How To Make Matcha Chocolate Chips

If you're a matcha lover like I am, you'll want to make these matcha (white) chocolate chips and toss them into all kinds of baked goods - that's if you have enough left over after nibbling on them...

Matcha (white) chocolate chips - an easy way for matcha-lovin' bakers to get their matcha fix in their favorite cookie recipe!

I found out the other day that my old food/baking blog domain had been bought/hijacked by a random Japanese real estate company (I think?). Granted, I gave up the domain a little while back, it was still a bit unnerving to see it being used. Why would they use "Sweets by Sillianah" to promote their business? It's completely unrelated to sweets. And "sillianah" was a nickname that meant something only to me (so I thought).

While I'm not mad, I am a bit bummed...but honestly, it's left me scratching my head and pushing me to re-blog some of my favorite recipes as all of the posts are now defunct. It's something I've been wanting to do - and started to, with my Matcha Mochi Cake recipe.

So, I'm back with another matcha recipe - it may just become a thing. I've learned a lot about the different grades and quality of matcha since I last shared. I had been using an average (i.e. cheap) culinary grade matcha - while it was from Japan, it was a bit lackluster in flavor and hue. I was envious of the food bloggers with bright green baked goods - how did they do it?

I recently tried a freshly stone-ground matcha straight from the grinder and wow, it was the smoothest, most creamiest cup of matcha I've ever tasted. No dairy needed! The price of the matcha nearly burned a hole in my wallet but I have to say, you really get what you pay for. It was worth it to taste and learn about the differences in matcha quality. Matcha that is freshly ground, and higher in grade; tends to be brighter, more vibrant in color. Hence, my muddy-green "matcha" baked goods of the past.

For these matcha chocolate chips, I sacrificed a bit of that holy matcha powder for the sake of recipe-testing. But in general, it's more economical to use a quality culinary grade (I'm still testing different brands) for baking so the subtle nutty flavors of the ceremonial grade matcha is not lost in the sweet, baked treats.

Do you have a favorite matcha you like to bake with?

Matcha Chocolate Chips
To make Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookiesstir 1 cup matcha chips into your favorite chocolate chip/sugar cookie dough. I used mine to bake these slightly high-maintenance but mind-blowing pan-banging cookies by The Vanilla Bean Blog

Yield: about 2 cups

Ingredients:
10 oz. white chocolate chips (I used one Trader Joe's bag)
2 teaspoons matcha powder (more if you want a stronger flavor)

Directions:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat white chocolate chips over double boiler until melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add 2 teaspoons matcha powder. Stir until matcha is fully incorporated and mixture is smooth.

Pour matcha chocolate into prepared sheet, and spread into even layer - about 1/4-inch thick. Tap the baking sheet against counter to smooth out chocolate. Chill in refrigerator until firm, about 20-30 minutes. Then use a knife to chop into chunks and use in your favorite cookie recipe.

The "But First, Matcha" mug (+ two more styles) can be found in my Etsy shop!

The "But First, Matcha" mug (+ two more styles) can be found in my Etsy shop!

Video: Valentine's Day Lettering on Macarons

Happy Valentine's Day, friends! I hope it's filled with lots of love and sweet treats! 💕

I've never been a big fan of this "holiday" but in recent years it's inspired me to tap into my creative side as a baker/blogger and now, a calligrapher.

Lately, I've been obsessed with these cookie/cake artists on Instagram that specialize in painting on treats using edible paints and markers - they even inspired me to host a holiday cookie painting/lettering workshop over the holidays!

Too bad my macaron-making days are long over - these are courtesy of Trader Joe's. They're surprisingly tastier than some of the ones I've had from local bakeries. Much cheaper, too. 

macaron-calligraphy.jpg

So now that I've tried lettering on macarons, and fondant-covered sugar cookies, next on my bucket list is a cake. Any takers? ;)

Just for fun, here's a time-lapse video of the macaron painting/lettering process - over 10 minutes in real-time, condensed to about 40 seconds. Apologies for the weird lighting - I thought the sunlight would help show off the gold shimmer but it just ended up being overexposed in some parts. 

I used "faux calligraphy" on these macs as they were on the smaller side, and I didn't trust the cheap-o craft detailer brushes I had on hand to create a clean, elegant look. The edible pen has two tips - one is a bullet tip and the other is like a fine liner. Worked liked a charm!

Supplies used: 

 

Thursday Thoughts | Let Your Heart Be Light

Lettering by Lillian Liming

Lettering by Lillian Liming

Let your heart be light.

When I lettered this phrase from the well-known Christmas song to share on Instagram a few weeks back, I didn't think I'd still be reflecting upon these words well into the new year. 

Maybe it's because my heart has felt more heavy than light the last several months as I maneuvered through a broken friendship, establishing my business, and as of late, some health issues. 

On top of that, where I once found light and joy in connecting/sharing on Instagram, has now become more of a burden.

I've shared my thoughts about Instagram before so I'm not going to repeat myself, but as we entered the new year, I knew something had to change. It has all just become too much. Too much noise. Too much monotony. Too much wasted time.

I've let my heart become heavy for much too long.

I contemplated quitting social media altogether, as Shanna Skidmore bravely did so for a year, but I don't think I'm ready to quit cold turkey just yet. However, like Shanna, I'm a bit of a rebel in the sense that I just don't want to be doing what everyone else is doing when it comes to social media. Not only on the business side of things, but personally, as well. 

Being self-employed and working from home can get pretty lonely - I honestly just miss everyday real-world human connections. Instagram just doesn't fill that void for me as it once did. The community aspect has gotten lost in the vast sea of non-chronological, stranger-ridden posts. 

Camogli, Italy | Photo by Lillian Liming

Camogli, Italy | Photo by Lillian Liming

January is all about setting goals, getting organized, and decluttering. I'm on a mission to declutter my heart and fill it with joy, light, and love. I know that sounds cliché, but who says we can't Kondo our hearts? If something in your life doesn't spark joy, then thank it for its service and get rid of it, amirite? ;)

Ok, I may not go as far as getting rid of Instagram, but it's time for a refresh. As we entered 2018, more posts popped up from people/sources I respected, echoing my thoughts (see here and here -- love Jonas Ellison's writing, do check him out!). They confirmed my intention for taking a break from Instagram for an entire month, but obviously, I didn't want to leave my friends and followers hanging. Hence, this blog post -- and hopefully, more posts to come. 

I hope to be doing more connecting with you here in 2018. Thanks for following along!

PS. If you'd like to receive updates (at most 1-2 times a week) from me, feel free to subscribe to my mailing list. If you're just here for workshop updates - feel free to sign up via the pop-up form on my workshops page. Thank you!