Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Karachi Cookies/ Tutti Frutti Cookies/Eggless candied fruit cookies

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

This is one of N’s favorite favorite cookies- from Karachi bakery in Hyderabad. I have tried various versions of it but when I baked, it was not that close to the original recipe. Finally, I found a easy recipe here. They came out so well that we finished all of them in 2 days!
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Ingredients: (Makes about 25 cookies)
1 and 1 tbsp cup All purpose flour
1 stick of butter, softened, not melted on stove top or microwave.
½ cup of powdered sugar
½ cup candied fruit/tutti frutti
1/4 tsp vanilla essence

Method:

This is very easy to follow. Already there are 5 ingredients, right? Almost 5 steps,thats all.

Cream together butter and sugar.
Add flour to the sugar slowly, mix with a spoon.
Add tutti frutti, vanilla essence, mix well. Do not use a mixer, but use your fingers to bring it together. Do not knead. Sounds tough, but the dough will come together. It tastes better if you use softened butter, so let it sit on the counter top for sometime to soften.
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Now, roll up this cookie dough in a cling film. This helps to hold shape and cut later. Refrigerate for an hour(I did mine for 1 hr 30 mins).

After an hour, pre heat the oven to 365 F.
Slowly unwrap the cling film and cut the cookie dough into circles, about half inch thick. Line them on a tray with parchment paper and bake at 365F.
I baked my cookies for around 15 minutes, till the bottom of the cookies turned golden brown. As it cools, it hardens. So, do not wait till the entire cookie is golden brown.

Once you take the cookies out, let it stay in the tray for 2-3 minutes, then cool it on a wire rack completely. It stays good in a container for 2 weeks. But we finished ours in 2 days :) Serve it with hot tea or coffee. Or you can gobble it up every time you cross the kitchen like us :)

If you are thinking of holiday baking, this is a easy and tasty cookie to try!

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Elephant ear cookies!

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

I made these for my son and his friends and they all loved it! The smell of cinnamon and sugar makes it super tasty, have it warm and it just melts in the mouth.
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Ingredients
1 cup sugar, divided in to ½ and ½ cup
1 pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted

Method: Pre heat the oven to 425 F.

Combine 1/2 cup of the sugar and salt and pour it over a flat tray or kitchen counter(lined with parchment paper). Spread the puff pastry sheet on it.
Combine 1/2 cup of the sugar and the cinnamon and spread it evenly on the puff pastry. With a rolling pin, lightly roll the dough until it’s a square and the sugar is pressed into the puff pastry on top and bottom.

Start folding from both edges and bring it towards the center. Now fold the two edges again. Slice in to ½” thick pieces. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake the cookies for 7 minutes, or until caramelized and brown on the bottom, then turn and bake for another 5 minutes, until caramelized on the other side. Cool. Store in an air tight container for 4-5 days. One puff pastry sheet makes 12 cookies.

Recipe Source (Ina Garten, Simple French series)

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Apple Pie!

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

I tasted the home made apple pie(with homemade crust!!) at our friend’s house for thanksgiving 3 years ago. N loves it so much that our friend makes almost a separate pie for N after that!

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So, if I have couple of apples in hand and 30 minutes, apple pie what I make for dessert these days. It is so easy and I do not have to worry about syrup consistency or the perfect temperature as I have to do with other desserts.I do not make the pie crust though, I just get pie crusts whenever I stock groceries and when guests arrive for dinner, I stash the pie in the oven- by the time we get to dessert, warm pie is ready to be served right out of the oven!

I usually make double crust(cover the top too) pie, you can even make stripes and cover the top part of the pie in a zig zag way. This recipe is from Pillsbury.

Ingredients:
Pie crust- 2 rolls
Pie baking dish/ready to use baking dish-1
For the filling:
Apples- 5
Cinnamon- 3/4 tsp
Sugar- 3/4 cup
Flour- 1 tbsp
Lemon juice-1 tsp
Salt- a pinch

Method:

Pre heat the oven to 400 F.

Peel and slice the apples, discard the core. Mix cinnamon, flour,sugar and salt with the sliced apples in a bowl. Add lemon juice and mix again.

Layer one pie crust to the bottom of the baking dish, fold edges as necessary. Arrange the filling to the center of the pie and spread it evenly.

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Cover the pie with another crust roll. Pinch the edges together. Poke a few holes in the center with a knife. Use a fork and prick the pie crust for steam to escape.

Place it in the oven. That is it. Do not keep opening and closing the oven door, check if the pie is cooked through after 30 minutes, the top will be golden brown and you can smell the aroma of baked apples. If it is not done, bake for another 5-10 minutes.

Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool down.

Serve warm as it is, or with ice cream or chocolate sauce or caramel sauce. We like it as it is.

The first time I made it, I used granny smith apples, then I just started using whatever apples I have in hand and it comes out well, so you use either red or green apples or combination of both.

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This week’s baking: Buttery Jam Sandwich cookies, mock bourbon biscuits and Artichoke pizza!

Friday, July 13th, 2012

I wrote a few weeks ago about the summer in Houston and about making frozen treats like Kulfi, but now I have to make a U turn on that and say we have been having non stop rain for the past one week, which actually makes me wonder how we are supposed to have a normal Hurricane Season if the weather is playing such tricks.

So, what else can I do other than to turn on the oven and bake some cookies to enjoy with tea and rain? One of the earlier recipes I posted when I had just started blogging was this Butter Biscuits(Iyengar Bakery style), but the response I get for it is just like the Houston weather- some say it turned out perfect, some say it was a disaster, so I thought of revisiting the same recipe but making them as Jam cookies.

Couple of things to consider before baking these cookies:

-Follow the exact measurements and exact method, baking is all about measuring. If you do that then there is no need to read other tips that follow this one 😀
– You have to keep the butter and eggs at room temperature, there is no point in beating a frozen block of butter with sugar forever in a mixer.
-Chill the dough(this is a dough, not a scoop and bake muffin) for atleast 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
– Knead the dough once it is out of the refrigerator, the once crumbly dough will be ready to roll out then. Do not add water or milk, knead first as the butter will soften as you need, then if it is still rough, add 1 tbsp of milk and knead again.
– Or better way is divide the cookie dough into two parts, roll out one part, cut out the cookies and bake them. Check if is up to your taste and alter the other half of the dough before baking.

I made this jam sandwich cookies following this recipe from Countryliving.

You can make it as plain sugar cookie, or jam cookie or use nutella as a filling 😉

With the ingredients given here you can make 40 cookies(20 sandwiches).

3 1/4 cups Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoons Salt
1 1/4 cups Butter, softened
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 large Egg
1 tablespoon Milk
2 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract(I used pineapple essence)
1 cup Jam(I used strawberry jam)
2 teaspoons Confectioners’ Sugar- to dust(optional, I did not use it)

Method:

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

Beat the butter and eggs together till they are soft(it wont be like a liquid, it is OK).

To the butter-sugar blend, add eggs, milk and essence and beat well again.

Beat in the flour mixture until it is combined(now this will look like a crumbly dough).

Divide the dough, chill it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Just before you are ready to bake, pre heat the oven to 365F.

Take the dough from the refrigerator, divide it into parts, keep the unused part covered. Roll out the other part and cut out cookies using a cookie cutter(any shapes if you have preference).

I just lined the baking trays with foil paper(as there is too much butter in the dough I knew it will not stick to the paper). Transfer the cut out cookies to the sheet, leaving space in between.

Bake at 365 for 8 minutes. (yes, the cookies will look undone and very soft to touch but let it cool down and it will harden as it cools, if you bake till the cookie is golden brown in color, it will be very hard cookies when it cools down).

Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Repeat the same method for the other half of the dough.

Sandwich 1 teaspoon jam between 2 cookies when the cookies have cooled down. Store in an airtight container.

What I did to the second half of the dough: I added about 4 tbsp of cocoa powder and kneaded the dough again, then I just cut out some cookies in to squares, rectangles etc.,made some fancy designs on top(poked a few dots, drew some lines) and baked them at 365F for 8 minutes. Now if you add nutella filling to this cookie and dust it with sugar this does taste like bourbon biscuits sold in India!

Other fillings you may want to try: Peanut or almond butter, other flavored preserves.

And no, I am not going to say my son loved these- because he hates all sweets and avoids anything with sugar(Yipee!! No cavities), but N and I loved it with a hot cup of tea :)

The next one I baked was this artichoke and cheese pizza. It was one of those days when my son refused to eat at home, so a quick trip to chipotle and a kid meal was more than enough for him. And he hates the all american cheese pizza too and since I had to make dinner just for us, I baked this pizza. The dough for pizza is from this recipe , I did the one hour rise only and for the toppings I just spread some pasta sauce, mexican blend cheese, onions, peppers and frozen artichokes. Baked it at 400F for around 10-12 minutes. Simple but satisfying dinner.

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