Kolasnittar (Swedish Toffee cookies)

Toffee Cookies….the first time I read about this I can totally imagine it would taste delicious!

I had been reading up on the Swedish tradition – Fika – and everything that goes with it. I started with Kanelbullar, of course, as cinnamon rolls are a favorite in our home.

Next up are these cookies. I love chocolate chip cookies but am always up to try something new, specially when it is traditionally eaten with COFFEE!

This cookie did call for an unusual pair of ingredients, vanilla sugar and Tumma Siirappi, a dark syrup used in Swedish baking. Off to the internet I went searching for a local source of these items. Of course, I can’t find it. I then tried searching for a seller that would ship it to me. And I found one, luckily!

It took a few weeks after receiving the syrups and sugar before I found time to try making the cookies. They were absolutely worth the wait!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons Dan Sukker “Tumma Siirappi”dark syrup
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Homemade Vanilla Sugar: You can use a new vanilla pod or one that you’ve already scraped off the seeds from. Just place the pod into a container of granulated sugar and let it sit for a week or so. Stir occasionally. And there you have homemade vanilla sugar!

*I ordered the dark syrup – Dan Sukker Tumma Siirappi – and vanilla sugar, from Al Johnsons Swedish Restaurant and Butik (https://aljohnsonsshop.com). It tastes mildly of molasses and honey but not quite the same. I highly recommend trying the real syrup before substituting something else. My son said the cookies remind him of really good cookie dough, while my coworker insists on tasting ginger in the cookie….and I really think the syrup played a part in those flavor profiles.

1. Line 2 large baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

2. In large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together butter,

3. And granulated sugar.

4. Beat in vanilla,

5. egg yolk,

6. and dark syrup until blended.

7. Add in the flour,

8. baking soda,

9. and salt and beat until well mixed.

10. Cover the bowl and refrigerate about 30 minutes or until firm enough to divide into 6 equal parts to roll into logs.

11. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375F.

12. Roll each part into a log about 9 – 10 inches long on the prepared baking sheets, 3 per sheet.

13. Leave at least a 2 – 3 inch space between the logs as they will spread quite a bit.

14. Bake logs for about 12 – 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.

15. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. If the logs have touched each other during baking, take a long sharp knife and gently push them back, keeping them oval.

16. While still warm, and using a long sharp knife, cut the logs into diagonal slices about an inch apart. After cutting, remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Ciambellone 2

I posted a recipe for this Italian Breakfast Cake a couple of weeks ago, but this is the version that my son cannot get enough of.

This cake is still lemon flavored, as we have some really good, fragrant lemons in the backyard right now. For this recipe though, I make use of the lemon juice as well as the zest. Double lemon goodness!

The sun was out when I was preparing the batter so I got out the #SunOven to bake it in. I had nowhere to be so I just enjoyed preparing this cake and being in the moment instead of rushing because I had to be somewhere soon.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar to garnish, optional
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray the a 10 – 11 inch donut/bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl beat together the eggs and sugar using a hand mixer for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the oil, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract and beat until well.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the liquid ingredients and beat on low speed until combined.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Level the batter with a spatula.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pan for 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Run a plastic knife along the edges and the middle tube, and carefully invert the cake onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  • If desired, turn cake over onto a serving dish, and dust top with powdered sugar and serve.

Swedish Cinnamon Buns (Kanelbullar)

Have you ever seen a Swedish Cinnamon Bun? I mean, we love the cinnamon buns/sticky buns I regularly make(with raisins and pecans!), but Kanelbullar is like a little, round, braided babka. It is just so pretty that I vowed to make it at home one day so we can have/eat/devour as much as I want.

I bought a couple of “Fika” cookbooks to figure out how to make it and learned along the way that “fika” is the essential coffee break that Swedish people take. A time to reconnect with friends, or a little “me” time, over coffee and some little snack. I do wish we take our breaks as seriously as they did. They have a lot of little delicious looking morsels to go with coffee and I do intend to bake my way through both cookbooks.

An instagram account I follow, The Invy Baker, makes these buns regularly for sale and I was always wishing he lived close by so that I could just order some every weekend morning.

I ordered the Pearl Sugar needed to top these beauty online since I couldn’t find it locally. After the sugar came it took me a the usual few more months to find time to actually make it. Time is always short, unfortunately!

As for making the sugar stick, I used maple syrup/pancake syrup instead of eggwash as I figured I will sprinkle the sugar after baking so that I’m sure it’ll retain the crunch and I just love maple syrup. I also added the ground almonds since the recipe posted by The Invy Baker had some in the filling.

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Ingredients for the dough:

1 1/4 cups water

1 tablespoon instant yeast

1/2 cup sugar

4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon salt

100 grams unsalted butter, softened, cut into little cubes

Ingredients for the filling:

1/3 cup finely ground almonds

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 1/2 tablespoons water

100 grams unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon maple/pancake syrup with a drop of vanilla extract

For the glaze/topping:

1/2 cup maple/pancake syrup mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pearl sugar

1. For the dough: In a Thermomix bowl or food processor, combine all the dough ingredients and mix for 3 minutes, until the dough is smooth and well blended.

*If using a stand mixer, combine water, yeast and sugar in the bowl. Add in the flour, salt, cardamom, and butter and knead using the dough hook, until the dough is smooth, about 5-8 minutes.*

2. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours. Or you could also refrigerate it for 4-6 hours, up to overnight, if you need to.

3. For the filling: place all the ingredients in a food processor and whirl until combined.

4. Roll out the dough into a rectangle 12 inch wide, 1/4 inch thick. Spread the filling to cover the entire dough evenly.

5. Fold 1/3 the dough up and the other 1/3 down, like folding a letter. Gently roll out the dough into a 12 inch long rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick.

6. Cut the dough vertically into 1 cm strips, 12 inches long.

6. Roll the dough around your left 3 fingers 3 times and tuck the end in. Place on a large baking pan, tucked end down.

7. Let rise 1-2 hours, until puffy and about doubled in size.

8. Bake at 450F for 12-14 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

9. Brush with syrup mixed with vanilla while hot and sprinkle generously with pearl sugar.

10. Serve warm and enjoy!

Ciambellone 1

First off, Happy Birthday to my beautiful mom!!!! Found time to type this up to greet her here with a cake delicious enough to be served on a birthday!

Breakfast Cake!

I mean, that totally got my attention! Italian food is one of the best food in the world, hands down, but did you know they actually have a breakfast cake? As in a cake traditionally eaten for breakfast?? 😋 The few Italians I know who grew up in Italy remember eating a citrusy cake for breakfast. Must be so nice!

I can’t wait to try this as when I mentioned it to my son, he was equally excited to try it too. He said “why can’t WE eat cake for breakfast too?” And I told him I’ll make sure we will have it for breakfast one day!

So here! I actually made a whole cake to take to work for my coworkers at Quest on my last week there too. It was good enough to be next to my famous Rum Cake https://athomewiththeresa.com/2020/05/29/bacardi-rum-cake/

You’ll need a tube pan, and for this one, I used a traditional tube pan used for angel food cake as I’m quite sure most bakers have this pan.

I’ll be sharing a couple of recipes with you as I did make several but was happy with 2 experiments. This is the first one.

I hope you’ll like this cake as much as we did! It’s easy to make and will bring a bit of sunshine to your breakfast menu!

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Ingredients:

4 eggs

250g sugar

5g salt

Zest of 1 large lemon

120ml vegetable oil

75ml milk

300g all-purpose flour

7g baking powder

Procedure:

1. Separate the eggs, placing the egg whites in a clean, medium sized bowl. Set egg whites aside.

2. Place the yolks into a large bowl.

3. Add in the sugar,

4. the salt,

5. and the lemon zest.

6. Beat well, using a hand mixer or a wire whisk.

7. It’ll look like bight yellow granulated sugar.

8. Add in the vegetable oil,

9. and the milk. Beat well.

10. Add the flour,

11. and baking powder and mix everything together until it is well combined.

12. Go back to the egg whites we set aside earlier. Using a clean hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

13. Fold in half the egg whites into the yolk mixture.

14. Fold everything together carefully until blended.

15. Fold in the rest of the egg whites until well mixed.

16. Pour the mixture into a greased 10-11 inch(28 cm) ring-shaped baking pan (a bundt pan or angel food cake pan will do in a pinch) and bake at 350F for about 40-45 minutes.

17. Leave the cake to cool before removing from pan.

18. Enjoy with coffee, hot chocolate, or tea!

*can also bake this in the #SunOven!

Taho (Philippine Tofu Pudding)

“Taho….taho….taho….”

Early mornings in the Philippines, you’ll normally hear the man selling this warm, caramel tofu pudding calling out these words. He would have two metal pails balanced by a bamboo rod on his shoulders. Totally hard work, but surely, it made our day.

Kids and adults alike would wait patiently, holding their little cups, glass containers, and tumblers, for the taho vendor to come by their home. I remember a several times our nanny got a whole Coleman cooler (a gallon one I believe) for us. It’s that delicious!

Everyone asks for extra caramel, as it is the highlight of this sweet dessert/breakfast in a cup.

So…it’s been a while since I’ve had that taho that you can purchase. Taho here in the US is mostly an anemic cousin of the real stuff, flavor wise and texture wise. What to do but make it yourself, right?

I had been making soy milk and sometimes tofu for a while now but I never made a super soft, silky tofu like taho should be. It literally disintegrates when jiggled. I tried to make it but it just curdled, not really forming any solid you could scoop up. Oh well…

My co worker Lisette gave me this tofu mix a few months back. She said they use it to make taho, and you just need the sago pearls and the caramel and you’re good to go. Since my “from scratch” tofu pudding failed, I reached for the box and tried it.

It worked beautifully! See my photo below! And it’s super easy to make!

All you’ll need are the following:

For the tofu pudding:

1 box (6.06oz) Tofu mix

10 cups water

For the caramel:

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water

For the tapioca pearls:

1/2 cup Tapioca pearls

5 cups water

To make the tofu pudding:

Mix 10 cups water with the tofu packet mixture in a large saucepan. That is the big envelope in the tofu box. Set over medium heat. Bring to a boil.

Stir constantly with a whisk. Lower heat and for 3 minutes.

Add the coagulant, which is in the smaller white envelope, into the mixture, slowly. Give it a quick stir. And stop.

Remove from heat. Cover. Set aside to set. Do not touch or move it while it is setting. I just left it to set in the saucepan I cooked it in. 😊

In the meantime, prepare the Caramel.

Place 1 cup dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium low heat. When it comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the caramel is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool completely.

For the Sago Pearls,

Bring 5 cups water to boil. Add 1/2 cup sago. Simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes until translucent. Drain and rinse. Place in a bowl of water until ready to use.

To assemble your “taho”

Using a spoon, carefully scrape thin layers of the warm tofu pudding into a glass, cup, or bowl. You only want a few spoonfuls as we will be layering this with the other ingredients.

*If the tofu is getting watery, scoop out and discard the excess water.*

Next, place a spoonful or two of the cooked tapioca pearls in.

Then a spoonful or two of the caramel(I always add more when no one is looking! It’s super delicious!).

Continue layering until you fill the glass almost to the top. I am stopping midway as I might eat everything at one go.

Remember to wipe of any caramel that dripped outside the glass! It will be a sticky mess if you don’t!

You can eat this with a spoon, as we do, or stir it up and drink it like I see some folks do.

Either way, it is a nutritious and very delicious breakfast/snack/dessert.

I hope you all like this!

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Electric Lunchbox #99: Mangoes with Sticky Rice

This is a very delicious dessert typically found in Southeast asian countries. Rice is a staple eaten 3 times a day in that part of the world – plus for dessert/snack too! Mangoes with Sticky Rice is a simple treat but truly memorable and I know that I crave it often, specially when I see ripe, super fragrant, mangoes at the grocery store.

There are several variations of this Sticky Rice in Asia.

In the Philippines where I grew up, my aunts would wrap the rice mixture in banana leaves then tie them up in pairs before boiling it until the rice is done. They would serve these “Suman” as our midday snack, dipped in sugar, topped with ube halaya, or fried and topped with more sugar. There is also Biko, which is sweetened sticky rice and coconut milk, baked in a pan and topped with caramelly coconut jam. Another of my very favorite sweet!

I tried it served as this recipe is, with a side of mangoes and decorated with an orchid flower, in Singapore. 😋

When there are ripe mangoes available, they are THE perfect partner to this simple Sticky Rice dessert. Just make sure the mangoes are perfectly ripe!

To add more ooomph to this already yummy dessert, I added a drizzle of some Coconut Rum just before serving. I personally do not drink alcohol but somehow I love baking with it! As is evidenced by this recipe, and my famous Rum Cake recipe: https://athomewiththeresa.com/2020/11/16/electric-lunchbox-bacardi-rum-cake/.

This dessert is something I’d gladly skip lunch or dinner for.

It is easy to make and sure to impress! I hope you try it!

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

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Ingredients:

1 cup sticky rice – I use Botan brand sweet rice🔝

2/3 cup canned coconut milk

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large ripe mangoes, cut from the pit and scooped out

1 1/2 tablespoons coconut rum, more if desired 😉

Procedure:

1. Place measured rice in a fine strainer and rinse under cold water until water runs clear, running your fingers through it to help in rinsing it.

2. Place rice in a bowl, cover with plenty of water and let soak for 4-12 hours.

3. Drain rice and place in the big bottom bowl of your ELB. Place this bowl, uncovered, in the ELB base.

See the difference in size? The one on the right is straight from the bag and the one on the left is after the rice was soaked overnight.

4. Place 3 ELB cups of water in the base, cover and let steam for about 1 hour, until your lunchbox shuts off.

5. Carefully open the ELB and fluff rice with a fork. Cover loosely and set aside.

6. In a small bowl, combine coconut milk, sugar, and salt.

7. Mix until sugar is completely dissolved.

8. Pour mixture onto the hot rice.

9. Place the bowl back in the ELB, add 1 ELB cup of water to the base, cover and let steam until done, about 15 minutes more.

10. Carefully open the ELB and stir the rice. Check to see if rice is done by tasting some. The best part, right? Adjust sweetness if needed by adding more sugar if you like. A reminder though that the mangoes will add sweetness to the dish too.

11. Slice each mango half into thin, lengthwise pieces. ⬇️

12. Mound rice on a serving plate and arrange mango slices around it, or on top of the rice. *I used a small cup to shape the rice into a small dome. Just scoop some rice into a clean, dry cup, level the top while gently packing the rice in. DO NOT pack too much as you want it fluffy, just enough to hold its shape. You could also just scoop some rice onto the plate and top with mangoes. It’ll still be delicious!

13. Pour coconut rum over and serve.

14. Sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy every bite!

Choco Flan

Unmolded this☝️before chilling it completely. Notice the sunken area on the upper left.

Lesson learned: Be patient! Chill it overnight before unmolding. 😊

ChocoFlan! This is a rich, delicious chocolate cake with a beautiful layer of creamy flan sitting on top.

I first had this over a decade ago when my Cuban coworker at UCLA brought it for a potluck. It still amazes me how the layers switch when baking. You get a bit of yummy chocolate cake, a thick, creamy flan, all topped with caramelized sugar syrup…what more could you ask for?

This cake is easy to make and truly beautiful that you can bring it to any gathering and it’s sure to wow everyone lucky enough to have a slice…or two!

You’ll need a 12-cup bundt pan to make this as it rises almost to the top when baked. Most bundt pans I own have a capacity of 10 cups, so be sure to check your pan!

If you only have the 10 cup mold, set some of the cake batter aside for 2-3 cupcakes, or make a couple of small individual Choco flans in a ramekin with some of the syrup, flan, and cake mixture. The baking pan with water will also catch any overflow batter, so you should be fine.

The flan layer on this cake is thick, just the way I like it. You’ll get a good proportion of flan to chocolate cake in every bite, I promise!

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*I recently found a 6-cup bundt pan in Target made by Nordicware (https://www.target.com/p/nordic-ware-6-cup-formed-bundt-pan-navy/-/A-76431260#lnk=sametab) and I got 2 of course! If you have these smaller pans, you can split the caramel, flan, and cake batter between the 2 little bundt pans and have 2 Chocoflans – one to eat now and another for later, or to share!

Ingredients:

For the Caramel:

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

For the Flan:

1 can (12oz) evaporated milk

1 can (14oz) condensed milk

4 oz cream cheese (half a bar)

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cake:

1 box (15.25oz) devil’s food cake mix

1/2 cup canola oil

3 eggs, separated*

1 cup water

Equipment:

1 12-cup bundt pan (or 2 6-cup bundt pans)

Saucepan

Blender

Large baking dish

Bowls

Hand mixer

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Spray your bundt pan/s with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Caramelized sugar:

3. Pour sugar and water in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until deep brown, about 10-15 minutes. Keep swirling the pan when it starts to turn golden and remove from heat right before it reaches the color you want as it’ll keep cooking. You don’t want to burn this.

4. Using heavy oven gloves, immediately pour into prepared pan/s. Set aside.

Flan:

5. Pour all flan ingredients into a blender and pulse until well mixed.

6. Pour over caramel layer.

7. Place the bundt pan/s in a large baking dish. Fill baking dish with water halfway up the bundt pan. We are steam baking this, baine marie style!

8. Now carefully place the entire set up in the middle rack of your preheated oven. Close the oven and set your timer to 20 minutes.

9. In the meantime, prepare your Cake layer:

10. In a bowl, beat together devil’s food cake mix, oil, egg yolks, and water until blended. Set aside.

11. Grab another bowl that it is clean, dry, no traces of oil or grease, or any speck of egg yolks. Wash and clean your beaters and dry them, too. Then beat egg whites in the bowl using clean beaters until soft peaks form. Carefully fold in 1/3 into the cake mixture until mixed. Fold in another 1/3, mix and then add in the last 1/3. Fold in until no more traces of the egg white can be seen.

*If you are crunched for time, you can also just place ALL the cake ingredients in a bowl and beat for about 2 minutes on medium to high speed. The cake won’t be as light, but I’m quite sure no one will notice!*

12. Carefully remove the pan from the oven after 20 minutes.

13. Slowly pour the cake mixture over the flan. Cover with foil, lower the oven temperature to 350F, and bake for 55 minutes more, or until cake is fully baked. Check if cake is done by inserting a skewer in the middle of the cake, it should come out clean.

14. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill overnight before unmolding.

15. Place a plate on top of the bundt pan and carefully invert the whole thing. You would hear/feel the cake drop onto the plate. Carefully remove the bundt pan and serve the cake!

*You might want to fill the bundt pan with water now to facilitate removing the caramel that is stuck on the bottom. It will dissolve on it’s own, no need to scrub, but it will need time, like a day or two!*

Electric Lunchbox #97: Pistachio Cake

I’m back after not posting for a long time. Have you tried a beautiful, green colored Pistachio Cake?

My coworker (Jonnielyn Rivera) shared this super easy recipe with me a few years ago and I just had to adapt it to the ELB! It did take some time because I sometimes ended up with a cake that is too dense or tasteless, because of the amount of pudding. After a few tries, I think I finally nailed it. 😊 Look at the crumb of this cake in the photo below! Light yet moist and flavorful! 😋

And so here is an easy to make yet delicious recipe to try if you have time. All you’ll need is a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a box of yellow cake mix, a little box of pistachio pudding mix, a bit of sour cream, an egg, some canola oil, and some water!

I hope you’ll try out and of course, I do hope that you’ll like it!

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

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Ingredients:

1 cup yellow cake mix

3 tablespoons Pistachio Pudding Mix

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 egg

3 ELB cups water for the base

Procedure :

1. Spray the big or medium ELB bowl with nonstick spray.

2. In a bowl, place the yellow cake mix,

3. pudding mix,

4. sour cream,

5. water,

6. Oil,

7. and egg.

8. mix well until blended.

9. Pour into the prepared ELB bowl. Cover with foil.

10. Place bowl in the ELB base, pour 3 ELB cups of water in the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 55 minutes.

11. Carefully open the ELB and check the cake for doneness by inserting a skewer in the middle. It should come out clean.

12. Cool completely on a wire rack.

13. Carefully unmold the cake and serve.

14. Enjoy!