Verdict: win

You know those strawberry whipped cream cakes found at Chinese bakeries? The ones that are so light that they just melt in your mouth? Where the whipped cream is just teasingly sweet enough, leaving you begging for another bite? MMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm... My new favorite is at Golden Delight Bakery in Columbus (their Pandan cake is fantastic too), though Mrs. Wu absolutely makes the best homemade ones.

I wanted to try making a cupcake version...but those strawberry cakes can be ridiculously hard to make. Again, it's the craft of whipping egg whites (since there's no chemical leavening agent in this recipe) that makes this cake recipe fickle. I feel that I've become better at whipping egg whites just the right amount now that I've tackled and conquered macarons, so I felt fairly confident with adapting this online cake recipe into cupcakes.

For the most part, the cupcakes turned out well (tasted better after spending a night in the fridge too). Slightly drier and the cake was more "eggy" than I would've liked, but the whipped cream was lick-off-your-fingers fantastic. I also used raspberries instead of strawberries just because they were in season (and made adorable cupcake toppers).

I'm going to keep my planned changes for the next time I try to make them short and sweet: 1) definitely brush the cakes with syrup to keep them moist, 2) try using cake flour, 3) use paper liners and fill them only 3/5ths to 3/4ths of the way full. I kept this description short, because in the end, I was craving Mrs. Wu's cake more than anything else. I'll have to ask her for her recipe :)

Verdict: Win

"You bring the milk, and I'll bring the cookies."

I've been asked a few times at work what I like to do for fun. Most recently when I started to describe how I love to cook/bake (no matter how much of a novice I am), it naturally segued into how much I love food, to what food I like, to what food the other person liked, to what we wished we could eat at the moment, to consequent drooling, and finally to the above promise.

And thus the search for the perfect oatmeal cookie began. I've tried a recipe once before, which led to tasty, but rather unexceptional, cookies. Relying on good ol' Cook's Illustrated, I think I found my ideal oatmeal cookie. Fortunately for spacey, sleep-deprived me (first few days of working early shift at 2:30 am took a toll on me...), these cookies were easy to throw together too.

Good oatmeal cookies are usually studded with plump purple raisins, but more often than not the store-bought variety use sad little wrinkled, wanna-be raisins. My experience with them have made me averse to any raisins in general. My co-worker at the other end of the promise didn't care for them either, and instead likes his oatmeal cookies plain! No hate for plain cookies, but I prefer any biscuits with a little pizzazz. I made a few plain cookies, but I adorned the rest with butterscotch chips I had lying around (hint: leftover from making frau brownies). Feel free to substitute with your favorite mix-in (chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, it's up to you!).

Lastly, for extra thick cookies, here's a tip: chill the cookie dough for a few hours in the fridge before baking. Do it. It leads to some satisfyingly handsome cookies.

***7:44 PM 6.24.12
Note to self: after munching on these for a few days, I feel like they're a bit too sweet for my taste. Scale down on the sugar next time.

Ugh, the little photo skills I had are rusty as well

Verdict: Win

I'm back! With the end of school and moving back home for the summer, I've been happily enjoying my mom's homecooked (delicious) food every day. There's been little need to post any planned "meals of the week" posts, but it's been over a month since I've updated this thing at all...and I've been itching ever since to be in the kitchen. Today I couldn't stand it any longer and decided to start with something simple to get my cooking/baking muscles back in shape: a coffee cake.

As always, King Arthur Flour is reliable for their recipes and their products (I love their line of flour - it's the only flour I use). This coffee cake comes together easily and quickly, but it does require a lot of bowls. In under 2 hours, I had a coffee cake reminiscent of a giant cinnamon sugar donut - and who doesn't love cinnamon sugar donuts?