Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shortbread Cookies

This was another of the saved baking recipes I had got from Joy of Baking. The shape and color had me bowled over and I had to try these. Especially for the newly bought, still unused heart shaped cookie cutter! Followed the recipe almost as is, though I didn’t follow the measurements exactly. The outcome was good, and was well received. This is sure to be a keeper, especially with the variations in texture that can be made.
Here’s how to make them....

Shortbread Cookies

Preparation time : 15 min + resting time
Cooking time : 15 min
Makes : ~20

All purpose Flour (maida) - 2 cups
Unsalted butter - 1 cup, in room temperature
Powdered Sugar - ½ cup
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Salt - a small pinch - ¼ tsp

• In a bowl mix flour and salt well
• In another bowl, beat butter till creamy for about a minute or two
• Mix in sugar and continue to beat till fluffy for another few minutes
• Add vanilla extract and mix thoroughly
• Fold in the flour and mix to combine. Do not knead.
• Flatten the dough, wrap it in a sheet and place it in refrigerator for 30 min
• After half an hour, remove from refrigerator, and flatten it using a rolling pin and cut out desired shapes.
• Place these on a greased tray, till all the dough is used up
• Place it in the refrigerator for 10 more minutes to firm up, so that the cookies retain the shape when baking
• Preheat the oven at 180 ºC and bake for 15 minutes. Check after about 10 minutes and adjust the time, not to over bake or under bake. A slight golden at the edges should be enough
• Let the cookies stand on the baking sheet till cool enough, else they crumble when tried to lift when hot
• Allow it to cool completely and then store away the rest in a tight container

Tips n Tricks:
• I found the dough too brittle to roll and cut. So I pinched out a small ball and flattened it on palm and cut the same with a cookie cutter

• For a slightly crunchy texture replace 1/4 cup of the all purpose flour with rice flour
• For a more delicate tasting shortbread, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture, replace 1/2 cup of the all purpose flour with cornstarch (corn flour).

Sending these to Champa's Bake-off event.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Semiya/Shavige Kesaribath

Whenever mom felt like pampering me with some sweet quickly and immediately her choice would be this!! Be it in my college days when she felt like packing an extra box for me with some sweet dish or now when I give her a quick visit, her choice would be this. And I thoroughly enjoy this mom-made sweet anytime, and with or without anything else. One good thing about the Semiya kesari bath is that it takes much much lesser ghee when compared to its regular soji/rava counterpart. And it tastes good when cold too.
Here’s the recipe...
Semiya/Shavige Kesaribath

Preparation time : None
Cooking time : 10-12 min
Serves : 4

Semiya - 1 cup
Milk - ¾ cup
Water - ¾ cup
Sugar - 2 Tbsp, adjust according to your taste
Ghee - 1 Tbsp
Raisins - 10 - 12
Cashews - 10 - 12
Saffron food color - a pinch

• Dry roast semiya in a heavy bottomed pan till light golden and transfer to a plate
• In the same pan bring milk and water to boil
• Once the milk starts boiling, add semiya into it and continue heat in medium to low flame
• Add a pinch of saffron color
• Stir gently in between, and allow for semiya to cook till done. This will take about 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook the semiya.
• Add more water if necessary, but ensure that the cooked semiya is fairly dry
• Now add sugar and stir gently. The mixture now becomes a little liquidy.
• Continue heating for another 2 minutes, put off the flame• In a small skillet, heat ghee and roast cashews and raisins till they turn golden
• Mix in the cashews and raisins and serve warm.

Tips n Tricks:
• Do not overcook the semiya

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wheat, Oats and Sesame Crackers

After a few failed attempts at baking and a loooong time, I desperately wanted to bake something. I had saved so many recipes from co-bloggers that I had to bake something. I chose Suma’s Sesame crackers with oats and wheat flour mainly for its simplicity and few ingredients. And oats and wheat make it way healthier than the regular all purpose flour.
More excited than me for baking was my little niece Hima, who eagerly waited for me to knead the dough and was desperately waiting to cut the cookies. Once done, she was hooked in front of the oven, waiting for me to get the crackers out of the oven. She tasted a little piece and said 'Wowwwwwww atte!! Suuuper'!! It came as a surprise to me as I was expecting her to like the sweet cookies I was making in parallel, than these. The next couple of days she'd suddenly remember about the crackers stored in the kitchen counter and demand a couple of them! Ok, Suma, the credit goes to you :)
Here's the recipe with a slight change from the original...

Wheat, Oats and Sesame Crackers

Preparation time : 15 min + resting time
Cooking time : 18-20 min
Makes : 35-40

• Wheat flour (Atta) - 1 cup
• Oats - ½ cup ( I used Quaker)
• Oil - 1 tbsp
• Butter - 2 Tbsp
• White sesame seeds - ¼ cup
• Salt per taste
• Baking Powder - ½ tsp
• Dry ginger powder - 1 tsp
• Chili flakes - 1 tsp
• Water - as required to knead the dough

• Coarsely powder oats
• In a bowl add the wheat flour, oats, baking powder, and salt. Add ginger powder, chili flakes, sesame seeds. Combine well.
• Add oil. Melt the butter and add at this stage.
• Add water little by little to form a thick chapathi like dough. Keep aside undisturbed for 30mins.
• Divide the dough into half. Roll each half thin and cut into squares or sticks or any desired shape. Combine the scrapings and repeat the same with the other half too.
• Preheat oven to 180ºC. Place the squares on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 15-18 minutes or until the crackers are crisp. The baking time depends on the thickness of the squares and the oven settings
• Allow it to cool completely and then store away the rest in a tight container
• Tastes great with a cup of tea

• The original recipe by Suma had garlic paste instead of ginger and chili flakes
• I increased butter to 2 Tbsp

Sending these to Champa's Bake-off event.