Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup


Every once in a while, I get an odd sense of loneliness, not because I don’t have any friends, but because of a disconnection from my upbringing that I’m usually ok with it. You see, its not that I hate the heritage or my past, but the associated humid and sticky summers in Taiwan and awful elementary school system that comes along with it.


I found myself craving this dish, frequently made by my grandmother. This was triggered when I found out that my grandmother had gone on a month long trip to Taiwan. With a strong desire to procrastinate from any midterm-associated studying, I set out to 99 ranch to embark on an seemingly impossible journey to a rich beefy broth.


Taiwanese beef noodle soup is perhaps what I’d call the asian chicken noodle soup. I was always fed the soup as a special treat when I was young, with the special instructions to “finish the broth since it’s been stewed for hours”. It’s made hundreds of different ways with different spices and seasonings but the familiar scent of star anise and Chinese 5 space is prominent in every bowl served.


Surprisingly, it really wasn’t that difficult. The soup starts with the meat in a quick boil to remove any impurities. The fresh seasonings such as chills, garlic, and ginger are quickly fried to enhance aromas before the blanched beef, soy sauce and lots of water join the mix. From this point forward, the soup is stewed for hours until the tendon is thoroughly cooked, anywhere from 2 hours to 5 hours.


If you’ve never had beef noodle soup before but feeling adventurous I’d definitely suggest jumping into it whole. Especially the tendons. This recipe, however, can be easily manipulated to remove the tendon and utilize beef only. I personally love reheating the soup with tendon as the gelatin makes the soup firm up into a jello like form. This dish reheats really well. Whenever I want some the next day, I ladle in the cooled jello-like stock, chunks of meat and reheat until melted. I add any vegetables I have on hand to wilt in the pot while heating up some noodles on the side and in less than 15 minutes I have a delicious meal ready to eat. I also find that the flavors meld overnight in the refrigerator to create a fuller flavor as well.


Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup


  • 4 pounds of a combination of boneless beef shank or chuck and beef tendon, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used 2 of each)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or peanut oil
  • 8 large slices fresh ginger root
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 small red chilies, such as Thai chilies, roughly chopped
  • 1 large plum tomato, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tsp 5 spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan chili bean sauce (doubanjiang)
  • 1 cup Chinese rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 8 whole star anise cloves
  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  •  4 quarts water
  • 2 pounds Asian wheat flour noodles (any width you like)
  • Fresh spinach leaves, baby bok choy, broccolini, or other small greens, as desired


  1. Place the beef in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring the pot to a roaring boil and cook for a minute. Strain the meat into a separate bowl. Discard broth and impurities.
  2. Add the oil to the same pan and heat until shimmering. Add the sliced ginger, garlic cloves, shallot, and chilies. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped tomato and stir for another minute. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved, about 30 seconds. Add the chili bean sauce, and stir until the mixture just begins to bubble.
  3. Return the beef to the pot. Stir to warm up and coat the meat with the spices. Add the rice wine and cook for 1 minute, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot. Add the Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, and the water. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until beef is tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
  4. Using tongs, carefully remove the beef cubes from the stew and set aside in a bowl. Carefully strain the soup over a colander or mesh strainer to catch the ginger, peppercorns, and other stray solids. Retain any solids or small beef pieces from the strained mixture that you may want to keep, and return to the soup. Return the beef to the soup and add greens to wilt if desired.
  5. Cook the noodles according to the directions on their package. Strain noodles, and divide into serving bowls. Ladle the warm soup and beef chunks into each bowl and serve immediately.


Royal Frosting

Day 2 of the Holiday Sugar Cookie Series


Believe it or not, royal frosting is the same frosting thats used to glue gingerbread houses together and decorate flood frosting cookies. For those of you unfamiliar with what flood frosting cookies are, flood frosting is the technique used to create smooth and matte finishes like the Starbucks holiday cookies.

For those of you who’ve decorated royal frosting, you also know that its a stiff mess, that dries in about 30 seconds. The trick is to work backwards from frosting to icing. This approach is great because you can make a stiff frosting thats excellent for gingerbread houses but can also be thinned to flood sugar cookies.


There are countless royal frosting recipes that could work. I chose to work with meringue powder instead of real egg whites because I expected my cookies to sit in room temperature for a few days and I wanted to be sure no one got sick.


Since you will be working with egg whites (in a powdered, meringue form),  make sure that all of your equipment is clean and oil free or frosting might not come together otherwise. Keep this in mind when you choose a flavoring or extract to work with because you’ll be adding it to your frosting.  I worked with Wilton’s clear vanilla flavoring to prevent any discoloration.


After all the ingredients are gathered, all you need to do is combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the wet ingredients in a separate cup, and then join the two together. At this point the frosting is thin, very thing. A few minutes on medium high, the frosting becomes stiff, fluffy and ready to be used on whatever you may desire. This year I decorated some gingerbread houses with my friends Megan and Katie!


I’ll be sharing techniques on thinning the frosting out tomorrow. If you end up making this frosting today, the frosting lasts up to a month after its made.  Just store it in your fridge with a wet towel over the bowl to prevent it from drying and a quick whisk with the whisk attachment will freshen it right up.


Frosting tip: A good thing to keep by hand when working with royal frosting is a water spray bottle. I like to gently mist the surface of the frosting to prevent it from drying out, especially when I plan on thinning it out later anyways.


Royal Frosting

Originally From: Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle


  • 2 pounds of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/3 cup meringue powder
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp oil-free extract or flavoring


  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the confectioner’s sugar, meringue powder by hand using the whisk attachment.
  2. Combine the flavoring with the warm water and add slowly to the dry ingredients while mixing very slowly (stir or 2).
  3. When the water is completely added in, increase the speed of your stand mixer to medium high (6 or 8 on a Kitchen aid) and mix until fluffy. Stop as soon as it reaches stiff peaks as over mixing will cause your frosting to break down.

Cut-out Sugar cookies

Day 1 of the Holiday Sugar Cookie Series


Every year for christmas, my friends and I get together for a secret santa. Every year, I want to decorate sugar cookies for the first time, but I never really knew how. It all came together when I became the host of the exchange last year. It didn’t help that Ree over at the Pioneer Woman hosted this amazing looking cookie decorating session. I was sold.


It took some research and some more research. Crafty ideas don’t come very naturally to me and decorating cookies definitely errs on the side of the artistic side of cooking but Ree’s pictures had me sold. These cookies were decorated with a flood frosting. I referenced Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle a lot throughout my decorating process and she has some amazing cookies so I definitely recommend checking her site out.



I’m starting this series with a sugar cookie, followed by a royal frosting then ending with some tips and techniques that I picked up throughout this process. I did, however want to get you started on the right foot — according to Sugarbelle, flood frosting sugar cookies work the best when you make the cookies a day ahead. This gives them a chance to dry out just a tad bit and let the oils reabsorb into the cookies. Go ahead and make these cookies tonight or tomorrow, then you’ll get a chance to make the frosting and follow along my posts throughout the next few days!


These sugar cookies don’t deviate too far away from your regular sugar cookie recipe. They involve creaming together butter and confectioner’s sugar, adding an egg and a flavoring, then finishing off with flour, salt, and baking powder. I personally love the flavor of vanilla so thats what I went with but the original author proposed almond extract. One nifty trick is the use of confectioner’s sugar for dusting a work surface instead of flour, which really preventing my cookies from becoming over worked.


Cut-out Sugar Cookies

Originally from: Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle


  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 tsp flavoring (I used vanilla)
  • 2 1/2-2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ts. salt


  1. Cream together softened butter and confectioner’s sugar. Add the egg and flavoring. Mix until well combined
  2. Add 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt to the mixture. If the dough is no longer sticky and can come together as a ball then it is ready. If it is still too sticky, add another 1/4 cup of flour.
  3. Roll out on parchment to about 1/4 an inch thick, use confectioner’s sugar for dusting as necessary. Then, cut and bake at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes.


Macaron Framboise (Raspberry)


It’s been a while since I’ve really gotten a chance to cook anything for myself, let alone photograph and prepare a post for all of you. I personally wanted to say a special thank you to everyone who’s been following along throughout the past couple of months–seeing the statistics on my dashboard really became one of the highlights of this hectic quarter.


As I’m working my way through senior year, a few things have changed in the past couple of months. First off, I’m finally affiliated (sort of)! I’m currently pledging to become a member of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and my friends have definitely joined the bandwagon of excitement. Thanks JenaLyn for the awesome Secret Santa gift… this was definitely (and very carefully) used in the making of these macarons 🙂


In addition, I’m starting my grad school search for a student affairs program. Even though  I managed to finish all of my finals this quarter on Monday of finals week, it really wasn’t much of a break time for me, but more so a time to work on letter of recommendations. But of course, kitchen duty called and I took it upon myself to feed everyone around me.


I think one of the biggest inspiration for these macarons was my newest addition to the lens family, a 24-70mm f/2.8. I knew I wanted to highlight a pretty color– something that was fun. Raspberry jumped at me. I was lucky to have two excellent l helpers,  Katie and Megan, help out with my baking the past week. Unfortunately Katie had a final the next day this was being made, she definitely got to reap the benefits of my baking spree though.


What really makes the raspberry flavor jump out at you is the fresh raspberry jam that is really irreplaceable to this recipe. Although you could probably substitute the filling with a store bought jam, I’d encourage using a fresh batch. It was definitely an experience for me and to quote Megan: “it really wasn’t that hard!!”


Raspberries are first macerated with a masher over medium heat. Sugar, first whisked with pectin, then joins the mix with some lemon juice. Everything bubbles away for two minutes before its allowed to cool in a bowl covered with saran wrap pressed against the surface. Doing this, prevents a film from forming on top, yuck.


Everything else is relatively standard to the Pierre Herme Macaron recipe. Feel free to reference the pistachio flavor if you’d like! I’ve had some success substitute the raspberries with other fruits such as cherries, blueberries, and mangos. Can’t wait to share some other winter-y treats with you in the next few weeks. I have a sugar cookie decorating series I can’t wait to show you!


Macaron Framboise

Raspberry Jam originally on: Not so Humble Pie



  • 225g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp powdered pectin
  • 375g (3 cups) french raspberries
  • 1/2 lemon

Macaron shells

  • 300g ground almonds (ground to a powder)
  • 300g powdered sugar
  • 110g aged egg whites
  • 4.5g pink, fuchsia, orr rose  food coloring
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 75g mineral water
  • 110g aged egg whites


  1. Start by making the jam. In a medium sauce pan, macerate raspberries with a potato mashers. Alternatively, process in a food processor or blend in a blender and then heat up over medium heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar and pectin and then add it to the raspberries. Squeeze in some lemon juice for some tang and then allow to boil for two minutes. Strain the seeds out if desire, and then allow to cool in a bowl with plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the bowl until cooled
  2. Process powdered sugar and ground almonds in a stand mixer and sift into a large bowl. Combine the other 110 g of egg whites with the food coloring and add to the sifted almond flour and powdered sugar.
  3. In a sauce pan, combine water and sugar and bring it to a boil. In a stand mixer, start beating your egg whites on low speed. When your syrup reaches 115 C, turn the mixer to medium (6 on a kitchen aid) and whisk. When your syrup reaches 118 C, remove from heat immediately, increase the speed to medium high (or 8) and pour the syrup down the side of your mixing bowl bowl. Keep whisking until your mixing bowl is warm to touch (50 C).
  4. Pour the merengue over the mixture from step 2. Fold gently.
  5. Pipe circles of macaron batter out on parchment paper 3/4 of an inch apart. Rap baking sheets against counter, rotate by 90 degrees and wrap again.
  6. Preheat your oven to 325 C and let the macarons rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, opening the oven door quickly twice throughout. At the end of the 15 minutes, remove from oven and check for doneness. If the macaron needs more time, bake for another 2 minutes and remove.
  7. Cool on wired rack and fill when completely cooled.



Almond Butter and Jelly Muffins


I’m finally on Pinterest! I finally decided on a new way of organizing my recipes and ideas for recipes. I though it would be the most appropriate to do this on Pinterest so all of you can join along!


To celebrate this new beginning, I decided to share a recipe I discovered yesterday evening. It was around 9 PM and I had to stop myself from going to the kitchen when I stumbled upon this. It doesn’t help that I live with hungry college students. Or that I’m a hungry college student.


Most of you probably have everything you need to make this. I give you permission to go check. Go now. I’ll be here. You need almond butter, brown sugar, eggs, milk, oil, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, and jam. Back? Ok, lets move on.


Making this is even easier. You combine everything in a large bowl, sandwich some jam between batter in a muffin tin, bake it for 20 minutes and be prepared to serve a delicious breakfast the next morning (if they even last that long). The original recipe used peanut butter which probably makes a little more sense for most people but I love my almond butter. Feel free to experiment with your own combinations because this recipe is pretty flexible!


A few weekends ago, my friends and I went strawberry picking at a local U-Pick strawberry farm. Since they were relatively post-season, I decided to make my own strawberry jam. They ended up perfect in these muffins.


Almond Butter and Jelly Muffins

Adapted from two peas & their pod, seen on Food Librarian


  • 1 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup of your favorite jam


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together almond butter, brown sugar, canola oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Add in flour, and baking powder and whisk gently until just combined.
  3. In a greased (or lined) muffin tin, add 2 Tbsp of batter. Add a heaping teaspoon of jam. Cover with another 2 Tbsp of muffin batter or until approximately 3/4 filled.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until just set and the muffin bounces back lightly when you touch the top._MG_1366

Chicken Parmesan


A lot of people have a recipe they keep up their sleeves. Its typically a casserole or a meatloaf… something they can just throw together quickly on a weeknight without thinking. I never really knew I had one until I decided to make a chicken parmesan. To be fair, I didn’t really decide that I wanted to make chicken parmesan. In fact the conversation with my best friend went something along the lines of this.

Me: “I really want eggplant parmesan. Too bad theres no eggplant…”

Jerry: “Don’t you have chicken…”

Me: “Thats not eggplant”

Jerry: “Its chicken… I love chicken”


And thus chicken parmesan was on the menu for dinner. In his defense, I didn’t really care what we ate for dinner. The whole concept of chicken parmesan just didn’t cross my mind, I just wanted something that I could throw together. That was what I received.


Chicken breasts are briefly tenderized with a cast iron skillet (or anything heavy really), that I later used to cook them in. They are then dredged in flour, eggs, and seasoned bread crumbs, After being briefly crusted in a pan, pasta sauce and cheese join the crowd and the whole pan is sent in a preheated oven to simmer into deliciousness.


If the cast iron skillet you’re working with isn’t thoroughly seasoned I highly recommend using a foil lined pan, an enamel dish or something that isn’t cast iron by itself. Chances are, iron could leech into the acidic tomato sauce and bad things could happen. I was lucky that the pan I was using has withheld some pretty serious beating–I was just too lazy to transfer the chicken to another dish.


Chicken Parmesan


  • 4 Chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 can, your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella
  • Parmesan Cheese


  1. preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Wrap chicken breasts gently in plastic wrap and beat the chicken until flattened, about 1/2 to 1/4 of an inch thick.
  3. Line three plates up. In the first plate, add flour with a dash of salt and pepper. On the second plate, add the beaten egg. On the third plate, add the bread crumbs, garlic powder, paprika, and oregano. Mix the spices to combine.
  4. Dredge the flattened chicken by coating it in flour, dipping it in the beaten egg, and then coating with the seasoned bread crumbs.
  5. In a large skillet, heat up 1 Tbsp of oil (I used olive oil) over medium high heat. Fry the dredged chicken for a few minutes until golden brown. Flip and repeat.
  6. If you’re making this in a cast iron or enamel skillet, add the pasta sauce to the pan. If you are doing this in a separate baking dish, transfer the chicken to the baking dish and cover with the pasta sauce. Cover with the shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle parmesan over, lightly covering the mozzarella.
  7. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers the chicken to have reached 165F. Serve with a side of pasta and a extra sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan.


Magical Peach Cobbler

_MG_1317 copy_MG_1315

I’m not going to lie, I’m not the biggest fan of ambiguity. I like knowing things and I like details. This is true for use of broad words like “cobbler”, as well as uncertainty in recipes that are supposed to just work. I’m all about the nerdy science behind things – graphs, data and logic.


When I first came home with a box full of ripe and fragrant peaches, I knew I had to make a cobbler. Although the cobbler is inspired by the British, I resisted my urge to follow a food’s origin as I have with the macaron, and dug into the archives for a Southern recipe. I’ve had a peach cobbler recipe filed away for a while now, a recipe from Paula Deen.


I was a little intimidated by the process since I usually research my recipes. I look around to find my favorite aspects of each recipe and combine things into a consolidated recipe. This wasn’t the case with this cobbler. Some versions I came across relied on the use of pie crusts and puff pastries while other versions used cake mixes or biscuits. It was hard to find a recipe that was consistent on some level (other than the use of peaches). A uncomfortable feeling, part of me was too scared to experiment with something I wasn’t familiar with. Another part of me knew I had to keep true to Paula.


Then, I questioned my decision. The recipe starts with cooking peaches down in some sugar. Butters is then melted in a pan in the oven. The “biscuit” batter is then poured over the melted butter. The assembly is completed with the peaches are gently placed on top and the syrup gently drizzled. No part of this made sense. This order is the exact opposite of the supposed finished product. The end result was a tender, cakey, biscuit covering warm, delicious peach slices. Somehow, a 35 minute trip in the oven, a dash of cinnamon, and a whole lot of will power from eating all the peaches (guilty!) created a delicious final product that magically reverses the layers I made and killed any doubt I had for the Queen of Southern Cuisine.


For those of you who are stumbling onto this via a link, you can find out how to peel peaches from my post yesterday. To slice the peaches, hold it in your hand and run the knife down until you hit the pit. Move over to the right and run the knife down again until you hit the pit, this time pulling the knife in the direction of the cut you made earlier and pulling out with a gently flick so the fruit comes up with the knife. Repeat this for your peaches and again, resist the temptation to eat all the peaches. 12

I was able to put a few twists of my own on this recipe. Instead of letting the butter just melt, I let the butter brown slightly to add a nutty aroma. Instead of self-rising flour, I used regular flour, added baking powder and salt to make my own self-rising flour. Its important to note that the pan must be baked on a cookie sheet to prevent anything from burning. I also made sure to spoon in my peaches very gently before pouring the syrup on the pan even more gently to prevent any mixing between the batter and the syrup. Give this recipe a try. I had to try to preserve 2 extra servings before 5 people devoured the entire recipe!


Magical Peach Cobbler

Adapted from Paula Deen


  • 4 cups peeled, sliced peaches (I used about 5)
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Ground cinnamon, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF.
  2. Combine peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan. Mix gently and bring to a boil. Simmer peaches for 10 minutes and remove from heat.
  3. Melt butter in a 3-quart baking dish, or a 13 by 9 pan ad place in oven to melt until golden brown.
  4. Mixing remaining cup of sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and milk gently to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter and do not stir. Spoon fruit evenly over batter and gently pour syrup over. Sprinkle the top with ground cinnamon, if desired. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  5. Let cook for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or by it self!

Gluten Free Green Tea Mochi Cupcakes

_MG_2034It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to write something… four months to be exact. Four months of time before I’ve really had a chance to write something for myself, to do something for myself. School has been crazy this past quarter. I have finals in a few days, but of course I decide to do better things with my time like prepare for St Patricks Day.


Spring is one of the 4 seasons that I have mixed feelings about. It signals the end of my favorite winter. The obnoxious amounts of Fall spices, warm stews, and peppermint. It does, however, let me make these cutesy powdery colored foods. Yes I used the word cutesy. Yes that is a word.

I’m usually not shy with my food coloring. But I decided to let the green tea shine in this recipe. Before you moan and cringe at the use of green tea powder, stay and hear me out before you move on… Green tea powder isn’t cheap. Well, technically matcha powered (what green tea powder traditionally refers to) isn’t cheap. When you’re working with baked goods, the high quality matcha power isn’t necessary. Refined flavors of the high quality matcha can be lost in the almond or other flavors of baked goods. In addition, the antioxidants and other valuable nutritions are a lot higher in the green tea powder instead of in the Matcha powder. I found mine online if you wanted a reference.


I’m not going to lie. I was originally going to hash out a green tea macaron recipe.  Then, I stumbled upon these babies in the middle of the night, when I feel the most whimsical. I also needed an excuse to use the glutinous rice powder and red beans I had in the pantry and green tea powder I just bought for macarons. The original recipe didn’t have any red beans, but I wanted to spice things up a little.


If you’re wondering where to get glutinous rice powder, you can get the more popular Mochiko powder. I used the plastic pouches that you can find in most Asian super markets where the grains are. They were conveniently located in the same isle as red beans where I shop!


The cupcakes are easy to make. You combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, combine the wet ingredients and whisk to combine. The entire process, including pictures, took me about 20 minutes. Don’t fret if your dry ingredients look a bit white, it darkens up when the wet ingredients are added in.

I made the red bean paste because I needed an excuse to make red bean paste. I ate about a fourth of what I made, and use the rest in these cupcakes. I used a tooth pick to help push down the little red bean paste disks I made with my hands, the paste doesn’t stick at all. That recipe, however, will have to be saved for another day!


Gluten Free Green Tea Mochi Cupcakes

Originally from Humble Bean


  • 1 lb. glutinous rice powder
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. green tea powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • Red bean paste (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the rice powder, sugar, baking powder, and green tea powder.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, milk and oil. Add to large bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. Fill cupcake liners to about 1/2 to 2/3 full. If using red bean paste, make 1 tsp disks and place into individual cupcakes, using a toothpick to help push it down so the batter covers the red bean.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until set and slightly browned on top. Cool and serve.


Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Blondies

Most of you expected macarons when I posted that salted caramel macarons. SURPRISE! I actually didn’t use the salted caramel for the macarons. Not right away at least.

Some of you might remember my peanut butter blondies, this is kind of similar to that. For those of you wondering: blondies are brownies, just without the chocolate. Now before you go on freaking out about why I haven’t posted a single brownie recipe, just wait. It’s coming.

When I first started making the recipe I was curious to see how they manipulated the chocolate chip cookie recipe, in comparison to my quick chocolate chip cookies. As I started adding the sugar, and the eggs, and the egg yolks, I realized that the recipe was exactly the same as mine. With the addition of two tablespoons of flour.

So I proceeded, expecting my chewy chocolate chip cookies. Little did I know, the addition of the salted caramel sauce made things very interesting. The multidimensional flavors of the caramel contributes to the sweet flavors of the chocolate chip cookie dough. The salt finishes the picture. I added another small pinch of salt. Yes, I’m hooked to salty sweet flavors now.

When I made the recipe, I doubled everything and baked it in an 13 by 9 baking pan. I was kind of afraid that the cookies wouldn’t cook all the way through. They didn’t. That didn’t compromise the blondies though! The blondies, like my chocolate chip cookies need some time to set when they first come out of the oven. If you like your cookies cooked all te way through, I’d recommend not doubling the recipe and baking it in a 8 by 8 square pan.

Each person I served ended up with 1.5 inch squares. Coming from someone who’s eaten a quart of ice cream in one sitting: these blondies are extremely rich. I love them. But eating too much is bad–don’t do it. Maybe just two squares… or three if you’re having a bad day. And if you are having a bad day, serve this warm with a spoon, and a giant bowl of ice cream. I even left some space on my plate… waiting for its creamy smooth companion.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars

Recipe adapted from Pink Parsley


  • 2/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Recipe of Salted Caramel Sauce
  • fleur de sel, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray with Pam for Baking, or spray with pam and dust with flour.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until thoroughly combined. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until just combined. Add in the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until the mixture is just under-combined, then stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Spread half of the dough out in the bottom of the baking pan. Spread the caramel sauce over the cookie dough and drop the remaining dough in clumps over the caramel – the dough will bake together, so don’t worry if the dough doesn’t cover the entire pan.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the bars when tested for doneness. They may seem a little raw, they’ll continue to cook as they cool down. As soon as the bars come out of the oven, sprinkle the top with fleur de sel. Allow the pan to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before carefully removing the bars in the foil from the pan. Allow the bars to cool completely before slicing.

Photo Guide: Salted Caramel Sauce, Version I

I usually hate contrasting flavors. I mean seriously. Just why would you do that. I don’t mind it when basil and oregano are used to compliment tomato sauce and when horseradish is used to compliment roast beef but I can’t handle strong contrasting flavors

But of course my friends would decide to bring me salted caramel cupcakes from Sprinkles half way through freshman year. I didn’t like the sound of it. Salted. Caramel. But I didn’t want to seem weird, the girls were all raving about the thing, I couldn’t turn it down. Eager to fit in, I took a bite and I’ve been in love ever since.

Ok so maybe I didn’t fall in love with it; this isn’t a Romance Comedy with a twisted plot. But, I did have a better appreciation for sweet and salty things. I’ve been experimenting with salted coffee, salted chocolate and other salted sweets. I’m taking baby steps.

I call this a version 1 recipe because there are so many different ways of making caramel sauce, each with different results. It originated when I tried making salted caramel popcorn macarons from Annie’s Eats. The macarons didn’t necessarily end well – that was my fault. In the near future I’ll be testing other caramel sauces, I’ll report my results back soon, maybe in a cupcake?

You want to stop burning the sugar when it reaches the top right, not the bottom right.

Usually when you make candy, you need a thermometer to check the temperature. I’ve been able to reproduce consistent results without the use of a thermometer. I even messed up the recipe purposely by burning the sugar pass golden. Nothing bad happens, I ended up with a bowl of delicious caramel candy. It was a nice treat while I was baking.

don’t let it get this dark….

I personally recommend doubling this recipe if you’re making it – I have a few recipes that utilize this caramel sauce coming your way soon!

Salted Caramel Sauce I

Recipe from Annie’s Eats


  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 6 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt


  1. Combine the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium-high heat without stirring until the sugar begins to melt and turn golden at the edges.  Continue cooking, swirling the pan to cover evenly, until the sugar turns golden amber.
  2. Standing back, carefully pour the cream down the side of the pan in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly until combined.  If there are pieces of sugar, cook on low heat until smooth. Stir in the sea salt.  Transfer the caramel to a bowl and let cool.  It will thicken as it cools.