Strawberry Sugar Cookie Sandwich

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting Filled Sugar Cookies by oh my omiyage

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting Filled Sugar Cookies by oh my omiyage

I had some extra frosting left over from my strawberry cream cheese cupcakes, and before I used a spoon to scoop it into my mouth, I baked up a batch of sugar cookies to make these yummy frosting-filled sandwiches.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting Filled Sugar Cookies by oh my omiyageSugar cookies have always been my favorite.  They used to give out free sugar cookies at the bakery of the supermarket.  While the other kids would skulk at them, wishing they were chocolate or something fancier, I always felt like I struck gold.  I love the pure taste of sugar and vanilla, chewy while it melts in your mouth.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting Filled Sugar Cookies by oh my omiyageHow do you use your leftover icing?

Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwiches 
Makes 2 dozen

Sugar Cookie Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter, cut into 2cm pieces, room temperature
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2tsp vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients:
450 grams cream cheese, room temperature
100 grams butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped strawberries

1. Make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside.

2. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until incorporated. Add in the flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing until just incorporated each time.

3. Roll dough into equally-sized balls about 2.5cm in diameter and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper spaced 10cm apart or more. Bake for 8 minutes, or just before the cookies turn golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

4. Make the frosting: In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla extract and mix for 5 seconds. Slowly add confectioners sugar and mix thoroughly. Add strawberries and mix until incorporated. (Don’t worry if the frosting slightly curdles after adding the strawberries. Keep mixing until the frosting goes back to a fluffy texture.)

5. Assemble: Put frosting into a pastry bag with a extra large tip. Pipe frosting generously onto the back of one cookie and place another cookie on top. Repeat for the remaining cookies.

Recipes adapted from All Recipes’ Cream Cheese Frosting II and Easy Sugar Cookies

International Foodie Pen Pal: Reveal #2

I made a little communication error with the foodie pen pal program so Adeline over at Intrigued With and I did a simple exchange just for kicks.  Her blog is filled with great photos of Singapore, her travels, and yummy, yummy food so stop by to say hi.  Speaking of yummy food, check out this great Singaporean spread she sent me:

Foodie Pen Pal International Reveal Singapore from intriguedwith.blogspot.comMy box from Adeline was compact but packed to the rim!  My husband and I have already had a many snacks and a few dinners thanks to this box, and I even used her ingredients for a very successful dinner party.  How great is that!  Here’s the contents:

  • Moon Cake: The first in the box to disappear.  My hubby couldn’t put it down! It was so fresh. *drooling*
  • Peanut Punch: This is one of my favs – kind of like an Asian peanut brittle that’s soft and crunchy at the same time and made of many delicate layers!
  • Wu Xiang Gao: I don’t know how to explain this one.. some help, Adeline? :)
  • Piggie Cake: The most adorable dessert I’ve eaten!
  • Bah Kut Tea Spices: This made the most amazing braised short ribs – enough for a party of 6!
  • Hainan Chicken Rice: Nothing reminds me of Singapore more than this! It was a huge hit and made for yummy leftovers the next day too.
  • Padang Rendang Paste: Yet to try – I’m savoring them best I can.  I’ll be sad when they’re all finished!
  • Sambal Chilli: Also yet to try
  • Kai Yang Marinade: this is dinner tonight!

Awesome, right?  Here are some close ups:

Piggie Cake from Singapore

Moon Cake from Singapore International Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

Adeline is such a crafty and sweet gal, and you could tell at first sight – there was a cute vintage address label, washi tape-wrapped envelopes and packaging, and she included this pretty handmade surprise:

Handmade Necklace by Adeline from intriguedwith.blogspot.comIf you love this necklace as much as I do, Adeline will be posting up more little trinkets for sale soon – follow her blog to hear more about it!  Thanks so much for all of the goodies and treats, Adeline! I’m savoring the last few bits I have left :)

If you’d like to join the International Foodie Pen Pal exchange for December, leave me a comment!  I’ll be posting more info about it early next week.  Happy weekend all!

Foodie Pen Pal International: Reveal

A few weeks back, a few bloggers and I test ran an international foodie pen pal exchange.  Including myself in Japan, our little test group included bloggers from the US, Europe, and South East Asia.  The first box I received was from the amazingly talented Erica from North Carolina over at Dogs Make Everything Better.  Check out her blog if you’re a dog lover – it’s filled with inspiring stories, travel, and her experiences as an entrepreneur.

Back to the exchange – Erica’s box BLEW MY MIND!

Foodie Pen Pals International: Reveal (DogsMakeEverythingBetter.com)

Look at this beautiful packaging!  All of the goods were impeccably wrapped and protected with such attention to detail.  I was immediately in love even before seeing the crazy hoard of local North Carolina food.

Foodie Pen Pal International Reveal North Carolina

Needless to say, Erica went way above and beyond in every way.  Here’s what she included (please excuse my overuse of exclamation marks – I’m just that excited!):

  • Canned boiled peanuts – these reminded me so much of my childhood in the south!
  • Picked Bamboo – great topping on salads and a healthy snack by itself
  • Moravian Toasted Coconut Cookies – disappeared in 2 days
  • Crab House Seasoned Nuts – perfect seasoning and crunch with drinks!
  • Salt water taffy – can you ever go wrong with taffy??
  • Mama Zuma’s – the spiciest chips you’ll ever have.  My hubby couldn’t take it so I could hoard it all to myself!
  • Scuppernong Jelly – my first time trying scuppernong – a muscat-like grape.
  • Cackalacky Sauce – I just love the name & it’s the perfect zesty-ness to top off my Mexican food and even fried rice!
  • A chic kitchen towel featuring all of the local sightseeing spots!

Foodie Pen Pal International Reveal North Carolina

Isn’t this box too good to be true?!  She really knows how to pick local products!

Foodie Pen Pal International Reveal North Carolina

I made a coordination error and ended up exchanging with 2 foodies.  I sent boxes with goodies from Japan over to reader Michelle and blogger Adeline over at Intrigued With (her blog is filled with great photos – check her out).  I’ll post about the yummy box I received from Adeline in Singapore this weekend!

P.S. Want to join the international foodie exchange? Our December exchange is open to anyone who wants to join!  Drop me an e-mail at ohmyomiyage@gmail.com.

Raisin Wich

Paris Ogawaken Raisin Wich TokyoA very popular omiyage in Tokyo and Hokkaido, and one that gives tourists pause is the raisin sandwich.  It’s two vanilla cookies stuck together with a special buttercream and high-quality raisins.  Paris Ogawaken claims to be the original inventor of this dessert from the 1950s, but they started a shop devoted only to their desserts in the 80s.  These are good, but I prefer the ones from Hokkaido by Rokkatei.  Their Marusei Butter Sand just oozes butter and creaminess.

Paris Ogawaken Raisen Wich Tokyo

In case you’re confused, Paris Ogawaken has no relation to Europe at all.  A lot of Japanese bakeries and patisseries add “Paris” or “France” to their brand names or packaging to make their desserts more appealing their local Japanese clientele.

Tokyo Ogawaken Raisin Wich

One thing that Ogawaken does better than Rokkatei is their packaging.  The brown box is filled with quality and elegance, and each of the sandwiches are individual wrapped and ready to share.  It makes a great gift for friends and family back home if you’re able to gift them within a week or so before they expire.

Paris Ogawaken
2-20-15 Shimbashi, Minato-ku 105-0004 (map)
03-3571-7500

Hello Naomi

I’m always looking for baking inspiration.  And when I say “inspiration,” I mean “I wish I could make these in some impossible alternate universe.”

A girl can dream, right?  And there would be much worse things to dream about than these beautifully decorated cupcakes, cookies, and macaroons from Hello Naomi.

And the presentation is just too gorgeous for words.  Look at that gold cherry and the perfect cupcake holder!

It’s time to go shopping for some gum paste and gold flakes!  Where do you look for cooking inspiration?

Yusuian: Soba at Jindaiji

On the way to Jindaiji, we walked through some really serene tree-lined brick streets.  We passed by a lot of soba restaurants that all looked traditional and authentic, but not knowing the area, we opted for the restaurant with the longest line – Yasuian.  It was after the lunch rush on a rainy day so the wait was only about 10 minutes.

Soba and Tempura Set at Yusuian in Jindaiji

All of their soba is made at the restaurant.  If you’re lucky enough, you can watch them make soba while you wait in the kitchen next to the restaurant.  If not, you can still amuse yourself with their selection of homemade cookies and snacks.

Roll cookies at Yusuian in JindaijiTheir interior is simple and a modern take on traditional decor.  Half of the restaurant is filled with tables, and the other half is tatami.  There is also outdoor seating if the weather is nice.

Yusuian Jindaiji Soba Restaurant Interior

I love the pendant lighting and chandeliers in the restaurant.

Yusuian Jindaiji Chandeliers

I ordered the soba and tempura set – their most popular item on the menu.  It was perfectly cooked, and the tempura was light and crispy without too much oil.

Attentive and friendly staff at Yusuian in Jindaiji

For dessert, I had to try the soba yokan (pronounced: so-bah yo-kahn).  It’s mildly sweet adzuki bean filling covered with a gelatin made from soba water.  For a summer day, it was light, cool, refreshing.  It goes well with green tea, and if you get tired of the flavor, you can cleanse your palette with the pickle bits served on the side.

Soba Yokan at Yusuian Jindaiji

I’m not sure if Yusuian is the best restaurant in the area, but the food was solid.  There are definitely more atmospheric restaurants close by, but there weren’t any lines there!

Yusuian 湧水(ゆうすい)
東京都調布市深大寺元町5-9-1
0424-98-1323

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe for a long time.  For me, the perfect cookie is chewy, moist, not overly sweet, filled with chocolate chips, and with just a hint of crisp.  I’ve finally found that recipe!

And like all of my favorite recipes, this cookie is easy and quick.  It only takes 5 minutes to mix by hand and 10 minutes in the oven.. and tah-dah! Freshly baked, perfectly chewy cookies.

Before popping your cookies into the oven, make sure to nudge a few chocolate chips on top of each cookie.  There’s nothing worse than a cookie missing chocolate chips!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies by ohmyomiyage

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies by ohmyomiyage

Chewy chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe by ohmyomiyage

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Adapted from allrecipes.com
Makes 20 cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
2. In a large bowl, mix the butter, white and brown sugar with a spatula until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Dissolve the baking soda in a teaspoon of warm water. Add the dissolved baking soda and salt into the mixture. Add the flour into the mixture in 3 portions, mixing each slowly until fully incorporated. Add the chocolate chips.
3. Using an ice cream scooper or spoon, drop ping-pong-ball sized scoops of cookie dough on a prepared cookie sheet. Top each cookie with 3-4 chocolate chips.
4. Place the cookies in the oven for 10 minutes or until the outer edges are a tad browned. Cool and serve.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies by ohmyomiyage