Tag: christmas recipes

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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Chocolate Truffles 

Chocolates are the ultimate indulgence for me…food wise! I usually refrain from the temptation and stick to more healthier options if craving desserts. But the festivities do call for something indulgent, don’t you think so?! 😉 Besides, nobody says no to chocolates and as expected, my hubby does love them too☺️

Chocolate Truffles  How to make chocolate truffles Perfect chocolate ganache recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas recipes

So the last from this Christmas is going to be these delicious, sinful Chocolate Truffles. I can go on eating them all in a go if I weren’t afraid of putting on a pound with each bite😜 nope….can’t take that risk.

Making this recipe doesn’t call for any thermometer or any other fancy gadget. It’s just a bit of eyeballing the situation…and you’re all set. Obviously for that one needs to master the art of making the perfect ganache. I will share exact recipe for the same in grams (use a weighing scale), if you follow the measurements correctly, you will end up with the most luscious and shiny ganache ever. Either use this ganache to fill within a cake or to dress a cake. Make truffles if your like me, or simply pour over favourite Brownie and indulge your tastebuds!

I prefer keeping them simple and hence just rolled these beauties in some good quality unsweetened cocoa powder just before serving.

Chocolate Truffles  How to make chocolate truffles Perfect chocolate ganache recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas recipes

Here are a few variations you can use to decorate your truffles. 

Funfetti/ sprinkles/ edible shimmer powder: After the ganache balls have set well in the refrigerator, just roll each ball in some funfetti/ sprinkles or edible shimmer powder. It is one of the easiest things to do and kids particularly enjoy them. These are easily available in any store that specialises in bakery and decorative goods. (I personally prefer Arife, as there is a huge variety of each of these things)
Chocolate: This is a very common option, melt some Chocolate chips of a cooking chocolate bar, let it come to room temperature and then dip the set ganache balls in the chocolate and let them set for about 15 mins in the refrigerator.
Nuts: I love the nut encrusted truffles. Crush any nuts of your choice in a bowl (I prefer pistachio for it’s beautiful green and pink hue) and coat the set ganache balls in the crushed nuts. They look pretty and add a whole new flavour dimension. Hazelnut or walnuts too make for an excellent choice.


Now for what you can add within them, in terms of flavour. 

Liquor: Fruity liquor (raspberry, coconut, lemon, strawberry, etc) or even something like rum/ whiskey, etc can be added to the ganache mixture once it has cooled down a bit and just before you begin making the ganache balls. If you add the liquor when the ganache is too hot, the alcohol will evaporate and there won’t be much flavour left behind.
Essence/ extract: Almond extract or the good old vanilla is always such a lovely flavour.

Let’s learn an easy and precise recipe….

Yield: 10 large truffles

Equipment: a saucepan, a heatproof bowl, parchment paper/ baking paper, a small scoop of a tablespoon, measuring spoons/ cups.

Ingredients:

170 gms bittersweet dark Chocolate (morde)

5 tbsp heavy whipping cream

21.26 gms unsalted butter (1.5 tbsp approx)

1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Cocoa powder as needed to roll these truffles (I used Hershey’s)

Method:

Heat water in a sauce pan, once it’s boiling gently, place a heatproof bowl over the sauce pan in such a way that the bowl does not touch the water below (double boiler).

Place chopped chocolate, cream and butter into the bowl and let these melt slowly.

img_6073

Once the chocolate has melted into the butter and the cream, take the bowl off the double boiler and gently mix everyt with a silicon spatula for a minute. Do not over mix. Once the mixture comes to room temperature, add vanilla extract, mix and refrigerate for two hours.

img_6074

If you refrigerated it for longer, then let the ganache become slightly soft before rolling it into balls. I used a tablespoon to measure the ganache and rolled them into balls and the quickly rolled every ball into the cocoa powder. Refrigerate until they need to be served/ packed.

img_6075

Make sure the ganache is not runny, it needs to be firm when being rolled into balls. Ensure you use a good quality cocoa powder as that adds much flavour. Alternately, roll in icing sugar if you wish to avoid cocoa.

Chocolate Truffles  How to make chocolate truffles Perfect chocolate ganache recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas recipes

These are so tempting…it’s hard to resist really😜 I’d love these as Christmas gifts too….so I am sure so will your loved ones!

Chocolate Truffles  How to make chocolate truffles Perfect chocolate ganache recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas recipes
One of the easiest things to make for the last minute prepping…☺️

Love,

Shreya💖

Adapted from my baking addiction

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake

Everyone is baking Christmas cakes, some boozy, some not so boozy…filled with nuts, preserved fruits and a whole lot of warm spices. Amazing aromas and delicious tasting cakes sure mean Christmas 😋

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake How to make an orange cake Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

A traditional Christmas cake is moist, very moreish, filled with rum or whisky soaked dry fruits and preserved fruit peels. These are soaked for over a month or so in advance to incorporate the flavours of the alcohol into the ingredients. These cakes are often served as a large round cake or even at times as petit fours. They could be served as a naked cake, just dusted with some icing sugar. One could even cover them in marzipan or ice them with whipped cream and then decorate them with Christmas embellishments. They all look so pretty! ☃️🎄

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake  How to make an orange cake Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

However, I have never baked a boozy cake or even a traditional Christmas cake for that matter. I first thought I’d soak all the  fruit peels and dry fruits in some orange juice with some whole spices but I wasn’t quiet sure when would I get to actually bake the cake. So I changed the plan and this worked out really well.

I decided to bake a warm and hearty Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake. Some simple and fresh ingredients transformed into this gorgeous cake. I must admit it did turn out better than I had thought. 😊 And the texture was perfect, moist crumb and not very dense.

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake How to make an orange cake Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

The addition of Cranberry gives the cake a bit of tartness in every bite that compliments the citrusy notes from the oranges very well. If you wish you omit the Cranberry here, do that or you can replace them with some colourful tutti Frutti or even chopped nuts. I added some warm spices here, feel free to omit them too if you wish. This recipe makes for an excellent summer cake with just the orange flavour or replace Orange juice with some lemon juice.

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake How to make an orange cake Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Let’s start…

Yield: a 7″ round cake.

Equipment: an electric whisk, 7″ cake tin, a large mixing bowl, a medium sized mixing bowl, a silicon spatula, cooling rack, baking paper/ parchment paper, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

2 cup all purpose flour (Maida)

1+1/2 cup powdered sugar

4 nos. large eggs

1 stick/ 100 gms unsalted butter @room temperature

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground clove

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 cup milk

3/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup dried cranberries

icing sugar to dust the cake

Method:

Preheat the oven @180’c. Line the base of the tin with parchment paper/ baking paper and grease and dust the sides well.

In a medium size bowl, seive together the flour, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Set it aside. Dust the cranberries with some flour and set them aside.

Next, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. I used an electric whisk and it took me about 3-4 mins of whisking. Now add one egg at a time and whisk the butter and sugar mixture with the eggs until light and fluffy once again.

Now, add the seived flour mixture and milk in the egg-butter-sugar mixture alternately and fold the mixture with a silicon spatula. Do not mix with a heavy hand else all the air whisked in the eggs will escape. Then add the orange juice and the cranberries. Mix well.

Pour the batter in the tin and bake @ 170’c using the lower heating rods/ coil for 60 mins approximately or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Note that every oven works differently so keep an eye on the temperature and the duration of the bake.

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake  How to make an orange cake Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

I prefer baking my cakes low and slow, low temperature takes longer to bake the cake but ensures it rises well without any cracks on the top.

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake  How to make an orange cake Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and cool it on a rack for 15 mins in the tin, then unmould it and cool it for a further 30 mins. Dust the top with some icing sugar. Slice it and serve. This cake keeps well for 3-4 days in an airtight container.

I used these spices, you can choose any spices of your choice.

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake  How to make an orange cake Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking
Hope you will bake this soon, it’s easy, alcohol free and absolutely delicious! 😀

Love,

Shreya💖

 

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.

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

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!

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

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.

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

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:

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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).

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**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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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….

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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☺️

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

White Chocolate Treats

Ok…so this sounds mushy at the very best..but I did make some Chocolates for my hubby this Valentine’s 💓😍 lol! And he found them cute too 💃🏻

Well…to be honest…I wouldn’t really call it ‘making’ them…unless that’s what we are calling using ‘leftovers’ these days 😁😜

Homemade chocolate Polkapuffs

Why leftovers you may ask….well. I had some odd, broken pieces of Morde’s white Compound in my refrigerator post icing my Eggless Red Velvet Cupcakes. Also had some coloured sugar sprinkles lying around…so thought of using these along with my silicon chocolate moulds to make something quick! 😬😬…hence these Treats😊 Let’s get started….these take approx 30 mins to get ready …actually ready to eat!! Cool..ain’t it!?

A few pointers to keep in mind…

Do not try to melt the Compound Chocolate in the microwave…it could burn it as the chocolate is very delicate. Use a double boiler as far as possible.

Do not stir the the chunks of Compound Chocolate while it melts…that can make the melted chocolate very grainy.

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.

Polkapuff homemade chocolate

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.

Polkapuffs homemade chocolate

I made a small batch of 7-8 pieces! Do try these out…

Love,

Shreya❤️

Peanut Butter & Oats No-Bake Cookies

Christmas to me means beutifully decorated trees…snow…red..green..white…golden! The colours that dominate and spell Christmas for me! & a chubby Santa of course!! 🎄🎄🎅🎁🎉🎊❄️⛄️😊🌟

It’s the time to be..happy…joyful…and much more! Since I attended a Catholic School…I was always looking forward to Christmas…and all the fun it brought along with it! We’d sing carols and decorate the entire school premises and the tree! I miss those days…☺️

But since we don’t get to see snow where I live… I have made my peace with it! 😉 but I wanted to set the mood going for Christmas…and wanted to make something sweet…but not necessarily ‘baked’! Hence, I zeroed in on these Peanut Butter & Oats No-Bake Cookies

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Its a very straightforward cookie to put together…slightly fudgy & chewy…oats give that lovely texture…and peanut butter makes it so morish😋… but it’s not crunchy as it’s not baked! It can make a great gift for friends & family too😀 🎁 or a Christmas project for your kids!

Yield: 12 medium cookies

Equipment: a saucepan, measuring cups/ spoons, a plate/ tray, a spatula.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 tbsp butter (I used unsalted)

2 tbsp cocoa pwd

1 tsp vanilla extract/ essence

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I used Saffola)

1 +1/4 cup oats (I used Quaker)

Method:

In a saucepan, add milk, sugar, cocoa pwd & butter. Cook these together on medium flame until the sugar melts and ip the mixture comes to  a boil. Let it boil for just 1 min. Turn off the flame, cool it for 2 mins. Then add the vanilla extract, peanut butter & oats. Mix everything well. Then take a steel plate/ tray, and take some mixture in your palms and give it any shape of your choice.

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Do this for the entire batch of mixture. Let the cookies sit in the refrigerator for 30 mins before serving.😉😄😄 that’s it! Your yummy cookies are ready👍

You can store it in the refrigerator for upto a week. And if it’s cold enough in your part of the world, you can just keep them at room temperature too!

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Let the festive spirit set in with these little bites of heaven!

Love,

Shreya💗

Adapted from Family Food Fun.

Loaded Oreo & M&M Squares

Homemade desserts are my hubby’s favourite… And he’s always willing to try something new and yummy. But there are a few recipes that I revisit for they are his favourite! 😛 Hence , made my Loaded Oreo & M&M Squares again❤️ 

If you are an Oreo lover, you’ll not give it a second thought before you try these! Really easy to whip up and a yummy, gooey & fudgy dessert is ready in just under 45mins 👏 😉 

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Just some leftover Oreos, a large pack of M&Ms…eggs, flour & sugar! That’s it. And you’re sorted. No beating or whipping..so easy that even kids could manage these. And let’s not forget, kids love munching on these. Serve it to them with a glass of chilled / warm milk. 😋 😋

 oreo and mnm bars , how to make oreo bars , mnm squares 

Common, let’s get to the recipe.

Yield: 10 – 12 generous squares

Equipment: 8′ X 8′ baking tin, measuring spoons / cups,  a microwave safe mixing bowl, a wired whisk, a spatula, aluminium foil sheet, cooling rack, knife.

Ingredients:

1 cup APF (maida)

1 cup light brown sugar / Demerara sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract / essence

18-20 nos Oreo cookies roughly chopped

1/2 cup M&Ms (or Cadbury Gems, I have used Gems this time)

1 stick unsalted melted butter

1 medium sized egg @ room temp.

Method:

Preheat the oven @ 180′ C and line the baking tin with aluminium sheet and let some of the sheet flow out of the tin on all four sides. It’s easier to unmould the squares later this way. Grease the aluminium sheet with some cooking oil.

Use the large microwave safe bowl and melt the butter in the microwave at high for about 40-50 secs. Let the butter sit for 5 mins before you add the egg, else the egg will simply scramble. After 5 mins, add the egg and sugar to the melted butter and mix it well. Add the vanilla extract to it and mix well. Now add the flour to the egg & butter mixture and stir until well combined. Don’t over-stir the mixture.

  
 Next, add the chopped cookies and stir everything well. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and flatten using a spatula. Next sprinkle the M&Ms on top of the batter and press very slightly to set everything well. Bake for about 25-30 mins. When it’s ready, the edges should be slightly brown and the top should be set. And a toothpick if entered in the centre, should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs. But no sticky batter. Allow the squares to rest in the tin for at least 30 mins on the cooling rack before you slice and serve.

 oreo and mnm bars , how to make oreo bars , mnm squares 

Enjoy these squares, either warm or cold. They keep up to a week when stored in an airtight container. You can freeze them too for over 30 days.

Love,

Shreya 💞

Adapted from Averie Cooks!

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