Kori Kohi ala UCC

Kori Kohi literally means Iced Coffee in Japanese. It was my sister who introduced us to this drink back in 2018 when were were vacationing in Manila. It is a coffee drink offered and popularized by UCC Cafe’s (pictured below). UCC (Ueshima Coffee Co) is a Japanese Coffee and Tea manufacturer based in Kobe. They are the very first company who made and invented canned coffee in 1969. They have several cafe locations in Manila and we have been to three them when we were there.

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This coffee creation is frozen coffee cubes served in a tall glass then warm milk is poured over it. As the coffee melts it slowly infuses the milk with it’s flavor. It also tastes much better than Starbucks I must say !

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To make, I used instant coffee powder to make a cup of strong black coffee. Proportions is totally up to you. In our household we use UCC instant coffee but you can use whatever brand you prefer. You can also make it using a coffee machine. However, we ran out of the UCC Instant Coffee so I resorted to using the Nescafe Cafe Viet Instant Coffee which too has a superior flavor and aroma. This is also made specifically for iced coffee. I dissolved 1 packet in about 3/4 cup hot water then let it cool down before pouring in my ice tray. Let this freeze overnight. Then remove the frozen coffee cubes and place in a tall glass and pour your choice of milk. Normally one would pour warm milk over it but we just used cold milk and for me it was so much better. The frozen coffee melts at a much slower rate which allows the milk to be gently infused with flavor making it more creamier and mellower in taste much like latte. An alternative to your regular iced coffee and just perfect for this sweltering hot Summer weather we are having in the Northeast.

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Cinnamon Rolls

Last time I made cinnamon rolls was with my daughter five years ago when she was still in high school. Now I’m thinking why I never made it again. The only reason I’m guessing was not having enough time, since my girls had so many after school activities that I have been running around to.

I made these cinnamon rolls again finally as a Mother’s Day treat. Almost everyone have so much time in their hands these days, so it’s no big deal. I adapted this recipe from this site. It works great for me and I am always pleased with the results. The only thing I didn’t follow was coating the bottom of the pan with butter and sprinkling sugar on it. I didn’t want to make it too gooey and decadent, this is sweet enough for us as it is.

In a bowl place a packet active dry yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water and set aside. In a mixing bowl add the following: 1/2 cup scalded milk, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter, 1 tsp. salt, 1 egg and 2 cups all purpose flour. Mix until smooth. Then add your yeast mixture. Mix an additional 1 1/2 cups flour. You may use up to 4 cups total flour, until dough is easy to handle. Knead for 8-10 minutes until you get a smooth dough. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours.

After the dough has risen, punch it down and roll it on a lightly floured clean surface into 15 x 9 inch rectangle. Spread 1/2 cup melted butter on dough and then sprinkle a mixture of 3/4 cup brown sugar and 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon. Roll the dough beginning on the 15 inch side then pinch to seal the ends. Using a sharp knife cut into 12 – 15 pieces.

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Place rolls close together on lightly greased pan. Cover with kitchen towel and let it rise again for 40 minutes. Then bake in a 350F preheated even for about 30 minutes or until nicely brown on top.

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While rolls are baking prepare frosting by combining the following: 4 Tbsp. butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 3-6 Tbsp hot water. Mix until smooth then spread over your cooled rolls.

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Nutella Braided Bread

We were craving for something sweet, so I decided to bake something for the family. I really liked how my cinnamon roll turned out last time and thought the dough for that recipe would turn out well for this braided bread. I wasn’t mistaken at all.

To make, place in a bowl 1/2 cup lukewarm water and to it add 1 packet active dry yeast, dissolve and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup scalded milk, 1/3 cup melted butter, 1 beaten egg, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp. salt. Mix until combined. Then add the yeast mixture and 2 cups all purpose flour. Mix in additional 2 cups flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead for 7-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a towel and let rise for 1 1/2 hours until double in size.

After the dough has risen, punch it down and roll it into a lightly floured clean surface into 15 x 12 inch rectangle. Then spread about 1/2 cup room temperature Nutella leaving a 1/2 inch border all around the edges. Roll up the dough then using a sharp knife, cut the dough log horizontally, leave 1/2 inch of top edge uncut. Then braid and make sure to keep the open layers exposed on top as you do. This will give you the braided effect.

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Place in a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for about 30 minutes. Then brush the dough with an egg wash.

Bake in a 350F pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

My family loved it straight our of the oven.

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Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding Copycat

Banana Pudding is hands down my most favorite treat from Magnolia Bakery. I always make it a point to get a couple of medium sized cups whenever we go to the city. I usually get the original and their chocolate flavored ones if it’s available.

We don’t know when we will ever go back to NYC, and it’s this time of the year even when we are there almost every week. We miss everything about it the energy, the vibe, the little quaint neighborhood shops and of course the food ! Our trip to the city is usually all about food.

My blog post recently have all been about copycat creations from restaurants or food places we love to go to. This is another, good thing Magnolia Bakery has published their recipe for their world famous banana pudding.

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To make, place in mixing bowl 1 1/2 cups ice cold water and 1 14 oz can condensed milk and beat for 1 minute. Then add 1 package Jello instant vanilla pudding mix (note: it has to be instant). Mix with a paddle attachment of your mixer for 2 minutes. Cover and let this set in the fridge for about 4 hours to overnight. For best results, I let it sit in my fridge overnight.

Empty a one pint container of heavy whipping cream onto a mixing bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Then gently fold in the whipping cream onto your pudding mixture until well combined. I really don’t mind if there are still streaks in it, I think it adds to the visual appeal.

If you want to serve it in individual containers, get a glass cup then layer some Nilla Wafers at the bottom, then add some sliced bananas then your pudding mixture. Then repeat the layers. You can decorate the top with a piece of wafer and some sliced banana, but this is totally optional.

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I prefer to serve mine true to Magnolia Bakery fashion. I got a rectangular pyrex or any glass dish, then made the layers, starting with the wafers, bananas then the pudding. Repeat until you have filled the container to the top. Cover with a cling wrap and let this chill in the fridge for 4 – 8 hours. Making sure not to exceed 8 hours since the bananas has a tendency to brown. By this time the wafers would have softened and you can then scoop this onto cups or glass and slather it to the brim. Serve immediately. My family thinks it taste exactly like the ones we get from their store.

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Ube Dalgona

This ube flavored dalgona, is just one of the many flavors of dalgona coffee that is being featured in social media these days. I have seen matcha, mocha and even strawberry flavored ones. But this one is a special request of my daughter who is newly minted college graduate.

To make, you will need Ube extract and for this recipe I used the McCormick brand. I fortunately have a bottle since I usually grab one whenever I see it at the Asian Store. It is somewhat difficult to find here in our neck of the woods.

Start by making the dalgona coffee, recipe can be found here.

Then make your flavored milk by filling an Aeroccino Milk Frother with your choice of milk. If you don’t have a milk frother you can totally skip this step. Then to it add 1 1/4 tsp. ube extract. Turn the machine on and wait until it has created your milk foam.

Pour your milk onto a glass and spoon some froth on top. Make sure to only fill it 3/4 full. Then scoop your dalgona coffee on top of your ube milk. Serve immediately.

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Honey Cheese Toast

We miss going to Sunmerry, our local favorite Asian Bakery Cafe. We come here at least twice a week. My husband’s favorite thing here is their Honey Cheese Toast. He usually gets this with a cup of coffee. I have tried a couple of times to recreate it but I can’t seem to get the texture and taste I was looking for. Until I finally nailed it today.

So to begin you will need some thick sliced bread or Skokupan. I don’t have this right now so I just used some whole wheat bread slices. Toast this for a bit but don’t let it get brown. Set aside.

To make your topping, place in a double boiler, 1/4 cup milk, 3 slices American cheese (cut up) and about 1 Tbsp butter. Let this melt and cook until somewhat thickened. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Then add around 1-2 Tbsp. honey and 1/2 tsp. sugar. Stir until sugar has melted.

Get your bread slices and carefully cover the entire surface with the cheese mixture. Place in your oven toaster and cook until brown on top. This doesn’t take long so make sure not to leave it unattended. Let it cool for bit before serving so your topping has time to set a bit. It pairs well with coffee or tea.

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The Elvis Sandwich

I love peanut butter sandwiches. I am known by my family for having this for dessert when I was a teen and well into adulthood. My girls on the other hand love the peanut butter and honey combo. This was in a regular rotation in their lunch box in grade school.

I wanted to make something exciting for lunch the other day that won’t take much time to make. This sandwich seems to be the perfect choice.

To make, I cooked my bacon in a 425F oven until brown and crisped. Just place several pieces on a foil lined tray and bake for around 20 minutes. I learned this is the easiest and fastest way to cook bacon.

Toast some sliced bread, I used whole wheat but you can use whatever you want. Then generously spread some peanut butter on the two slices of bread. Place some sliced bananas on one of the slices, then drizzle some honey on the bananas. Arrange a couple of bacon slices then carefully lay the other slice of bread on top.

Cut in half and serve.

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Calamansi Muffins

I was missing the lemon loaf from Starbucks. It’s the one thing we usually get to have with our flat white with soy milk. I actually thought of making some lemon blueberry muffins first since I have made that before. My girls however insisted I make these instead when I gave them the option to chose between the two. Calamansi is known as Philippine lime or Calamondin. It has a somewhat sweet and tart flavor and is refreshingly fragrant.

This recipe was adapted from this website, the only changes I made was substituting the yogurt for the sour cream and decreasing the amount of sugar used for the glaze.

To make, prepare the crumb topping first by combining in a bowl 3/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/2 cup melted butter. Pinch the mixture with your hands until crumbly.

In another bowl, beat 2 eggs with a handheld mixer or whisk until frothy. Then add 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup vegetable oil, beat until smooth and creamy. Add 1 cup yogurt, 2 Tbsp. calamansi juice (I used the frozen packet ones since I don’t have the fresh fruit). Note: do not use calamansi concentrate used to make juice drinks since it’s loaded with sugar. If using fresh calamansi add a Tbsp of calamansi zest. Mix until well combined.

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Then sift 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt and add to your batter. Lightly mix everything together. Mixture will be lumpy and do not overmix to ensure a light and fluffy muffin.

Using a scoop, fill your lined muffin pan 3/4 full and generously sprinkle with your crumb topping. Bake for 18-20 minutes at a 375F preheated oven.

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When done, drizzle with Calamansi glaze by combining 3/4 cup powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp. calamansi juice and a pinch of salt.

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Dalgona Coffee

Dalgona coffee is the latest food trend that is blowing up the internet the past months.  You must be living under a rock if you still haven’t heard about it. This originated from South Korea and started appearing on social media during the start of the lock down in that part of the world.  It is named after the Korean sponge candy Dalgona, which is toffee colored and made up of brown sugar. Most videos uploaded on the web gives you a tutorial on how to make it. This recipe only requires three ingredients: instant coffee, sugar and hot water.  Note:  it needs to be instant and not ground coffee used in coffee machines nor the 3 in 1 packets with creamer and sugar. We have made this several times since we too have been locked down almost three weeks ago.

To make,  place equal parts of instant coffee, sugar and hot water in a small bowl.  Then whip it using a wire whisk if you want to do it manually or a hand held mixer like what I used using only one of the attachment.  Whip until it becomes pale in color and is creamy almost like frosting.

Get a glass and pour up to ¾ full with your choice of milk. Then carefully pour or spoon your whipped cofffe mixture on top.

To serve, mix the layers before drinking .


Filipino Sweet Mung Bean Soup

I was surprised to learn when we moved here to the Northeast that this is a typical Chinese dessert. Usually served at the end of the meal in most Chinese restaurants here. You see we also have this dish back home and we call it “Nilagang Monggo” literally translated as boiled mung beans. I remember having this for snack many times either hot or cold and usually doused with evaporated milk. Fresh milk was not something you would normally have at home back in the 70’s.

When my mom or aunt would make mung bean stew, they would routinely set aside some boiled beans which we would then have for snack the following day. I love to eat this cold, hence it’s served the day after it’s cooked.

To make, you will need 1 cup mung beans rinsed and about 8-10 cups waters. Place in a pot and let it come to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until beans are soft and tender. You will know when it’s done when the beans have split or burst and water has thickened considerably. Then add sugar to suit your taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with milk.

P.S. you can add more water is you want a thinner consistency.

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