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Category Archives: Sweets

Yummy Peanut Butter Cups

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Yummy Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate and peanut butter…a match made in heaven and your delightful late-night snacking treat!

 

Hungry for more?

Hungry for more?

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Delectable Chocolate Brownies

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Delectable Chocolate Brownies

This is one recipe, which has been tested and tried very often over past two decades in my kitchen. Those were the days when we relied on family, friends and magazine cutouts and sometimes that extended to the free recipes on cereal boxes and baking chocolate wrappings…everything was clipped and jotted on scraps of papers and saved in a recipe file in a firm hope that someday….we will try or pass this on to our children.

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I found Baker’s recipe for brownies totally unparalleled and would like to share the same with you today.

Ingredients

4 squares unsweetened Baker’s chocolate (4 oz)

¾ cup unsalted butter (one and half stick)

2 cups sugar

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1-cup all- purpose flour

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, optional

Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 350 F or 180 C.

Slowly melt the chocolate and butter over top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.

Mix in the sugar using a whisk. Remove from heat.

Add eggs and vanilla, mixing in everything evenly.

Evenly mix in flour and coarsely chopped walnuts. Reserve some to sprinkle on the surface.

Spread the mixture on a greased and lined tray and smooth the surface.

Add the remaining walnuts.

Bake about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out with fudgy crumbs.

Remove the tray from the oven and let the brownies cool for at least 10 minutes.

Flip the contents on a chopping board and cut them into tiny squares.

Serve the brownies warm or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

(Recipe Source: Baker’s Chocolate –One-Bowl Brownies)

Recipe 2

Hershey’s Brownies

Here is another classic recipe for brownies that uses cocoa and is a double chocolate treat with frosting.

Hersheys

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Creamy Brownie Frosting

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

3 tablespoons Hershey’s Cocoa

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Beat butter, cocoa, honey and vanilla in small bowl until blended. Add powdered sugar and milk; 
beat to spreading consistency.

The recipe makes about 1 cup frosting.

Directions

Heat oven to 350 F or 180 C. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.

Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan.

Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Prepare creamy brownie frosting; spread over brownies.

Cut into squares. The recipe yields 16 brownies.

(Source: Hershey’s)

Click here for the original source

Did you know that the First Brownie was created in the kitchen of the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago during the 1893, during an event honoring the 400 years after Christopher Columbus had arrived to America, when Mrs. Bertha Palmer requested the Palmer House chef to create a ladies dessert, something petite, that would be easier to eat than a piece of pie, and a smaller serving than a slice of layer cake.

To read more about the history of brownies, click here.

Scrumptious Strawberry-Lemon Muffins

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Scrumptious Strawberry-Lemon Muffins

Hands off from the snooze button! Wake up and smell some freshly baked Sunday special Strawberry-Lemon zesty muffins.

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They are delicious, they are moist, and they are healthy! Just what you need on a lazy Sunday morn!

It’s the strawberry season here in India too. It’s hard to not fall to the charm of California, even if meant those plump punnets of strawberries huddled together in a flimsy plastic container being sold in bazaars of New Delhi.

The speckled strawberries looked ruby red and oh, so fresh with their verde green leaves intact. The shopkeeper goaded me, “ Madam ji, le leejiye. Bahut meethi hain. Imported hain. California ki hain.”( Madam, please buy.These are very sweet, imported from California).

I was half-expecting him to say, Darjeeling or Nainital se hain. (…are from Darjeeling or Nainital)

Needless to say I fell for the charm of these juicy heart- shaped aggregate fruit called Fragaria ananassa, full of anti- oxidants. These berries , somehow always remind me of my grandchildren, regaling me with their enthralling tales of their trip to strawberry patch, of their gurgling laughter and their happy strawberry stained faces after they have had their fill.

Come Sunday morning, I was tempted to make muffins incorporating strawberries for breakfast. The recipe is easy and hassle free.

Get ready with the ingredients

Ingredients

½ cup wheat germ

½ cup whole-wheat flour

½ cup all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

Pinch salt

1/3-cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

2 eggs

½ cup butter, softened

4 tbsp. yogurt

1 cup chopped strawberries

Zest of 1 lemon

Fill in the mouldsphoto-84

Directions

Mix the wheat flour, all purpose flour, wheat germ, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl.

Add the eggs, melted butter, brown sugar, white sugar and yogurt. Stir until just incorporated.

Gently fold in the strawberries and lemon zest.

Prepare a muffin pan by coating with butter or lining with paper muffin cups.

Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin pan or cups.

Bake at 190 degrees C for about 20 minutes until the tops are browned and the muffin bounces back when you gently press on the top.

Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and further cool on a wire rack. Serve warm.

Makes12 mini muffins and 6 regular muffins.

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Verdict: Sunday morning doesn’t get any sweeter than that!

Variations:

Sprinkle some sugar on top of each muffin, if you have a sweet tooth. (Before baking or after baking)

Substitute lemon zest with orange zest or cinnamon.

Add some blue berries, or may be some chocolate chips!

Substitute butter with applesauce.

Source: (My vintage recipe file)

Luscious Lemon Yogurt Cake

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 One of the most prized possessions on my book shelf is The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Baking by Carole Clements, a gift from my daughter in law.

The book has marvellously diverse recipes that are easy, precise and it’s a great aid cookbook for novices and seasoned bakers alike. On a personal level, the recipes are easy to follow and I had loads of edible results from it.

An absolute favorite, this recipe is inspired from this book.

Lemon Yogurt Cake…waiting in vain for glaze by the cook

  Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 cup butter at room temperature

1½ cup granulated sugar

4 eggs, at room temp (separated)

2 tsp grated lemon rind

½ cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup plain yogurt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

3-4 tbsp plain yogurt

Method:

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C or 350 degrees F. Grease and dust a bundt cake pan.

In the meantime beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Yes, You can use an electric mixer.

Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the lemon rind,juice, and yogurt and stir to blend.

Sift together the flour and baking soda and keep aside.

In another bowl beat the egg whites and salt, until they hold stiff peaks.

Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture,then fold in egg whites gradually.

Pour into a pan and bake for about 45 minutes at 175 degrees C or 350 degrees F, until a knife/skewer inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the pan after 15 minutes. Place it on a cooling rack.

For the glaze, sift the confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and just enough yogurt to make a smooth glaze. Let the cake cool.

Pour the glaze over the cake, and allow glaze to drizzle down the sides. Decorate with lemon slices. ( I did it with orange rings…was out of lemons  and there was no time to glaze as my grandson and his play dates were difficult to keep at bay.  Ah, but when you see the cake disappear fast, do you really care if the cake was glazed or not!)

Yields 12 servings

( Optional: You may add either 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries, black berries or 1/4 cup chopped fresh dates before baking.)

Did you know that the Confectioner’s sugar is actually granulated which has been mechanically ground into a very fine powder. You can do it in a blender at home.

The Bundt pan was first produced in 1950 by Nordic Ware founder H. David Dalqui.

Bhapa Doi

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A Bengali dessert, light and flavorsome. My memory goes back to years ago when we lived in New Delhi in Parliament Street. Very often my older brother would be sent off to get  Bhapa Doi or Mishti Doi from the MP’s Canteen.

He would arrive with oodles of sweetened yogurt in earthen pots. As we would take off the lid with our eager hands, we were greeted by a heady whiff of cardamom and it was a sight to behold, to see a layer of caramelized sugar floating on top. My other memory is of 2003, Kolkata, at my son’s wedding!

After many years, I tried making this today, and well, the recipe did not let me down!

Bhapa Doi

Ingredients:

1 cup yogurt

1 cup milk

1 can condensed milk ( 400 grams)

Few strands of saffron soaked in 1 tbsp milk.

½ tsp cardamom powder

2 tb sp sugar for caramel

Garnishing: Pistachio slices,saffron strands,cardamom powder.

Sweetened yogurt, Bengali style…almost!

Method:

Blend yogurt, milk and condensed milk until smooth.

Add cardamom powder, saffron.

Heat 2 tbsp of sugar in a pan on low heat until the sugar is caramelized. Turn off heat. Add 1 tbsp of water and stir.

Add to the prepared mixture.

Pour in a bowl, cover with a tight-fitting lid/ aluminium foil and steam for about 20 minutes.

Chill and serve garnished with pistachio slices.

Check this out for a number of different recipes on making bhapa doi or mishti doi.

Naan Khatai

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Soft and melt in the mouth…These are the forerunners of all cookies, at least in India. These were the only ones available in the shops and bakeries. The recipe is simple and easy to make.

Delectable Indian style cookies

Ingredients:

1½ cups flour

¾ cup powdered sugar

½ cup melted ghee (clarified butter)

¼ tsp vanilla essence or ½ tsp powdered cardamom

Naan Khatai

Method:

Mix together all the ingredients, if too dry add some more ghee to make a soft dough.

Divide the dough into 24 equal balls, and place them on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 160 degree centigrade for about 15 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack and store in a tin.

Enjoy !

Basbousa

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 This is a recipe for Egyptian semolina cake. Basbousa is easy to make and tastes divine! It tends to be a bit heavy on sugar as the cake is drizzled with rose-flavored sugar syrup after baking, while still warm and in the tray! You can cut down on the sugar measure if you like!

 Ingredients:

2 ½ cups semolina

½ cup flour

1 cup melted butter

½ cup yogurt

1½ tbsp baking powder

1/3 cup sugar

½ cup grated coconut (optional)

1 tsp orange blossom water (optional)

For the syrup

1½ cups Sugar

1 cup Water

1 tsp Rose water

½ tsp lemon juice

Decoration

slivered almonds/peanuts or pistachios

Basbousa

Method:

Mix the ingredients, and pour into a square greased dish.  Make markings on the batter with a knife. Arrange almonds on top.

Let stand for about 30 minutes.

Bake at 180 C for about 30-35 minutes.

Boil sugar and water for about 5 minutes to make the syrup. Add rose water and lemon juice.

Pour the syrup on the semolina cake. Cut into squares and serve warm.  Enjoy!

 “Cooking with the Chef” 

Here is another version for making Basbousa by Chef Amjad, Pastry Chef at the Sheraton Riyadh.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoJmSxavEyk