I remember when I was a little kid, my mom used to make us the most delicious Korean pancakes (hoddeok). I’ve never actually been to Korea myself, but my mom said that she used to always eat hoddeok after school on a chilly day. I can imagine how delicious that would have been, eating the piping hot pancakes with the sweet, nutty filling inside. Hoddeok tastes almost like a sticky bun because it’s filled with cinnamon, brown sugar, and pine nuts. It’s a Korean favorite for the fall and winter season and delightfully sweet for any day.
One of my favorite Korean side dishes is the sweet black beans. Each bite has bursts of sweet and salty flavor. They can be eaten as a tasty snack or a side dish.
I’m not too keen on carrots, but I do love carrot cake. I decided to adapt a recipe called “Carrot Cake III” from allrecipes.com and turn them into cupcakes. Since my family members don’t enjoy overly sweetened cakes, I used 1/4 cup less sugar than asked for and it still came out pretty sweet.
I also frosted the cupcakes with a delicious “Cinnamon Coffee Frosting” from allrecipes.com. The cinnamon in the frosting really brings out the delicious fall spices within the cupcakes while the coffee deepens the aroma and overall flavor. Just for fun, I decorated them with homemade gingerbread men, shredded coconuts and toffee brittle.
yield: about 18 small cupcakes
1/2 cup and 2 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1-1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Set up cupcake pan.
2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in grated carrots. Pour into each cupcake mold.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let cool entirely before frosting.
Cinnamon Coffee Frosting:
1 tsp ground coffee
2 tbsp hot milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1. Stir the ground coffee into the hot milk and set aside.
2. Beat the butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Blend in cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract.
3. Remove ground coffee from the milk by straining.
4. Alternately beat in the confectioner’s sugar and the milk into the butter mixture.
Halloween is coming in about three weeks. I can hardly wait since it’s one of my favorite events of the year. I love the chilly weather, pumpkin flavored treats, and all the delicious candy. Of course dressing up in something spooky and running around the neighborhood was something I used to do, but now I prefer to let the neighborhood kiddies have all that fun for me.
One way I make up for not trick-or-treating is to bake some spooky treats. Today I found a recipe on allrecipes.com called “Eileen’s Spicy Gingerbread Men” and I decided to turn them into skeleton gingerbread men. Ginger cookies and skeletons are perfect for the month of October afterall.
Skeleton Gingerbread Men:
yield: 30 cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, and egg yolk. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg; blend into the wet mixture until smooth. Cover and chill for at least one hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 340 degrees F (175 degrees). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2 inches apart on parchment paper.
3. Bake for 8-10 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Decorate with royal icing.
1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 egg white, beaten
1. In a bowl, sift together confectioner’s sugar and cream of tartar. Using electric mixer, beat in the egg white for about 5 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to hold its shape.
2. Quickly dollop the icing into piping bag. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can put it in a zip-loc bag and cut a tiny opening off the edge.
I decided to make another notebook with different a color, pink. And since I love food, I put some utensils as the front cover. The notebook can be used for anything like grocery shopping, memos, sketching, and all other types of doodling. It’s made from textured cardstock and the dimensions are about 11 x 16.5 cm.
Fall flavors are overwhelming with spices, ginger, and pumpkin. We didn’t have any pumpkins or pumpkin puree so I decided to make ginger spiced cookies instead. The recipe is adapted from “Big Soft Ginger Cookies” on allrecipes.com. They smell so fragrant and they’re quite yummy indeed.