Peanut Butter Blossoms

A peanut butter cookie rolled in granulated sugar, and topped with a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kiss!

This was one of my favorite cookies growing up. I think I first saw it in a magazine, a Betty Crocker Cookbook, or in a Hershey Chocolate Cookbook. I love milk chocolate so I made it, and again, and again.

I haven’t made it in a long time (maybe over a decade!) so since I was off for 5 days partly because of my second Covid-19 vaccine, I planned on baking a batch, excited to see if it still tastes the same as it did before. I wasn’t well after my Thursday vaccination (like the first dose, only not as bad) but was well enough on Valentine’s Day, so I made it then.

It didn’t disappoint at all. My son peeled the kisses but needed to do some math problems so I made the cookies myself. It was quick and easy, although I would recommend using an electric mixer because the dough is quite stiff.

For the peanut butter, feel free to use crunchy or smooth, whichever you like or have on hand. I like crunchy but keep some smooth PB in the pantry to use for sate sauce and Asian noodles. I used crunchy PB, as I like the crunch it lends to the cookies.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Sugar, to roll dough in

36 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. In a bowl, place butter,

3. Sugar,

4. Brown sugar,

5. Peanut butter,

6. And egg.

7. Beat well using an electric mixer , until combined and smooth.

8. Add flour,

9. Baking soda,

10. And baking powder.

11. Beat well until mixed.

12. Scoop up about a tablespoon dough and roll into a ball.

13. Drop into a bowl with granulated sugar. Roll to coat.

14. Place in an ungreased cookie sheet.

15. Repeat with remaining dough, making 36 balls.

16. Line them up 2 inches apart on 2 cookie sheets. They will spread a little as they bake.

17. Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes, until light golden brown.

18. Immediately press a chocolate kiss in the middle of each cookie.

20. Remove cookies from cookie sheets and onto wire racks.

21. Cool completely.

22. Serve! You can also drizzle cooled cookies with melted chocolate. Makes 36 pieces.

Electric Lunchbox #89: 1 hour dinner rolls

Delicious steamed bread in the ELB, done in about an hour or so, and enough for one, or two, or even three if you feel like sharing!

Made with only 6 ingredients, which I believe everyone has in their pantry, you could prep this before 5 pm and have fresh, hot rolls by around 6 pm! Perfect to serve with soup or stew!

Or make them in the morning for hot breakfast bread! Either way, I promise you a very tasty, soft, and delicious bread that you might want to make this often!

I like to use olive oil and enjoy the mild flavor in the finished bread, but feel free to use canola oil if you prefer a more neutral flavored bread.

You can also knead in some chopped rosemary, chopped olives, cheese cubes and jalapeños, or fill the dough rolls with whatever filling you like. I like an – red bean paste, ube – taro paste, cream cheese, cream cheese and strawberry jam, sliced chinese sausage, Filipino Menudo, or nutella. Make it your own!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup warm water

1 1/2 tablespoons olive or canola oil

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 tablespoon instant yeast

3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Procedure:

1. In a small bowl, place water,

2. Oil,

3. Sugar,

5. And yeast.

6. Mix everything together. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.

7. This is what it’ll look like after 15 minutes.

8. Add flour and salt to the yeast mixture. Stir everything together until it forms a ball.

9. Knead for about 3 minutes, until the dough looks smooth.

10. It should look like this after kneading. Divide dough into 3 or 4 pieces. Roll into smooth balls and pinch seams.

11. This is how it would look like after shaping the dough into balls.

12. Spray the medium or large ELB bowl with nonstick spray.

13. Place the dough balls in the greased bowl, leaving space between them as they will puff up. Cover with foil and place on the ELB base. Add 2 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

14. Turn the ELB on and let steam until done, about 30 – 35 minutes.

5. Carefully open the ELB and check bread for doneness. Add more water and steam longer if needed.

6. Enjoy the bread warm with butter and jam, soup, stew, or curry dinner!

Electric Lunchbox #88: Chocolate Lava Cake

Good morning everyone!

It’s already the 5th day of February! Oh my goodness! Is it too early to post a Valentine’s recipe?

Well, I am posting a Chocolate Lava Cake recipe today so you can make a few trial runs of it before the actual Valentine’s Day – you know, for quality control or testing purposes! 😉 Think of it this way…I can’t be the only one eating all these yummy experimental food and sacrificing my figure for a good recipe, right?

This recipe will make the perfect dessert to finish a special meal for two, as the size of this little cake is just right.

It is rich and chocolatey that you’ll only need a dusting of powdered sugar to decorate it. Feel free to use a stencil to make it prettier. You can also top it with chocolate dipped strawberries! Double yum!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract

2 eggs

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Procedure:

1. Grease the big or medium ELB bowl.

2. Place the butter in a microwave safe bowl.

3. Add the chocolate chips to the bowl.

4. Melt butter and chocolate chips in a microwave for 30 seconds.

5. Stir and microwave again using 30 second increments until smooth.

6. Make sure to stir as residual heat can sometimes be enough to melt the last few bits of chocolate. Careful to not burn the chocolate. This will take only about a minute or two total.

7. Mix in vanilla,

8. Eggs,

9. Flour,

10. And powdered sugar.

11. Mix well until blended.

12. Pour batter into prepared bowl. Cover with foil and place in the ELB base.

13. Add 2 1/2 ELB cups water to the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 45 minutes.

14. Carefully open the ELB and check the cake. It should be set but the center should jiggle like the video below. It should NOT be set all the way.

15. Cool the cake on a wire rack. Run a knife along the edges and invert onto a serving dish.

16. Dust the top with powdered sugar to make it look pretty.

16. Serve and enjoy!

Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

Espresso muffin is one of my favorite treat, as are blueberry, cappuccino, and chocolate chip! I had been playing with recipes to make this just right – with the taste of coffee coming through strong and blending well with chocolate.

I used instant coffee at first but that didn’t taste like espresso so I purchased a jar of instant espresso powder. That made it taste better. Semi sweet chocolate chips plays well with the bitter coffee to round out the taste of this delicious muffin! Perfect to start your day right!

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup instant espresso coffee powder

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup melted butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.

2. Combine flour, espresso, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, an vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the large bowl, fold just until mixture is evenly moistened. Do not over mix.

4. Divide evenly among the muffin cups. sprinkle chocolate chips on top of each muffin.

5. Bake until edges begin to pull away from the sides of the muffin cup, 20-22 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before removing from pan.

6. I like this still a bit warm for breakfast, with a cup of hot coffee or tea! Enjoy!

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Meyer Lemon Bars

My coworkers know how much I love to be in the kitchen, dreaming up yummy things, so when one of them had a Meyer lemon tree full of fruits, guess what I got? A bag full of fragrant, beautiful, shiny Meyer lemons! Just look at the photo below..swoon!!

Since I tend to barter with baked goods with my coworkers, I asked her if she wanted a lemon cake or lemon bars and she said “lemon bars!” without hesitation.

I bartered a loaf of sourdough bread for these eggs!

Lemon bars it is! Meyer lemon bars! *lemon cake in the ELB recipe link here – https://athomewiththeresa.com/2020/11/26/electric-lunchbox-72-lemon-cake/

I do have a dwarf Eureka lemon tree in the backyard that produces some lemons as it is still small but Meyer lemons are totally delicious! They have a floral scent, like orange blossoms, mixed with lemon that is just so refreshing and mild.

So, back to my lemon bars. This recipe makes a big 13” x 9” pan so you’ll have enough to share but I’d totally understand too if you eat half a pan while cooking dinner after the bars cooled off a bit… because I just can’t stop eating it! I do not like cloyingly sweet desserts so this has just enough sweetness to play up the tart, floral taste coming from the lemon juice and lemon zest.

Of course you can cut all the ingredients in half and bake this in an 8×8 pan. AND, if you do not have Meyer lemons, regular store bought lemons make the perfect substitute!

Ingredients for the Crust:

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Meyer Lemon Filling:

6 large eggs

2 3/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons Meyer Lemon zest (from 4 – 5 lemons)

1 cup Meyer lemon juice (from 4 – 6 lemons)

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 13” x 9” pan with non stick spray. You’ll have a cookie crust so there is no need to line the pan but feel free to do so if you want to.

2. Place butter and sugar in a medium bowl.

3. Cream together with a hand mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. You can also use a stand mixer.

4. Add flour and salt to the bowl.

5. Beat until combined and texture resembles sand. See the texture in the photo above.

6. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan.

7. Press firmly onto the bottom of the pan. I use a measuring cup to press the crust firmly on the bottom of the pan, then my fingers for the corners and edges.

8. Bake at 350F for 15 to 18 minutes, until lightly browned.

9. Transfer to a cooling rack while you prepare the filling.

10. Gather your ingredients for the filling.

11. Zest your lemons first.

12. Then cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup. Inhale deeply as this is sweet, summery, all natural, refreshing aromatherapy for free! 😊 It’s the little things that count!

11. Wipe out the bowl you used for the crust (one less bowl to wash!) and in it, add sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, baking powder, and salt.

12. Add the eggs and beat until blended.

13. Pour the mixture over the crust.

14. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes more, until middle is set and the top looks dry.

15. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into pieces. Hint: If you chill it overnight, it cuts cleaner and easier. The photo above are of the lemon bars I cut when they were still warm…so they didn’t look too pretty. Still delicious though!

16. Enjoy!

Decadent Chocolate Bundt Cake

I made this cake for my friend’s birthday as she requested a chocolate cake for our potluck (of course, that was pre-COVID-19).

This is super easy to prepare, totally delicious, can be frosted or left as is, dusted with powdered sugar or coated in a chocolate or vanilla glaze.

I drizzled it with chocolate ganache and sprinkled with a lot of sprinkles, to reflect my friend Mae’s fun, playful, childish personality.

INGREDIENTS

For the cake

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup espresso or strong coffee
  • ¼ cup cream or whole milk

For the ganache

  • 3 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

Procedure:

1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Generously spray a 10 cup bundt pan with nonstick spray which also contains flour. Set aside.

2. In a bowl, beat sugar and eggs using a hand mixer, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

3. Add oil, vanilla, and sour cream. Blend well.

4. In a bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

5. In another bowl, mix together espresso and milk.

6. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, blend well. Add half of the liquid ingredients next, then blend well. Continue adding dry and wet ingredients alternately, blending well before adding the next.

7. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for around 35 to 40 minutes. Test by piercing with a skewer, it should come out clean.

8. Let cake cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Invert cake onto a serving dish and cool completely.

9. For the Ganache: melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl using 30 second increments until shiny and soft. Stir until smooth. Add cream and stir until combined. Pour over cooled cake. Sprinkle with desired topping.

10. Enjoy!

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Christmas Decorated Cookies: Happy Holidays Everyone! 🎄🎉🎊

This was supposed to post last Monday as a tribute to my dad’s 89th birthday (December 21 – Happy Birthday in heaven Papa!) but I got caught up making hot chocolate bombs this past couple of weeks that I wasn’t able to complete this post properly. Apologies to all. And thank you for your understanding!

Here is a recipe for Christmas Sugar cookies decorated with Royal icing! I made this a weekend activity with my 11 year old son, and surprisingly, my husband joined in, rolling out the cookie dough, cutting shapes out, and transferring them to the prepared cookie sheets. What a great day!

We did it little by little, it took basically all day but was totally worth it.

We had breakfast then prepared the cookies in the mixer, cut out and bake. Let them cool while I prepared lunch. Ate lunch. Prepared icing. Piped borders. Let set while we cleaned up the kitchen. Flood icing came next. Let them dry while we walked Yuki then prepared dinner. Details came last. Then let dry one last time while we ate dinner. Whew!

Ingredients for Sugar Cookies:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for the Royal Icing:

1 (2 pound package) confectioners sugar5 tablespoon meringue powder

3/4 cup warm water

1 teaspoon almond extract

To prepare the Sugar cookies:

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line 3 big baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.

3. Scrape sides and add egg and vanilla, beating until well combined.

4. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

5. Slowly add flour mixture into butter mixture.

6. Mix until a dough forms.

7. Knead a few times to make sure everything is well combined. Press dough together into a ball.

8. Divide dough into two, wrapping one half in plastic wrap, or placing it in a covered bowl.

9. On a generously floured board, roll one half of the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Flour top if necessary.

10. Cut out shapes using your desired cutters.

11. Transfer to prepared cookie sheets, placing them about 1 inch apart.

12. Bake cookies, 7 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

13. I baked all 3 sheets at once, moving the baking sheets half way through baking, top baking sheet to the bottom and the bottom sheet to the top, and turning them front side back. The middle sheet just got turned front to back.

14. Cool on pan about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

15. Prepare Royal Icing (and all the sprinkles, confetti, colored sugar, ryes, that you’ll need).

16. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat confectioner’s sugar and meringue powder until combined.

17. Mix water and almond extract in a small measuring cup.

18. Carefully pour water almond mixture into the mixing bowl and beat for about a minute at low seed.

19. Increase speed to medium and beat until mixture is stiff, about 5 minutes. Set aside some of this mixture for border icing. Thin out the rest to use as flood icing. Divide into bowl and color as desired.

20. On cooled cookies, use the border icing to trace the outline of the cookie. Set aside to dry completely.

21. Use the thinner flood icing to completely fill in the cookie with icing. Let dry completely.

22. Use the thicker border icing to pipe details onto your cookies. Decorate as you want, using sprinkles, confetti, eyes, sugars….Let dry completely.

23. Enjoy your delicious cookies!

Electric Lunchbox #76: Pumpkin Flan Cake

Fall. Pumpkin. Flan. Cake.

I’m still on my pumpkins recipes! And don’t forget my love for flan. This recipe is a combo of both, a play on the classic Choco Flan cake, autumn/fall style!

It did turn out really good, I must say. I made sure the flan layer is thicker, and this time I used a ready made “cajeta” for the caramel, just because it was staring at me when I opened the pantry looking for condensed milk.

The cake starts with a yellow cake mix, doctored with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Ta-da! Pumpkin Spice Cake!

Another interesting thing about this recipe is that you place the cake layer over the cajeta, and the flan layer last. In the process of baking/steaming, the flan and cake reverses, and you’ll end up with a cake topped with a flan topped with cajeta. How awesome is that?

Like all my recipes, I hope you’ll like this! it is not too sweet, super tasty and perfect with a hot cup of coffee or tea!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Topping:

2 tablespoons caramel topping (I used Cajeta)

Cake:

1 cup yellow cake mix

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 large egg

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

Flan:

1/2 cup condensed milk

1/2 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 ELB cups water in base

1. Grease the large ELB bowl. Pour the caramel topping in the bowl and set aside.

2. Cake: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Pour into big bowl with caramel.

3. Flan: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until well mixed. Pour over the cake batter.

4. Cover bowl with foil and set on the ELB base. Pour 3 ELB cups water in the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about an hour.

5. Carefully open the ELB and check the cake for doneness by piercing with a skewer. It should come out clean. Add more water and steam a little more if needed.

6. Cool cake completely on a wire rack. Chill at least a couple of hours, or until cold.

7. Run a knife along the edges, and invert onto a serving dish. Add more cajeta before serving, if desired.

8. Enjoy!!