Espresso/ Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

The sun peeked out after days of bleh weather here. An appointment got rescheduled. Multiple loads of laundry got done and dust bunnies were chased away. The sun shining on the deck enticed Maya ( my gorgeous and slightly nutty black lab) and she acutely made me aware why I probably needed to invest in a doggie door. The girl wanted to be in multiple places at once.. And there you have it, I think I influenced the dog !

And did I tell you about this week. We usually have nice weeks , crazy weeks and  – I – can’t – find – my head weeks.. This week was mercifully though just toggling between the first two kinds.  The next week would be headless chicken week. I guess the cookies fortify me for those. DH traveling and school, afterschool and after-after school schedules run amok. The kids had it more packed  and A1’s schedule honestly made my high school one look easy peasy.

Espresso/ Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

So in any case, felt the kids would enjoy this and a cup of milk as an afterschool treat.

And then again mom could sneak in one with a cup of coffee. After all when one bakes cookies, quality control and all .. Absolutely mandatory to test one. Fresh and warm out of the oven makes it even better. Oh and  what a treat it was, crisp on the edges, gooey chocolate chip , coffee shining through and bit of delicate fudgy center.

This is a take on the traditional toll house recipe 🙂

I also was made aware of a National cookie day. Well a happy coincidence it seems.

Espresso/ Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep time : 10 min  Bake time : 10-12 min  Yields : About 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • Unbleached and Unbromated  APF : 1 cup
  • Salt : 1/4 tsp
  • Baking powder : 3/4 tsp.
  • Baking soda: 1/4 tsp.
  • Butter : 1/2 cup at room temperature
  • Granulated cane sugar : 3/4 cup
  • Large egg : 1
  • Pure Vanilla extract : 1 tsp.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder : 1/4 cup
  • Instant coffee or espresso powder : 3 Tbsp.
  • Mini  semi sweet chocolate chips : 3/4 cup ( reserve 1 Tbsp. to sprinkle on top if desired)

Procedure

Before you begin the baking process, please ensure all the ingredients are at room temperature.

  • Pre heat your oven to 350 F.
  • Line a couple of cookie sheets/ baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, first measure out the flour and whisk together with salt , baking powder and soda. Do not add more than what is called for.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer if using or any big mixing bowl – add the room temperature butter and sugar and cream till it is smooth and light in color. Mine took about 3 -4 minutes.
  • Now add the egg and whisk till incorporated.
  • Then add in the cocoa powder, instant coffee or  espresso powder, vanilla extract and whisk once again.
  • Add the flour gradually and fold till you do not see any dry flour remaining. Do not over mix.
  • Fold in the mini choco chips and reserving a tbsp. if desired so to sprinkle on the top of cookies before baking.
  • Scoop out using a cookie scoop ( usually a tablespoon of it or a bit more ) and drop onto the prepared baking sheets. Space them apart to allow room for expansion.
  • Bake for about 10 min, the cookies will remain soft but set.
  • Cool them in the tray for about 5 minutes and then gently using a spatula, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • These are firm and tender, crispy yet fudgy in the center.
  • Best with a tall cup of milk

Espresso/ Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Banana Bundt Bread – Eggless , Whole Wheat and Delicious !

I had sorry looking bananas on the table. These were nearly on their way to the graveyard and dangerously on the edge to attract fruit flies – in November. In any case there were four of these and I swear they were brought in from the store not long  enough. Usually , I do not have left over bananas. Between the kids and a perpetually hungry labrador, nothing much gets wasted . Maya , my black lab practically salivates when she sees bananas. I still cannot understand her fascination for the fruit. In any case, these 4 escaped the regular crowd at home and their rapid progression from green to yellow to near black was a lesson on natural advancement.

Banana Bundt Bread - Eggless , Whole Wheat and Delicious !

My first thought was my very favorite – the banana cake one.  Light airy, porus. But I was faced with a near empty pantry…No eggs or self rising flour. No condensed milk. Barely few scrapings of APF. You get the picture…

But I did have white whole wheat flour. Oh how I love these. So here we go a quick and easy recipe for banana bread. It can yield 2 loaves or you can do what I did – bake it in a Bundt pan. I used the 10 cups one.

Banana Bundt Bread - Eggless , Whole Wheat and Delicious !

Ingredients :

  • White whole wheat flour : 2 cups
  • All purpose flour ( APF, unbleached and unbromated) : 1 cup
  • Ripe bananas : 4-5
  • Brown sugar : 1.75 cups ( you can make it 2 if you would like )
  • Unsalted butter / Canola oil : 1/2 cup
  • Baking soda: 2 tsp.
  • Buttermilk : 1 cup
  • Pure Vanilla extract : 1 Tbsp.
  • Salt  : 1 tsp.
  • Chocolate chips : 1/2 cup – your choice. Mini, caramel, dark , toffee, cinnamon etc.
  • Walnuts : Optional : 1/4 cup, chopped roughly

Method:

  • Pre heat your oven to 350F.
  • Dry Flour Mix: In a separate bowl, add 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of APF and whisk it very well. Add 2 tsp. of  baking soda and 1 tsp. of salt and whisk it very well again. You want to ensure thorough distribution of the baking soda. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment mush the bananas. I should have measured it , but I suppose would yield atleast 1.5 cups of smushed bananas.
  • Melt the butter or you can use canola oil , add it to the banana mix. Add in the brown sugar as well and 1 Tbsp. of vanilla extract.
  • Add the butter milk next and paddle whisk it lightly.
  • Now add the dry flour mix to this and mix until just combined.
  • Add the chocolate chips and nuts if using and mix once. Do not over mix.
  • Grease and parchment paper line a couple of  9 by 5 loaf tins  and distribute the batter evenly. Or  grease a Bundt pan and distribute batter in it.
  • Bake for about 40 min ( +/- 3 min ) . Tooth pick inserted in should come out clean.
  • If baking in a Bundt pan, let it cool in the Bundt pan for about 15 minutes , before you invert it to cool on  a cooling rack.
  • Slice when completely cool .
  • Optional : dust with some powdered sugar before serving.

Notes:

  • This  bread will be of a slightly denser texture owing to nearly completely portion of whole wheat flour. Using APF entirely will make it light and airy .
  • You can substitute the chocolate chips to just nuts or use in combination.
  • You can also add 1/3 cup of dark cocoa for chocolate bread.
  • Adding cinnamon would be awesome too.
  • Instead of dusting it with powdered sugar, you can opt for a sugar glaze as well.
  • If you do not have butter milk, you can make your ow. To one cup of milk add a tsp. of white vinegar. Just let it stand for about a 3-4 minutes and you can use it.
  • You can also use sour cream/ greek yogurt in combination with milk instead of 1 cup of butter milk.

Banana Bundt Bread - Eggless , Whole Wheat and Delicious !Banana Bundt Bread - Eggless , Whole Wheat and Delicious !

Printable Version :

[yumprint-recipe id=’26’] 

Roasted Garlic, Jalapeño & Herb Focaccia Bread (Wheat)

Roasted Garlic, Jalapeño & Herb Focaccia Bread ( Wheat)

This post has sat in drafts for a very long time. I have no clue why it took that long but all is well… Been  a bit scatter brained , but that’s not unusual either. The usual activities of soccer and gymnastics and the seasonal prep of FRC begins. Maya, on the other hand has been the most unburdened of the lot as she explores the backyard like a new-found babe – after days of rain and blah weather , the sun gods decide to shine on us . You could see this gorgeous streak of black, shiny fur dashing about as she chases squirrels that have peeped our after a couple of weeks. And she makes the most of it. Streaking about or snoozing in the sun. She does make me en her sometimes ! Abundant energy and abundant love .. always .

Gorgeous day and I realize, I have about a dozen drafts – nope, honest not kidding, atleast a dozen drafts sitting in the folder waiting for their turn in the sun. And I shall oblige to the best of my ability.

Been to Panera bread? It’s like this secret joint for all bread lovers to unite . Much before the active baking bug bit me ( quite honestly it has not been too long, but lets just say for timeframe sake barely 18 months or so)  their neatly arranges loaves of bread and near tumbling brown fresh-baked ones from the basket were so inviting and tempting for me. Almost irresistible that I would inevitably come home with a couple at least. Well they are now too, albeit now, I use my discretionary powers and bring a couple more of the new ones as well to try their flavors. LOL! One of their creations would be this Jalapeño cheese focaccia bread – a tiny piece of marvel with generous pepping of fresh jalapeño peppers. Yum –  O ! It’s like a sirens call for A1. He could never resist it and could polish a couple if not for mom’s “look”.Roasted Garlic, Jalapeño & Herb Focaccia Bread ( Wheat)

Been wanting to try something akin to that one for sometime , and also wanted to incorporate fresh garden grown herbs in it. While I believe this was originally baked way back in early 2014 when I was starting out to look at yeast and not turn the other way ( been in the drafts folder too long ), baked it a couple quite a few times after that with ever pleasing results !

Roasted Garlic, Jalapeño & Herb Focaccia Bread ( Wheat)

And here we go….

Prep time : 20 min 

Dough resting time : 60 – 75 min  + additional 25 min

Bake time : 25-30 min

Ingredients

Bread:

  • White whole wheat flour : 2 cups
  • All purpose flour : 1 and 1/4 cups
  • Brown sugar : 1 and 1/2 tsp.
  • Salt : 1 and 1/4 tsp.
  • Garlic salt : 1/4 tsp.  ( optional, but recommended)
  • Instant yeast : 2.25 teaspoon/ 1 sachet
  • Olive oil : 2 Tbsp.
  • Very warm water : 1 and 1/4 cup

Topping:

  • Fresh garlic cloves : 8-10
  • Fresh mint : About 1/4 cup of leaves
  • Fresh Cilantro : 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • Jalapeño Peppers, green fresh : 2 – 3 big
  • Red chili flakes : 1 and 1/4 tsp.
  • Olive oil : 3 Tbsp.

Directions:

Preparing the Dough:

  • If using a stand mixer, I initially like to attach the paddle attachment and mix everything and then switch to the dough hook for kneading.
  • Add both the flours, salt and sugar and whisk well. Add the dry instant yeast (Since we are using the dry instant kind, we do not need to activate it. However if you are unsure, then proof the yeast in the warm water with sugar.)
  • Add the  2 Tbsp. of olive oil, then the very warm water and mix it well.
  • Switch to the dough hook and now knead it very well till you get a smooth dough. The dough is very soft and smooth. Not overtly sticky. If required add a tbsp. or so of extra APF to bring it to the desired smooth consistency.
  • Oil/ Grease a container . Cover the dough and let it rest in a warm place until it doubles in size ( 60-75 min). I simply spray the container of my mixing bowl and let it rise in it.

(Tip : During winter times/ colder weather , turn on the oven initially for a few min. When it hits a temp of say 150 F, turn it off. Once you knead the dough, place it in the warm oven for about an hour. It will help in making the dough rise faster.)

Preparing the Herb, Jalapeno Pepper & Garlic Spread:

  • In a toaster oven, line a baking tray with aluminum foil . Arrange the  cloves of garlic and jalapeño and drizzle about a 1 Tbsp. of oil and roast it on high. Mine hit the maximum at 450 F, so I used that setting for about 8 min or so.
  • You want these roasted well and not blackened, so do keep an eye out and prep according to the toaster oven.
  • Let this cool for a bit. Add these along with the fresh herb mix  and remaining 2 Tbsp. of oil, pulverize in a food processor / blender to from a coarse paste.
  • Add the chili flakes, mix, scoop and set aside. This will form the top layering for the bread.

Prep and Baking:

  • In about 60 min or so, the dough would have doubled in size. Gently deflate it.
  • Prepare a heavy baking tray by lining it with baking sheet or parchment paper. Generously  mist/ spray/layer it with olive oil.
  • Dump the deflated dough onto it. Using your hands work it to form a nice rectangle / oval, about an inch or so in thickness.
  • Cover it so it is prepped for the second rise where it will rise a bit more for about 25 – 30 minutes to yield a slightly puffy look.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Once the dough is ready, using 2 fingers gently poke all over the surface of the bread. You are forming indentations and not tearing the bread dough apart.
  • Using a pastry brush if desired, spread the herb, and spicy pepper mix on the surface.
  • Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes or until it is nice golden brown on the top. Do not over bake please.

Roasted Garlic, Jalapeño & Herb Focaccia Bread ( Wheat)

To serve:

  • Serve warm bread with a drizzle of olive oil /herb oil. Best eaten warm.

Go ahead, the focaccia bread is warm , inviting and I bet it’s a siren’s call for you too.

Roasted Garlic, Jalapeño & Herb Focaccia Bread ( Wheat)

Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins

This is so not the case of life giving you way too many bananas . This is the case where I sort of threatened mock mutilation to the loving members of my family  because I wanted those two bananas to get over ripe to use for this recipe. I have secret minor addiction to pretty pictures on Pinterest ( ok not so secret any more ) but hey I can enjoy a good one now and then . While I do admire them, I so seriously need to invest some more time in understanding the mechanics of good photos…When I found this on Pinterest, the one bowl ideology spoke to me – after all who like messy kitchens? And I seem to have had a bit of a downer mood today. So in a minor adaptation of that recipe we hit jackpot on this muffin. I know it says breakfast muffin , but kids are getting it for an afterschool snack — with a warm glass of milk. Edited verdict: Kids simply loved it !

Unlike the recent past, bananas do not get a chance to go over ripe here at home. Between the kids and M, hardly any gets left over. So yours truly had to get a fresh bag of ones to let 2 stragglers from the previous batch put to good use. Nearly had a sign out to not eat/ or even think of eating/ feeding maya, the ones that were on its way to get ripened or over ripened. And they were put to amazingly good use. These gorgeous muffins are so calling out your name! C’mon grab a bowl, make these and let me know how it turned out !!!

Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins

Notes: Using whole wheat pastry flour will  produce more soft muffins. My local grocery store does not stock it and my only option was to order in bulk . Using APF of course will yield you possibly more fluffier ones. While the original recipe calls for baking with honey, I am hesitant to heat up honey based on Ayurveda principles and would gladly use brown sugar in its stead. You can also use jaggery as well. If you do use jaggery you definitely would be adding to the nutritional quotient as it is chockfull of minerals and Iron too.  Would you like to make it vegan? Use apple sauce and cutback on yogurt , or use almond milk and use flax seed  ground and beaten in water as substitute for egg. It would yield a slightly more denser muffin though. But all in all this recipe is definitely a keeper. Oh yes! The one bowl adaptation of it would definitely work as well. When you reach step 4 in the instructions add the dry ingredients sequentially in the mixing bowl.Fold in the chocolate chips gently and reserve to sprinkle on top. Perfecto!

Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins

Prep time : 10 min               Baking time : 16-18 min          Yield 12 muffins

Recipe source : http://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com. This is a near faithful adaptation of the recipe .

Ingredients

  • White whole wheat flour : 1 +2/3 cups
  • Bananas : 2 – 3  over ripe and spotted ( mashed would equal a cup or so)
  • Brown sugar : 2 – 3  large
  • Vanilla Extract : 1/2 Tbsp. 
  • Thick  plain yogurt : 1/3  cup of it ( used home made)
  • coconut oil (melted ) : 1/3 cup 
  • Large Brown egg : 1
  • Dark Cocoa powder : 2 Tbsp.
  • Salt : Â˝  tsp.
  • Baking soda:1 tsp.
  • Dark chocolate chips : 1/2 cup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Line a 12 cup muffin tray with paper cups.
  3. In a large bowl or bowl of your stand mixer, add the bananas and mash it. Add sugar, vanilla extract, yogurt, oil and egg and whip it till combined.
  4. In a separate bowl measure out white whole wheat flour, add the 2 Tbsp. of dark cocoa , baking soda and salt and mix it/ whisk it very well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix until combined.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips and reserve some to top it on the muffins .Fill each muffin tin  to Âľ of its well.
  7. Bake for 16-18 minutes.
  8. Serve warm / cold with a tall glass of milk, hot chocolate or coffee !

Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins

Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread – Indulgent Breakfast

I love Cinnamon. Well everyone in our house loves cinnamon. A1,2,3 and of course my furry friend Maya. It’s quite funny to see her eyes glazed with a weird mixture of lust and love and pure adoration when I am baking bread. Her place is right next to the oven door if I gently do not nudge her away. Some day she will be trained . Some day. Man lives on hope and who am I , a mere mortal in the billions around to reject the hypothesis. So in this case hope it is, that an unguarded loaf of bread with delicious swirls on my counter will not tempt my Labrador. Heck ! Why will I even risk it.

Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread - Indulgent Breakfast on a weekend!

A gorgeous loaf – shiny and absolutely pretty to look at.. This version of mine has eggs in it.  My middle one, did I mention again burns through a thousand calories a day with all her gymnastics and my older one is prepping for his half marathon. While A1 and A2 actually prep and workout to burn it out, A3 can bounce about the house and burn up more and compete with them.

Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread - Indulgent Breakfast on a weekend!

So an indulgent breakfast it is.  With some butter. To make it a little more healthier, I have made this with wheat flour majorly.

If you would like the Eggless versions then please do try these…

  1. Eggless Cinnamon braided bread
  2. Eggless Cinnamon Rolls

You can either of these to the loaf structure. This particular one is adaptation of these two and this one here.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • White whole wheat flour : 2.25 cups
  • All purpose flour : 1.25 cups + 0.25 more if needed in stages
  • Butter : 3 Tbsp.
  • Oil : 3 Tbsp
  • Milk 2% or 1% : 1 cup
  • Active dry yeast : 1 sachet/ 0.25 oz./2.25 tsp.
  • Sugar : 2 Tbsp.
  • Salt 1 tsp.
  • Ground cinnamon: 1.5 tsp.
  • Eggs : 2 ( large, brown, organic)

For the cinnamon filling

  • Granulated sugar or fine brown sugar : 1/3 cup
  • Ground Cinnamon: 2 Tbsp.
  • 1 tsp. of butter at room temperature

Eggwashing the loaf:

  • 1 Tbsp of reserved egg mix + 1 tbsp of milk

Prepping the pan :

  • Softened butter smeared on the pan
  • Or spray the pan and flour it

Kneading the dough, rolling, baking

  1. In a glass bowl warm the milk and 3 Tbsp butter until the butter is melted and it is very war, to touch. Add in 2 Tbsp. of sugar and the active dry yeast. Stir and set aside for about 5 minutes until you see the frothy bubbliness of the yeast beginning to act. This is a very essential step. If the yeast is not frothing, you will need to redo this step.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl mix 2.25 cups of white whole wheat flour and 1.25 cups of all purpose flour ( I use only unbleached and unbromated kind) to make 3.5 cups. Whisk it well.
  3. Add a tsp of salt and a 1.5 teaspoon of cinnamon and whisk it very well again. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer or any big wide bowl which you will you use to knead the dough,  break in 3 eggs and whisk well. Reserve a tbsp. of this to make egg wash later while baking.
  5. Now add in the oil and whisk it well to create a homogenous mix.
  6. Now add the milk + sugar + yeast combo and using the paddle whisk ( if using a stand mixer) and mix it very well.
  7. Add in the flour and gently mix it for a minute or two.
  8. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough very well to a soft and pliable one. Add more flour if it requires but always add in stages and you should not exceed 1/4 cup if so.
  9. Once the dough is really soft and smooth, grease spray or oil a container well. Tranfer the dough, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise to double it’s volume .
  10. Tip: I always heat my oven to about 125 F and switch it off. After 5 minutes. I place the greased and covered container of dough in it to aid in fast rising.
  11. In about 90 minutes or so, the volume of the dough will be double . Once it is double in volume, gently deflate it .
  12. Clean, grease or simply generously flour a work counter and empty out the dough and flatten it into a rectangle to about the width of the loaf pan you’re going to use.
  13. Mix in the sugar and cinnamon reserved under the cinnamon filling mix. Spread the reserved teaspoon of butter on the flattened dough.
  14. Spread the cinnamon sugar mix on the dough and make sure you reach the edges.Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread - Indulgent Breakfast on a weekend!
  15. Gently roll the dough, but make sure it is rolled tightly. Roll from the short side please.Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread - Indulgent Breakfast on a weekend!
  16. Pinch the seams and the edges closed.
  17. Grease the 9 by 5 in pan with softened butter or spray with grease and dust with flour.
  18. Place the rolled log, seam side down in the pan.Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread - Indulgent Breakfast on a weekend!
  19. Cover and let it rise for another 30-45 minutes until it has risen nearly to the edge of the pan.
  20. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 F .
  21. Once the dough has risen sufficiently ( the second rise will not be as dramatic as the first one, but enough to swell to the sides)
  22. Brush the beaten egg wash on the top and sides as much as you can.
  23. Score down the center to release the steam while baking so as to prevent splitting of the sides.
  24. Bake for about 38-40 minutes, until golden brown and shiny and tapped sounds hollow.
  25. Remove , cool, slice and enjoy!Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread - Indulgent Breakfast on a weekend!

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti with dark chocolate drizzle !! Perfectly crisp and delicious!

Gosh ! Don’t you just love  Biscotti ? Well I do ! Atleast now. Twice baked goodies of perfection originated in Italy and as American as apple pie, these  find their way into my pantry now more often.

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti With dark chocolate drizzle

There was time it was viewed as dry dust by me. More like saw dust. Hard as rock and bone dry, I was puzzled by it’s universal love. Maybe I had just got a bad batch, I reasoned. But nope after a couple of tries just nodded my head pleasantly and fixed a smile on my face whenever I was offered one, all the while thinking perhaps it was an acquired taste and how not choke on it!  I mean how much can one love those hard as rock, dry as saw dust cookies…. even when dipped into espresso?

Then, I chanced upon these glorious home made treats from a fellow worker. Moist but yet crispy with tons of flavor !  ( Yes, I do realize its quite oxymoronic in its description). She was generous enough to bake me some for Christmas. Rather her mom was a sweetheart ! And then over the years I developed tender feelings towards it. That’s just me, sort of need to crack the science in it.

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti With dark chocolate drizzle

And another version at TJ’s marketed as the soft biscotti caught my fancy. Rather DH bought a tub and we I indulged in it a bit too much over the weeks. Whatever the case, I fell in love. Oh!, not that dewy, butterflies in the stomach kind , my lips are are truthful, but the OMG I can bake this at home kind.

So after much wheedling for the recipe and a few pointers and misfires, this recipe from a friend and mish mashed with the one on Allrecipes site works perfectly!

Crispy and crunchy and perfectly dippable but eminently eatable as a standalone cookie,with a generous combination of lemon and pistachios and with a touch of softness so you enjoy the cookie ! Add a tiny, tiny touch of wow with the gorgeous drizzle of dark chocolate ! C’mon now, what’s your excuse for not reaching out for one ?

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti With dark chocolate drizzle

  • Baking temp : 375F
  • Baking time : About  25 minutes + 10 minutes 
  • Prep time : 15-20 minutes
  • Yield : 24-48 cookies

 Ingredients

  • All purpose flour / APF : 3 1/4 cups/ ( I use unbleached and unbromated one)
  • Canola/Vegetable/Sunflower oil : 1/2 cup
  • Sugar : 1 cup ( 1/2 white + 1/2 brown or all white granulated)
  • Large Eggs : 3 ( at room temperature)
  • Baking powder : 1 Tablespoon
  • Lemon extract : 1 Tablespoon
  • Grated zest of lemon : 2 tsp.
  • Chopped raw pistachios : 1/3 cup ( chopped roughly)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. This recipe absolutely needs parchment/ baking paper. Greasing the sheets with oil or dusting with flour might not really produce the same kind of success.
  3. In a separate bowl mix 3 and 1/4 cups of flour and baking powder and whisk well to ensure they are mixed. While measuring out the flour, just scoop and level the flour. DO NOT make it a packed cup.
  4. In  the bowl of your stand mixer or the large mixing bowl you are going to use, break open  3 eggs and beat together with oil and sugar and lemon extract and lemon zest. Just a couple of minutes will do. You are aiming for a homogeneous mix of all.
  5. Add the flour to this egg- oil -sugar and flavor mix in stages until all incorporated. The dough will be heavy and sticky. DO NOT add any more flour than what is called  for.
  6. Scoop out the dough onto the 2 prepared  cookie sheets by dividing it as equally as possible.
  7. Flour your hands well. Yep I prefer flouring my hands rather than flouring the sheet or the dough. Just dip your hands or dust it well with the flour. Now pat each dough to about 1/2 inch thickness and the length of your cookie sheet. I kept the width of the dough to about 9 inches ( ala the starbucks kind) so it did not extend all the way to the end. But if you keep the width to about 4 – 5 inches then you can form a neat rectangle that extends to the length of the cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes. DO NOT wait too long then the cookie log will harden to a point beyond usability. Using a pizza cutter or a very sharp serrated knife, make 1/2 inches to 1 inch slices thickness.
  10.  Place the slices cut side up back onto the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes on one side.
  11. Then flip it and back for another 3 minutes or so on the other side. Please do keep an eye out. You want these toasted golden brown and not burn to crisp.
  12. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  13. Once cooled very well, melt some dipping dark chocolate and drizzle to create a lovely pattern.
  14. Let the drizzle set and enjoy the fresh baked biscotti with a cup of espresso, latte or like in my case a good cup of tea!

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti With dark chocolate drizzle

Pistachio Pudding Bundt Cake with White Chocolate Chips – Moist, Tender, Fabulous!

Disclaimer: This is not a bake it from scratch post.This is a use up the stuff at home kind of thing. More of a transformation, if you  would like it!

You go shopping, you see the cake mix. You know you bake at home.. Well you do bake at home. But somehow something  struck you and you came home with  2 boxes pf pudding and white cake mix. Don’t ask why!  I had been wanting to experiment a bit with pistachio pudding and the cake was meant so my kiddo could bake it all on her own. At least A2 has professed to doing something unlike 1 and 2 who declare the food yummy and proceed to gobble it up!

Pistachio Pudding Bundt cake with white chocolate chips

Been wanting to experiment to convert the cake mix into a pound cake as well.. Lemon being our favorite. Well let’s just say the weather was fine and Sunday being a lazy day, my brain did go off on to a hiatus and a bit of goof up later , pistachio pudding that was to be turned into kulfi  and ice cream ended up here as I wanted to experiment and pound cake became light and fluffy Bundt cake as well…

Unglazed bundt
Unglazed bundt

 

So here we go. A semi homemade version that truly was exceptional in taste and texture and brought forth the flavor and color of pistachio. The drizzled icing just took it another whole level.. It was truly fabulous.. .. And looked like a million bucks when I spent a few pennies on it. I love the minimal effort and maximum mileage this one delivers. This is definitely a recipe to go to when you are short on time or you do not want to go the long route way..

glazing
glazing

 

A melt in your mouth pistachio Bundt cake that’s  light and fluffy in texture taken to greater heights by the lemon drizzle! A sure winner !

Pistachio Pudding Bundt cake with white chocolate chips

Prep time : 15-20 minutes   Baking time : 38-45 min 

Ingredients:

For the Bundt cake:

  • White cake mix box : I used DH, white cake mix – 16.5 oz.
  • Pistachio pudding : Jell-O Pistachio pudding mix pack : 1.5 packs ( each pack is 3.4 oz. / 4.5 servings)
  • Milk 2% : 11/2 cup +2 Tbsp.
  • Butter : 4 tbsp.  At RT
  • Eggs : 4
  • White chocolate chips : 1/2 cup
  • Almond extract : 2 tsp.
  • Food Color green : 3 drops ( optional, but recommended)

For the Glaze/ Icing

  • Confectioner’s sugar : 1 cup
  • Heavy cream/ milk : 2 Tbsp. or just as required to thin
  • Fine chopped raw pistachios : 1/4 cup
  • Lemon Extract : 1 tsp.

Procedure:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
  • Spray your  Bundt pan with oil of your choice and dust it with flour as well. Tap to remove excess and set aside. Make sure the nooks and crannies are completed greased and floured.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the cake mix and pudding mix and whisk it well. Add in the melted butter or RT butter and 4 eggs. Add the eggs one by one, stirring in after each one.
  • Add the milk, almond extract and three drops of food color and whisk it in until the mix is a soft fluffy batter. About 5 minutes or so in your stand mixer.
  • Stir in the white chocolate chips / fold it in gently.
  • Distribute the batter evenly in the Bundt pan( I used my 10 cup Bundt pan for this).
  • Bake it for about 38 to 45 min until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Take it out and do let it cool down in the Bundt pan itself for about 15 minutes. Do not rush this please!
  • After 15 minutes, invert it and the cake should simply slide out without any sticking if the pan has been properly greased.
  • Let it cool well for a couple of hours at least before you glaze it.

Pistachio Pudding Bundt cake with white chocolate chips

Glazing:

  • Option one : you can just dust it with confectioners sugar and it will be awesome!
  • Option two: whip up heavy whipping cream with left over pudding mix and serve the cake topped with it.
  • Option three : Mix everything listed under the glaze / icing tab listed above . Make a smooth thick and slightly runny past. Too much runny and it will simply slide off . Pour it over the cake, top with pistachios, let it set for about 20 min. Cut and serve.

Guava Ice Cream – Eggless, Quick and Creamy

Guavas – these gorgeous tropical fruits ! I can never resist them and if I do see them in the grocery aisle , a a pound or two is bound to sneak home. Eat them raw with salt and chili powder . Eat them ripe just like that. Red or white , it does not matter , but if I see them they come home :-)..

Guava Ice Cream - Eggless, Quick and Creamy

While this season though the hunt for it is yet to begin ( I hunt in the grocery aisles .. Please !) and I don’t’ seem to have ventured out on the weekends to the  farmer markets, a trip to the regular grocery store got me this – frozen guava pulp. Simple pleasure of life. Plus it was unsweetened. Gorgeous and begging to be made into something exotic or rather something that reminds  me of my mom’s creations..

 

 Delicious Guava Ice cream with just three ingredients that makes it super creamy without eggs and  can be made in a jiffy. And also no ice cream maker. I have not been impressed enough to justify plonking 50 bucks for the occasional treat ..

 

Ingredients:

  • Frozen guava pulp ( goya) : 16oz ( thawed for use)
  • Heavy whipping cream : 1 pint / 16 oz
  • Sweetened Non fat Condensed milk : 14 oz can

Before whipping the cream ensure the contents as well as the mixing bowl is well chilled . This will get you to whipped creamy stage faster and also hold it firmer.

If using the KA stand mixer, ensure the wire whisk and the bowl is chilled well for a couple of hours.

 Procedure :

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer if using ( or a regular hand mixer can be used ) attach the wire whisk and proceed to whip the heavy cream to nearly stiff creamy peaks. Start on slow speed and bring it to higher speed for about 4-7 minutes. By now you should have very creamy and stiff peaks formed. Take care not to harden it and create the sweet cream whipped butter from it . You do not want it.
  • Add in the condensed milk and thawed guava pulp.
  • Change to flat beater and mix it again for about 3 minutes until they are mixed well. You will see a thick creamy mass. It is fine.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowls and pour into a freezer safe bowl. Close tightly  to prevent any crystallization.
  • Should set in about 4-6 hrs.

Thick, luscious creamy guava ice cream is ready to be indulged in !

Guava Ice Cream - Eggless, Quick and Creamy

Notes :

  • You can use whipped cream in place of the heavy whipping cream if you are pressed for time.
  • Guava combines with some great flavors as well. Try it as a combination of mango – guava ice cream too.
  • Want a dash of chocolate? Just add your favorite flavoring on the top.

But as for me – and A1.2.3.. This is just perfect ..as it is !

 

 

 

 

 

Stuffed Masala Wheat Buns – Eggless and Delicious !

Well, this is going to be a fairly short write up to the post. A pretty hot spring day . And not a great day for yard work as discovered in the mid day sun. As also discovered the penchant for white noise in the background while got down to the list of things that had to be done.  A broken Netflix connection did not bode well when I had a gazillion things to catch up on and so missed my badly translated movies. So while things were happening simultaneously and also struggling with a setting on the camera ( I hate to read the manual – and it’s an oxymoronic nature of mine which rouses it head on certain things), this was done to welcome the kids back from school. And add a watermelon cool slushie to this, you have a winner and a filling one at the least.

Stuffed Masala Wheat Buns

 Notes:

  1. Have extra filling? Make a great sandwich filler or Quesadilla filler for you.
  2. Don’t want potatoes? Well add anything you want – Paneer, cheese, mixed veggies , corn etc. Any and all of these will work.
  3. Don’t have white whole wheat flour, use your regular atta or roti flour?
  4. Masala : just mix and match what calls your fancy on that day.!
Baked and perfect
Baked and perfect

On to the actual works now 🙂

Ingredients:  Makes 12 fairly large buns.

For the buns:

  • White whole wheat flour : 1.5 cups
  • All-purpose flour – unbleached  and unbromated : 1.5 cups
  • Ajwain or Carrom seeds : 1 tsp
  • Kasuri methi : 1 tsp. ( crushed well)
  • Salt : 1 tsp
  • Oil of your choice : 1/4 cup
  • Brown sugar : 1 tbsp.
  • Rapid rise / Instant dry yeast : 2.25 tsp. or 1 packet
  • Milk + water : 1 cup (  3/4 cup milk + 1/4 cup water , very warm)

Sprinkling topping :

  • Sesame seeds: 1 tbsp.
  • Spray oil – Misto or Pam
  • Dried Parsley leaves or fresh cilantro if using : 2 Tbsp.’

For the filling :- 

  • Boiled potatoes : 2 medium, mashed a bit
  • Peas and Carrots : 1/2 cup frozen, thawed out
  • Red onion : 1 medium, diced finely
  • Jalapeno peppers : 2 chopped finely
  • Cumin seeds: 1/4 tsp.
  • Garam Masala : 1 tsp.
  • Pav Bhaji masala : 1 tsp.
  • Salt  : 1 tsp. adjusted to taste
  • Oil : 2 tbsp.
  • Fresh chopped cilantro : 1/4 cup
  • Notes: The masalas are optional. You can always  add red chili powder only or add another masala of your choice.

Method:

Making the dough:

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer or your mixing bowl, add the flours, the salt and sugar and whisk  very well. Add in the  Ajwain/  Carrom seeds and dried fenugreek leaves ( kasuri methi)  and instant yeast and mix well.
  • Add in the oil and mix well.
  • Now add in the very warm water and milk mixture and knead to a very smooth dough.
  • Cover and let it rest for about an hour or until it doubles  in  volume.
  • Meanwhile make the filling.

Filling/ Stuffing for the Buns:

  • Pressure cook/ steam 2 medium or large potatoes and cool and mash them.
  • In a wok or fry pan, add in the 2 tbsp. of oil and when it warms up add in the cumin seeds. These will sizzle and sputter.
  • Add in the diced green chilies or jalapeno peppers and sautĂ© them well.
  • Add in the chopped red onions and sautĂ© till tender .
  • Meanwhile defrost the frozen peas and carrots and add it to this and stir in well till semi cooked.
  • Add the salt and the masalas and the mashed potatoes as well.
  • Mix and cook until the spices are distributed thoroughly. You do not want a mushy mix, but just enough till they can hold to the stuffing.
  • Toss in some chopped cilantro.
  • Optional : Add a dash of lime juice for a slight tangy flavor.
  • On cooling, make about 2-3 inches globes of these. 

Making the Buns:

  • Once the dough has sufficiently risen, gently deflate it and roll it out and portion 12 globes out of these. These will be fairly on the larger size. You can always go smaller but just ensure you have equally proportioned the fillings to it.
  • Cover it with a cloth and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
  • Take one of the dough balls out and roll it out on a slightly floured surface to a thick circle. Keep the filling in the center and wrap it with the dough. Pinch the seams so there is no gaps. Repeat for the rest.
  • Let it rise on a greased  baking tray for another 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile pre heat to 375 deg F.

Baking:

After 20 minutes when the stuffed dough balls have slightly risen, spray the oil mist or pam on the surface of the globes, sprinkle the sesame seeds and herbs.Bake for about 20 minutes till golden brown.

Spicy enough?
Spicy enough?
Pretty globe
Pretty globe

Verdict:

These were totally amazing. The were a beautiful brown and perfectly baked. Gorgeous on the outside and soft crumb holding the filling.

Here’s a pictorial on it ..

Spiced Herbed Bread – Whole wheat with fresh herbs and spices!

I think I just might have the “pracrastibaking”  affliction seriously. You know the kind, when you have to do a ton of work but actually end up miraculously baking .. Yep that very kind. I had a laundry list of things to do, along with the laundry. A1 was back from his trip, DH back from his . A2 had a ton of things that had to get sorted and washed and somehow ended up debating the merits of washing in cold water and electricity with me. Yes, I know we are like that. A3 could not find his one sock. Nope, we did put both for washing but somehow ended up having only one.Yikes ! We have a sock eating monster in the house. And it eats only one from each pair. Why not both? Beats me! I often thought I had only real live monsters that gobble up the food I put on the table. Actually 3 very much discerning ones ( Bitter gourd gets a bit of persuasion from me to eat)  and one with a tail that can eat anything. Plastic, paper, cloth and her food. I suppose puppy phase and all!

Spiced Fresh Herbs Whole Wheat Bread 

So while waiting for the  A/C repair man to show up and the stuff to finish up in the laundry, I was doodling around when some thing struck me. We had no bread in the house.Disaster.

Since, I was pretty much stuck at home and waiting for things to happen, ended up having a mental dialogue with my kitchen aid.. The shiny green thing seemed to speak to me. Either that or I was having caffeine withdrawal !

Dough ready to be baked !
Dough ready to be baked !

 Well whatever , but the urgent need for bread in the house cannot be dispensed with, especially since I having a talk with the Kitchen Aid!

Isn't that a pretty loaf?
Isn’t that a pretty loaf?

 This is such a simple and basic recipe.. You can dress it up, pair it up with cheese , stuff it with potatoes , make a cream cheese swirl or so much more..

Ingredients:

Basic Bread Ingredients:

  • White whole wheat flour : 2 cups
  • Bread flour / All purpose flour : 1 + 0.5 cup added as needed
  • Milk 1% or 2 % : 1 cup
  • Butter / olive oil : 1/3 cup
  • Brown Sugar : 1.5 Tbsp.
  • Salt : 1 tsp.
  • Instant Yeast : 1 packet /2.25 tsp.
  • Fresh lime/lemon juice : 1 Tbsp.

Herbs and Spices:

  • Fresh chopped cilantro : 1/4 cup
  • Fresh chopped Mint : 1/4 cup
  • Cumin seeds : 1 tsp.
  • Ajwain/ Carrom seeds : 1 tsp.
  • Red chili flakes : 1/2 tsp.

 Method:

  • In the  mixing bowl of your stand mixer or any mixing bowl,  add the flours , sugar, yeast, salt and dry spices and whisk it very well until it is thoroughly distributed.
  • Add the fresh herbs as well now and whisk it in .
  • Add the chopped butter if using to the cup of milk and microwave till it is very warm. Usually a minute or so. The milk is very very warm but not boiling hot.
  • Add the juice of fresh lime usually one half of it or about a tbsp. of it. And let it stand for a minute or two. Do not worry when the milk protein separates.
  • Add the milk and knead it very well till the dough is smooth.
  • Let it rise undisturbed for an hour until it doubles.
  • Once it doubles in volume, take the dough out gently deflate it and roll it to form a log.
  • Pinch the seams and place it seam side down in a greased 9 by 5 loaf pan.
  • Cover and let it rise for another 20 minutes or so.
  • Slash the top of the bread with  a very sharp knife or a pair of scissors. About an inch deep and 2 inches in length. This accomplishes 2 things – aesthetic is one and the other is these gashes will let the steam out while bread is being baked. It will prevent the loaf from splitting on the sides
  • Pre heat the oven to 375 deg F.
  • Bake for about 35 -39 minutes. The bread should sound hollow when tapped.
  • Cool before slicing. You should have an awesome crust and a tender crumb.
  • Toast or simply eat it warmed with a dollop of butter.
sliced and diced !
sliced and diced !