Category: Cookies & Crackers

Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows

I always wanted to make marshmallows at home and these Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows are the bomb!! These make for the perfect topping for my hot cocoa. I may not have a snowy view outside my window, I still have these little beauties .

Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows

I think these look like small puffs of snow 🙂 These Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows taste so good, much better than the store bought ones. I’m really happy I did make them after all! Making these was not difficult at all! So all you peeps out there who’ve been scared of trying them, look no further! I’ve got you the best recipe 🙂

You can make use of this recipe either to make large squares or mini ones like I’ve made here. You can even add flavors of your choice, peppermint, lemon or anything else. I’ve used vanilla as it was my first attempt and I didn’t know if I should take the risk. But, I’m going to be bold the next time 🙂

Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows

You will need some instruments needed for making Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows.
A candy thermometer, a sieve, measuring cups, spoons, a large mixing bowl, 7*7 inch baking pan (if making mini marshmallows) or a 5*9 inch loaf pan (if making large squares), a heavy bottom sauce pan, electric hand whisk, a silicon spatula.

Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows

Keep all the ingredients ready and measured on the work surface because once you start, this recipe moves really fast.
Choose the pan which you want to use. Line it with parchment paper.
Dust the pan liberally with confectioners sugar and ensure you cover every corner.
Take 3 tablespoons of water in the mixing bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the water. Do not stir. Set it aside so that the gelatin can bloom.
Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows
In a saucepan, add granulated sugar, corn syrup, a pinch of salt and 3 tablespoons of water. Stir them together.
Turn the flame on high and let the ingredients come to a boil, do not stir them.
Clip on a candy thermometer on the side of the pan. Let the ingredients boil till the temperature reaches 238’F.
Once the sugar mixture reaches 238’F, take it off the heat and keep your electric hand whisk ready.
Pour the sugar mixture slowly into the bowl and simultaneously start whisking in the mixture with the bloomed gelatin.
Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows

Add the sugar mixture very slowly and keep whisking at a medium speed for 10 minutes.
This is how the texture should be after beating the mixture for about 8-10 minutes.
Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows

Next, add the vanilla extract. Give this mixture one last whisk and pour the mixture into the prepared pan using the silicon spatula.
Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows

Let this mixture set for about 2-3 hours at room temperature.
After the marshmallow has set, dust the top with more confectioners sugar and let the marshmallow sit in the pan for another 6-7 hours.
Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows

Once the marshmallow has completely set, sprinkle some more confectioners sugar on the work surface or on a silicon mat.
Turn the pan over on the surface and use a knife or kitchen shears to cut the marshmallows. Roll the marshmallows in more confectioners sugar before storing in an airtight box.
Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows
They keep fresh at room temperature for about 3-4 days.

Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows

Prep Time: 9 hours, 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 9 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 30 mini marshmallows or 8 large marshmallows

Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows are the perfect treats for the Holidays. Soft, fluffy and melt in mouth bite sized Marshmallows are so easy to make, do try these soon!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup (clear)
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tbsp. cool water
  • 2.5 tsp unflavored gelatin (1 sachet)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar ( use half to line the pan and the other half to dust the top of the marshmallow)

Instructions

  1. Keep all the ingredients ready and measured on the work surface because once you start, this recipe moves really fast.
  2. Choose the pan which you want to use. Line it with parchment paper.
  3. Dust the pan liberally with about 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and ensure you cover every corner.
  4. Take 3 tablespoons of water in the mixing bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the water. Do not stir.
  5. Set it aside so that the gelatin can bloom.
  6. In a saucepan, add granulated sugar, corn syrup, a pinch of salt and 3 tablespoons of water. Stir them together.
  7. Turn the flame on high and let the ingredients come to a boil, do not stir them.
  8. Clip on a candy thermometer on the side of the pan. Let the ingredients boil till the temperature reaches 238'F.
  9. Once the sugar mixture reaches 238'F, take it off the heat and keep your electric hand whisk ready.
  10. Pour the sugar mixture slowly into the bowl and simultaneously start whisking in the mixture with the bloomed gelatin.
  11. Add the sugar mixture very slowly and keep whisking at a medium speed for 10 minutes.
  12. The texture of the mixture after beating for about 8-10 minutes should be thick and shiny white.
  13. Next, add the vanilla extract. Give this mixture one last whisk and pour the mixture into the prepared pan using the silicon spatula.
  14. Let this mixture set for about 2-3 hours at room temperature.
  15. After the marshmallow has set, dust the top with more confectioners sugar and let the marshmallow sit in the pan for another 6-7 hours.
  16. Once the marshmallow has completely set, sprinkle 1/2 cup confectioners sugar on the work surface or on a silicon mat.
  17. Turn the pan over on the surface and use a knife or kitchen shears to cut the marshmallows. Roll the marshmallows in more confectioners sugar before storing in an airtight box.
  18. They keep fresh at room temperature for about 3-4 days.

Notes

Roll every edge of the cut marshmallows in confectioners so that they do not stick together. Using a candy thermometer is essential, try with that for perfect results. The texture of the mixture becomes very thick and sticky so work quickly and swiftly.

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Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows

These are so fluffy, absolutely melt in the mouth. You guys must try this once 🙂

Love,
Shreya 🙂

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Small Batch Vanilla Mini Marshmallows

Adapted from here.

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies have been derived from the most traditional Linzertorte from Austria. The Linzertorte is a buttery tart filled with mixed nuts and black currant preserves but the American version has raspberry preserves in place of black currant preserves. Linzer Cookies have the same basic recipe and method, only that the dough is cut and baked as cookies and later sandwiched together with some jams/ preserves. 

Linzer Cookies

Pretty, aren’t they!? I just love how they look! I’ve used a small fondant plunger of star shape here because I’m not too fond of a very large cut-out center. But that is up to you, use any shape or any size that you fancy for these Linzer cookies. Christmas being around the corner, I’m in love with this star shape! In the spirit of the festivities, I’m going crazy over everything that looks Christmassy 🙂 Besides, making these Linzer cookies was a breeze.

I also used a dainty scalloped edge cookie cutter to ensure these cookies look prettier. If you don’t have any cookie cutters or plungers for the Linzer eyes, you can simply use a knife. First cut out square cookies, then use the same knife to make a small hole for the eye. You can even use bottle caps of different sizes to make the Linzer cookies. If you’re willing, you’ll find a way easily. I never had much baking accessories when I started out almost 3 years ago. I slowly built up my collection of necessities. There are still many things out there which I need but I can work without them very easily!

Linzer Cookies

Linzer cookies must taste better than they look, right?? I’ve used my Sugar Cookie recipe here with the addition of some almond extract for that traditional flavor. I’ve used strawberry preserve (store bought), although I wanted to use my homemade strawberry jam but I didn’t find good strawberries in the supermarket. You can even use raspberry preserve or apricot preserve. They all go so well with these Linzer cookies.

Also, these are the traditional flavors, but on could go ahead with robust flavors like rhubarb relish or a lemon curd for a bit of a fresh take on these! The possibilities are endless 🙂

Let’s begin by bringing the butter to room temperature. It must be soft, not melted.
Take butter and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl, mix them well using a whisk. Do not over beat.
Add almond extract and mix again.
Sift in the flour and baking powder.
Mix them.
You can use some milk to bring the dough together. But do not add too much milk.
I used about 2-3 tbsp. of milk approximately. Bring the dough together.
Wrap the dough in some cling and refrigerate for an hour to set the dough.
Linzer Cookies
In the meanwhile, line a baking tray with some parchment paper.
Once the dough has set for 60 minutes, dust the kitchen surface with some flour. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 3-4mm. Cut out the cookies and place them on the parchment lined baking tray. Keep the cookies at least an inch apart.
Linzer Cookies
Cut out Linzer eyes for half of the cookies. Keep the other half plain. Refrigerate the cookies again for 15 minutes. This ensures that the cookies don’t spread while baking.
Preheat the oven 180’c.
Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until the edges turn golden.
Linzer Cookies
Remove the cookies from the oven and let them sit on the hot baking tray for 10 minutes as they continue to crisp up further. The cookies are soft when they come out of the oven but they will turn crisp.
Place the cookies on a cooling rack to let them cool completely for about 30 minutes.
Once all the cookies have cooled down, spread some jam on the plain cookies and sandwich it with a cut out cookie. Dust with some icing sugar if you like.
Keep these cookies refrigerated in an airtight box and they stay fresh for up to 4-5 days.

Linzer Cookies

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 12-13 cookies

Linzer Cookies are so pretty and needless to say, one of the easiest cookies to put together! Make these for your loved ones:)

Ingredients

    For the Cookies -
  • 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (or vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 tbsp. milk
  • 5 tbsp. soft unsalted butter
  • For the Filling -
  • 3-4 tbsp. jam / preserve of your choice
  • Icing sugar to dust the cookies - as needed

Instructions

    For the Cookies
  1. Let's begin by bringing the butter to room temperature. It must be soft, not melted.
  2. Take butter and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl, mix them well using a whisk. Do not over beat.
  3. Add almond extract and mix again.
  4. Sift in the flour and baking powder.
  5. Mix them.
  6. You can use some milk to bring the dough together. But do not add too much milk.
  7. I used about 2-3 tbsp. of milk approximately. Bring the dough together.
  8. Wrap the dough in some cling and refrigerate for an hour to set the dough.
  9. In the meanwhile, line a baking tray with some parchment paper.
  10. Once the dough has set for 60 minutes, dust the kitchen surface with some flour.
  11. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 3-4mm.
  12. Cut out the cookies and place them on the parchment lined baking tray.
  13. Keep the cookies at least an inch apart.
  14. Cut out Linzer eyes for half of the cookies. Keep the other half plain.
  15. Refrigerate the cookies again for 15 minutes. This ensures that the cookies don't spread while baking.
  16. Preheat the oven 180'c.
  17. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until the edges turn golden.
  18. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them sit on the hot baking tray for 10 minutes as they continue to crisp up further.
  19. The cookies are soft when they come out of the oven but they will turn crisp.
  20. Place the cookies on a cooling rack to let them cool completely for about 30 minutes.
  21. To Assemble
  22. Once all the cookies have cooled down, spread some jam on the plain cookies and sandwich it with a cut out cookie. Dust with some icing sugar if you like.
  23. Keep these cookies refrigerated in an airtight box and they stay fresh for up to 4-5 days.

Notes

Do not try these with whole wheat flour, they wont taste very nice, besides those aren't traditionally Linzer Cookies. Use jams of your choice as filling, though raspberry and strawberry jams/ preserves taste the best.

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Linzer Cookies

I think I’m getting there, Christmas is in the air and Linzer Cookies spell it!!
Love,
Shreya 🙂

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Healthy Gingerbread Cookies | Eggfree

So it’s that time of the year again when all things Christmas make an appearance, as will these Healthy Gingerbread Cookies (egg free)!! So delicious and absolute cuties! Hehe 🙂 

Healthy gingerbread cookies egg free

I had so much fun making these, the whole process of making the dough, using those festive cookie cutters which a appearance every December and baking them to perfection. The best part of making these is the decoration. I am not great at icing cookies but I did manage really well this time! Though it doesn’t take much effort to ice them but for me it’s always been a pretty difficult task. And I don’t have much practice in doing this, so this time when I did it so well, I was really so happy 🙂

Healthy gingerbread cookies egg free

Traditionally, Gingerbread cookies are made with molasses and eggs besides flour, brown sugar, powdered ginger, mixed spices, etc. But I’ve never wanted to use molasses, there are two reasons for that. One being that I’d never be able to use up that entire bottle of molasses for any other recipe. Two, I’m not sure how will we like the flavor of molasses with ginger. So, I just have been wanting to skip it and have read numerous articles online about replacing molasses in gingerbread recipes. They suggest honey or brown sugar/ demerara sugar for replacing the molasses. But, I’ve used neither to replace the molasses. You’ll see how I’ve changed this and used another easy ingredient to incorporate that caramel kind of flavor here and it has worked beautifully.

Healthy gingerbread cookies egg free

Since these are Healthy Gingerbread cookies (egg free), I’ve taken the risk of using whole-wheat flour here in this recipe. There was a chance that they would spread while baking but they didn’t spread at all! I kept an eye while they were baking and I was happy that they kept their shapes!

Healthy gingerbread cookies egg free

I was worried that not adding molasses would cause the cookies to loose shape or probably they’ve bake unevenly. But, they are perfect.

Bring all the ingredients at room temperature.
The butter must be soft, not melted.
Take butter in a bowl, add powdered jaggery and brown sugar.

Healthy gingerbread cookies egg free
Cream them but do not over do the creaming, the butter does not have to be light and fluffy. It just needs to be well incorporated with the jaggery and the brown sugar. If it’s over creamed then the cookies could spread as they bake.
Next, add the golden syrup into the butter and sugar mixture. Mix them well but do not over beat them.

Healthy gingerbread cookies egg free
Add sifted whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger powder and cinnamon powder to the butter.
Mix these well but do not beat them. Just use a rubber spatula to mix these together.
Once everything comes together, shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in some cling wrap.
Refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours.

Healthy gingerbread cookies egg free

Next, sprinkle some whole wheat flour on the kitchen platform or on a rolling mat, roll the dough to a thickness of 3-4 mm. Use cookie cutters and cut out the cookies and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Refrigerate the cut out cookies for at least 30 minutes further so that they retain their shape as they bake.
Healthy gingerbread cookies egg free
Preheat the oven @180’c for 10 minutes. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until the edges turn slightly brown.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let them sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes as they crisp up.
Transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool them completely.
Healthy gingerbread cookies egg free
To prepare the egg free icing, mix together the icing sugar and milk.
Add milk a few drops at a time to ensure that the icing does not turn runny. (I used approx. 1.5 tsp of milk)
The consistency must be very thick and not free flowing. Fill the icing in a piping bag and decorate the cookies.

Healthy gingerbread cookies egg free
Let the icing set for a minimum of 1 hour before storing the cookies in an airtight box.
They stay fresh in an airtight box for 5-6 days.
Healthy gingerbread cookies egg free

Healthy Gingerbread Cookies | Eggfree

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 12-13 cookies

Christmas means plump, cute and delicious Gingerbread Cookies. These are made healthier with whole wheat flour which means more cookies!!!

Ingredients

    For Cookies-
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 50 gms soft unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. golden syrup
  • 1/4 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. powdered jaggery
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1/4 cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • a pinch of baking soda
  • For Egg Free Icing-
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • milk as needed
  • sprinkles as needed for decoration

Instructions

    For the Cookies-
  1. Bring all the ingredients at room temperature.
  2. The butter must be soft, not melted.
  3. Take butter in a bowl, add powdered jaggery and brown sugar.
  4. Cream them but do not over do the creaming, the butter does not have to be light and fluffy. It just needs to be well incorporated with the jaggery and the brown sugar. If it's over creamed then the cookies could spread as they bake.
  5. Next, add the golden syrup into the butter and sugar mixture.
  6. Mix them well but do not over beat them.
  7. Add sifted whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger powder and cinnamon powder to the butter.
  8. Mix these well but do not beat them. Just use a rubber spatula to mix these together.
  9. Once everything comes together, shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in some cling wrap.
  10. Refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours.
  11. Next, sprinkle some whole wheat flour on the kitchen platform or on a rolling mat, roll the dough to a thickness of 3-4 mm. Use cookie cutters and cut out the cookies and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  12. Refrigerate the cut out cookies for at least 30 minutes further so that they retain their shape as they bake.
  13. Preheat the oven @180'c for 10 minutes. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until the edges turn slightly brown.
  14. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes as they crisp up.
  15. Transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool them completely.
  16. For the Egg Free Icing-
  17. Mix together the icing sugar and milk.
  18. Add milk a few drops at a time to ensure that the icing does not turn runny. (I used approx. 1.5 tsp of milk)
  19. The consistency must be very thick and not free flowing. Fill the icing in a piping bag and decorate the cookies.
  20. Let the icing set for a minimum of 1 hour before storing the cookies in an airtight box.
  21. They stay fresh in an airtight box for 5-6 days.

Notes

Use honey or molasses, if golden syrup is unavailable. But do not use blackstrap molasses as that will make the cookies slightly bitter. I have used golden syrup which is very thick, so using honey could change the texture of the dough a bit.

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Healthy gingerbread cookies egg free

Cute as a button, aren’t they?!!
Love,
Shreya 🙂

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Healthy gingerbread cookies egg free

 

Cumin Cookies | Jeera Biscuits

The baking bug has bitten me for quite sometime now and there days when I am baking around the clock! It’s fun to do so little and I still get to enjoy big treats😍😍…besides, baking all my meals sounds like a doable thing in these summers when standing in front of the stove is next to impossible!

I bake things which my hubby and I both enjoy apart from experimenting new recipes or recipes which I’d bookmarked earlier….dinner last night was a batch of my Baked Spring Rolls which I served with some homemade Schezwan Sauce and glasses after glasses of my Tropical Iced Tea to cool things down 😁 I still have a bottle of the tea sitting chilled in the refrigerator for tonight….planning to pair it with my mixed lentil Adai and Tomato Chutney….mmmm!

Jeera biscuits Bakery style jeera cookies Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari photography How to make cumin cookies Recipe for cumin cookies

So while all this kept happening, my hubby reminds me about something I used to bake in the early days of my experiments with baking…almost over 2 years ago…he says why haven’t I revisited my Bakery Style Cumin Cookies a.k.a. Jeera Biscuits! I was stumped 🤔…been over a year I made them for HIS teatime 😜😂😂 obviously, the poor chap must’ve been missing them!

Jeera biscuits Bakery style jeera cookies Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari photography How to make cumin cookies Recipe for cumin cookies

And these happened a while back…just for him…he came back home to an amazing aroma wafting out of our home and he’d already known that I’ve baked these Cumin Cookies. He says…come on, give me some straight away😋…didn’t wait for his tea or anything…..and I was super satisfied 😍

These bakery style cookies are so easy to put together, mildly sweet and tad bit salty..and the flavour of the roasted cumin seeds/ jeera seeds are something so earthy and yet addictive! Besides, they lend the crunch to them. The original recipe which I had first used called for eggs but I have worked around to avoid eggs just as I avoid eggs in my Sugar Cookie recipe.

Let’s start…

Take cumin seeds in a pan and roast them until they are slightly brown and fragrant. Set them aside to cool.

Line the baking trays with parchment paper/ butter paper. Lining the tray avoids having burnt bases and edges with the cookies and ensures they colour evenly even at the bottom and the cookies don’t spread too much.

Now, in the mixing bowl, cream together the butter and icing sugar until they are smooth and well incorporated.

Jeera biscuits Bakery style jeera cookies Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari photography How to make cumin cookies Recipe for cumin cookies

Next, seive in the flour and add salt. Whisk again until the flour is well incorporated into the creamed butter. Add baking powder and the 1 tbsp roasted cumin seeds. Make a smooth dough with your hands, you can add 1-2 tbsp milk if the dough needs some moisture to come together. It’s optional, I always add 2-3 tbsp. Smoothen the dough and set it aside for 10 mins.

Next, dust your work surface (I prefer silicon mats) with some flour and roll the dough to a thickness of about 3mm and cut them in any desired size and shape.

Jeera biscuits Bakery style jeera cookies Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari photography How to make cumin cookies Recipe for cumin cookies

Place the cut out cookies an inch apart on the lined baking tray. Sprinkle some roasted cumin over each cookie. Place the baking tray with the cookies in the refrigerator for 10 mins to set the cookies before baking.

Jeera biscuits Bakery style jeera cookies Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari photography How to make cumin cookies Recipe for cumin cookies

In the meanwhile, preheat the oven @180’c for 10-12 minutes.

Once the cookies have set in the refrigerator, bake them @180’c for 12-13 minutes using both upper and the lower heating elements/ rods. They will turn slightly golden on the edges once ready. (Every oven works differently so adjust the baking time and temperature according to that)

Jeera biscuits Bakery style jeera cookies Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari photography How to make cumin cookies Recipe for cumin cookies

The base of the cookies…a perfect golden brown 😍

Once baked, keep the tray on a cooling rack and let the cookies crisp up on the tray as they continue to cook for a few minutes on the hot tray. Remove them from the tray and place them on the cooling rack to let the cookies/ biscuits cool completely before storing in airtight boxes, they keep well for upto 3-4 days.

Cumin Cookies | Jeera Biscuits

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 24 cookies of 2" each

Bakery style Cumin Cookies a.k.a. Jeera Biscuits for your tea time!! These cookies are egg-free and very crisp. Just 30 minutes to a batch of these cookies!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour (Maida)
  • 1/2 cup / 1 stick unsalted butter (if using salted butter then skip adding any salt in the recipe)
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar (I use icing sugar as it helps the cookies hold better shape, you can use regular powdered sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • a pinch of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp jeera (Cumin seeds)
  • 3-4 tbsp milk (if needed to bind the dough)

Instructions

  1. Take cumin seeds in a pan and roast them until they are slightly brown and fragrant. Set them aside to cool.
  2. Line the baking trays with parchment paper/ butter paper.
  3. Lining the tray avoids having burnt bases and edges with the cookies and ensures they color evenly even at the bottom and the cookies don't spread too much.
  4. Now, in the mixing bowl, cream together the butter and icing sugar until they are smooth and well incorporated.
  5. Next, sieve in the flour and add salt.
  6. Whisk again until the flour is well incorporated into the creamed butter.
  7. Add baking powder and the 1 tbsp. roasted cumin seeds.
  8. Make a smooth dough with your hands, you can add 1-2 tbsp. milk if the dough needs some moisture to come together.
  9. It's optional, I always add 2-3 tbsp.
  10. Smoothen the dough and set it aside for 10 minutes.
  11. Next, dust your work surface (I prefer silicon mats) with some flour and roll the dough to a thickness of about 3mm and cut them in any desired size and shape.
  12. Place the cut out cookies an inch apart on the lined baking tray.
  13. Sprinkle some roasted cumin over each cookie.
  14. Place the baking tray with the cookies in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to set the cookies before baking.
  15. In the meanwhile, preheat the oven @180'c for 10-12 minutes.
  16. Once the cookies have set in the refrigerator, bake them @180'c for 12-13 minutes using both upper and the lower heating elements/ rods.
  17. They will turn slightly golden on the edges once ready.
  18. The base of the cookies should be a perfect golden brown.
  19. Once baked, keep the tray on a cooling rack and let the cookies crisp up on the tray as they continue to cook for a few minutes on the hot tray.
  20. Remove them from the tray and place them on the cooling rack to let the cookies/ biscuits cool completely before storing them.

Notes

Every oven works differently so adjust the baking time and temperature according to that. Store these cookies airtight boxes, they keep well for up to 3-4 days.

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They taste best when served fresh with some tea/ coffee or simply as a munchy😀

Jeera biscuits Bakery style jeera cookies Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari photography How to make cumin cookies Recipe for cumin cookies

You can add more sugar or salt, as per your choice. But be generous with the cumin! If you liked these, do try Rose and Pistachio Cookies. 

Love,

Shreya💖

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cumin cookies

 

Eggless Fudge Brownies (Part WholeWheat)

No, these brownies don’t contain strawberries….but I have been throwing these beauties on everything…literally! To my salads…my desserts..my breakfast…I guess my dal tadka is the only thing that is yet to be introduced to them berries 😂😂😂😂😂…. 

Anyways…we love a good brownie..so much less job than doing a proper cake and a lot more chocolatier than a chocolate cake even! It’s gooey and the flavours are so much more intense….if you know what I mean.

img_6767

The texture of this heavenly slice speaks for itself, doesn’t it!? And …this also has some Wholewheat flour…I mean I always to make a Wholewheat brownie but wasn’t sure if the texture so I tried using APF (maida) and wholewheat in 50:50 ratio. The first attempt was sad… I didn’t like the look of the brownie and neither was flavour sitting right due to the texture!

In my first attempt, I had obviously over beaten the mixture which resulted in really uneven and gritty (read rough) textured brownies. Also, the butter was slightly too warm than necessary and that too was an issue.

So, my second attempt which followed the first one in just 2 days, as I was curious to make it work. And work it did! I kept everything ready as always and kept reminding myself that I need to go slow instead of my quick ways! So, if you do try this recipe please follow the steps carefully. This time I didn’t over beat the mixture and carefully checked the temperature of the butter before proceeding to the subsequent additions.

Eggless Fudge Brownies Wholewheat brownie recipe Eggless brownie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari's recipes Easy eggless Fudge brownie recipe

In my personal opinion, they  could look a little better but working with wholewheat and APF that too with out eggs is a bit difficult for me….needs more practice!

Overall the taste was good and the sweetness just right…I guess that’s what matters the most ☺😁😁

Few things to remember-

Use a good quality cocoa powder in this recipe as that is what adds the real taste.

Line the baking pan well with parchment or baking paper or dust the baking pan carefully with the flour to avoid the brownie to stick to it post baking. There is nothing worse than a good brownie getting ruined because it was sticking to the baking pan.

Never over beat the brownie mixture/ batter. It results in dry brownies.

Never over bake the brownie. That will again make it dry and very crumbly.

Let’s  bake you a brownie!

Yield : 9 large or 12 small square slices

Equipment: baking pan (I used 7″ square pan), parchment paper/ baking paper, measuring cups/ spoons, heat proof bowl (or used stainless steel bowl), a saucepan, large mixing bowl, silicon spatula, a small wired whisk, cooling rack.

Ingredients:

7 tbsp maida (APF)

6tbsp wholewheat flour (I used Aashirwaad select flour)

6+1/2 tbsp cocoa powder (I used Cadbury’s)

7 tbsp butter (unsalted) 

1/2 cup thick yogurt (I used homemade curd which I hung in a muslin cloth for 15 mins to get rid of any water)

4-5 tbsp milk at room temperature (optional, to be used only if the batter gets to thick/ dry)

1 cup powdered sugar (add more or less as per your preference)

1 tsp vanilla extract/ essence

1 tsp baking powder

any nuts or chocolate chips, etc. of your choice can be added to the batter!! 😁

Method:

Line the pan with parchment paper/ baking paper. Alternatively, grease it with some oil and dust it generously with maida (APF). Set it aside.

Pre-heat the oven @180’c.

Heat 1 cup of water in the saucepan, it should not be boiling hot, just gentle bubbles are enough. Place a heatproof or stainless steel bowl on top of the saucepan in such a way that the base of the bowl I’d 2-3 inches above the level of the water below in the pan (method is called bain-mariè).

Eggless Fudge Brownies Wholewheat brownie recipe Eggless brownie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari's recipes Easy eggless Fudge brownie recipe

Add butter in the bowl. Let the butter melt and simultaneously whisk it very gently to give an even texture. Be careful while doing this as the water below must not enter the bowl with the butter.

Once the butter has melted completely, add powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk again. The mixture will first look a little rough but keep whisking gently, it will turn out very smooth. Take the bowl off the saucepan now. Set this bowl aside to cool down for a few minutes.

Then add the yogurt and vanilla extract at this stage. Whisk again and make sure the batter is smooth. Next, seive in the APF and wholewheat flour along with baking powder.

Now keep the whisk aside and use a silicone or wooden spatula and gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Do not over mix. (If you feel the batter is way too thick and dry, add 3-4 tbsp milk in to batter and fold the batter gently. This step is optional, I added 1 tbsp of milk as that much was enough).

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Pour the batter into the lined baking pan. Tap the pan a few times on the platform to release any air bubbles. 👆🏼

Bake @180’c for 25-30 mins using just the lower heating elements/ rods. Once it’s ready, do a toothpick test – The test is different here, when the brownie is ready, the toothpick inserted in the centre must come out with some moist batter or crumbs. The toothpick must not come out clean. If it comes out clean, means the brownie has been over cooked.

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That is what my brownie looked like just out of the oven 👆🏼

Remove the ready brownie from the oven and set it on the cooling rack for 15 mins. Then place it in the refrigerator for an hour. Then cut in to slices and remove from the pan. (Refrigeration ensures clean slices!)

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Wow! I am still drooling at the thought of these….😋😋

If you liked these then you must try Loaded MnM Oreo Bars or Nutties Brownie too!

Looking for something more decadent….try my gooey Brownie Muffins.

Love,

Shreya❤

Eggless Fudge Brownies Wholewheat brownie recipe Eggless brownie recipe

 

Wholewheat and Oat Sandwich Cookies – eggless

So….the oven has gotten enough time to cool down I guess😉 It’s been sitting idle since my spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake ….and that was one really good cake. Besides, my hubby had been asking me for something to nibble at with his evening tea for almost a week…and I kept putting it off…I am kinda on the slow mode…the climate has made me a bit lazy and I barely do much cooking these days…just the basic stuff and that’s about it! 

Anyways so I thought I’d bake him some cake but I was out of APF and we are not very fond of wholewheat cakes to be honest though my Wholewheat Chocolate Cake is something which we’d happily devour. It was gooey and super soft, something that will go well with tea or coffee. Anyhow, with the cake out of my way, I thought of going the cookie way 😊always a win-win with my hubby😘

Why these cookies? Oats✔️ Wholewheat ✔️ eggs ✖️ easy and quick ✔️ so many reasons to stick with this recipe!

Wholewheat and Oat Sandwich Cookies  How to make healthy oat cookies  Easy recipe for oat cookies  Polkapuffs recipes Eggless oats cookies

Don’t these look pretty?! The thing is…they need not be pretty at all. You can keep them as simple, plain cookies sans the filling. But I like everything pretty….so I went ahead and added a touch of gorgeousness. I have given them the classic scalloped edge shape and filled them a light and flavoursome lemon icing. We loved them! This is the first time I went ahead with an icing for these cookies. Obviously, you can go for any other flavour here, some butterscotch essence or some good quality vanilla extract, these are the classics and taste absolutely great with tea or coffee.

Yes, I added a bit of bright sunshine yellow colour to the icing, lemon flavour seemed to look the part with a hint of this colour, don’t you think so!?! 🤗

These cookies are extremely crispy and have the most beautiful crumb. Being mildly sweet, the flavour of peppercorns and sea salt in the cookies comes through in every bite and the lemon icing adds freshness. Yes, this recipe has freshly cracked black peppercorns and some sea salt too.

Wholewheat and Oat Sandwich Cookies  How to make healthy oat cookies  Easy recipe for oat cookies  Polkapuffs recipes Eggless oats cookies

We will have a look at the recipe in a bit, but firstly there are a few things to keep in mind here…
The cookie dough for the this recipe is prepared in the blender! Yes! No whisking butter or rubbing the flour with the butter either. All the ingredients are added to the blender and everything is just easy from there…

Why easy from there? Reason – this recipe needs precision. I have used a weighing scale but you can always google the ‘gram to cup’ measures easily.

The original recipe called for Maida or APF but I have been replacing it with wholewheat flour for the last few times that I’ve made it. Seemed to work fine. However, feel free to use APF instead in equal measures as the wholewheat flour, the results will remain the same – excellent!

Yield: 15-17 Sandwich Cookies

Equipment: a blender, a rolling pin, weighing scale, measuring cups/ spoons, rolling board, cling wrap, cookie cutter, baking tray, parchment paper, cooling rack, a small bowl, a spoon.

Ingredients:

85 gms chilled and cubed unsalted butter (I used Amul cooking butter)

30 gms rolled oats (I used Quaker Everyday Oats)

145 gms wholewheat flour (I used Aashirwad Select)

75 gms light brown sugar

2 tbsp regular confectioners sugar (fine white sugar)

1/4 tsp coarse sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly cracked black peppercorns

1-2 tbsp chilled water

Method:

Preheat oven @160’c for 10 mins. (Please set the oven temperature as per your oven, every oven works a bit differently)

Spread the oats on the baking tray. Let the oats turns golden in the oven @160’c for about 5-7 mins using only the lower heating rods/ coil. Remove the oats from the oven and cool it at room temperature. Once cooled, grind the oats to a fine powder.

Now seive the wholewheat 2-3 times. In a blender jar, add the powdered oats, seived wholewheat flour, butter, sea salt, freshly cracked black peppercorns, light brown sugar and the confectioners sugar. Pulse everything together for a couple of minutes. The mixture should resemble bread crumbs.

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Next, add 1 tbsp of chilled water and pulse again. If the dough begins to look like it has come together, remove it on a bit of cling wrap and make a ball and cover it well with the cling wrap. If the dough hasn’t come together, then add about 1/2 tbsp more of chilled water at the most to make the dough to come together. Don’t add too much water else there will be no going back from there.

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Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour minimum or even upto 24 hours maximum before rolling and cutting the cookies. (I refrigerated the dough for about 30 hours as I had some other things to do before getting back to these cookies).

Line the baking tray with parchment paper. Preheat the oven @180’c.

Once the dough has chilled for about an hour, let the dough thaw at room temperature for 10 mins. Dust the rolling board and the pin with some wholewheat flour. Roll the the dough to a thickness of about 3-4 mm. Cut the desired shapes and place them on the parchment lined baking tray about an inch apart. Chill the cut out cookies for 15 mins in the refrigerator.

Bake them for 15-17 mins using the lower heating rods/ coil @180’c or until the edges turn golden. This is how they look once baked ⬇️

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Chilling the cut out cookies makes sure the cookies never spread much. Let the cookies cool down completely in the cooling rack.

For the icing:

Ingredient:

3/4 cup icing sugar

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

2-3 drops of yellow food colour (optional)

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together to make a thick icing.

For the Sandwich Cookies:

Spread a bit of icing on the underside of one cookie and place the other cookie over it to make a sandwich. Do the same with the rest of the cookies.

These Sandwich cookies keep well for 3-4 days in an airtight box.

They keep well for over a week without the icing in an airtight box.

Yes, I added a bit of bright sunshine yellow colour to the icing, lemon flavour seemed to look the part with a hint of this colour, don't you think so!?!  🤗

That’s it, ready! Ta-daaa! 👌🏼😀

Love,

Shreya❤

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Gingerbread Man Cookies (eggless, no molasses)

Christmas 🎄✨is so close and all I think about is what all I wish to bake for it😋 There’s plenty to be done…I have already finished doing a fair bit in whatever little time I have between so many things…I almost thought I’d have to skip it this year!

The one thing that was on my mind were these gingerbread man cookies!! ☃️☃️ I’ve had these cookie cutters for ages now and i was itching to put them to good use 😂 I mean, I did bake gingread cookies last year too but just regular round ones and hence didn’t even post them on the blog…not to forget, I had baked them for New Years!! Lol!! Well, there’s a good reason being a bit tardy…..will come to that shortly.

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Don’t they look crisp, all nice and crunchy!? Well that’s precisely why I didn’t mind waiting for an entire year to share the perfect recipe for an egg free, molasses free version of these cuties. I had tried a couple of recipes last year (I had more time then I guess to keep experimenting)…anyways I didn’t enjoy them as they had egg and also called for molasses. I found all the ingredients easily but maybe it was the flavour that wasn’t quite right. Or maybe it was me..I did something…I don’t know! Those cookies looked great even as a typical round, flat version but obviously they lacked the snap and crunch in every bite.

After hunting for another version which would be eggless and molasses free, I did stumble upon a great keeper of a recipe!

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

The texture of these gingerbread man cookies is just how it’s supposed to be, crunchy and keeps fresh for upto 2 weeks in an airtight container. They have wonderful snap of them and the aroma…well it’s smells like Holidays in my home 😍 These best part, no electric heater or whisk is needed, no fancy equipments either…just make the dough and roll it out, use a cookie cutter of any shape you like, a star or some Christmas trees or even little mittens if you get hold of them. Bake these and ice them or enjoy them just like that.

Do read the recipe carefully before starting out. Also keep all the ingredients ready on the work surface, it will save you time and you will definitely avoid missing out anything important.

Also note that every oven works differently so please monitor trhe temperature and the baking time as per your oven. 

Yield: 16-18 cookies (I used medium sized cutters and rolled the dough a bit thick)

Equipment: a heavy bottomed saucepan, a wired whisk, measuring cups/ spoons, a large mixing bowl, cling wrap, cookie cutters or knife (if you’re going for simply square or rectangular cookies), baking pan, parchment paper/ baking paper, cooling rack.

Ingredients:

1+1/4 cup all purpose flour (maida)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 cup milk (you may need a bit extra)

2 tbsp corn syrup (use honey if you can’t find corn syrup but I have not tried honey in this recipe so far)

a few golden or silver sprinkles to decorate the gingerbread men cookies (I ran out of icing sugar🙄😑)

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, seive together the flour, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg and the baking soda. Set these aside.

Now, place butter, corn syrup, milk and sugar in the sauce pan and turn on the heat. Let the butter melt and the sugar dissolve completely on a low flame while stirring it continuously with a wired whisk. Once the sugar has melted, turn off the flame. Let the mixture cool for just 5-7 mins but not more as it thickens because of the corn syrup.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Next, add this butter and sugar mixture into the sieved flour and spices. Mix well using the whisk. The dough will come together very easily, if not add just 1/2 teaspoon of milk and bring the dough together. If needed only then add a few more drops of milk. If you add too much milk, the dough will turn out to be extremely gluelike and won’t hold a good shape. 

Now, wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 10-15 mins. Please do not refrigerate the dough for longer as it will become too hard to roll out.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Preheat the oven @ 180’c.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, place it between two sheets of cling wrap, dust it with very little flour and roll it out to a thickness of 4 mm approx (I like them thick, you can roll them to a thickness of 3 mm too). Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut them out.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas bakingimg_6212

Line a baking pan/ tray with parchment paper or baking paper and place these cookies a little apart from each other on it. Push  the sprinkles in place where you want to make the eyes and smile for the gingerbread man. Or else do an icing later. The sprinkles won’t melt while baking or fall off later.

Tip: roll and cut all the dough at once because this dough gets a bit sticky. If you have a small oven and can bake only 10 cookies at a time, keep the remaining cut out cookies on a plate in the refrigerator until you have to bake them. Please do not freeze the dough, it will become rock hard and will not come to a good texture to roll them later.

Bake the cookies @180’c for 13-14 mins using the lower rod for the first 11 mins and the upper and the lower, both rods for the last 2-3 mins to ensure a good colour. (My cookies cracked a bit as some of the sugar wasn’t melted well , but they still turned out crisp and didn’t spread much).

Keep an eye while baking them. Cool them on a cooling rack. Click here to learn how to make and use eggless royal icing to ice and decorate any cookies.

So it’s the corn syrup that replaces molasses and makes these cookies crisp.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Making this is a lot of fun and you can also include your kids while rolling the dough or icing the cookies later 😚

Love,

Shreya😍

Adapted from art of dessert.

Chocolate-Dipped Cinnamon Biscotti

Biscotti is a traditional Italian cookie which requires the dough to be shaped as logs, baked until done, then cooled a bit, sliced and baked again until crispy and crunchy! A perfect companion to your coffee. There’s no other way to describe it except – too good! 

Yes, if I may say so myself…this recipe is a keeper. Don’t hunting for other recipes of biscotti because you won’t need one if you try this recipe☺️ This has become my go to recipe for biscotti for the past year or so…and I bake them often!

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You can obviously make out how crunchy these are, but definitely not in a bad way! They are crunchy and yet very enjoyable. I will point a few basics that I learnt from this recipe after failing with a couple other recipes in the past.

Essentially, eggs are the only wet ingredients that are added to any biscotti recipe but adding butter or oil can make them richer with obviously a much better texture. This recipe called for oil too but I somehow didn’t like the after taste and hence skipped it after the first trial.

Eggs, yes I have used 1 and a 1/2 egg here…don’t be surprised. I always make half of what this original recipe specifies and trust me, the 1/2 egg is very essential (I realised that too with some trial and error) so do not miss that. However, if you’ve decided to half my recipe, I am not sure how the egg factor will work out! Or probably, ping me later and I will definitely come up with a way for you to do that too ☺️ Else, just use a really small egg.

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When I talk about my favourite flavour in a biscotti, I will always say Cinnamon! Else, you can even keep it simple by adding adding just vanilla extract, or if you like nuts, add some sliced pistachios or almonds in the dough. However, if you’re using almonds, do toast them slightly to avoid ending up with soggy nuts. The original recipe calls for brown sugar but I have always used regular castor sugar and I am perfectly happy with the flavour! We, my hubby and I love the flavour of dark chocolate hence, I have dunked these biscottis in some melted chocolate once they had cooled off completely. 😋

Biscotti recipe Cinnamon biscotti recipe Chocolate dipped biscotti recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas cookie ideas Christmas baking

Making biscotti takes time, it’s the baking twice that takes time and not making its dough. Getting the dough together is a quick mixing job, then this dough needs to be shaped into logs of deliciousness and then bakedonce…and another time too!! 😉

I have added a lot of step by step pictures as always …so you’re pretty much sorted! I don’t think you’ll have a difficult time going forward with it 😊

Yield: 12 cookies

Equipment: a rolling pin, cooling rack, baking tray, a large mixing bowl, a large serrated knife, parchment paper, measuring cups/ spoons, weighing scales (I have used it to measure everything to the last gram)

Ingredients:

Biscotti recipe Cinnamon biscotti recipe  Chocolate dipped biscotti recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas cookie ideas Christmas baking

131 gms all purpose flour (maida)

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking powder

100 gms castor sugar

30 gms cold and cubed unsalted butter

2 nos. eggs (follow my tip on this)**

1 tbsp milk (for the egg wash)

30 gms dark chocolate (morde) + 1 tsp butter – for dunking

Method: (I am using step numbers, there’s a reason, so follow the steps carefully)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon powder, salt and sugar.

2. Add cold and cubed butter into the flour and sugar mixture. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the flour mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Set it aside.

Biscotti recipe Cinnamon biscotti recipe Chocolate dipped biscotti recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas cookie ideas Christmas bakingimg_5861img_5862

3. Now in a small bowl, whisk one egg. Now remove half of the whisked into another bowl (Save the half whisked egg for egg wash).

Biscotti recipe Cinnamon biscotti recipe Chocolate dipped biscotti recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas cookie ideas Christmas baking

**Add one whole egg to the second bowl in which you have transferred half of a whisked egg. Now whisk this one and a half egg together. Add vanilla extract to the whisked eggs and whisk again.

4. Now add the whisked mixture of eggs and vanilla extract into the flour and butter. Use a large silicon spatula to mix until everything is well moistened but do not over mix.

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5. Now, sprinkle some flour in a large plate or the working surface. Place the dough on this floured surfaced and knead well for a few minutes. But keep enough loose flour around as this dough is super sticky so you’ll continuously need to dust the surface and your palms too.

Biscotti recipe Cinnamon biscotti recipe Chocolate dipped biscotti recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas cookie ideas Christmas baking

Dont worry about the dough even if it looks too sticky, it will all come together in a few minutes.

In the mean while, preheat the oven at 160’c.

6. Shape the dough as shown below and place it on a parchment lined baking tray. I had dusted the parchment paper with some flour too.

Biscotti recipe Cinnamon biscotti recipe Chocolate dipped biscotti recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas cookie ideas Christmas baking

7. We had set aside 1/2 a whisked egg aside, add 1 tbsp of milk to it and whisk again. Use it to Give an egg wash to the shaped dough.

8. Bake this shaped dough at 160’c for 20-25 minutes using the lower heating element. In the last 5 minutes of the baking time, turn on the upper heating elements to give a good colour to the top of the biscotti.

Leave the oven running at 140’c.

Biscotti recipe Cinnamon biscotti recipe Chocolate dipped biscotti recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas cookie ideas Christmas baking

9. Now, let this cool for about 15 minutes but not completely cold. Using a large serrated knife, cut it into 1.5 inch wide slices. Place them on the parchment lined baking tray as shown below.

Biscotti recipe Cinnamon biscotti recipe  Chocolate dipped biscotti recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas cookie ideas Christmas baking

10. Bake the sliced biscotti on the first side for 7-8 mins. Then flip them over to bake the other side for another 5 mins. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before enjoying these crunchy treats with your favourite cuppa! 🤗

11. If you wish to dip them in chocolate too, melt together 30 gms of dark chocolate with 1 tsp of butter over a double boiler or in a microwave. Once the biscotti has cooled completely, dip one end of each biscotti in the melted chocolate, let them dry and then they are ready to serve! You can dip the entire biscotti in chocolate too, no one will judge you 😁

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These stay crunchy and fresh in an airtight container for about a week or so.

These can be amazing edible gifts this Holiday Season! 🎄🎁☃️

Love,

Shreya💗

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Rose and Pistachio Cookies

It just dawned on me last weekend that Christmas is very close🎅🎄☃️❄️🎁…yeah, overload with the emoticons…but can you blame me…. this is the only time around the year that I can actually use them😂 LoL!! Anyways…so Christmas…what do you guys do for Christmas?! I’d love to know….I mean, in India, there is no snow in most parts of the country and all…but still I love the Christmassy air around me…probably my Convent days remind me of carols and decorations and parties…☺️🎉🎊….I wish I could make a snowman outside my porch and have a beautiful snowfall on Christmas Eve….

Rose and Pistachio cookies Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking Christmas cookies Rose and Pistachio shortbread cookie recipe Eggless shortbread cookie recipe

Anyways….that wish will have to wait..won’t it, now?! So the husband was travelling last week…and I obviously had a lot of time on my hands…besides, I knew he’d love coming home to something sweet and delicious…made by yours truly! What better than some exotically flavoured cookies to go with his tea!?

We really love freshly baked shortbread cookies…they are crisp, mildly sweet and the perfect base recipe to experiment with a ton of flavours. And that’s exactly what these Rose and Pistachio Cookies are all about.

Some of my readers wanted to know a little bit about a traditional “shortbread” when I had shared the recipe for my Almond Shortbread Cookies earlier this year….they could be great for your Christmas Cookie box too. They make for an ideal gift as well.

First baked in Scotland in 1736, shortbread is very popular around Christmas, the English refer to it as a biscuit, cookie for the Americans is traditionally made with 3 parts all purpose flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part sugar. Although, modern recipes even call for cornflour which gives a more stable texture to these cookies. However, it is added when you are making an eggless version, cornflour helps in keeping the shape of the cookie.

Shortbread is always baked at a low temperature until it’s very slightly golden around the edges…crumbly when just out of the oven but sets and becomes firmer as it cools down. It can be shaped as one prefers, round or square or simply hand rolled and pressed down with the tines of a fork. I personally like the scallop-edged ones☺️

Rose and Pistachio cookies Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking Christmas cookies Rose and Pistachio shortbread cookie recipe Eggless shortbread cookie recipe

The best part about these cookies is that they have such a mild fragrance of rose, you’ll almost miss it…not at all overpowering and then comes a welcome crunch from the Pistachio slivers….a perfect fusion of Mediterranean flavours with the old world charm of these very English biscuits 😀

Yield: 12 medium biscuits

Equipment: electric whisk, measuring cups/ spoons, baking paper, rolling pin, cookie cutter or knife, mixing bowl, baking tray, cooling rack, cling wrap.

Ingredients:

1+1/4 cup Maida  (APF), plus some extra to dust while rolling the dough

1/2 tbsp cornflour

1/4 cup+1 tbsp castor sugar

5 tbsp unsalted butter

1/4 tsp rose water

2-3 tbsp Pistachio slivers

dried rose petals to garnish (optional)

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until the sugar combines completely with the butter and the mixture turns white and very fluffy, took me about 3-4 mins of whisking on high speed setting.

Next, add the rose water, cornflour and maida (APF) to the sugar-butter mixture and whisk once again until everything is combined well.

Wrap the cookie dough in some cling and refrigerate for 30 mins or put it in the freezer for 20 mins.

Rose and Pistachio cookies Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking Christmas cookies Rose and Pistachio shortbread cookie recipe Eggless shortbread cookie recipe

Preheat the oven at 160’c for 10 mins. Line a baking tray with baking paper and dust it with some maida (APF).

Once the dough is set post refrigeration, dust the dough with some maida (APF) and roll it between two sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 3 mm. Sprinkle the pistachio slivers and rolls once again slightly to ensure that the pistachio slivers are embedded into the dough.

Rose and Pistachio cookies Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking Christmas cookies Rose and Pistachio shortbread cookie recipe Eggless shortbread cookie recipe

Now, cut them into any shape of your choice. If using cookie cutters then dip them into some maida (APF) before using them to avoid unevenly cut cookies.

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Place the cut out cookies in the refrigerator for another 20 mins or in the freezer for 10 mins. Then bake @ 160′ c for 12-15 mins or until the edges turn slightly golden. You have to use only the lower baking element for the first 10 mins and then turn on the upper heating elements in the last 5 mins to give a little colour to the top of these cookies. (Note: every oven works differently so please keep an eye while baking these cookies).

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This how they look fresh out of the oven. They crisp up as they cool. Let them rest on the warm baking tray for 10 mins then transfer to a cooling tray for them to cool completely.

Rose and Pistachio cookies Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking Christmas cookies Rose and Pistachio shortbread cookie recipe Eggless shortbread cookie recipe

This is what the base of the cookies looks like post baking and cooling completely. These can now be stored in airtight containers or cookie tins. They remain fresh and crisp for around 3-4 days.

Note: the cookie dough can be frozen in a cling wrap for upto a week. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight, keep in room temperature for 10 mins and then roll, cut and bake them as per the above recipe. This recipe uses cornflour, it is very reliable as it stops the cookie from spreading too much as does the refrigeration. So please, follow all the steps correctly and you will have a perfect cookie☺️

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My hubby loved these flavours, as did I. You can use this recipe as the base and incorporate any flavour of your choice.

Love,

Shreya💗

Adapted from wallflower kitchen.

Diwali Recipe Collection 2016 Take 2

Earlier this week, I shared with you my Diwali Recipe Collection (take 1), but there were many recipes that still needed to be added. I wanted to avoid overcrowding one post and decided to do it in parts. 

To continue with Diwali frenzy and in my humble attempt to simplify things for everyone…I present to you my Diwali Recipe Collection (take 2). I will be putting up the entire step-by-step recipe here along with the direct link to each post at the end of each recipe. You can click that to see the step-by-step pictures in case you are interested 😊 Do read till the end and you will be deciding your menu right here!!

Let’s begin…

POORANPOLI

Pooranpoli recipe Polkapuffs recipe Maharashtrian recipe Puranpoli

Yield: 15-16 Pooranpolis

Equipment: a pressure cooker, a wok, a mixing bowl, a potato masher, rolling pin, rolling board, measuring cups/ spoons, a non-stick pan, a spatula.

Ingredients:

For the Pooran:

1 cup chana dal (split gram)

2-3 cup water

a pinch of turmeric pwd

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup sugar (add more or less as per your preference)

1 + 1/2 tsp cardamom pwd

For the Poli:

1 1/2 cup Maida (APF)

a pinch of salt

1/4 cup refined oil

water as needed

Method:

For the Pooran:

Soak the dal for about 1 hour in 2-3 cups of water. Then pressure cook the dal with the same water that it was soaking in, turmeric & salt for 3-4 whistles. The water in the pressure cooker will evaporate considerably. Cool the cooker completely and the open the lid once the steam settles down on it’s own. Then mash the cooked dal using the masher.

Next, heat a wok. Add the mashed dal to the wok. Add the sugar now. Keep stirring it continuously, the sugar will start melting. Keep stirring to avoid the sugar from burning with the mashed dal. The consistency of the mixture will start to thicken and become very dense. Once it looks almost dry, turn off the flame. Add the cardamom pwd at this stage. Mix it well with the mixture. Taste the mixture and adjust the sugar if necessary (in case you add more sugar after tasting, then you will need to cook it again on medium heat and stir the mixture continuously until it dries up again).

The texture of the filling should look like the picture on the right.

For the Poli:

Take the maida in a mixing bowl, add salt. Add a little water at a time, start kneading a dough. It must be a soft dough. I used about 1/2 cup water approximately. Next, make indentations in the dough at drizzle the oil. Cover and set aside for 30 mins. After 30 mins, knead the dough again until it absorbs all the oil. The dough will be very soft and extremely pliable at this stage. Let it rest for another 15 mins before making the Pooranpoli.

For assembling the Pooranpoli:

Please follow the pictures for next few steps.

Divide the dough into equal parts, stuff them with the filling and cover them properly so that the filling doesn’t spill out while rolling them

Next, roll them out evenly. Heat a pan, cook them on both sides and smear some ghee or butter while cooking them. Ideally, they should puff up. But it’s ok if they don’t puff up.

Serve them piping hot with some more ghee or butter.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Pooranpoli.

SPONGE RASGULLA (pressure cooker recipe)

Rasgulla recipe Pressure cooker rasgulla recipe Rasgulla in pressure cooker Indian desserts How to make rasgulla Spongy rasgulla recipe Polkapuffs recipe

️Yield: 7-8 Rasgullas

Equipment: a large plate, a pressure cooker, a ladle, extra bowls, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

1 litre milk (I used Amul Toned milk)

1/2 tsp citric acid pwd

2 cup sugar

3-4 cup water

a few strands of saffron to garnish

pistachio to garnish

Method:

Please note that the milk had already split in my case. But to split the milk specially to make these…heat the milk in a large pan, once it comes to a boil, add the citric acid pwd and stir once. The milk will split. Just strain the milk solids in a muslin cloth and wash the solids within the cloth under running water to get rid of any traces of citric acid.

Keep the milk solids in the muslin cloth under some weight for 30 mins to remove all the whey. Then transfer the cottage cheese/ paneer on a plate. Mash the paneer with the your hands until it’s soft and a little greasy in texture. Next, divide the mashed paneer in equal parts…about 7-8 and make smooth, crack free balls. Set them aside.

Now, add water and sugar in the pressure cooker. Turn the flame on and let the sugar melt. Once the sugar has melted completely & the syrup starts boiling, add the balls one by one. Close the lid and place the weight too. Let it simmer for 10 mins on high flame. Then after the first whistle, lower the flame and let it simmer for another 5-8 mins. Turn off the flame after that. Let the pressure release on its own. Then take out the cooked rasgulla and the syrup and place them in a bowl to cool down completely. You can squeeze them and see how spongy they have turned out to be! They are ready…garnish & serve them chilled!!

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Pressure Cooker Sponge Rasgulla. 

WHITE CHOCOLATE TREATS (ideal for gifting)

Homemade Chocolate polkapuff recipes

Yield: 7-10 pieces

Equipment: a deep saucepan, a heat proof bowl (preferably borosil/ Pyrex), measuring cups/ spoons, silicon Chocolate moulds in any shape.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped Morde White Compound

sugar sprinkles or sugar balls as needed

Method:

Heat water in the saucepan until it starts to boil, then place the heatproof bowl over the saucepan in such a way that the base of the bowl does not touch the boiling water below in the pan. Next, keep the chopped compound chocolate in the bowl and maintain the flame on it’s lowest possible level. Let the compound melt slowly and do not stir it.

While the compound melts, place the sugar balls/ sprinkles in the chocolate moulds, just a thin layer covering the base only.

Next, check the compound chocolate that is melting, it should be almost melted by now. Remove the bowl from the top of the saucepan. Stir the melted compound chocolate just once. It must be smooth and lump free.

Next, add 1-2 tsp of the melted compound chocolate over the sprinkles placed in the moulds. Fill the moulds to the top. Do the same for all the moulds and place them on a tray. Place this tray in refrigerator or the freezer for about 10-12 mins. They will be completely set and hard by then. When you break the chocolate in half, you should hear a ‘snap’! That’s the sound of a perfect homemade chocolate.🤓🤓😬

Follow the same recipe for Dark chocolate compound or Milk chocolate compound too. 😊

They keep well for 3-4 days under refrigeration.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Homemade White Chocolate Treats

MASALA SEV

Masala sev recipe How to make masala sev Teekha sev recipe Indian snack Savoury snacks Diwali recipes Besan sev recipe Kara Sev recipe

Yield: 1 large bowl

Equipment: kitchen press, a wok, a slotted spatula, a mixing bowl, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

1 cup Besan (chickpea flour)

2 tbsp refined oil

A pinch of hing (asafoetida)

1/2 tsp red chilli pwd

1/2 tsp black pepper pwd

1/2 tsp turmeric pwd

1/2 tsp roasted cumin pwd

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp citric acid pwd (optional)

Salt to taste

oil to fry

lukewarm water as needed

Method:

Take besan in a mixing bowl, add all the spices and season with salt as well. Give it a mix. Add the oil and use lukewarm water to make a loose dough. The dough should be softer than that of roti (the dough should feel slightly sticky when u touch it, I used about 1/2 cup water). Let the dough rest for 30 mins.

Heat sufficient oil in a wok for frying.

Then, after resting it for 30 mins, fill the kitchen press with the dough and fit the plate with larger holes for thick Sev (see the pic above for reference). And slowly drop the dough into the hot oil from the press.

Fry the sev on medium flame until it turns golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain it on kitchen tissues. Repeat for the remains dough too. That’s it….it’s ready 😬 I usually serve these with some mango pickle! Tastes really yummy👌

These keep well for 10-15 days in an airtight container. Enjoy!

CLick here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Masala Sev. 

DAHI WADAS ON A SKEWER

image

Yield: 21 small or 12-14 large Wadas

Equipment: Appe pan / Aebelskiver pan, skewer sticks, a blender, a large mixing bowl, 2-3 bowls, spice mixer, 2-3 spoons, measuring cups/ spoons, a small saucepan, 2 glass jars

Ingredients for the Wadas:

1 cup skinless white urad dal (black lentil) soaked for 6-7 hrs
10-12 nos black peppercorns

2″ pc ginger

3 nos green chilly

1/2 tsp red chilly pwd

1 pinch hing (asafoetida)

salt to taste

oil as required (optional)

Method for the Wadas:

Grind together all the ingredients mentioned above to make a smooth paste using little water. The paste should not be runny. It’s supposed to be thick and sticky. Let this batter / paste sit for 30mins. Whisk the batter vigorously using a spoon for at least 4-5 mins. This will make the batter very light and airy and will ensure that the Wadas are soft.

Now heat the appe pan, add a drop of oil if needed in every section. Now drop about a 1.5 – 2 tbs of the batter in every section and cook for 2 mins on the first side, then using another spoon flip them over to the other side and cook for another 1-2 mins. Repeat this for the entire batch of the batter. And set aside the Wadas to cool a bit. Then dip them in some warm for 10 mins then drain the water. Squeeze out the extra water. This is done to just soften the wada a little more. Set them aside.

Ingredients for the tamarind chutney:

1 cup tamarind pulp

3 tbsp pwd jaggery (use more if you like)

1/2 tsp each of red chilly pwd & roasted cumin pwd

1/2 tsp crushed saunf Dana (fennel seeds)

1/4 tsp salt

Method for the tamarind chutney:

Heat the saucepan, add the pulp along with the jaggery pwd and stir till the jaggery dissolves completely and the concoction simmers slightly..then season with the above mentioned ingredients. Cook for another 5-7mins. The concoction will thicken slightly. Turn off the gas and let the chutney cool down completely before you store it in a clean, dry glass jar. Set that aside for now.

Ingredients for the green chutney:

1/2 cup coriander leaves washed, dried & roughly chopped

1 no raw mango peeled & cubed

salt to taste

1 tbsp tamarind chutney

1-2 nos green chillies

6-7 nos cloves of garlic

Method for the green chutney:

Put all in the ingredients mentioned above in a blender with a little water and pulse for a couple of mins. The chutney will have a smooth texture. Store the chutney in a clean & dry glass jar.

Ingredients for the saffron infused curd dip:

1 cup thick curd

2 tbsp warm water

15-20 strands of saffron

Himalayan pink salt to taste

Method for the curd dip:

Dilute the saffron with the warm water for 20 mins or until it releases a rich yellow /ocher colour. Mix this yellow saffron water with the curd & the salt. Beat everything well and set aside I refrigerator to cool for 15-20 mins before using it.

For the plating & garnish you will need:

1 tsp roasted cumin pwd

1tsp red chilli pwd

Few pomegranate airels

2 tsp coriander leaves chopped finely

Plating:

Put 2-4 Wadas on a single skewer stick, drizzle some of the curd dip, tamarind chutney, green chutney. Sprinkle some roasted cumin and red chilli pwd. Add a few pomegranate seeds /jewels. And a final flourish of coriander leaves! Voilà! Do the rest in a similar way & serve right away.

Or just serve in platters like we usually do! ☺️

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Dahi Wadas.

BANARASI SAMOSA 

Samosa recipe How to make samosa North Indian samosa recipe Starters Indian snacks Indian street food Indian Chaat recipes Samosa chaat Polkapuffs

️Yield: 12 medium samosas

Equipment: a wok, a pan, rolling pin, measuring cups/ spoons, a slotted ladle, extra spoons & plates as needed, a pressure cooker.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

2 cup Maida (APF)

2 tbsp warm ghee

1 tsp ajwain (carrom seeds)

salt to taste

water as needed

Method:

Mix all the ingredients except the water in a bowl. Rub the ghee with the Maida for at least 10 mins as this gives very good, flaky samosa. The texture will resemble breadcrumbs. Then add little water at a time and make a semi-stiff dough. Let it sit let for a minimum of 30 mins.

For the stuffing:

3 nos. boiled and chopped potatoes

1 cup green peas

1/2 tsp hing

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp chopped coriander leaves

1 tsp each of coriander pwd, cumin pwd (Jeera pwd), red chilly pwd, Garam masala.

1/2 tsp amchur pwd (dry mango pwd)

A pinch of turmeric pwd

salt to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a pan, add hing & cumin seeds. Once they splatter, then add the potatoes and green peas. Sauté for 5 mins. Then add the dry masalas and season with salt. Cook for 5 mins. Turn off the flame. Add coriander leaves & mix well. Let the stuffing cool completely before proceeding ahead.

Assembling the samosa:

Make a lemon sized ball of the dough…divide the dough similarly. Now roll each ball to a thickness of about 3mm. Not more. Cut the the rolled dough into two half circles. Make a cone of each half. Seal it carefully. Add the stuffing into the cone…about 1 tbsp in each cone or little more.

Then close the third side of the cone well. Use some water to seal the dough well. Repeat for all the dough. Keep aside for 20 mins before frying them.

Next, heat enough oil in a wok to fry the samosas. Once the oil is hot enough, reduce the flame and drop 2-3 samosas into the oil. Deep fry them at low flame to get crispy & well cooked samosas.

Once done, remove from the oil & drain on some tissues. Serve them piping hot with dips/ chutney of your choice☺️

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of SAMOSA and also BANARASI SAMOSA CHAAT 

KAJU KATLI 

Kaju Katli recipe Cashew thins Recipe for Indian sweets Kaju Katli for diwali diwali sweets

Yield: 15-17 katlis

Equipment: a non stick pan, a wooden spoon, measuring cups/ spoons, a knife, a plate, a rolling pin.

Ingredients:

1 cup cashew nuts

1/2 cup sugar

4 tbsp water

1 tsp ghee (for greasing)

Method:

Use a blender and dry grind the cashews to a fine texture. Make sure the cashews were at room temperature before grinding.

Heat the non stick pan, add the sugar & water. Melt the sugar into the water on a low flame. Keep stirring. Once the sugar has melted, cook for another 2-3 mins on low flame. To check if the sugar syrup is ready, take some water in a bowl and add a drop of the syrup. The drop should not mix in the water. This is one thread consistency (ek taar ki chashni). My syrup was ready in 5 mins approximately.

Once the syrup is ready, add the cashew powder & keep stirring constantly & cook on low flame for 5 mins, until you achieve a dough like consistency. To check the consistency of the Katli dough, take some mixture in your hands and make a ball, if the shape holds, it’s ready. Remove this dough like mixture on a greased plate and let it cool for 5 min. Grease your palms and knead this mixture carefully until it’s smooth.

Now, roll this dough with a rolling on the back of a greased plate. The thickness should be about 6mm or a bit more. Don’t roll it too thin. Set this plate in the refrigerator for 8-10 mins. They will set really quickly, once set, you can cut them in any shape as you prefer, however I prefer the traditional diamond shape for these katlis … That’s it! They are ready 😄 you can store them in an airtight container for 2-3 day in the refrigerator.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Kaju Katli 

KARACHI BISCUITS/ TUTTY FRUTTI COOKIES 

Eggless fruit cookies recipe Tutti frutti biscuit recipe Karachi bakery biscuit recipe Polkapuffs Easy Christmas cookies
Yield: 24 medium cookies

Equipment: a large mixing bowl, a whisk (electric or manual), some cling wrap, a sharp knife, measuring cups/ spoons, baking tray, cooking rack.

Ingredients:

1 cup Maida/ APF

1/2 cup powdered sugar

7-8 tbsp softened butter (I used unsalted, if you are using salted butter then, increase the quantity of sugar by 1-2 tbsp)

1 tsp vanilla extract/ essence

1/2 cup of mixed tutti frutti

5 tbsp roughly chopped cashew nuts (optional)

1 tsp milk (optional, to be used only to make a smooth dough if you are unable to roll the dough)

Method:

Take butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, cream them together until they are fluffy and light. Then add the tutti frutti, cashews & vanilla extract. Mix it these well then add the flour. Mix them well with a light hand and bring them together to make a ball. Use 1 tsp of milk only if you are unable to make a round ball. The dough doesn’t need to be kneaded, just bring it together. The mixture is very soft and pliable.

Now, take the dough on some cling wrap and roll it well to give it the shape of a thick log. Wrap the log well and refrigerate for a minimum of 30-40 mins.

In the meantime, preheat your oven @180’C for about 10 mins. Line your baking tray with some parchment/ butter paper. Remove the chilled log of dough from the refrigerator and cut it in about 1/2″ slices. Place them slightly apart on the lined baking tray. Bake them for 15 mins @180’C using the upper and lower rods for the first 10 mins, then just the lower rod for the last 5 mins. Remove the tray from the oven & let it cool on the rack for about 15 mins. The cookies are soft when you remove them from the oven but crisp up as they cool down. You can store these in airtight containers for almost 1 week.

*Please note that baking time may vary as every oven is different, so time the oven accordingly. The cookies turn slightly golden around the edges as they are ready, so remove them from the oven as per the colour.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of Karachi Cookies 

FUDGE BARS

Fudge Bars How to make chocolate fudge Walnut fudge PolkaPuffs recipe

Yield: 10 bars or 20 squares (depending on how your cut them)
Equipment: a heavy bottom wok, measuring cups & spoons, a wired whisk, baking/ parchment, paper or aluminium foil sheet, a sharp knife.

Ingredients :
200 ml condensed milk
3+1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
5 tbsp castor sugar
1-2 drops vanilla extract/ essence
50 gms butter
1 tbsp APF (Maida)
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (replace the walnuts with pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, dried cranberries or prunes, etc.)

Method:
Line the any container or a plate with the baking paper/ parchment paper/ aluminium foil.

In a wok, add all the ingredients except the vanilla extract & chopped walnuts.

Heat them on low flame and keep whisking simultaneously so that the mixture doesn’t burn or has any lumps.

Keep cooking and stirring until the mixture comes together and form a thick mass that moves with the whisk. Add the vanilla extract & walnuts at this stage and mix well.
Immediately pour the mixture on the prepared container or plate. Spread it with the help of a spatula.

Keep it in the refrigerator to set for a minimum of 2 hours. Once set, slice it into bars or squares & serve.
They last for 3-4 days under refrigeration.

Click here for a direct link to detailed recipe of FUDGE BARS 

Do try these recipes…they are easy and absolutely delicious ☺️

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and prosperous Diwali!! 🎉✨🎉🎊🎉✨🎉✨🎉🎊💥💥🎁

Love,

Shreya💗

Click here for Diwali Recipe Collection (take 1). 

Diwali recipe collection 2016 Polkapuffs Diwali recipes Polkapuffs

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