December 25, 2014

Christmas Cookies

Christmas is the best time of the year as we can sit and enjoy the cold weather with your family. And its fun to make and bake cookies for Santa. This year my son also joined me and he created his own version of cookies. Its lots of fun and family time.

 
I got this version of cookie from HowtoCookThat.com. I used orange food color instead of red and skipped the sprinkles part. I used reduced butter and less sugar. While baking I got the idea of candy canes and the kids liked it so much. Here comes the recipe.




Ingredients:

All purpose flour - 4 cups
Sugar - 1 1/2 cup
Softened Butter - 1/2 stick
2 eggs
vanilla extract - 1 tbsp.
Food color
Sprinkles - I skipped this

Method:

1. Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
2. To this add the eggs and mix very well.
3. Sieve the flour in another big bowl and add the sugar, egg mixture to this. Mix this well and knead it to a nice dough
4. Cut the dough into two halves.

5. Add the food color to one part keeping the other aside. Mix the food color thoroughly and make sure that all the dough is evenly colored
6. Now cut the white dough and red dough into three parts. Now you'll be having 3 parts of white dough and 3 parts red dough.


Spiral cookies:

1. Take one part of the white dough and roll it flat on a parchment paper to 1/2 inch size. Cut the corners to make it as a rectangle.
2. Same way roll the red dough to a rectangle of the same size as the white one.
3. Gently take the flattened red dough and place it on top of white one.

4. Roll both the rectangles together from one end to the other end. Try to roll it tightly so we won't get any holes in the middle.

5. You could see the spirals on the ends. Place this in a butter/parchment paper and freeze for 30 mins

6. Take the dough from the freezer and cut into 1/2 inch size circles. Adjust the shape to make perfect circles. Arrange them in a butter sprayed baking tray refrigerate for few minutes.
7. After 5 minutes bake them in 350F oven for 12 minutes or until the corners turn light brown.
8. Cool them and enjoy.





Flower cookies:

1. Take one part of the white dough and red dough and roll them as logs of same size. Keep this covered in a butter/parchment paper and freeze them for 30 mins
2. After 30 mins, take the white dough and cut the log into half lengthwise. Cut each half into four quarters of equal size, lengthwise. I didn't got this right and so my cookies doesn't actually look like flowers.
3. Do the same way for the red dough. Now you have 8 sticks of white dough and 8 of red dough

4. Now alternate the red and white dough to make a log of mixed colors. You'll be using 4 white and 4 red. Try to align the centers while arranging . If your sticks are cut properly, then they'll touch the center. Gently press the log well to make sure that there are no gaps in between. Roll this in a butter/parchment paper and freeze for 30 mins

5. Do the same way for the other 8 sticks and freeze them

6. Take the dough from the freezer and cut into 1/2 inch size circles. Adjust the shape to make perfect circles. Arrange them in a butter sprayed baking tray refrigerate for few minutes.
7. After 5 minutes bake them in 350F oven for 12 minutes or until the corners turn light brown.
8. Cool them and enjoy.


Candy cane cookies:

1. Take one small ball of the white dough and roll it to a thin straw and about half the size of a straw.
2. Make a similar one with the red dough of the same size

3. Keep the red and white together and gently roll them. Then twist them and shape like candy canes
4. Arrange them in a butter sprayed baking tray refrigerate for few minutes.

5. After 5 minutes bake them in 350F oven for 12 minutes or until the corners turn light brown.
6. Cool them and enjoy.


If you have any dough left out, make your own creation like how my family did. Merry Christmas!!!

February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day cookies

These simple sugar cookies are sure to steal the heart of your loved ones............
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
 
All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
Granulated sugar - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Butter - 2 tbsp.
Food color - optional




 
 
Method:
 
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.
 
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about one hour (or overnight) or until firm enough to roll.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.) Cut out shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking
 
Bake them for 12 - 15 minutes. Timings will vary for the oven. So always keep an eye as it will burn out easily. I decorated one batch of my cookies with food coloring. (I simply mixed sugar and food color and kept on top of the cookies). There are so many frostings available on market. You may try some of those to make your cookies more colorful..


My First Doughnut

It was my wedding anniversary a few days back. When I came across the recipe of Doughnuts, I've saved it for this occasion as we don't make desserts that often. And I did tried the basic sugar glazed doughnuts for the special day and we all liked it. Though it was not as good as the store bought fresh ones, it was close to it. And also I got the satisfaction of making it on my own. Next time I would love to try the different versions.

And I had some excess dough, which I don't want to fry and keep (as doughnuts loose their taste the next day), I made some naans with that, and they were really fabulous - super soft than my regular ones.. So its a two in one dough. Cool isn't it? So here comes the recipe.

Recipe Source: Vahrehvah


Ingredients:

All purpose flour - 2 cups
Egg - 1
Milk - 70 ml
Water - 70 ml
Active dry yeast - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Butter - 1/8 of a stick

For coating:
Powdered sugar and cinnamon powder

Method:

Take a bowl add sugar, dry east, water, milk, salt, egg, mix it till the sugar melts,

Then add all purpose flour, mix it well make in to a dough and kneading for 5 to 7 minutes and add butter again kneading for 3 minutes and rest it for 30 minutes in a warm place, after 30 minutes give knock back and again rest for 30minutes.

Take the dough and with help of rolling pin roll it into ½ inch sheet and cut the doughnuts with doughnut cutter, transfer in to the tray, then rest for 10 to 15 minutes to rise.

Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the doughnuts in a slow flame till brown in color, take in a serving plate and sprinkle some casting sugar along with cinnamon on it.

Tips:
More kneading helps in a better soft dough and nice fluffy doughnuts

To cut the doughnuts, first cut the outer circle and remove them. Then cut the inner circle.

For frying, keep the flame very low. Don't overcrowd the doughnuts, as they will rise in the oil. Give some space.

January 1, 2014

Vegetable Adai Dosai

I usually make adais once or twice a month, This time when I was browsing I got this little variation from Vahrehvah. We could add cheese as an additional optional ingredient which I did only for my kid. This one has the goodness of veggies to this protein rich dish. This could be served even as a evening food after school.


Ingredients:

Idly rice - 1 cup
Sona masoori rice - 1/4 cup ( I add this to get crispy dosas)
Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Chana Dal - 1/4 cup
Moong dal - 1/4 cup
Urad Dal - 1/4 cup
Red chillies - 6
Hing
Curry leaves - a bunch

Finely chopped mix vegetables (onions, carrot, beans, cabbage, spinach)
Chopped ginger and green chillies ( I skipped this for my kid)
Cheese - optional
Salt
Oil



Method:

Wash the rice and dals. Soak the first set of ingredients from Idly rice to Curry leaves in water just enough to immerse the dals. Don't add too much water as we may loose the nutrients of the dals when we grind. Let them soaked for 3 - 6 hours

Grind them to a fine consistency for dosas. (For adais we can grind it to coarse consistency). Add salt to the batter

Heat the dosa tawa and spread the batter like a dosa. Sprinkle the mixed vegetables on top all over the dosa. Sprinkle some cheese. Add oil on the corners and keep it covered.

After the corners starts turning to golden brown, remove it and fold it and serve. For kids, you can even make it into rolls and serve them. Serve hot with your favorite chutney.
 

Tutti Frutti Cookies

Christmas time is the perfect time for cookies as kids are waiting for Santa and his gifts. This year we made these eggless tutti frutti cookies for Santa. A simple and perfect recipe got from Sharmispassions.


Ingredients:

All purpose flour - 1 cup
Unsalted Butter (room temperature) - 4 tbsp.
Powdered sugar - 1/2 cup (or even less)
Tutti Frutti - 1/3 cup (can be substituted with any dried fruit)
Milk - 1 to 2 tbsp.



Method:

In a mixing bowl add powdered sugar and butter. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy - I used my whisk for this. Add maida, tutti frutti and mix well.

Add milk to form a soft sticky dough. Lay a butter paper and roll the dough and form a log(dust flour if needed).

Freeze the logs for 40mins(Put it up in the freezer to make the dough firm). Take the log out, and slice the dough with a sharp knife. Slice into slightly thicker slices. Preheat the oven at 350ºdeg /160 deg C for 10mins.

Place the cookies on the lined butter paper leaving space between each cookie. Bake it at 160 deg C for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown on the corners. It took 13 minutes for me. Check yours accordingly. Bake a little more if you want crispier cookies.

Transfer carefully in a rack and cool it. Store in airtight container.

Happy New Year!!!

 

August 5, 2013

Mini Samosa

Samosas are deep fried triangle shaped starters filled with vegetables. There could be no one without knowing this famous appetizer. Mini Samosas are the one in miniature versions. And these will be more crispier than the regular ones. These are mostly filled with onions. And the taste of onions inside these fried samosas - OMG!! - its utterly delicious. I recently saw a cookery show in youtube and got this recipe. Its very simple to make and you will get amazing response. I tried this with store bought samosa sheets. But if you prefer you could make your own sheets too.

 
Ingredients:

Samosa sheets
Thinly sliced Onions - 1 cup
Thinly sliced Cabbage - 1 cup
grated ginger - 1 tsp
sliced green chilly - 2 ( I replaced this with red chilly powder)
salt

Glue paste
Mix a tsp of all purpose flour in water to a semi running paste.


Method

Mix the sliced onions and cabbage with 1/2 ttsp salt and mix well. Keep this aside for half hour. After half hour the onions will leave water. Now squeeze all those water from the onion mix. You should really squeeze well as it helps to make crispy samosas. If you don't squeeze well, then the samosas will be soggy. So squeeze it really well

After squeezing, add other ingredients and little more salt (remember we added some salt earlier. though we squeezed some will still be there)

Take the samosa sheets. Mine was a square one. so I sliced it lengthwise into 4 rectangles.



Take a spoon of the onion mix and keep it one corner. Then tightly roll it as triangles throughout the length of the sheet. Make sure that you don't have any open corners as the mix might drop out. At the end apply the glue paste and stick it well. In the same way roll all the samosas.

Heat oil in a pan to deep fry these samosas. The oil should not be too hot. I kept it in a low flame. Slowly drop one batch of these mini samosas. And let them cook slowly till they get the nice even golden coloring. Then turn and cook on the other side. This takes around 7 - 10 minutes for each set.

Drain the oil well and place them on tissue papers. These stay crisp even for hours later. Enjoy these crispy snacks on a holiday evening.

Note:
Make sure to squeeze well the onion and cabbage mix
Fry the samosas in really low flame to have the crispy texture.



 
 

 

August 1, 2013

Red Chutney - perfect for Idly / dosa

We love Idly / Dosa the traditional South Indian breakfast. We have it regularly on weekends morning breakfast. I used to make red chutney with only onions and tomatoes earlier which is always the least favorite in my family. So this time I tried a little variation to my ingredients and BINGO it was a great hit!!! So here goes the recipe for your hit list..


Ingredients:
Onion - 1
Tomato - 1
Tamarind - a bit
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Coconut powder - 2 tsp
Salt
Oil - 1 tsp

For Seasoning:
Oil -  1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves

 

 
Method:
 
Heat oil in a pan and add sliced onions and tomatoes and sauté well. After they are half cooked add the tamarind, turmeric powder, red chilly powder and coriander powder. Add little water and cook till it gets almost dried. At the end add coconut powder and stir for a minute. Grind it to a paste after cooling this. Heat oil and add the seasoning ingredients. Pour the seasoning over the chutney and serve with Idli / dosa.
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