Archive for the ‘sweets’ Category

Vietnamese Yogurt

December 14, 2016 Leave a comment
Vietnamese yogurt!

yogurt before incubation

My mom used to make her own yogurt when I was a kid. A few years ago, I got sentimental and my cousin gave me a yogurt maker to try to recreate the experience. It took 4 attempts and 3 different recipes over the course of 3 years, but I finally figured out how to make Vietnamese yogurt in a yogurt machine!

This recipe yields the perfect amount (7 individual six-ounce glass jars) for my Euro cuisine yogurt maker and only uses a few ingredients resulting in the perfect Vietnamese yogurt that I don’t have to trek to The Tenderloin for. For this finally perfect batch, I used Longevity brand sweetened condensed milk, Strauss organic plain whole fat yogurt and 1% milk. I just bought Trader Joe’s brand organic sweetened condensed milk and will see if that makes any difference. And no, I haven’t figured out the yogurt function on the Instant Pot.

Vietnamese yogurt!

Vietnamese Yogurt (from

  • 1 can (14oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1.5 cup very hot water
  • 1.25 cup milk
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  1. In medium bowl, mix together can of sweetened condensed milk with very hot water.
  2. In a larger bowl, whisk milk and yogurt together until smooth.
  3. Pour condensed milk mixture into yogurt mixture and mix well.
  4. Pour into individual containers and incubate for 8 hours.

If you want more detailed instructions for making it on the stovetop without a yogurt maker, visit

Categories: Asian, food, snacks, sweets

Butter Mochi

August 26, 2016 Leave a comment

Mochi butter cake

Late last year (this is how behind I am on posting), I had dinner with a friend at Liholiho Yacht Club. One of the desserts we shared was Butter Mochi, a sticky, chewy, not too sweet coconutty dessert that reminded me of a better version of banh bo, a Vietnamese dessert.

Read more…

Categories: food, sweets

Lactation Cookies

December 2, 2014 Leave a comment

Lactation cookies Several friends have had babies in recent weeks and as part of a care package, I baked lactation cookies, which are supposed to help milk production. Do they really help? I don’t know, but the cookies taste good and include some of the same ingredients in beer, which I’m also told encourages milk production. They’re basically oatmeal chip cookies with brewer’s yeast and flax seed meal. Husbands and toddlers like them too.

Most of the recipes found online are very similar. All of the odd ingredients (brewer’s yeast, flax seed meal) I was able to find at my local Whole Foods in the supplements aisle. The recipe makes A LOT of cookies (~70 with the Tablespoon cookie scoop) so I baked half and froze the other half so the new mama could bake the cookies on demand when she had a sugar hankering. My friends requested butterscotch chips but you can use anything, really. The recipe I based my version on also includes dried fruit, which I don’t really like in my cookies, so I skipped that, but its a really adaptable recipe. Per usual, I reduced the sugar. I’ve found that the more my butter is melted/softened, the crispier my cookie. The less it is melted, the more cake-like in texture. I like it somewhere in between. p.s. We’ve been going through a disgusting amount of butter around here lately! Read more…

Categories: sweets

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

October 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Banana Chocolate Scones

The bananas and chocolate kick continues. A few weeks ago, a friend tipped me off to the banana chocolate croissants at b. patisserie. The weekend morning line was much, much shorter than that of Tartine and I really dug the banana chocolate croissants. I also had their banana chocolate scones which were amazingly moist and delicious. I had an appointment nearby last week and swung by to pick up another scone but they were out by the time I got there…how sad! My remedy? Make my own.

The recipe is super simple…the hardest part was waiting for my bananas to ripen and dealing with a somewhat crumbly dough (scone dough is supposed to be like that–its just a new texture for me to bake with). I tested a batch of frozen scones this morning (shaped, cut and frozen on a tray so that they don’t stick together before being thrown together into a ziploc) and those worked out great as well! I just baked those at the same temperature for an extra 2 minutes. My 3.5-year-old niece also loved these scones…but wanted to add raisins. No way, kid. This is a strongly anti-raisin family!  Read more…

Apple Pie Bars

April 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Apple Pie Bars

This recipe was a pain in the ass and I probably won’t be making it again anytime soon. Some of it was my fault: I halved the recipe (the original makes 4 dozen bars and would require me to peel 12 apples) and halfway through making the crust, I forgot and put in twice the amount of flour required. I baked it in an 8×8 but it probably would have worked out better in a 9×11–I only used 5 apples instead of 6 and everything just barely fit in the 8×8. And also because of the smaller pan, the crumble topping ended up being too thick for my liking and reminded me more of a granola bar.

I don’t own an apple peeler/corer so I did it all by hand which took a lot longer than I would have preferred. When I make blueberry and peach crumble bars, I generally use fruits that don’t require as much peeling. The crust looked nothing like I’ve ever made before though it ended up working out okay. In the future, I’ll probably just make the crumble bars and if I want to adapt to apple, that’s fairly easy.

That said, I brought this to my family’s Easter celebration and it was all gone before lunch even started! I’m sure this is also an okay recipe to make pie bars out of other fruits as well…I’ll let ya know what happens when peach season comes around! Read more…

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Triple Berry Jam w/Ginger

October 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Triple Berry Jam

Several weeks ago, I bought three baskets of mixed berries for dessert. However, my friend just opened a new storefront for her wedding cake business, Pretty Please Bakeshop, so I stopped in and picked up an assortment of cupcakes, twinks and cookies for dessert instead. Since I’d be traveling for the entire week, I didn’t want the berries to go bad so I made jam!

I’d seen my mom make jam as a kid but I’d never made any myself. It took some time to find a recipe that didn’t require pectin, but a little Googling found a recipe to start from. I was worried about my jam being too sweet, so was very happy to find a recipe that didn’t include any white sugar. Read more…

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Stone Fruit Crumb Bars

August 5, 2012 3 comments

Peach crumb bar

It’s peach season!!! I wanted to bring dessert to a family gathering but know that the elders don’t eat overly sweet things (neither do I). I love this recipe because it is so quick and easy, only requires pantry ingredients, and is a good way to get rid of fruit that is on its last legs. I’ve made this with blueberries before and made one with strawberries, blueberries and peaches the following week. My 81-year-old aunt took home some bars to have with her morning coffee. Win! Read more…

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