mango sorbet in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Allergy Info: This mango sorbet is free from or can be made without dairy, egg, corn, legumes (soy), nuts, wheat, and fish. Seriously, it's just mango!!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Hot Dog Buns

You know, my kids actually like to eat the hot dogs without the buns. If they want them with the buns, I'd definitely prefer baking the fresh hot dog buns than buying the prepackage ones.

Using my bao dough, I bake them in a hot dog pan. The pan that I bought is really expensive but worth the investment. I've baked kolache in this pan before, and they turned out delish.

The only thing to remember to do is the be sure that all of the buns are the same size. Using a kitchen scale is helpful to measure out the dough.

That's about it really. Now about the hot dog toppings. You decide. My kids like them with just ketchup and/or yellow mustard. But they like them on the side for dipping. Me? I like to have it with pickled jalapeƱos. One time I topped their hot dogs with scrambled eggs and sweet seaweeds. My kids luv them. See, I get a lot of inspirations from watching cooking shows.

Finding the clean prepackaged hot dogs is tricky, especially when it comes to a corn free diet. Some people react to all of the brands, and some can tolerant the same brands that others are reacting to. You will have to call the companies and find out in details about their ingredients and the processing. Remember that just because you bake hot dog buns, doesn't mean you have to serve hot dogs in them. I've served them with tuna salads, and it is perfect for Brek's lunchbox.

Hot Dog Buns
makes 10 hot dog buns

1 bao dough recipe
wash options: egg yolk mix with 1 Tablespoon water or 1/4 cup of hot water mix with 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  1. Make the bao dough as directed.
  2. Using a kitchen scale, measure out 10 dough balls, at 2.5 ounces per hot dog buns.
  3. For each dough ball, knead and tug in the dough until dough surface feels smooth.
  4. Roll out the dough into a log and place it side by side in the hot dog pan. NOTE: Each dough doesn't have to touch each other. This happens when they rise during resting period and baking.
  5. Let the dough rest until it has double its size, about an hour. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 350F degree.
  7. Brush the dough with a preferred wash.
  8. Bake the dough in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  9. Take the hot dog buns out of the pan to a wiring rack to cool down a bit before serving.
STORING: These hot dog buns can be kept in an air tight container at a room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. To warm up the buns, wrap them in foil and broil for about 7 minutes. 

Allergy Info: These hot dog buns are free from or can be made without dairy, eggs (if egg wash is not used), corn, legumes (soy), nuts, and fish. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Potato Chips

There are so many prepackaged potato chips so why making my own? Just to test it out and see if I can really make my own potato chips.

The one thing about deep-frying is using the oil wisely. Cooking oil can be really expensive. Recently, I switched the safflower oil to sunflower oil. I read that sunflower helps in reducing seasonal allergy reaction. But one bottle of sunflower oil is almost four dollars. So using oil wisely means to use it more than one time.

I usually deep-fry something sweeter like my puff rice or sopapilla. I'd use the same oil to deep-fry potato chips. I even use the same oil to make something savory like my chicken wings before I throw it out.

A few things to keep in mind before making potato chips. Be sure to buy organic potatoes. Yes, potatoes are one of the dirty dozen. If you want to keep the potato skins on, be sure to scrub them clean. I use a mandolin as it's easiest way to slice potato thinly. This is a must. If the potato is too thick, it would take too long to cook in order to achieve the crunch. Another tip for making potato chips is to put them in cold water to prevent browning. Plus, the water takes away starches, making the chips crunchy.

Potato Chips
make as much as you like

organic russet potatoes
cooking oil for frying, like safflower or sunflower
sea salt to taste
  1. Place about 2-inch deep of cooking oil in a heavy bottom pot.
  2. Attach a frying thermometer and heat the oil to 350F degree.
  3. While the oil is heating, place cold water in a large bowl. Place a wiring rack on top of the baking pan. Set both of them aside.
  4. Using a mandoline, slice the potato thinly, putting the sliced potatoes in a cold water to prevent browning.
  5. Once the oil is at the right temperature, drain potato slices. Then using a clean towel, dry them off.
  6. Place the dry potato slices into the oil. TIP: Frying them in batches to prevent the oil temperature to drop.
  7. Fry the potato slices until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes total.
  8. Using a slotted spoon, place the potato chips on a wiring rack, allowing the oil to drain.
  9. Sprinkle deliberately with sea salt. Enjoy them as a side dish or for snack.
STORING: Because these potato chips are fried, it's best to eat them after they are fried.

Allergy Info: These potato chips are free from or can be made without dairy, eggs, corn, legumes (soy), wheat, nuts, and fish.