Peppermint White Chocolate Cookies

I know Christmas was over months ago, but after Christmas came New Years', and then the new semester begun, and since then I've been swept up in a sea of Constitutional Law readings (endless!), trying to navigate my way around Corporate Deals, and staying afloat with Equity and Trusts.  2017 started off on a great note - dinner at a homely, yet classy, Mexican restaurant, followed by coffee and a dessert "buffet" at the St Regis lobby with my best takeaway from 2016. I say "buffet" because the cafe side had actually ran out of desserts by the time we reached (it was approximately 11pm), so they offered to let us take whatever desserts we wanted from their buffet selection as long as we could fit them on a single plate.  We had about three desserts on each of our plates. What a steal, and a wonderful New Years' it was. 

These cookies were actually part of a Christmas Dessert Box that I did up for some close friends and family members. Each box included a slice of a baileys white chocolate cake, a stack of these peppermint white chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chip oreo cookies, and a cute little cupcake holder of cinnamon-spiced granola! 


These peppermint-white-chocolate-cookies are really a simple modification of my favourite chocolate-chip-cookies, and they have the same crispy-chewy texture but with a Christmassy feel to them.  Peppermint is a strong and potentially overpowering flavour, so I would recommend adding it with restraint - three-quarters of a teaspoon did the job for me.  Feel free to add more/less depending on your tastes, but always start by adding less than you intend to and taste the dough along the way as you do - you can always add more peppermint, but once it's in, you can't get it out! 

The sweetness of the white chocolate pairs wonderfully with the peppermint - sweeter than your regular milk or dark chocolate, it is perfect for cutting through the sharp mintiness (minty-ness? mint-ness?) of the peppermint.  I like my white chocolate in abundance; just add as much as you'd like.  Give this recipe a go - Christmas may be over but the spirit lives in us all year round, no? 

To make this recipe, just follow my Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe here, adding a three-quarter teaspoon of peppermint extract together with the vanilla, and replace the regular chocolate chips with an abundance of white chocolate chips. 

I hope everyone is having a wonderful 2017 thus far :-) 

Cookie Butter Cheesecake

What a week it has been, and I have so much to write about. Starting is always the hardest part. Well, rag is over, and as with every performance there is an inevitable sense of emptiness that follows in the days after. It's bittersweet, really. But I couldn't ask for any better way to end this 8 month holiday. 

I kinda can't believe just how quickly 8 months flew by. SJII days feel like a lifetime ago, although it hasn't actually been that long. In these 8 months, I've held two cafe jobs - and I am glad that I had the experience working in f&b. I feel as though working in the service industry is something that everyone should go through at least once when they're young. It really exposes you to different types of people and you do pick up some people skills along the way. I think I've become more outgoing since working in the cafes - at the very least, I'm a lot more open to talking to strangers. 

I've also interned in a law firm, an internship I initially undertook to "experience boring CBD life" but eventually opened me up to the possibility of actually doing law and led to me being where I am today. I've travelled, both to new places and revisited some old ones with some of my favourite people. I've written for a website (which I need to get around to updating soon), explored, embarked on a little film project, baked, and ate a lot. And to cap it off, I ended my holiday doing the one thing I swore that I would never do - rag. But that's a story for another post. 

Looking back, it feels as though I haven't done or achieved much with the time I had. But I do feel that I've learnt quite a bit, and I've also grown in certain ways - which is something, I guess. We will always feel like we could have done more, anyway. I've also come to realise that everything is part of a journey, and the passing of time doesn't necessarily have to close doors. School begins tomorrow, and it's the real deal - I'm starting the day with a torts lecture, to be followed by an SLIC class. In a way, I'm thankful for rag as it's gotten me used to going to school on a regular basis, so going to school tomorrow doesn't feel like such a jump from my lazy holiday life. School hours are about the same as rag's anyway, just that what I'll be doing will be vastly different. I am equal parts terrified and excited.

This past National Day weekend has been so busy and exciting; spent with both new and old friends. I'm really glad that my sjii cru got to meet up during this weekend before us girls start uni and the guys continue with their NS stuff! It was so much fun catching up and watching the parade with them, laughing at the most retarded things and eating pizza and playing lots of bridge. It's hard to get all of us to meet up together, so it was nice that we almost had full attendance. Although we're all in different stages of life, I'm thankful that we're still close and when we meet, it really feels like nothing has changed at all and it just takes me right back. 

So I promised one of my friends that I would bake him a birthday cake a month ago (his birthday was almost a month ago), and as he was coming, I decided to bake a cookie butter cheesecake with an oreo base! My sisters who tried the cake said that it probably would have gone better with a digestive base, so feel free to substitute the oreos with digestive biscuits! I would have used lotus/biscoff cookies but somehow the pack I bought a few weeks ago went missing. Probably disappeared into someone's stomach. 

I didn't have sour cream on hand at home, so I substituted whipping cream in for it. One has to make do with what one has! It added the same amount of creaminess to the cheesecake, so the texture was just nice but the cake lacked the tang that sour cream tends to provide. I should have probably added a bit of lemon juice to make up for it, and to balance the sweetness of the cookie butter. A few tweaks here and there could really make all the difference. But it was still a creamy dream, especially with the addition of the luscious cookie butter. 

Cookie Butter Cheesecake

✿ 18 oreos, crushed in a blender/food processor
✿ 45g butter, melted 
✿ 400g cream cheese, softened
✿ 60g granulated sugar
✿ 100ml whipping cream (1/2 cup) 
✿ 1 tsp vanilla extract 
✿ 2 eggs
✿ 120g cookie butter, heated in a microwave on medium heat for 30s 
Preheat your oven to 162 degrees celsius. Liberally grease the cake pan all around with butter. (note: I used an 8" cake pan for this as I had left my springform pan at my friend's.)
For the crust: Mix the crushed oreos and melted butter together, and pat it down onto the base of the cake pan. Bake for about 7 minutes. 
For the cake: Start by creaming the cream cheese and sugar in an electric mixer on medium-high for about 3 minutes. Add your whipping cream and vanilla extract, and continue until well-blended. Add the eggs one at a time, adding each additional egg after the previous one has been blended in. Pour the mixture into the cake pan, atop the oreos. Dollop the cookie butter onto the cake and using a chopstick, swirl to make some nice patterns hehe. 
Bake in your preheated oven for 55 minutes, preferably in a water bath to reduce the likelihood of your cheesecake cracking. Let it cool in the oven for a few minutes before taking it out to cool even more! Best served the next day, after chilling in the fridge overnight. 

To everyone starting school today, have a great first day x 


Cornflake-Chocolate-Chip-Marshmallow Cookies (momofuku's)

What a mouthful this cookie is.

This post was originally meant to be titled "The CCC Quest: Episode 3" (for it kind of is the third part of my ongoing chocolate chip cookie quest) but look at this. It's got so much going on, it's not quite a chocolate chip cookie anymore. Toasted cornflakes? Mini marshmallows? I almost feel like a kid again. 

I've actually been meaning to make 'cornflake cookies' for a while. I had bought the fun pack with cornflakes, frosties (which I just realised were cornflakes with a sugar coating) and coco pops - you know, the stuff we used to bring to school and munch on at recess? Definitely not the healthier choice, but they sure were delicious. 

This recipe was adapted from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. Some of the things in that book are simply outrageous - in a good way. Like these, and of course, cereal milk. I'm quite curious as to whether the trend will take off in Singapore. There are already a number of places starting to serve cereal-milky stuff, and one with a milk bar - I suppose imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I have yet to visit any of these places, but I do hope they have a variation of that cereal milk soft serve from momofuku, it looks amazing. But of course, I'm sure that there's nothing like the real thing. To visit New York City one day is the dream. 

Speaking of momofuku and all, Thursday is my new favourite day of the week because that's when the new Masterchef episode comes out on youtube!!!! As well as the new episode of Suits ^_^ I don't follow many tv shows, mostly because I don't like having to "catch up" with numerous seasons to get up to date so I try to start on shows with one, maybe two seasons or less. I do want to watch a number of older shows such as House/TBBT, but the sheer number of seasons there are just puts me off. Anyway, it's hard for me to maintain my concentration for extended periods of time while watching tv shows - unless the show is absolutely compelling. As of now, I'm following Masterchef (US Season 6), Suits (been watching it since grade 11!), How To Get Away With Murder and Fresh Off The Boat. I love it when it's time for a new season for my shows as it gives me something to look forward to every week. 

I guess the one thing I like about reality tv shows is that you can just start watching it from any season, and with each new season there's fresh blood. But it does get boring after a while - think American Idol. Masterchef has (somewhat) managed to switch things up with Christina as a new judge, but I'm not quite sure if I like the change - sometimes it feels like she's trying too hard to make her presence felt. Maybe she should stick to creating fantastic recipes... Like this one. 

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies
adapted from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook

for the cornflake crunch:
✦ preheat oven to 135 degrees celsius. crush 110g of cornflakes/frosties in a large bowl, add 35g of melted butter and stir to combine. spread out on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. 

for the cookies (note, i halved the original recipe): 
✦ 113g butter, softened 
✦ 30g brown sugar 
✦ 60g white sugar 
✦ 0.5 tsp vanilla extract 
✦ half an egg (crack an egg into a bowl, beat it, and use only half - this can be eyeballed) 
✦ 120g all-purpose flour
✦ 0.5 tsp baking powder 
✦ 0.25tsp baking soda 
✦ 65g chocolate chips 
✦ 65g mini marshmallows
✦ the aforementioned cornflake crunch
1. preheat your oven to 190 degrees celsius. whisk your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and baking soda) together. 
2. cream the butter and sugars on medium for 3 minutes. add the egg and vanilla extract, and cream on high for 7-8 minutes. 
(the long creaming time is essential for creating 'bonds' between the butter and sugar, with the eggs as an 'insurance', used to strengthen these bonds.) 
3. reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients. beat until mostly combined, you should still be able to see some streaks of flour. 
4. dump the chocolate chips and marshmallows into the mixture, and fold them in with the remaining streaks of flour using a spatula. 
5. scoop out tablespoon-sized pieces of dough and roll into the shape of a ball. then, roll the ball of dough in the cornflakes - try to coat the dough all around! press the tops down flat before sending them off to the oven!.
6. bake cookies for 18 minutes, the cookies should be a lovely golden-brown in the centre and you will see some cornflake pieces begin to caramelise. it's quite a delightful sight. let them cool completely before digging in, and this is extremely important as the cookies will be soft as they come out of the oven, but they will firm up as they cool - trust me on this!