#fbcookieswap : Maple Snickerdoodles

Maple Snickerdoodles1

Third & final recipe of the cookie swap! My third match was Himanshu of The White Ramekins. He has such an amazing blog. Scrumptious recipes accompanies beautiful photography. His blog is a delight to see and read!

This recipe is unbelievably simple, made with simple ingredients which I always have handy. I am sure you will too. I love everything cinnamon and these cookies fit the bill perfectly for all the cinnamon lovers! Perfect for the holiday season!

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These cookies are soft, thick and pillowy with a subtle hint from maple. I like my cookies soft so I baked them for just about 10 minutes but if you don’t then extend the baking time to 13 minutes.

To be honest, they are too good to be shared. Really, they turned out so awesome that I was tempted to eat the whole batch myself and not ship them at all! Best cookies ever!! You have to have to have to make these! Believe me & add it to your holiday baking list 🙂

Happy Christmas baking all of you!

Enjoy!

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Maple Snickerdoodles

Recipe inspired from Recipe Girl

Makes: 12 cookies | Prep time: 10 minutes | Chilling time: 30-60 minutes | Baking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp real maple syrup
  • 1 egg, large

Topping:

  • 4 Tbsp maple/vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy on a medium speed for about 1-2 minute. Beat in maple syrup and egg.
  3. Gradually add dry ingredients to the bowl and beat at slow speed until no flour pockets remain. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Do not skip this step as the dough is unmanageable at the room temperature.
  4. Preheat the oven at 180ºC / 350ºF. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
    In a small dish, mix together the topping ingredients. Take about 2 Tbsp of dough and form it into a ball between your palms. Roll the ball in the topping mixture making sure they get coated thick and even.
  5. Arrange the dough balls on cookie sheet 2-inch apart from each other and bake for 10-11 minutes. Do not overbake. The sides should be golden and center may seem soft but it will set once cooled. Let the cookies cool on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack. Once cooled completely, transfer it to an airtight container. Cookies keep fresh for about 7 days at room temperature.

Skinny Zucchini & Mushroom Soup

Skinny Zucchini & Mushroom Soup1
I am so stressed nowadays.. And the reason for all the stress is not real life.. But internet life.. I know I haven’t been posting much but I have been lurking around and appreciating what all the food bloggers are up to. All over the internet I am seeing incredibly delicious holiday food..
Christmas IS actually upon us!!! Oh my gosh! I mean where DID November go?! I mean where did the year 2013 go? I am still trying to wrap my mind around this reality and meanwhile December is already slipping away at a lightening speed. Looks like everyone is ready for it but me. Web is getting bombarded with countless uhh-mah-zing fudge and truffle recipes. Peppermint and chocolate is in the air! Red and green are ruling! And all I have got to post today is SOUP!
I mean don’t get me wrong… I totally adore soup! The temperature is fluctuating constantly around here so it is perfect for the season! This light and skinny soup is so easy to make just like all the other recipes I post over here. One pot meal = happiness!
I know zucchini season is over for most of you out there but we’re still getting enough of it here. Pair it with earthy mushrooms and you get a thick, silky, creamy consistency soup without even adding any cream to it. Thyme lends a beautiful depth of flavor. And another advantage is that no vegetable stock is required for this soup! Yes!! Water works just fine & you won’t even miss the stock.. win-win 🙂
Give me a mug of this cozy soup with garlic bread and I am in heaven!
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Skinny Zucchini & Mushroom Soup
Serves: 3 | Prep time: 5 minutes | Cooking time: 15-20 minutes | Total time: Under 30 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp margarine (Olive oil can be substituted)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 300 gm (2 small) zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 200 gm / 7 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups water

Directions:

  1. Heat the skillet on a medium heat and add margarine to it. Sautè onions and garlic cloves on a low heat till pink and translucent.
  2. Add zucchini, mushroom and thyme sprigs to the skillet and sautè till cooked for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of water to it and let it boil. Turn off the heat.
  3. Remove the thyme sprigs and puree using a hand blender/food processor. Add this puree and another cup of water to skillet and let it come to boil. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust the consistency of the soup by adding more water if needed. Serve hot!

*Serve it with shredded Parmesan for a cheesy kick!

Healthy Chocolate Beetroot Bundt Cake

Healthy Chocolate Beetroot Cake2

I baked 3 batches of cookies this Monday to be sent for the cookie swap I am participating in. I wanted to do this precisely on a weekday so that I can courier the cookies on the same evening and they reach their destination in another 2 days, when they can be still considered FRESH! Good news is that one shipment was delivered yesterday and the other 2 were out for delivery today morning… Success! The bad news is I can’t share those cookie recipes with you… Not yet 😦

So to celebrate, I am sharing this awesome chocolate bundt with you all today. And as you must have guessed already, it is undoubtedly a healthy recipe! This time I have experimented with beetroot purée and liquid jaggery. I was feeling quite proud of myself while presenting this cake in front of Mr and some guests as the experiment turned out a total success! Nobody could guess/taste the secret ingredients… Even the kids!! 😀

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This cake is supremely moist because of puréed beetroot and olive oil. Liquid jaggery lends most of the sweetness and the brown sugar with chocolate lends works beautifully with chocolate. The taste is rich and exceptionally chocolaty. A top performer in my opinion!

The batter is a simple 1-bowl creation which comes together easily and can be prepared even without electric mixer. It bakes fairly quickly compared to any other bundt cakes. After the cake cools completely, simply pour ganache over it and serve a giant, thick slice of your masterpiece!

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If you fear the bundt pan, let me give you a tip on ‘How-To’. Generously grease the pan with butter and lightly dust it with flour. This is a foolproof way and the cake will not stick to the pan or break in pieces when you invert it on a cooling rack. So spend some time on this step before you start with the cake batter. After the cake bakes, let it cool in pan for 15-20 minutes before trying to release it from the pan. Perfection! So let go of your fear of bundt pan and whip up this decadent deliciousness NOW!

Healthy Chocolate Beetroot Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Serves: 12 | Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 35 minutes approximately

Ingredients:

Dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup +1 Tbsp Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup liquid jaggery
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 + 2/3 cup beetroot purée, (around 4 medium beetroots boiled, peeled and puréed)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Ganache:

  • 2 Tbsp medium fat cream/milk
  • 3 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 190 C/375 F. Grease a bundt pan nicely with butter and dust it with flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients.
  3. In a bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, add olive oil and brown sugar and beat on a low speed. Add liquid jaggery and continue to beat.
  4. Increase the speed to medium-high, add one egg at a time and beat for 2 minutes after each addition. Beat in yogurt.
  5. Slowly add beetroot purée and dry ingredients in 2 additions, ending with dry ingredients. Scrape the sides of the bowl with spatula and beat until just combined. Do not over-mix the batter.
  6. Pour the batter to the prepared bundt pan and bake for 33-35 minutes. Toothpick inserted near the centre of the pan should come out clean or just with few moist crumbs. Let the cake cool in a pan for 15-20 minutes before inverting on a wire rack.
  7. Heat a small sauce pan and add cream/milk to it. Once the cream/milk is hot(not bubbling), remove it from heat. Add chocolate to it and stir continuously until chocolate has melted completely. Pour the ganache over the cake. Cut a thick slice and serve.

*Store the cake in an airtight container. Stays fresh on a counter for 1 day and in refrigerator for 5-6 days.
*The cake is enough sweet for me but in case you like your baked products quite sweet then increase the quantity of brown sugar in the batter as per your taste. Lick, taste and then proceed! 😉

Still scared of a bundt? Try these delicious cupcakes!
Happy Baking! xx

Figs & Orange Honey Mini Loaf-Cakes ~ Of course, Healthy!

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I am totally in a holiday season mode.

Brace yourselves for the news I am about to break to you guys.. I brought out the planner in me(!!!) and prepared the fruit soak for my very first Christmas fruit cake 2 days back! I am definitely on top of the game. If you follow me on Instagram you already know. I can’t seem to contain my excitement. I’m counting down the days to bake and to be able to eat the final product.

I am going to let this fruit mix soak for about 3 weeks before baking into a delicious cake. This way cake will get a chance to age for about 3+ weeks before it’s Christmas! My kitchen air turned heavenly with all those fruits and citrus peels. No scented candles required.. Happy days I tell ya! 🙂

Another thing is I am baking a WHOLE lot more. I know I am not posting enough on the blog but I am baking A LOT! The weather is cold and rainy and all I want to eat at any time of the day is a piece of warm, cinnamony baked goodies. So with this awesome weather and so much baked goodies around me, all I am doing is relaxing, eating and lurking around other blogs! Can you blame me?! I mean so much holiday baking is happening everywhere!

 

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On one fine morning, I made these gorgeous mini cakes and trust me when I tell you, they are the most moist, soft and fragrant cakes ever! One-bowl deliciousness ready in 30 minutes!

Oh, did I mention these are healthy too?!! Oh ya! This recipe is a keeper for those days when you’re eating around lots of unhealthy food on the name of celebration.

Make this quick recipe as a special breakfast treat on festival mornings or while entertaining guests and you’re sure to impress everyone!

Happy Baking! xo

 

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Baking tray before going in the oven

 

Figs & Orange Honey Mini Loaf-Cakes

Yields: 6 mini loaf-cakes or 12 cupcakes | Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: 20 minutes approx

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 8-9 fresh figs, washed, stemmed

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Grease a 6 count mini-loaf silicone mold with baking spray. Set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine sugar and orange zest, mixing with spoon to release oils from the zest. Add one egg at a time and beat until creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Add oil, honey, yogurt, vanilla, orange juice and stir to combine.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  4. Cut 3 figs into quarters and cut the remaining figs into 4 slices. Fill the molds equally about 2/3rd full and submerge 2 fig quarters in each mold. Arrange 2-3 slices on top of the batter. Bake for about 16 to 18 minutes or until the cake is just firm. Do not over-bake. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Remove from the mold and serve.

*Tastes best when served warm with the topping of Mascarpone or whipped cream, with tea/coffee.

Baked Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts

Baked Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts1

I’ve got some good news for ya all!!!

I FINALLY bought doughnut pan! Eeeeeeep!!!

I was so EXCITED the day it arrived that I wanted to put it to use immediately (As if it’s any surprise!). The stars and planets united and I was faced with early Diwali gifting occasion.. Happiest me! Without any second thoughts I knew it had to be freshly baked doughnuts.

I wanted to make chocolate doughnuts as my first doughnuts in this pan but these were for gifting so I decided against it. I mean, I can’t trust myself around chocolate and the gift couldn’t be an empty box so, smart move I thought! 😛

With the weather we are experiencing and soooo many apples sitting in my pantry, these adorable beauties were born. And I was absolutely pleased with my decision making ability this time around!

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They were just So So Good, I wanted to eat the whole batch myself… No kidding!! I mean can you imagine anything better where you can have apple, cinnamon and sprinkles, all together?! Oh… our house smelled Dee-vine!

Needless to say that the doughnuts were so soft and moist plus a healthier breakfast option compared to the store-bought deep-fried version. Win-win!

So buy the doughnut pan right away if you don’t already have it. I got mine from here. You NEED it in your life… Trust me! Plus these make such cute gifts for this festive season too!

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Baked Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts

Yields: 8 to 9 doughnuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 medium granny smith apple, peeled and finely chopped

Glaze:

 

  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp caster sugar + 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, mixed together
  • sprinkles (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Lightly grease the doughnut pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, mix together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Whisk in milk to this mix.
  4. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients all at once to it. Add finely chopped apples. Stir together until no flour pockets remain but be careful not to over-mix.
  5. With a small spoon, dollop batter into the prepared pan. Fill each doughnut pan three-quarters full with batter. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until doughnuts are puffed up and lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the pan for a while before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. While doughnuts are still warm, brush melted butter on each doughnut. Sprinkle some sprinkles on each doughnut followed by cinnamon-sugar.

*These doughnuts are best served the day they are made.
*Feel free to grate the peeled apple if you do not like chopped pieces in every bite!
*Make the recipe eggless by simply replacing egg with 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce.

Happy Baking!!

 

Oven Roasted Asparagus & Potatoes with PeanutButter & Buttermilk Dressing

Oven Roasted Asparagus & Potatoes with PeanutButter & Buttermilk Dressing4
Past 10 days were a blur at our house.. Between Karva Chauth party and my girl gang gathered at the house for the wedding, I hardly had time to squeeze in a blog-post. Those were such good days and in all honesty, I didn’t want them to end! Exciting times filled with fun, laughter and so much joy!! I’m going to cherish the precious memories of this time spent with friends and family forever. Moments like these is what makes our life worthwhile.
Between all the festivities of the past weekend and coming weekend, I am doing a detox of my own with fruits, soups, stir-fries and salads. Gearing up for the next big weekend, you see! You won’t believe how many great recipes I have lined up for you all! But before that enjoy this humble dish which truly deserves a place in your repertoire! 🙂
Oven Roasted Asparagus & Potatoes with PeanutButter & Buttermilk Dressing2
Today’s recipe is simple but totally lip-smacking.
I mean it has potatoes & peanut butter in it so of course! 😉
Just some roasted veggies with healthy yet delicious dressing. Perfect for the ‘touch of cold’ weather we are experiencing here.. It is great as a side dish or as a whole meal in itself.. I had it for dinner and could not finish it entirely. The recipe can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled as per your needs. I used regular potatoes but baby potatoes would be amazing too!
Oven Roasted Asparagus & Potatoes with PeanutButter & Buttermilk Dressing3
Roasted Asparagus & Potatoes with Peanut Butter & Buttermilk Dressing
Serves: 2 as a side-dish or 1 as a lunch/dinner
Ingredients:
Roasted vegetables:
  • 4 small potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes or 12 baby potatoes, halved
  • 20 spears of asparagus cut into 5-inch pieces, hard woody ends discarded
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Dressing:

  • 4 Tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Arrange prepared potatoes and asparagus on the baking tray. Sprinkle with oil, salt and pepper and toss together. Let it bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove the asparagus from baking tray and return the tray to oven. Let the potatoes bake for another 15 to 20 minutes till fork-tender.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the dressing.
  3. Serve the roasted vegetables smothered with the dressing.

Enjoy!!

Baked Orzo with Spinach, Corn & Asparagus

Baked Orzo with Spinach, Corn & Asparagus1
Okay, I have a pattern. On this blog. I write either about desserts or pasta here. I have a proof. But what can I say?! They are two of my favorite things. The weather here is not helping the matters either. This rainy, gloomy weather forces me to switch on the oven almost everyday! It makes me add cinnamon to every sweet stuff I bake so that the house smells like Fall. I am craving soups and wearing cardigan while going out. Gosh, how I am in love with the weather right now!!
You guys know I am all for skinny dishes. But that does not mean I do not like eating overloaded cheesy goodness. In fact, I LOVE it so much but just NEVER make it. I can’t bring myself to add a pound of cheese to any dish knowingly. Period.
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This dish here is in no way skinny. But not unusually loaded either. Something in between. A dish I would dive in. It is everything I had hoped and dreamed for in baked pasta. There’re pillows of corn and asparagus throughout. There are decadent, gooey cheese pulls stretching from every forkful. And it is easy. Yes, as easy as this simple mac-n-cheese I know how to make. So make it NOW as there is no reason to keep yourself away from such a bliss.
Baked Orzo with Spinach, Corn & Asparagus
Serves: 2
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Orzo, a rice shaped pasta
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 8-10 spears of asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces, hard/woody ends discarded
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5-6 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato pest
  • 1/2 cup spinach leaves, packed, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup Mozzarella cheese, small cubes of 1/2 cm
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp oregano flakes
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF. Boil a pot of water with generous sprinkle of salt. Add Orzo, corn kernels and asparagus to the boiling water. Let it boil for 2 minutes and after that save 1/2 cup of water. Drain Orzo, corn kernels, asparagus and set aside.
  2. Simultaneously heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil to the hot pan and once oil is shimmering, add the shallots, garlic and celery. Cook for 3 minutes or so till shallots turn translucent. Add tomato paste, Orzo, corn kernels, asparagus and cook for 3 more minutes. Off the heat. Immediately mix-in spinach leaves.
  3. Add Parmesan, Mozzarella, salt, pepper, oregano, red chilli flakes, lemon zest and pasta water and mix well.
  4. Transfer mixture to a small oval or 6×6-inch square ovenproof baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then bake for 15 minutes without the foil. (You can change ratio of foil-on to foil-off time as per your preference for crunchy pasta lid.) Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes:

*You can use whole-wheat Orzo or replace Orzo with any other small-sized pasta.
*I used pasta water and did not feel that the dish was lacking in flavor at all. But if you do not like using water then use vegetable stock.