Cookie Love

  Hello lovelies and lovelaas( lovelaas for males). Since English is not my mother tongue, I would be given a little leverage when I run off the track, or wouldn’t I? Anyway, this cookie recipe I’m sharing is an extremely tried and tested one at our place. So tried and tested that it has become completely run off the mill. But that doesn’t do away with the fact that these cookies are always high in demand at our house. I usually make them plain(Without cocoa powder, chocolate chips) but this time my chocolate love elbowed its way even into my cookie baking prowess.

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Ingredients:( For approx 2 dozen + small ones,depending on size)

  • 3/4 cup butter(softened to room temperature)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup all- purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest (optional-if you like the lemoney scent  )

Extra

  • I divided my dough into 3 parts. In the first part I kneaded in cocoa powder(1/4 cup). In the second part I added chocolate chips. The third part was left plain(I decorated these ones with roasted almonds after cutting out shapes).

How to go about it :

  • Add sugar,butter and whisk these together in a bowl.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and whisk well.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, lemon zest and salt
  • Mix all the above ingredients in one bowl. Knead well.
  • Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or more.
  • Take the dough and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough
  • use the cookie cutters, to cut out shapes as desired.(Personally I love hearts)
  • Set to bake
  • Bake until the cookies get firm. Don’t over bake.

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The last picture is of  eclairs and chocolate truffles that a cousin bought on his way back from London…….!  I just totally love chocolates. Excuse me while I devour this loveliness .

You’re not hungry by any chance, are you ? 😀 😛

xxx

Steaming Kashmiri Chai and Pound Cake

      One should think twice before wishing for anything. Like me wishing for snow. I’m down with flu just because it was very cold. That too without snow.Just imagine what would have happened if it actually had snowed. Since my mother doesn’t use internet I can safely divulge a secret. I’m enjoying having a cold! Too much . I luxuriously stretch out under my warm blankets as I hear my sister complaining somewhere in the house, ” why can’t Ayesha do it?” and mom replying,”Well she’s sick,so you have to”. Ha!(Hahahaha! Poor Areeba:P) I guess that’s a bit mean. But in my defense I’m one person who rarely gets ill. I mean which student gets full attendance certificates in school? I have, many times in the past. So I(fond of celebrating everything), am fully exploiting my illness. Making steaming Kashmiri Chai and dunking hot slices of Pound Cake in it is an incomparable evening delight.Sigh. It’s amazing.Those of you who face cold weather have to try out this. Soothing,from inside out! Color alert(The Kashmiri Chai is peachy-pink) in color but thanks to the room lighting you can’t see it.Last picture however displays its real color).

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What You need(Cake)

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk 
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

How to go about (Cake):

  • Preheat oven.Flour and grease baking pan.
  • Add the dry ingredients in one bowl. Sift these.Set aside.
  • Add eggs, buttermilk, butter and vanilla essence in another bowl. Whisk them.
  • Whisk all the ingredients in a single bowl.
  • Pour in the mixture and set to bake.

What You Need (Kashmiri Chai)

  • 2 tsp of  green tea leaves 
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 pods of cardamom crushed
  • 2 cups of water
  •  2  cups of whole milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Garnish: 2 tsp of ground pistachios and almonds 

Makes up to 2 cups of tea. Takes about 15 minutes to prepare

How To Go About (Kashmiri Chai)

  • In a saucepan on medium heat, add the 2 tsp of tea with about 1/2 of water, boil till frothy then add the bicarbonate of soda and whisk vigorously for about 10 seconds and then add the rest of the water and crushed cardamom and boil until the tea broth becomes peachy pink.
  •  Now bring the heat down to medium low and add the milk and whisk the tea broth very vigorously to achieve a slight froth. The color of the tea should now be a lovely dark pink. If you want a lighter color add more milk.
  • Let the tea simmer for 5-7 minutes on medium heat. This gives a distinct and lovely taste.
  • Finally, add the sugar and stir. Pour in to a cup and sprinkle with crushed pistachios and almonds. 
  • Serve tea with sugar and salt,so people may add acording to taste

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Have a lovely time drinking tea and eating cake. It’s the best thing ever. And if someone has flu, don’t fret, even better( Enjoy not doing anything for a while.)

Love and Hugs,best winters to you and yours.

xxx

Mac and Cheese!

If I was a cartoon character, I’d be Jerry. Yes Jerry from the good ole Tom and Jerry. Not because I’m too clever by half  (that too) but because I adore cheese. I’ll even fight menacing cats and  huge dogs to get to a nicely treated chunk of Swiss cheese. Or any kind of cheese for that matter. Cheddar cheese for example is another Swiss  cheese for me. Forgive me cheese connoisseurs for saying that. I really am basic when it comes to explaining my choices. While preparing a pizza, lasagna,mac n cheese etcetera etcetera I do pop a huge chunk of cheese in my mouth. I roll it around till the tang settles deeply into my taste buds. Then I chew it bit by bit. My canines, molars and premolars gnawing cheerfully. I savor my cheese to the last particle. Then, I lick my lips in a classic 80’s villain faced-with-pitiful-victim style . A suitable end to a lovely odyssey.

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Mac N’ Cheese Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup boiled and shredded chicken
  • 2 cups cheddar
  • 1/4 packet macaroni boiled
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper powdered
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp butter

Mac N’ Cheese How to:

  • In a pan melt butter  on low heat
  • Add onion and garlic clove and stir.
  • Add milk and whisk.
  •  Season with black pepper, salt and oregano.
  • Let the milk thicken.
  • Fold in the shredded chicken,boiled macaroni and cheese.
  • Empty the pan contents into a baking dish.
  • spread  the 1 tbsp butter all over it.
  • set to bake.

Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes!

I went on a cupcake baking spree for a family get together. I removed one batch after another from the oven . Needless to say, ended up making more than enough to feed the clan. And made them super chocolatey, by first covering the naked chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache, and then writing on them with white chocolate frosting. They were yummy,and were gone in minutes (Like I’d already predicted :P) If someone asks me the one thing that shall never tire me out? I’d be quick to say “Chocolate cupcakes”.I’m not a big fan of cream over cupcakes. No thank you, I’d rather have chocolate over mine.

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What You Need (for 24 cupacakes):

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk See How to
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee (cooled)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Frosting: (Melted 6 oz bittersweet dark chocolate, 1/4 cup brown sugar and half a stick butter on a double boiler. Mix well with a hand mixer )

How to go about it:

  • Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Set the paper liners into cupcake moulds.
  • In a bowl sift together the flour,cocoa powder, baking powder,salt,and baking soda.Set aside.
  • In another bowl combine sugar and eggs. Whisk till fluffy.Set aside.
  • Add butter to cooled coffee and whisk.
  • Now add all the ingredients in one bowl and beat well with a stand mixer.
  • Pour the mixture into the paper liners. Set into the oven to bake.

11Daily Prompt

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Mocha Cupcakes

My love for cupcakes has just begun. I have a feeling that it is one of those eternal loves which poets constantly talk about.And I’m glad its a good kind of deep, nourishing love that tastes so sweet and smells so good.As Marie Williams Johnstone said and I quote “What Makes Life so Sweet? Cupcakes to eat and Someone to Love.” One more thing before we go ahead. I’ve noticed that there are quite a few people (like me) who do not like too much cream on their cupcakes. These cupcakes are God-sent for such people. The frosting on them tastes like coffee-ice cream. The chocolate chips make these cupcakes even more ice-creamish tasting 😀 

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Before Frosting!

Before Frosting!

For 12 Cupcakes You Need

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk (See How to make it)
  • 1/4 cup brewed strong coffee cooled
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • A pinch of salt

For Frosting You Need

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder

How to Go about Making Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Set cupcake paperliners into the mould.
  • Mix espresso powder into the brewed coffee until it dissolves.
  • Whisk well  flour,cocoa powder,baking soda,baking powder and salt.
  • Add egg,butter,buttermilk,vanilla extract and sugar in one bowl and whisk well until fluffy and light.Slowly add the flour mixture and coffee mixture alternatively.Keep beating with your electric beater.
  • Pour mixture into the paper liners. Set to bake.
  • Let cupcakes cool before applying the frosting.

How to make Frosting

Frosting is the best thing about these,like I mentioned. It has to be made very carefully:

  • Use double boiling method to heat an egg. Keep stirring it. It will thicken. Do not let it solidify.
  • Add powdered sugar, Stir more.
  • Remove the egg mixture from the double boiler.
  • Add butter in a bowl.Add the egg mixture, vanilla extract and espresso powder. With an electrical beater, whisk well.
  • Add cream to the mixture and whisk lightly once for 10 seconds.
  • Our frosting is not very stable. Its not meant to be.( If you want to stabilize it, use gelatin)

Apply your frosting the way you like. Chocolate chips and choco balls are amazing over the espresso frosting of these mocha cakes 😀Fotor111mmm9235235

Dark Chocolate Custard Cake

“The greatest tragedies were written by the Greeks and Shakespeare…neither knew chocolate.” ― Sandra Boynton

When I was a kid  mom  used to make lovely vanilla custard cakes for me and my sisters,I loved them but I loved chocolate more. Then I grew up, and baking chocolate cakes became an obsession. Recently me ,my sisters and mother  were having a “remember when…”, when the topic of her vanilla custard cakes came along. They all  looked so wistful 😛 that I decided to bake them custard cakes but…chocolate ones. The rest is history. They loved this cake so much, and every one wanted to know the recipe. Even my mom admits that this is better than her vanilla custard cakes (And that for her is a big thing to admit 😛 )

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Ingredients ( For 2 small or one Large cake):

1/2 cup  unsalted butter

2 1/2 cup milk

1 cup flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

4 eggs ( whites and yolks in separate bowls)

1/4  tsp vinegar

1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar

A pinch of baking powder

2 tbl spoons strongly brewed coffee

1 tsp vanilla extract

Cherries for decorating

Chocolate ganache for icing

(For Chocolate ganache Put a large pan with water boiling in it. Put a smaller pan over the boiling water. In the smaller pan add a stick of unsalted butter. Add 6 ounces semi-sweet dark chocolate or Milk chocolate. Let the butter and chocolate melt. Stir regularly.Put this in a fridge to cool)

How to go about it:

  1. Preheat the oven. Butter and flour your baking dish.
  2. Melt butter and set aside. Heat  the milk and set aside so it gets lukewarm.
  3. In a seperate bowl whisk together the flour,pinch of baking powder and cocoa powder -set this aside
  4. Whip the egg whites to form stiff peaks-set this aside.
  5. Beat egg yolks and sugar until light.Beat in the melted butter,espresso,vinegar and vanilla extract for about 3 minutes.
  6. Mix flour/ cocoa into the batter.
  7. Whisk in the milk. Make sure all the ingredients get well-incorporated.
  8. Fold in the egg whites 1/3 at a time. Keep repeating until all eggs are folded in.
  9. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish.
  10. Bake for around 50-60 min. The cake should be jiggly but firm( Not wet. To check this, slide a knife into the cake. If it comes out dry, your cake is done )
  11. Let your cake cool in the fridge for a while.
  12. Decorate it with chocolate ganache and cherries.

Have an amazing Baking Time.

Enjoy your cake and complements from friends & Family 😀

jj

sanne

xxx