Strawberry doughnuts with Honey and Lemon sugar

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Hello My dear wonderful readers,

How are you all doing today? So it was cheat day the other day and I had one of these and OMG I had to give them away cause these doughnuts are so so addictive. Strawberry season is here and I think I would use it in everything and anything. This is my second strawberry recipe for the season and let’s be honest, I can never have enough of these ruby red beauties. These doughnuts are baked and not deep fried so they are more cakey than fried but trust me when I say this, one bite and you wont be able to go back evaaaa!! These pink rings of heaven are the perfect mix of sweet, tart, fresh and ¬†“munchy”. Those little red spots on the donuts are the finely chopped strawberries. The key is to dunk them in honey when nice and warm and therefore the lemon sugar melts into the doughnuts and OH MY GOD., the magic is insane!

In fact I baked 12 of these but only 11 got to the photos ūüôā cause these donuts, my friend, are just so awesome!! lol

So while I was baking these my little munchkin decided it was time for him to play in the kitchen as well. So when I was whisking and piping, my little boy was sitting on the kitchen mat, making “rice, mutta (eggs) and cheese ” which is when I was reminded about how I went to the toy store to see if I could get him a kitchen set or a toy oven but to my surprise all the kitchen toys were only in this hideous bright pink with photos of little girls making food. So what I couldn’t understand is – why is that only girls like these kind of games? I mean some of the best chefs in the world are men and they are respected all over the world, then why is it that boys cant be allowed to play with the same kind of toys. Also why is it pink?? I have never come across a pink kitchen my entire life! And no working real kitchen can ever function to its fullest if it where white or pink! Why not have a kitchen that is the same colour as the real thing! Anyway the bottom line is, I decided if he wants to play he can play with the stuff in my kitchen and when he is old enough I will help him learn and understand that there is no job that was either reserved for men or for women. Girl or boy we all deserve equal opportunity and equal respect for the choices we make.

Now back to the doughnuts, just like all my bakes, (unless otherwise specified) make sure the ingredients are at room temperature and the baking tray is well prepared. Try not rushing this step cause these doughnuts will just pop out easily if you do so. Now for the recipe

Ingredients :-

  1. Butter – 1 tsp
  2. Flour – 2 cups + more for dusting the pan
  3. Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Oil – 1/2 cup
  5. Sugar – 1/ 2 cup + more of dusting
  6. Eggs – 2 large eggs
  7. Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
  8. Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tsp
  9. Salt – 1/2 of 1/4 tsp
  10. Nutmeg – 1/4 tsp
  11. Butter Milk – 3/4 cup
  12. Strawberry – 1 cup ( chopped fine)
  13. Red food colour – 1 small drop ( optional)
  14. Lemon Zest – from 2 limes
  15. Honey 2 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1. Pre-Heat your oven to 180 C
  2. Prepare your doughnut pan by brushing butter on the inside of your baking pan. Make sure to butter the hole in the centre too . This recipe makes 12 doughnuts
  3. Now lightly dust the buttered pan with flour. Invert the pan and shake of the excess flour. Set aside
  4. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sieve twice
  5. In another bowl, add the oil, eggs, apple cider vinegar , vanilla, sugar and butter milk. Whisk together till the sugar has mixed well with mixture
  6. Then add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in 3 batches. Make sure to mix well at every addition of dry mixture to the wet
  7. Once you have all the dry ingredients mixed, add the chopped strawberry and colour
  8. Mix well to combine
  9. Now pour the mixture into a piping bag. Snip the bottom and pipe the batter into the prepared doughnut pan
  10. Fill till 80 % of the hole
  11. Pop into the oven to bake for 20 mins or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  12. While that is baking lets make the lemon sugar
  13. In a plate, zest the lemons. Then add 1/2 cup of caster sugar. Now with dry hands, mix the sugar and lemon zest. You will see the sugar turn a light green colour
  14. Once the doughnuts are done, let them cool for 5 mins
  15. Then when the doughnuts are still warm, using a pastry brush, brush honey on the face of the doughnut
  16. Then dunk the doughnuts into the lemon sugar
  17. Place on a cooling rack to dust of the excess sugar
  18. Your strawberry doughnuts with honey and lemon sugar are ready

 

Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti

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Hello my dear readers!!

How have you all been? The seasons greetings to you and I hope you all are enjoying the holidays. This is a quick post and I apologize for not having the time to write a nice long post about what has been happening. For now I shall leave you with this recipe and I hope you guys love it as much as we did during this festive season. Lots of love guys :*

Ingredients :

  1. Eggs  Р2
  2. Flour – 1 + 1/4 cup
  3. Baking powder – 1 tsp
  4. Orange Zest – 2 tbsp
  5. Caster Sugar – 1 + 1/4 cup
  6. Pistachio – 100 gms
  7. Cranberries – 50 gms
  8. Nutmeg – 1/4 tsp

Instructions :-

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 C
  2. In a large bowl whisk sugar and egg till light and pale
  3. Then add the orange zest and nutmeg
  4. Slowly fold in the rest of the ingredients using a spatula (try not to deflate the volume of the eggs)
  5. Once it all comes together, flour your work surface and drop the dough ball
  6. Slowly make a long log with the end tapering
  7. Then transfer the log to a baking tray and bake for 25 mins
  8. After 25 mins take it out of the oven and put to rest till cool enough to handle
  9. Then cut into thin slices
  10. Lay it flat on the baking sheet and pop it back into the oven for another 10 mins till golden brown
  11. Bring it back out of the oven and set to cool
  12. Store in an air tight container

 

Adapted from Nigellissima 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ari “Rice” Muruku – Deep fried, crisp and with a touch of spice!

 

 

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? So my next recipe for the season is the Rice and Urad Dal Murukku. In case you have never had these before, let me tell you, this is the Indian version of a deep fried snack that comes in a number of variations that is a staple at your 4 o clock tea / coffee. Yes, we love to have a little some thing to “bite into” every evening. But of late these savory snacks have been reserved only to be savored during festivals such as Diwali etc. So I decided why not make a batch of these pinwheels. They are really easy to make but you do need a “Murukku Maker / Press” The theory is the same as a piping bag for cream, just that the mixture is tighter and thicker so you need a little more force when squeezing them.

These murukku makers are available in both brass and stainless steel. I have the brass one and they come with various ends / nozzles just like your piping tips. Best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee these Murukku’s can last 2 – 3 weeks if kept in an air tight container. Make sure to use a good brand of oil. I used rice bran oil and you are¬†sorted for a long time ūüôā

Ingredients :-

  1. Rice Flour – 3 cups
  2. Urad Dal – 6 tbsp
  3. White Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Black Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp ( more if you like it pungent )
  8. Salt – to taste
  9. Oil – 3 tbsp
  10. Oil to fry
  11. Water to bind ( depends on the quality of the rice flour)

Instructions :-

  1. Heat a heavy bottom Khadai and fry the urad dal till they start turning golden brown. Make sure to stir continuously or else the dal might burn
  2. Once they are ready , add into a blender and powder to a fine powder
  3. In a large plate/ even your kitchen counter, drop the rice flour, urad dal powder, salt, white and black sesame seeds, pepper powder and asafoetida. Give it all a nice mix with the tips of your finger to spread the ingredients evenly
  4. Then add the 3 tsp of oil and mix into the mixture till they almost resemble  bread crumbs
  5. Finally add water little bit at a time to make a nice tight dough. Remember all you need is the dough to come together
  6. Take small portion of the mixture and run it through the murukku maker to see if you are able to make nice round circles. If you find that the circle keeps falling or breaking then you need little more water in the dough
  7. Once you have your dough ready, heat oil in a khadai ( enough to be able to deep fry these wheels)
  8. Cut a baking paper into equal sqares and at the back draw circles of equal size. you can use these as a stencil to make all your murukkkus
  9. Now attach the start tip to the murukku maker and fill the barrel with the rice flour dough
  10. Slowly make round shapes of the murukku on your prepared baking paper
  11. Start from the inside and go round towards the outside
  12. Once you reach the outside, pinch the end towards the murukku
  13. Once you oil is nice and hot ( make sure the oil is always at medium flame not too hot and not too cold)
  14. Fry these in batches of 2 – 3 depending on the size of your khadai. Wait til they turn golden bown on both sides. Keep turning them when in the oil for even browning
  15. Lay them on kitchen paper tower to soak up the excess oil
  16. You Murukku is ready! Store in an air tight container

Dark Chocolate covered Chocolate Cookie hearts

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Hello my dear wonderful readers!!

Its been so long and there has been so much happening, I do not know where to begin! We finally moved to our own place and I am so excited cause there is so much sun light and space in the form of big balconies! lol. So to start our sweet journey at the new place, I decided to make these simple yet decadent cookies. Hey you know what I discovered, if you want to get rid of the smell of paint in a new place, all you need to do is bake some thing nice! I made these cookies and the paint smell reduced considerably. The next day I made some biryani and that sealed the deal. ¬†hahahahaha…

These cookies are super easy to make and are perfect if you want to make chocolate cut out cookies.

Ingredients :-
1. Flour – 2 cup
2. Baking Powder  Р1/4 tsp
3. Cocoa Powder – 4 tbsp
4. Demerara Sugar – 1 cup
5. Butter – 100 gms
6. Milk – 4 tbsp
7. Salt – one pinch

 Instructions :-

1. Pre Heat your oven to 180 C – Using your baking paper or silpat mat, line your cookie baking tray
2. In a bowl combine butter and sugar. Beat well for 2 – 3 mins
3. Then add the baking powder, salt, flour, cocoa powder. Then slowly add the milk to flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon and once the dough comes together use your hands and bring it all together
4. Finally you will reach a nice thick doughy consistency
5. Lay a baking paper over your kitchen counter and place the cocoa dough in the centre
6. Then place another piece of paper over the dough ( the same size as the paper underneath (40 cm x 40cm)
7. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a nice thin size
8. Then remove the paper over the dough and using the cookie cutter, cut out the desired shape
9. Slowly place the cookies over the prepared baking sheet. These cookies do not expand so its ok to not leave too much space between the cookies 
10. Bake for 20 – 25 mins ( do not wait for the cookies to turn dark brown)
11. Once they are ready , place them on a cooling rack and they are ready for their dressing ūüôā

For the glaze
1. Micro wave, 50 gms of dark chocolate in spurts of 30 seconds each. Make sure to put out the bowl every 30 seconds and mix with a spatula. This will help prevent the chocolate from burning
2. Dip the cooled chocolate cookies in the melted chocolate and place over a wire rack to let the excess drip down
3. Sprinkle with your favorite kind of topping / sprinkle!!

Healthy Flax Seed and Oat, Raisin Thins

 

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How have you all been? Its been a long time since I got down to blogging and trust me when I say, the last week has been such a life changer! Have you ever looked down from a flight that is just about to land? That moment when you see tiny cars and thin trees and wormy roads? That’s the moment you realize how small you really are! We have been travelling a lot for the last few days and I have come to the firm belief that, no matter how hard you try, some things cannot be controlled. Its sad when people who drink and smoke their whole lives, live happy without a care are fit as a fiddle while people who are so cautious about their physical and mental health might have the worst medical condition. I guess what I am trying to say is that, what really matters, is that you live each minute of each day to its fullest and you do your part. There is no point living a vegetarian life when our mind is full of vengeful thoughts. There is no need for an argument with your spouse when life itself is full of challenges thrown at you every day. Every time I have fought or scolded some one its makes me feel like all I did was bring negativity into the room and nothing stands a chance to improve.

While such tumultuous thoughts run through my head, my cup of hot green tea was beckoning for a little some thing to go along with it. Much to my dismay, reaching for the cookie jar had only resulted in a depressing after thought of how many calories I have to burn the next day or why my greedy tongue has not been able to make its peace with 3 cookies undoubtedly made with much more sugar than flour or butter ūüėõ . So here was my answer!

A simple #NO GLUTEN! NO FLOUR, REFINED SUGAR FREE COOKIE- ( OH! did i mention no butter too)

These are so really simple to make all you need is a fork and two bowls. So lets get to it ….

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Instant Oats – 2 cups
  2. Raisins – 1/2 cup
  3. Flax Seed – 3 tbsp
  4. Virgin Coconut Oil – 1 cup
  5. Egg – 1
  6. Palm Sugar – 1 cup
  7. Cinnamon Powder – 1.2 tsp
  8. Vanilla Extract – 1.2 tsp

Instructions :-

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 150 C and line a baking tray with parchment paper
  2. In a bowl, mix oats, flax see, raisins, palm sugar, cinnamon powder and give it a good mix with a fork ( make sure you do not have any lumps of sugar)
  3. In another bowl, crack open the egg. Add the coconut oil and vanilla extract. Give it a good whisk with the fork
  4. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the oat mixture and set aside to soak for 10 mins
  5. Then using the same fork give it a good mix once again to coat the oats well with the egg mixture
  6. Now using a small ice cream spoon or a normal spoon scoop out even portions of the oats and egg mixture and place on the baking tray
  7. Then with the back of the fork press down to flatten
  8. I like these nice and thin, so they snap when I bite into them
  9. Bake in the pre heated oven for 10 – 15 mins (till they turn light brown )
  10. Once they are done leave to cool completely – remember they will be soft when they come out of the oven but leave to cool completely and they will crisp up soon!!
  11. Store in an air tight container once cooled

Chocolate Pavlova with Raspberry compote and cream

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Hello Everybody!!

Happy World Chocolate Day! Now I was so tempted to make a nice chocolate brownie with lots of gooey frosting and stuff, but I decided I did not wanna play with flour. ¬†Pavlova has always been my nemesis! Smaller version of the same are easier to make, but the tricky part is not till you get it in the oven, its when you have to pull it out of it. Make no mistake, if there were ever a fight between a tiramisu and pavlova, the tiramisu would win, but if I wanted to keep it light a pavlova is the way to go. ¬† When I say “light” I mean “lighter” ūüėõ

The perfect pavlova should be crunchy, gooey, chewy in the center, not too sweet and just right. The first time I made a summer pavlova, with kiwi, fresh cherries , passion fruit and lots of lemon curd. It was really good. But it was not really a looker and after repeated attempts I realized two things. Firstly Рa Pavlova is not a cake! Рso do not expect it to be nice and puffy like a cake. And Secondly, Time it! Time your baking time and after the baking time, leave it inside the oven to cool till it comes down to room temperature. Texture is everything when it comes to this dessert. What makes this dessert, much craved for is that wonderful crunchy exterior and then that gooey, chewy, marshmallow center. The cream over the Pavlova is just for additional creaminess and to balance out the sweetness of the pavlova itself. I strongly recommend that when ever you make a Pavlova, use a strong pungent flavor to top it off.  That just makes this dessert a ride on a roller coaster. You could use fresh raspberries too, but I took the liberty to make a concentrate with the raspberries, added a little honey and made it a little more dramatic. But like I said, using fresh raspberries would do well too. Needless to say, the last time I made it, it was over within a day. So if you are the one cutting into the pavlova, make sure to save some for your self too!

 

Ingredients for the pavlova base:-

  1. Egg Whites – 6
  2. Sugar – 300 gms
  3. Coco Powder – 3 tbsp
  4. Balsamic Vinegar – 1 tsp
  5. Chopped Dark Chocolate – 2 tbsp

 

Instructions :-

  1. Pre Heat you over to 180 and line two baking tray with parchment paper. Draw two discs the size of a quarter plate on the lower side of the paper
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, pour in the egg whites and whisk on medium speed
  3. Once the whites are double in size and are nice and glossy, add one spoon of sugar at a time
  4. Now increase the speed and whip on high speed till nice firm peaks are formed
  5. Take off the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the coco powder, balsamic vinegar and dark chocolate
  6. Make sure to only fold in the ingredients or you will knock out the air from the whites  ( which you really do not want)
  7. Now divide the batter equally and pour over the two circle you drew earlier on the parchment paper
  8. Using a spatula or a butter knife, level off the top
  9. Pop the baking tray into the oven and reduce the temperature to 150
  10. Bake for 1 hour and 15 mins
  11. Once you hear the ding of the oven, DO NOT OPEN IT AJAR! slowly pop a wooden ladle between the door of the oven and let it sit till the pavlova had completely  cooled and reached room temperature
  12. Mean while get on with the raspberry goo ūüôā

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Frozen Raspberries – 100 gms
  2. Honey – 3 tbsp
  3. Whipping Cream – 300 ml

Instructions :-

  1. In a sauce pan, combine the raspberry and honey
  2. Cook on medium flame till the mixture begins to boil ( stir occasionally)
  3. The let the mixture reduce to half on the same flame
  4. Once it has reduced by half, take it off the flame and let it cool down
  5. Whip the double cream to stiff peaks and set aside

 

  • When you are ready to assemble the Pavlova, first use one pavlova as the base, add cream and spread evenly
  • Then add half the raspberry goo and sprinkle some chocolate chips
  • Then place the next pavlova over the first layer and repeat the same step
  • Your Chocolate Pavlova is ready!

Recipe Adapted from Nigella Lawsons book

 

 

 

 

No bake, Power Packed Chocolate Breakfast Cookies

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How you all been? I have been quite busy of late with my grandma visiting us in Bangalore and she wanting to spend time with her great grandson. So every morning after the morning chores are done, I take my son to my mum’s house. This does not leave much time for blogging or cooking as me, my mum and her mum (my grandma) are busy taking turns and playing with my son. Mr R is very busy in office as usual and comes and picks me up from my mums place after work. We are travelling to Cochin this weekend as I am scheduled to get my gall bladder removed there. The only niggling factor i am worried about is Mr R’s capabilities in terms of child care. He’s a good dad but still getting a hang of the soft skills involved in day to day baby management. In any case, all those adventures are for a different post. Until then I will leave you with these very awesome power packed cookies. I am trying to get up early to get a post in these days and i have understood that I am not a morning person and takes a lot of effort. Till next post, Adios Amigos. ūüôā

Ingredients :-

  1. Dark Chocolate – 250 gms
  2. Oats – 1 + 1/2 cup (Instant)
  3. Mixed Dry fruits – 1 cup ( I used pistachio + raisins and dry figs)
  4. Coconut Oil – 4 tbsp (50 gms of butter)

 

Instructions :-

  1.  In a microwavable bowl melt the chocolate on medium power at 30 second intervals and stirring frequently.
  2. Add the coconut oil to the melted chocolate. Set the chocolate aside to cool ( You could add cream at this stage to make it more creamy and rich)
  3. In another bowl add the instant oats
  4. Then add the dry fruits. I did not chop the nuts but you could if you want to
  5. Finally add the melted chocolate and coconut oil mix into the oats
  6. Stir well to combine and coat all the ingredients well
  7. Now oil your hands with a little oil and slowly make small balls of the oats mixture. Arrange them on a large cookie sheet
  8. Once you are done with all of them use a spoon and push them downwards (press them to form flat cookies)
  9. Pop the cookie sheet into a fridge and let them set till nice and hard ( 1.5 to 2 hours)
  10. Your breakfast cookies are ready!!

 

Rosemary & Strawberry Madeleines with White Chocolate

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Hello Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? Is¬†the¬†Christmas¬†season turning out to be wonderful for you as well? It’s been a month of many changes for us, starting with potty training¬†my son (Phew!!)¬†and introducing cows milk into his diet and making him learning to say ” Boww boww” when you see a doggy.¬†My son¬†has also started learning to eat on his own and when I mean eat I mean spill half of what’s on¬†his plate and the other half may find it’s way to his mouth but first it has to be on a place on the table/floor (other¬†than his plate) and then into¬†his mouth!¬†(Lol!!).¬†¬†Its a long process but at the end I am so proud of him for every piece of¬†fruit that he eats on his own. We have officially said “No” to keeping a nanny too, that means lesser number of posts (but more time with my son).

So I wanted to start my Christmas inspired baking with simple, sweet, light and airy madeleines and they are unbelievably yum! This one has rosemary infused¬†with the sweetness of strawberries giving it a wonderful twist and the sweet and spicy aroma of strawberries, rosemary and vanilla is just delightful! The basic madeleine is just the right kind of sweet with a cup of hot coffee right? This one infuses fruit and herb to give¬† a delicious twist to the French Madeleine. Personally I think they are miniature versions of cupcakes which look like cookies! What do you say? Not really sure why they are classified as cookies! Yes I know some cookies are soft and gooey as opposite to crunchy and chewy but Madeleines are light and airy, soft and spongy¬†like cake! Yup I am going to say they are like butterfly kisses sent from a cupcake ūüôā Ok so here is how I made them!

Ingredients :-

  1. Butter – 120gms
  2. Rose Mary – 2 tbsp (chopped)
  3. Strawberry – 1 +1/2 cup
  4. Flour- 250 gms
  5. Sugar -150 gms
  6. Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  7. Eggs – 3 at room temp
  8. Red colour – 5 – 6 tbsp
  9. White Chocolate Р 200 gms

Instructions :-

    1. In a clean sauce pan, add the butter and melt. Then add the chopped RoseMary to the butter and let the butter simmer for a few mins ( Make sure not burn the butter). After 2 – 3 mins turn off the flame and leave the butter mixture to rest for 15 to 20 mins
    2. Clean and de-stem fresh strawberries and chop them up into small pieces
    3. Then using a stick blender, blend them into a nice thick puree. Your puree should measure to one cup
    4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the eggs and sugar. Using the paddle attachment, blend on medium till the eggs are nice and foamy
    5. In another bowl add flour, baking powder and salt
    6. Once the egg mixture is foamy add the strawberry puree and mix for combine
    7. Then add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix only to combine ( do not over work the batter)
    8. Now using a strainer, pour the melted butter into the mixer bowl making sure not to drop any chopped rosemary into the batter
    9. Add as much food colour as required
    10. Now butter and dust your madeleine trays with butter and flour and scoop out the strawberry batter into the moulds
    11. Set the madeleine tray into the fridge for 20 mins
    12. During that time pre heat your oven to 180 c
    13. After 20 mins pop the tray into the oven and bake for 6- 8 mins
    14. You will know when the madeleines are done when they become slightly golden from the sides
    15. Once they are done, take them out of the oven and set to cool for 5 mins. Then take them out of the tray and place on a wire rack to cool
    16. While they cool, melt your white chocolate in the microwave at 20 sec intervals (strict in between)
    17. Once the madeleines have cooled completely, dip them into the white chocolate and place on the cooling rack to dry
    18. Serve along with a hot cup of coco/coffee, as you like¬†ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange Crinkle Cookies / The week that was

 

 

 

 

Hello my dear wonderful readers!

We had a wonderful long holiday back in my native land and we enjoyed it completely! This time we did a road trip that lasted 12 hours one way. And to tell you the truth I was very scared in the beginning, cause my baby is still really small and I wasn’t sure if he would sit in his car seat for that long. Also this was the first time Mr R was going to do the drive on his own and on uncertain roads. But with gods grace and my family constantly checking on us, we has a wonderful time. Both ways we had fun, had local food, read books, sang songs and laughed a lot.

When we got to my little village, the sky was clear, the sun was shining bright and my little baby was ready to walk on a surface that was not tile or marble. That is when I remembered how I loved to walk around barefoot when I was a small girl. I never wore chappals or sandals, till we had to leave home. The houses I grew up in always had a big garden in front and I remember how the grass would still be wet in the morning from the rains that fell the night before. I remember how the bark of the guava tree that stood in front my house felt on my barefoot ( climbing trees was my favourite activity when I was 8). When I took off my sons squeaky sandals and let him walk on those tiny black pebbles that surround my family home, I was worried that he might fall and hurt himself. But within the time a feather would sway from left to right on a windy day before falling on the ground, my son took baby steps without any hesitation or pain. He walked around the garden and plucked grass, held stones, threw mud on the gate & picked up little coconut seeds from around the compound. That day holds a very special place in my heart. That was the day, I realised that no matter how we city brats love to eat, love and play, nothing beats the innocence of a little boy playing with little black pebbles on your garden floor.

The trip also opened my eyes to another side of Mr R. For the first time I saw how and why fathers like to play outdoors with their sons! Mr R carried our son all around the compound showing him trees and flowers our son has never seen before. They played with Ginger ( our tiny little guard dog), played with mud and by the time it was evening, they both needed a scrub and a long shower again! Once we got back home after the holiday, we decided that we have to do this more often. And we have promised to try.

So the day before we left for our holiday, I made a chocolate jaggery cake for our little nephew back home and these amazing orange cookies. They are crisp and crunchy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside! You must give them a try.

 

Orange Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients :-

  1. Orange juice – 2 cups
  2. Castor Sugar Р 150 gms
  3. Butter – 150 gms
  4. Orange Zest Р from 2 big oranges
  5. Baking Powder – 2tsp
  6. Eggs – 1
  7. Egg Yolk – 1
  8. Flour – 150 gms + 2 tbsp
  9. Colour – I used a mix of red + yellow ( around 4 drops – add more if required)
  10. Powdered Sugar – for dusting cookies use as much as required
  11. Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp

Instructions :-

  1. In heavy bottom sauce pan, add orange juice and bring to boil. The reduce the flame and let the juice reduce to a 3 tbsp.
  2. Once done, set aside to cool down to room temperature
  3. Preheat your oven to 180 and line a baking tray with baking paper
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add butter and sugar. Cream till nice and pale
  5. Then add egg and egg yolk and mix
  6. Add orange zest to the mixture and mix on medium
  7. Now add vanilla extract and the reduce orange juice ( you can add orange essence if you like)
  8. Add the desired amount of colour to the batter
  9. Slowly add the flour and baking powder to the mixture in the bowl and mix at low
  10. Once the cookie dough is ready, scoop out small balls of cookie batter and drop them into the powdered sugar one at a time  to coat evenly
  11. Arrange all cookies balls with 5 to 6 inch between them cause they will expand while baking
  12. Bake for 10 to 15 mins
  13. Once done, take them out of the oven and let them cook completely before taking them off the baking sheet
  14. Enjoy!

ALFAJORES – Dulche de leche sandwich cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have always been afraid of the cooker. Even when I make simple “Dal Chawal ” at home, ¬†worry that it might explode, so I never stay in the kitchen while it is on the stove. So when I decided to make Dulche De Leche I woke up early this morning and decided to do it when my baby was far away from the kitchen and my husband was at home! ( You know thinking worst case scenario and all)! But to my surprise nothing happened! yeah I know you are laughing at me. The truth is I though I would be left with a broken stove, exploded cooker and a room full of condense milk and water. Yes go ahead! laugh! That my friend is my biggest nightmare. So when ever there is anything cooking in my kitchen I never let my son in. And when the cooker is on the stove, even I do not stand in the kitchen.( i rush in just to switch it off :p)

When I finally opened the can of condense milk, OH MY GOD! That is when I realised how delicious this version of the condense milk is! Now I know what the fuss is all about! That sweet caramely liquid inside that can was like I was in heaven! That minute I knew I should have let it sit for maybe one more whistle but thats ok . I am happy with the outcome.

Ok before I get to how I made the cookies, if you were wondering how I made that dulche de leche, I used the pressure cooker method.

Ingredients:-

  1. Flour – 1 cup ( set aside one teaspoon from the cup)
  2. Corn Flour – 1 cup
  3. Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Baking Soda – 1/2tsp
  5. Butter – 113 gms
  6. Sugar – 1/3 cup
  7. Vanilla Extract – 2 tsp
  8. Egg Yolks – 2 ( at room temperature)
  9. Brandy – 1tbsp + 1 tsp ( for the Dulche de leche)
  10. Crushed Nuts – 1 cup ( use any kind of nut you like – wall nuts, cashews, pecan, almonds)
  11. Dulche De Leche – 1 can

Instructions :-

  1. In a bowl mix flour, corn flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside
  2. In another bowl cream butter and sugar
  3. Add egg yolks one at a time. Then add vanilla and Brandy
  4. Now add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients little by little. Cream well. I used my hand blender but a whisk will do the job too
  5. Once you have added all the flour it will come together to make a nice ball
  6. Now wrap the ball with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins to an hour
  7. While the dough is resting in the fridge, pre heat your oven to 180C
  8. Once the dough is read, light dust your counter top with the one tsp of flour that you set aside in the beginning
  9. Roll out the dough making sure to keep an even width of 4mm at least. I used my seated cookie cutter but you can cut them out in any space you want
  10. Slowly place them on your cookie tray leaving 3 – 5 cms apart from each other
  11. Pop them into the fridge for 10 mins
  12. When you are ready to bake these cookies, pop them into the area heated oven and bake for 10 to 15 mins
  13. You do not need to wait till they are brown. You will see them rise a little and the flaky sides are clearly visible
  14. Pull them out of the oven and let them sit on a cooling rack till completely cool
  15. Once cooled completely add dulche de leche on one side of a cookie and sandwich it with another cookie. I recommend adding one table spoon of brandy to the dulche de leche for that mild yet exotic flavour!
  16. You can roll them in any crushed nut that you like. Typically they are rolled in coconut flakes, but I love salted cashews so thats what I used! This part is your choice. You could use chocolate flakes, walnuts, pecans, almond! Any thing you like