Festive Italian Butter Fingers

One of the fondest memories of my childhood christmas days is butter cookies. There was always a visiting uncle who brought us a box of the famous Danish butter cookies. My favorite was the curled up one almost similar to these fingers I’ve baked. Tasting these biscuits once baked only reminded me of the time I would frown each time I opened the tin to find the cookies reduce gradually. Now that I have the recipe, extremely close to the Danish version, I will never have to worry about dwindling stocks in my cookie jar. Though these are quick to vanish, I’ll have to earn you.

Before you begin, please ensure the eggs and butter are at room temperature for best results.

1/2 cup butter, unsalted and softened

1/4 cup white granulated sugar

2 tbsps powdered sugar

1 full egg + 1/2 of an egg yolk

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup of chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 180℃.

2. In a mixing bowl, using an electric beater beat together butter and sugar, both granulated sugar and powdered sugar until mixture turns light and creamy.

3. Add egg as full and half of a yolk ( it’s alright if you aren’t accurately half with the yolk) and beat together with butter and sugar until well combined. Add vanilla essence and beat again.

4. In another bowl, sift together all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture part by part to the butter and egg mixture and using a spatula mix until it comes together as a sticky dough and well combined.

5. Put dough into a piping bag fitted with a large open star nozzle and squeeze to remove any excess air spaces.

6. On a baking tray lined with baking paper, pipe out fingers of about one and half inch long. Keep adequate space between the fingers so that they spread during baking.

7. Place into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.

8. Remove from oven and allow the fingers to cool completely.

9. Melt half a cup of chocolate chips and dip biscuits halfway. You can leave the fingers with the chocolate itself or sprinkle colored sprinkles or crushed nuts while the chocolate is still wet , as you like. Keep them aside to dry and store in an air tight container.

Hope you like these, they make for a great gift if you happen to go visiting this festive month. Looking forward to sharing more festive recipes soon.

Happy Baking!

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One Bowl Chocolate Brownies

I’ve been so ridiculously unproductive on my blog this year. In my last attempt to catch with anyone still following my blog (hello! I am still here ) I’m making a comeback with back to back recipes in the next couple of days. And yes, Christmas baking is upon us so the timing for these recipes might just be perfect.

Firstly coming up are these chocolaty fudgy easy brownies. You can whip these just now .

100 gms butter, unsalted

85 gms, Brown sugar (light)

2 large eggs

45 gms unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

65 gms all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

Oil for greasing

Handful of chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 180℃.

2. Begin by mixing using an electric beater, beat the sugar and butter until light and creamy. Preferably use room temperature butter.

3. Add eggs one at a time and continue mixing until well combined. Add cocoa powder and mix again. Ensure no lumps of cocoa powder form in the mixture.

4. Sift flour and baking powder over the cocoa mixture and fold in lightly using a spatula. Add vanilla essence and chocolate chips if required.

5. In a square or rectangular baking tin that is greased with oil , pour brownie batter and place into the oven to bake at 180℃ for 20-22 minutes.

6. Using a toothpick or skewer check if brownies have baked by 20 minutes. If required bake for another five minutes.

7. Remove from oven and remove from baking tray once cooled.

Coming up next with something really festive.Festive Italian Butter Fingers up next. Stay tuned.

Until then Happy Baking!

Light Vanilla Cake

I’ve been waiting to tell you that I’ve finally got the recipe to getting that bakery style light vanilla cake. We all have our own versions, I’ve been waiting to format my own . 

Giving a slight tweak to my family’s madiera cake that has been passed on from generations I finally found the perfect density that matches light, fluffy and oh so delish! 

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup white granulated sugar

4 eggs , whole and large

2 1/4 cups, self raising flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

1/2 cup warm milk 

Juice of half lemon 

1. Preheat oven to 180℃ and line a baking vessel of your choice.

2. In a mixing bowl, using an electric beater mix together butter and sugar until soft and creamy. Add eggs one at a time. And continue beating. 

3. Add self raising flour and baking powder, continue beating until well combined. Ensure no lumps of flour have formed. 

4. Add vanilla essence and mix well. Add warm milk and combine well. Stir well and lastly add juice of half a lemon. Stir well lightly. 

5. Pour batter into a lined baking dish and bake at 180℃ for about 20-25 mins or until golden brown. Poke the cake using a toothpick or cake tester after 20 minutes for a check. 

6. Remove from baking tin once cool and serve . 

P.s I used the above recipes for cupcakes and they were just as delightful 🙂 

Hope you try the recipe and enjoy it too . Until my next post, Happy Baking! 

Double Chocolate Chip Crumble Cupcakes

 In my best attempts of staying true to my posts, here is where I reveal there is no big deal in this post. There is no big deal in the recipe nor the method used, but I had to share this with you. If you have been like me, living under a rock for a long part of your life and settling for just the plain double chocolate chip cupcakes then you have been missing out on something huge. This is the huge deal. Have you tried double chocolate chip cupcakes with that crumble? 

I know there are some of us who apart from worrying about calories in a creamy cupcake frosting we also don’t want things with a overpowering sweetness. I’m definitely one of them. So in my purpose of giving new spins to old things,which I love doing by the way, I gave a crumble touch to my double chocolate chip cupcakes. And boom! 

No frosting calories. No extra sweetness. The same double chocolate chip taste, rich and chocolaty but with that crumble crunch. 

I had posted about crumble cupcakes somewhere last year if you go through my recipe archive. But this one definitely goes down as my current favorite. Cupcakes make me happy and double chocolate chip cupcakes make me more. I really do hope you give it a shot as well. The crumble is the big deal. 

Here’s my recipe to double chocolate chip cupcakes with that crumble I told you about.

100 gms butter, softened at room temperature

80 gms powdered sugar

2 eggs,kept at room temperature

80 gms all purpose flour, sifted

20 gms unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 cup milk, slightly warm

Handful of chocolate chips 

For the Crumble:

70 gms all purpose flour

37.5 gms butter, chilled and cubed, keep butter in the refrigerator until ready to use

1 teaspoon white granulated sugar

1. In a mixing bowl, add butter and powdered sugar. In case you don’t get your hand on powdered sugar you can use the normal white granulated sugar although it would take longer to mix with the butter. Using an electric beater, mix together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. 

2. Add eggs one by one and continue beating. 

3. Add sifted all purpose flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Use a spatula at this point and mix well until the ingredients are well combined. The mixture might appear dry and thick. To this add warm milk and chocolate chips. Mix well. 

4. In a preheated oven at 180℃, line cupcake trays with cupcake cases. Pour batter into cupcake cases evenly. 

5. To prepare crumble, in a small mixing bowl add all purpose flour. Using your fingers delicately rub butter into the flour until it resembles crumbs. Do it slowly so that the heat due to the rubbing doesn’t make the butter melt. Add granulated sugar (you can skip this if you are not fond of sweetness). 

6. Sprinkle crumble mixture over cupcakes and bake for about 20-25 minutes. 

Wholesome Chicken Soup 

Today is just one of those out of the usual days I come up with an impromptu blog post cause it’s not normal of me to make savory dishes and then post them up online after they turn out this great! But hey there’s always a start. 
When my mom asks me to cook lunch or dinner, I play safe choosing chicken, not only because it’s a favorite but it’s best for my confidence levels in the kitchen. I can work around a chicken anyway whether grilled, stir fried or curried. Today I chose to soup it out . Ever since my sister got pregnant, we have been trying to scoop up recipes from the past to give her wholesome foods that are made from scratch and almost zero dependent on store bought ready made mixes. But it’s a longer process to be honest but a healthy one atleast. Possibly the only ready made ingredient I used in the soup here is Chinese egg noodles a suggestion I adapted after a bit of recipe browsing online. It’s much quicker than macaroni or pasta and adds a tad bit of taste to the broth as well. 

What lengthens the process is the chicken stock. We did not want any ready made stock for the soup so my mother decided the healthier way to go would be chicken carcass, which we pressure cooked for about 20 minutes. No worries if you don’t have a pressure cooker, simply boil the carcass or chicken whole if required with water and a pinch of salt. Do this a day before you want the soup prepared. Once you have your stock taken out of the bones, cool to room temperature and place stock in the refrigerator overnight. Doing this reduces the fat content of the stock. By next morning you will notice a layer of fat that settles on the top of the stock. Simply scoop it out and keep the stock ready for use. Feeling healthy already? 

Getting rid of the fat as much as possible and a whole choice of vegetables, makes this perfect for just about anyone. 

Here’s my tried tested recipe.

3 cups chicken stock

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp olive oil

1 cup carrot, finely chopped

1/2 cup celery, finely chopped

2-3 stalks of spring onion 

1/2 of a white onion, finely chopped

1 cup of corn kernels

2 eggs, whites only well beaten

Handful of Chinese egg noodles

1/2 cup of shredded chicken

1/4 teaspoon of mixed dried herbs 

2- 3 leaves of spinach, finely chopped

1 bay leaf

Salt to taste
1. Begin by heatng olive oil in a non stick deep vessel, and once heated saute garlic finely chopped. Fry until slightly golden brown. Add white onion and the onion portion of the spring onion, finely chopped. Keep the green portion of the spring onion for use later. Saute together until slightly softened and cooked. 

2. Add finely chopped carrot, celery and corn . Add a little water, perhaps about 2-3 tablespoons and cook on medium heat until the celery is cooked and softened. 

3. Add chicken stock along with the bay leaf and mixed herbs . I used a store bought mixture of herbs that includes dried basil, thyme, oregano and rosemary. Add water about 1 cup to increase the quantity of soup if required. Close the vessel and bring to a boil. 

3. Add beaten egg whites using a fork and stir vigorously while doing so. This ensures the egg whites turn into tiny bits in the soup. Add shredded chicken, egg noodles, spinach and greens of spring onion.  Add salt as per your taste requirements and bring to boil. 

4. Turn off the heat and serve warm.

Hope you enjoy this soup as much as my pregnant sister and all of us here at home have. It’s healthy, wholesome and delicious. Do give it a try soon . 
Until my next post, much love! 

Chouquettes – French Sugar Puffs 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again . Easy and quick recipes delight me and even more when they are simple to make and packed with good taste . 

Uncomplicated and simple things are the best in life. People and pastries alike 😉 

So when it came to this weekend I wanted a simple and quick go to baking recipe that I could whip up in no time and voila !  I immediately thought of choux pastry and thought it had been a while since my last attempt at getting it right at home. And honestly, I’ve tried choux pastry a couple of times before and failed in a couple of more. 

So last evening I came across the most authentically French recipe of these tiny sugar puffs called chouquettes otherwise and my verdict is ‘fail proof’ for the recipe. Pastry making couldn’t get more simpler and French than this ! 

50 gms cubed butter

75 gms all purpose flour

100 ml water

100 ml milk 

3 whole eggs 

A pinch of salt 

Handful of white sugar pearls 

1. Pre heat your oven to 200 ℃ and prepare your baking tray lined with a greased baking sheet.

2. In a saucepan on medium heat, add butter, milk, water and a pinch of salt. Keep stirring until it simmers and take off from the heat immediately. 

3. Quickly add the all purpose flour all in one go and stir vigorously using a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together all in a smooth dough. 

4. Keep dough to cool until room temperature. Add eggs to this one at a time. Since the eggs I had were large, two eggs were just enough. Stir until well blended with the dough. 

5. Cut a small tip at the end of a piping bag and pour in the dough. Pipe out little circles on a baking sheet, keeping enough space between each pastry puff. Egg wash each puff gently and sprinkle sugar pearls on each. Incase you don’t find yourself sugar pearls, I’m guessing white sugar granules would do as well. 

6. Bake in the oven at 200℃ for 15 mins . As soon as its done baking,remove from oven and while still warm using a skewer poke each puff to allow the steam to escape. 

7. Store in air tight containers overnight if required. 

I hope you do give a shot and hopefully it should be your next favorite too 🙂

Until my next bake post, Happy Baking!


 

Chocolate Chip Biscotti 

One of the most versatile biscuits to me are and have always been biscotti. Twice baked biscotti can contain just about any of your favorite filling ingredients and what’s better it’s healthy as it does not contain even a gram of butter . So these have clearly been a family favorite since forever. 

Whether wheat flour or white, chocolate or fruit filling, name your favorite biscuit ingredient and add it to your biscotti mixture. It’s that simple, here is my tried and tested chocolate chip biscotti, my favorite coffee time treat. 

250 gms all purpose flour

10 gms unsweetened cocoa powder

3 large eggs

145 gms white granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt 

3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together eggs and vanilla essence and keep aside.

2. In another mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients such as the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips.

3. Combine mixtures of both bowls and knead to a smooth dough.

4. Preheat oven to 180℃. Line two baking trays and keep aside.

5. On a lightly floured surface, spread the dough and flatten to about 1/2 inch thickness. Transfer the dough onto baking trays and bake until edges have turned slightly brown, which should take approximately 20-25 minutes.. 

6. Using a sharp knife, while still warm slice into biscotti slices and place back into the oven for a second round of baking. Bake until the biscotti slices are crisp. 

7. Remove from oven and cool before storing in air tight containers. Biscottis can stay for a long time if stored well. 
Hope you enjoy this. Until my next bake post which I hope will be soon… 

Happy Baking!