DoubleTree Signature Cookie Recipe

It did turn out really good! Soft yet crisp on the edges!

Have you ever stayed at a DoubleTree hotel? If you did I’m sure you’ll remember the warm chocolate chip cookies that welcomed you upon arrival! It was truly something to look forward to!

There are a lot of copy cat recipes online but this recipe was officially released April 9, 2020. See this link for the full article.

I love chocolate chip cookies and would try any recipe I could get my hands on. I did try a couple of copy cat recipes for this particular cookie so now that I have the real recipe, I just had to whip out the ingredients (which I luckily do have on hand despite avoiding grocery store runs lately!) and try it. I’ll let you know how it tastes at the end of this article.

Makes 26 cookies

½ pound butter, softened (2 sticks)

¾ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 ¼ cups flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Pinch cinnamon

2 2/3 cups Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts 

1. Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

2. Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, blending with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl.

3. With mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds. Don’t overmix.

4. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

5. Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart.

6. Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.

7. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for about 1 hour.

Cook’s note: You can freeze the unbaked cookies, and there’s no need to thaw. Preheat oven to 300°F and place frozen cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.

These cookies baked for longer than the 10-12 minutes I am used to baking cookies and came out of the oven after 23 minutes paler than most cookies I bake. After waiting for it to cool on the cookie sheet, I carefully took one and tasted it. It did brown up a little bit more than when I first took it out of the oven and flattened some. It was surprisingly crisp on the edges but soft overall. Full of chocolate chips and nuts, it’s really a delicious cookie!

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Brentwood Mochi Cake

Looks really delicious doesn’t it?

I had mentioned working in UCLA Brentwood with amazing coworkers a few times already. I miss them everyday as they are willing to teach you everything they know, work wise AND in the kitchen. They’re some of the best laboratory scientists in the world, and they cook and bake real well. We always have potlucks and celebrate everything we can.

This is my supervisor Sandra Bovey’s recipe. I am including a photo of the actual recipe that was handed out (one of multiple copies that were shared on many occasions) plus a variation that I made in muffin cups.

I hope you enjoy this dessert as much as I do!

These are all you need to make Mochi Cake.

Some changes for this particular recipe:

Use 1 tablespoon baking powder instead of 2 teaspoons

1 tablespoon ube flavoring

1 tablespoon pandan flavoring

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Leave one as is, flavor one with ube, and the last with pandan. Pour into greased muffins cups. I made 8 of each flavor with a surplus of 2 mini muffin tins of ube and pandan.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds. I used a mixture of white and black sesame seeds just because I have it on hand. 😊

Bake in a 13×9 pan for 60 minutes.

Muffin tins: 35-40 minutes. Makes 30 muffins.

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Baozi (steamed buns with pork and cabbage)

This is a familiar dimsum item that is easily prepared at home. Basically a meatball sandwich, it is portable and easy to eat so it is always a good thing to have in the house. You can prepare the whole recipe and freeze extras individually. My son loves this for breakfast and I like that I only have to steam it in the microwave and breakfast is ready! You can use a microwave steamer or just enclose the bun in a wet paper towel – to make clean up easier. We all lead busy lives, I won’t judge! 😊

I like this recipe because the filling tastes like a big ball of Gyoza, but my husband is not crazy for it, so I make it less often than the actual Char Siu buns (called Siopao in the Philippines).


2 recipes Lotus bun dough (recipe link:


1 pound ground pork

1 pound chinese cabbage, shredded

1 carrot, shredded

1 stalk green onions, chopped

1 teaspoon minced ginger

1 egg

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder

1 teaspoon oyster sauce

2 teaspoon shaoxing wine

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


Prepare dough and let rest until doubled.

Prepare filling: brown half of the ground pork in a skillet, drain and cool. Mix with the rest of the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

Divide dough into 20-24 balls. Keep dough balls in a covered bowl. Working with one dough at a time, roll out into a circle about 5-6 inches. Then go back and roll the edges thinner.

Place about 2 tablespoons filling in the middle. Pull up edges, fold over into pleats and press to seal. Continue until the filling is enclosed. Twist and pinch tops.

This are the photo illustration for the Philippine steamed bun, but the method is the same for rolling out, filling, and sealing the dough.

Place prepared bao on a piece of parchment paper and place in steamer tray.

Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Cover the steamer trays and let rise about an hour.

Remove steamer trays and set aside, covered with a dish cloth.

Heat water in the steamer and bring to a rolling boil. place steamer racks back onto the base and cover.

Red ones are filled with red bean paste as I ran out of filling for the last 2 dough balls. . Red dot was made using red food color.

Steam 20-25 minutes. Turn heat off and let stand for 5 minutes before removing baos to a cooling rack.

Makes 20 – 24 pieces. Feel free to halve the recipe to make less.

Enjoy it hot or cool completely before storing.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are one my favorite breakfasts! I’m pretty sure that I am not alone as every time I go to a bakery in the morning, there is always less cinnamon rolls than muffins and other breakfast goodies. I mean, who can say no to cinnamon rolls?

These rich sweet bread swirled with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon makes any breakfast special. My son and I just love it with a thick slathering of cream cheese frosting. My husband though, he just wants it plain, or with a tiny, tiny dab of frosting, if we insist.

I first made cinnamon rolls when I was about 13 years old and followed a recipe I wrote down from a TV program. I never really baked then so I used a coffee cup for a “cup” measure, a small dessert spoon as a “teaspoon”, and a spoon we used to eat for a “tablespoon”. I was hooked after that and have tried dozens of recipes and a lot of buns sold by famous bakeries wherever I went.

The perfect cinnamon rolls for me has a good bread structure, buttery, just a little sweet. The filling should be generous, and I like it to have raisins in the swirls. The brown sugar/cinnamon/butter mixture should be oozing down the bottom of the bun where it meets perfectly roasted pecan/walnuts. Perfection! Rarely do I find one that checks all the boxes so I usually bake it at home and my son’s eyes always light up when he realizes we are having cinnamon rolls for breakfast tomorrow morning! My little clone!

Years ago, I would even add chopped apples with the raisins before rolling up the dough and it would taste lovely. You can omit the raisins, or the pecans if you wish but I hope you try it this way once and with a generous coating of the frosting, if I may suggest!


95 grams whole milk

2 large eggs

95 grams sugar

190 grams active starter

355 grams all purpose or bread flour

7 grams salt

100 grams softened butter


1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

20 grams all purpose flour

135 grams dark brown sugar

30 grams butter

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup chopped pecans


50 grams butter

100 grams cream cheese

100 grams powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

30 grams milk

Procedure for the dough:

1. Place the milk, eggs, and sugar in the Thermomix bowl, cover and set to 30 seconds/speed 3.

2. Add starter, flour, and salt and set to Knead/2 minutes.

3. Add butter and Knead 2 minutes more.

4. Transfer dough into a large bowl. Cover and set aside in a warm place until double, about 3-4 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare filling:

5. In a medium bowl, mix cinnamon, flour, and sugar. Cut in butter until it resembles crumbs.

6. Grease a 13”x9” pan and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Set aside.

7. Roll out dough to about a 12×15 rectangle. Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture and evenly spread raisins over it. Roll up from the long end so you’ll have a 15 inch log. Cut the log into 12 1.25 inch rolls. Place on top of the pecans in the prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Or you can leave on the counter until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours and bake).

8. Next day, leave cinnamon rolls on the counter to come to room temperature for about an hour or 2.

9. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake rolls for about 25 minutes, tenting with foil if it browns too fast.

10. Prepare the frosting: In a bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and beat well. Mix in vanilla and milk to thin out the frosting a little. Beat until fluffy. This has a frosting consistency as I prefer that over a thin drizzle. If you would like a drizzling consistency, add more milk.

11. Cool buns on a wire rack for 10 minutes, remove from pan one at a time, invert onto a serving plate and generously frost with cream cheese frosting.


1 Hour Hamburger Buns (or dinner rolls)

This recipe came about when we were in week 3 of the stay at home order due to CoVid19. My son wanted hamburgers and fries but my husband doesn’t want us to go out at all. We do not have hamburger buns and I had been reading that bread is almost always out of stock all over our town’s grocery store.

Lucky I know how to make bread. So I decided to make hamburger and fries from scratch…the bread, the patties, and the fries. I added additional yeast to make the dough rise faster as it was already late in the afternoon. The bread worked out really good so here I am sharing it with you. I promise it will be easy and fast to make these burger buns and that they taste great! A lot of work to make everything from scratch yes, but I feel truly blessed to be able to make it.

Now, with the COVID cases on the up swing again, AND 4th of July, I will probably make this today for our little BBQ, so we can stay home and try to avoid going out.
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Happy 4th of July everyone! Stay safe!

2 tablespoons instant dry yeast

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon salt

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Water, for brushing

Sesame for topping

  • In a large bowl, mix yeast and warm water. Add oil and sugar. Mix well. Add the egg, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Do not let rise.
  • Divide into 9 pieces; shape each into a ball. Place 3 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Brush tops with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Cover and let rest for 30 – 40 minutes, until doubled. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425F. Bake buns for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Thermomix directions:

1. Place yeast and water in the mixing bowl. Set to 2 minutes/37F/speed 2.

2. Add the oil, sugar, egg, salt, and flour. Set to 2minutes/Knead.

3. Divide into 9 pieces; shape each into a ball. Place 3 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Brush tops with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

4. Cover and let rest for 30 – 40 minutes. Bake at 425° for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

This recipe can also be used to make dinner rolls. Divide dough into 24 pieces, shape and let rise until doubled. Bake until golden brown.

24 hour Pizza crust

Happy birthday to my son! Time flies by so fast he is 11 already! Pizza is one of his favorite food (well, aside from mac and cheese and Korean chicken) so I will feature a time consuming but very delicious pizza crust recipe today.

I make pizza for lunch or dinner at least twice a month, so I have been able to try different recipes and tweak them to my family’s tastes. This is Vito Iacopelli’s recipe. He is a professional pizza guy, a pizzaiolo, I saw on youtube who was sharing how to make pizza dough for home use. I scaled down his recipe to make 2 big 14-inch pizzas or 3 smaller 12 inch ones. This is usually enough for my little family of 3 with leftovers for another meal.

I tried baking this crust with the Breville Pizzaiolo, the Napoli wood fire pizza oven, and the Mont Alpi pizza oven (which I modified by adding a thick layer of refractive cement on the interior). Although the Breville gave the best result the easiest way (plug in, dial the temp and that’s it!), I kept the modified Mont Alpi as the Breville is a HUGE, single use appliance that I can not store easily. The Napoli cannot keep the wood burning properly, but I think if I buy the gas attachment it would be easier to use and keep a constant temperature. The Mont Alpi is an outdoor appliance so I just leave it in our outdoor barbeque area.

It takes a day to make this so plan ahead. You could also place it in the refrigerator for the 6-8 hour rest and use it with in 2 days. It is worth it though as the crust is really delicious and perfect for any topping you’d like to put on it!


333 grams water

1.7 grams yeast

3.3 grams honey

8.3 grams salt

16.7 grams olive oil

500 grams 00 flour or all purpose flour

Place water and yeast in a bowl. Mix. Add honey and mix well. Add 350 grams flour and mix well for a couple of minutes. Cover with a dishcloth. Leave for about 1 hour.

Add the rest of the flour, salt, and olive oil. Form into a ball and knead for about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turn dough over, cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour.

Form into 2 balls and place in a floured pan. Flour tops and cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non stick spray, then cover with a dish cloth. Let rest 6-8 hours.

Remove covers and drop in a bowl of flour. Take dough out and shape into circle, 14 inches in diameter. Place in a pizza pan or peel and repeat with the other half.

Brush olive oil on edges. Spread some tomato/pizza sauce on top, bake in 500F oven for 5 minutes. Top with desired toppings (mozzarella and pepperoni are my family’s favorites) and bake 10-15 minutes more.


Garlic Bread Knots

I am a big fan of the Magnolia Table cookbook. The recipes that Joanna Gaines shares are delicious, easy to make and surely, kid friendly. Her first cookbook made Sour cream Chicken Enchiladas our new favorite and I now almost always have canned enchilada sauce and diced chilis in the pantry. Biscuits and gravy, After- school Banana Bread, Sausage and Kale Soup, Brussels Sprouts, Scalloped Potatoes, Corn Spoon Bread, Fatayar…we loved going through the book and finding new dishes to try. I never served brussels sprouts before this and my son said he loves it! I am happy to serve different dishes and making it with easily accessible ingredients really helped.

A couple of weeks ago, I got my new cookbook from Target, Magnolia Table Volume 2. Although I miss the narratives before every recipe that volume 1 had, this new cookbook is still more than worth it’s price. It is beautiful, with photos and recipes that are easily made.

This is the first recipe my son chose after I asked him if he wanted the dinner rolls or these garlic knots. Of course, I make the dough in my Thermomix to help speed up the process. As always, it is absolutely delicious!


3/4 cups warm water

1 teaspoon sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

2 1/4 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Garlic butter:

5 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons garlic

2 tablespoons minced parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. To make the dough: In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit around 5 minutes.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine bread flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and mix on low speed for about 5 minutes, until dough pulls away from the bowl.

3. Shape the dough into a ball. Place in a bowl well coated with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled, 1-2 hours.

4. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray or line with parchment.

5. Uncover the bowl and punch down the dough to release the air. Turn out onto a surface sprinkled with flour. Weigh the dough and divide the number by 16. Roll each into a rope 6-7 inches long. Tie into a knot and place on prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough to make 16 knots, leaving 2 inches between the knots.

6. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and cover with plastic wrap or damp towel. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.,

7. Preheat oven to 400F. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the knots are golden brown, 12-15 minutes.

8. Garlic Topping: In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the garlic. Heat until garlic turn golden then remove from heat and stir in parsley and salt. Stir to combine. Brush on hot knots. Serve warm.

Perfect with pasta dishes, with pizza, with soup or on it’s own, this bread is delicious and very pretty.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns!

Happy Easter! This year’s Easter is different from previous years in that we cannot go see and celebrate with family. The Coronavirus pandemic has truly changed our everyday lives and I believe when everything goes back to normal we will appreciate all that we have even more. This does not stop us from celebrating though. Although grocery runs and supplies are very limited, I still have everything needed to make Hot Cross Buns in my pantry!

So to celebrate Easter, I am sharing this easy, yummy recipe that I hope you’ll try one day! It is perfect for breakfast, or even an afternoon snack! Feel free to replace the sultanas and apricot jam with whatever you have on hand. I used orange marmalade this time as that is what I have in the fridge. Mixed dried fruits would also work instead of just sultanas or raisins. This recipe can be adapted to whatever you like or have, just like we are adapting to what is happening right now.

Stay safe! Happy Easter! 🐣🐇


250 g whole milk

1 Tbsp dry active yeast

60 g light brown sugar

60 g butter

1 egg

500 g plain flour

1 pinch sea salt

1 tsp mixed spice (allspice, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg)

150 g sultanas


4 Tbsp flour

3 Tbsp water


50 g apricot jam


Place the milk, yeast, and light brown sugar in the mixing bowl.

Warm 2 Min. / 37°C / Speed 2. Add the butter, egg, flour, mixed spice, salt, and sultanas. Knead 3 minutes

*If you don’t have a Thermomix, place the milk, yeast, and brown sugar into a large bowl. Stir at with a wooden spoon. Add the flour, butter, egg, mixed spice, sultanas nd salt (in this order!) and knead until smooth. This process might take up to 10 minutes. Continue with the recipe.

Leave to rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Then remove the dough and place on a floured surface.

Cut into 12 individual buns and shape them into balls. I weigh the dough and divide the number by 12, that way, they’re all about the same size. Place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper not too far apart if you want them to touch each other. Cover with a towel and leave to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size again.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400F.

Make the flour paste by mixing the flour and water in a bowl and stir until blended. Fill into a piping bag with a plain nozzle and pipe over the uncovered buns in a cross shape.

*you could also just use a plain sandwich bag, twist the top after filling and pushing paste on one corner. Snip a little off that corner and pipe onto dough.*

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan until runny. Using a brush, glaze the buns with the melted apricot jam immediately after removing from the oven.