Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread

Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread

Chinese New Year is going to be on Jan 31st this year. It is 3 weeks away. It is time to get things ready. But you may ask what shortbread cookies and Chinese New Year have anything to do with each other.

During Chinese New Year, people go around to visit relatives and friends. It is the perfect opportunity to spend time together. When you go to visit someone, you can’t go empty handed. You always need to bring a gift with you. Most common gifts are fruits, chocolates, and cookies. The popular gifts in Hong Kong are Ferreo Rocher and Kjeldsens Butter Cookies (I am not sure whether this is still true nowadays, but at least it was when I was living in HK.) And of course, homemade cookies would be even better.

This year, Bryan and I will be in Hong Kong for Chinese New Year. It has been 10 years since I celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. I am looking forward to seeing all my families and friends and showing Bryan everything about Chinese New Year.

I will be bringing these espresso-chocolate shortbread to my relatives. These cookies are buttery and crumbly. The espresso flavors definitely come through, but not overpowering. The espresso and chocolate make great balance and they make the traditional cookies more unique. Did I mention that these cookies are addicting? You really can’t just eat one! Enjoy! Wish you luck in the year of Horse!

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European Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

The past weekend was kind of rough. Bryan’s car was broken into. His car was parked on the street overnight like normal. The next afternoon, we got in the car and realized the phone USB charger was missing. Then, we looked around and found out a few more things were gone. We got out of the car and saw the passenger’s side window was chipped and some of the car parts were broken. The car is barely 5 months old. No valuable things were visible before the incident. The thief only took away some non-valuable things, but the car repair will probably need about $400. It is heartbreaking. On the bright side, no one gets hurt and the car can be fixed easily. So all is good. But, Bryan and I definitely wouldn’t mind a cup of hot chocolate to make us feel better.

This hot chocolate is European style. It is really thick like a cup of melted chocolate. Smooth, creamy and warm. I swear that you will never go back to those hot chocolate packages after you try this! Now, go make a cup of hot chocolate and bundle up. 🙂

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Double Crunch Banana Split

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I am sure most of you have had a banana split when you are little. Who can forget that creamy ice cream, ripe banana, sweetened whipped cream and chocolate sauce? It was always a delight to get that special treat.

Let me show you my twist on the classic banana split. It is a double crunch banana split. The first crunch is the caramelized sugar on top of the banana. It is like a cream brulee without the custard, but with a banana. It is light and you still get that incredible sugar crust! The second crunch is the chocolate magic shell. The smooth chocolate sauce turns into a hard shell when pour over cold ice cream. Combining both of these things with some creamy vanilla ice cream, this sure is a wonderful dessert to end a meal.

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Snack: Ferrero Eggs

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This Easter, Ferrero has pushed out a new product in the US, the Ferrero Eggs. There are two flavors: Hazelnut and Cocoa. When I saw them at Ralph’s last week, I grabbed a bag of the hazelnut one. Once I have tried it, I couldn’t stop eating. I ate 5 eggs continuously. If I have no health concern (that chocolate is not too healthy for you), I really would have finished all 10 eggs at once. This week, I went back to Ralph’s and got 3 bags. We will see how long they last.

A hard chocolate shell covers a thin layer of crispy wafer with a creamy chocolate filling. They remind me so much of Ferrero Rocher, but without the nut. I grew up eating Ferrero Rocher. I love them, but not a huge fan of the nut. When I am eating a Ferrero Rocher, I always eat the nut first, because I want to enjoy just the chocolate, wafer and creamy center on their own. Therefore, these eggs are perfect for me. No nut picking any more.

The hazelnut ones are must better than the cocoa ones. They are unique and different. The flavors of the cocoa ones are too simple and couldn’t stand out. Anyway, try them! Buy them before Easter is over.

Where to buy? I bought them at Ralph’s, but I don’t think all Ralph’s have them. You may have to check out a few stores. Please let me know if you see them somewhere else.

Source: Read

Molten Chocolate Cakes with Raspberry Filling

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No matter it is Valentine’s Day or not, these molten chocolate cakes are luscious and tempting during any time of the year. Steaming hot thick and creamy chocolate oozing out with tangy raspberries filling is just irresistible  And the great news is that these cakes can be made a few hours ahead. No need to rush at the last-minute. This is a perfect fitting dessert for Bryan and I. Since Bryan loves fresh and tangy finish to his meal and I like something chocolatety and creamy, these little cakes made both of us very happy. Enjoy a sweet Valentine’s Day with your loved one!

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Valentine’s day is around the corner. Bryan and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s day. But this is a good excuse for me to make some delicious desserts. 🙂 Nothing says Valentine’s day more than a vivid red cupcake. Red velvet cupcake is pretty new to me. I have never seen or had this in Hong Kong before. At the beginning, I am not sure about the color of this cupcake. But soon after I tried my first red velvet, I have fallen in love with it. It is not that scary, in fact, it is just a chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting. This recipe is great! The cupcakes were light and flavorful, and the frosting was so creamy. They were not too sweet at all. For those of you who don’t like desserts too sweet, these cupcakes are for you. Enjoy!

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Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

I rarely made whole cakes. I usually bake cupcakes. But this chocolate mousse cake just looked too good. I had to try it. I wasn’t disappointed at all. Although there were many steps and it was very time-consuming, the end product was amazing! The bottom layer was like a brownie. It was dense and chocolatey. The middle layer was smooth and creamy with a strong chocolate taste. The white chocolate layer was light and sweet. When everything combined together, it was unbelievably delicious and beautiful. This cake is truly one of the best dessert for chocolate lovers. Have fun and enjoy!

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Snack: Kit Kat Big Little

Kit Kat Big Little

Last week, I was shopping at Mitsuwa Marketplace (Japanese supermarket). When I was in the snack aisle, the Kit Kat Big Little box was talking to me. I always love Kit Kat, and bite-size Kit Kat sounded even better, so I bought it.

When I got home, I couldn’t wait to try it. The little Kit Kat was the size of a Whoppers candy. It was just like a regular Kit Kat, but small in size. The outside was a layer of chocolate, and the inside were layers of wafers and chocolate. The name “Big Little” was really perfect for this snack. The Kit Kats were little, but packed with flavors. They were chocolatey. The wafers were very crispy, and they melted in your mouth. Delicious! I think these little ones taste better than the original Kit Kat.

I tried my best to control myself only to eat 3 pieces, because I knew Bryan would love to try. Bryan got home before dinner. I showed him the Kit Kat and he had a bite. He said, “WOW….. Did you buy more than one box?” Haha……. I really wish I did! And, we almost finished the whole box before dinner.

Kit Kat Big Little is easy to eat, and I think it is a better version than the original. The only thing is you can probably find them in certain Japanese supermarkets. And, they are not very cheap. I bought mine for about $3.50 a box. There were about 15 pieces in each box. Even so, I will probably still go back to buy some more tomorrow. They are real good!

Want to get Kit Kat Big Little?

Mitsuwa Marketplace (3760 South Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA)

Snack: Jacob’s Club Biscuit

Jacob’s Club Biscuit is one of my favorite childhood snack in Hong Kong. It is a chocolate covered biscuit. My favorite is the orange flavor one. A crunchy biscuit is covered with a thick layer of chocolate with a hint of orange. My love for the combination of chocolate and orange probably comes from here. It is not that easy to find these biscuits in the US. I haven’t had these biscuits for a long time until two years ago. My mom brought me some from Hong Kong. They were too good, and I finished them in a week. This time, my sister brought me back some more. There is also a new flavor that I haven’t tried before. It is the black currant flavor. It tasted like a chocolate covered raisin. I like it, but I still like the orange one a lot more. Hmmm…. They are so delicious. I think I am going to get and eat one now.

Club Orange Biscuit

Club Black Currant Biscuit

Want to get these biscuits? Read

Snack: Trader Joe’s S’mashing S’mores

Trader Joe’s S’mashing S’more

Last week, Bryan and I took my Hong Kong friend to Trader Joe’s. My friend, Tony wanted to bring some food snacks for his friends back in Hong Kong. While we were looking for some cool snacks, Bryan saw this box of S’mashing S’mores. Unlike traditional s’more, this snack is in a cube shape. It is a chocolate covered marshmallow with graham cracker. Oh my…. They taste almost like the good old s’more without the smokey flavor. But if you want, you can pop them in the microwave for a few seconds, then you have a half-melting s’more. These little s’mores are so much easier to eat, which are the perfect snacks! They are so delicious!

Bryan and I finished our box of S’mashing S’more within 4 days. I know that we can finish even faster. We were trying to save the best for a bit longer. No surprise! We went back to Trader Joe’s after one week and got another box. I would love to get more, but that was the only box left on the shelf. That would tell you how good they are. Get some before they are gone!

Where to get S’mashing S’more? Read