My toddler likes to think she’s the original cookie monster. She can inhale a whole batch of cookies in a couple of sittings – if allowed to. Though I am not much of a cookie person myself, we do go through quite a few batches around here. I prefer baking cookies that have a savory quality to them. I also need them to taste less like a dessert and more like a healthy-ish snack that wont have me running to closest treadmill after snack time.
Fortunately, my current food idol, Ottolenghi, has just what I need. His latest release, Sweet, is my favorite bedtime reading. I plan to bake my way through the book and this recipe is a great starting point. It has something for everyone. It is sweet without being excessively so. It’s chewiness is punctuated by the crunch of the nuts. The tartness of the cranberries plays beautifully with the bittersweet notes of chocolate.
That’s not all. This recipe has the goodness of wholewheat flour and oats. The cookie dough doesn’t need to be chilled before baking and the cookies will stay good for up to a week in an airtight container at room temperature.
Have I convinced you to bake a batch yet? Let’s get started!
- All purpose flour – 50 grams or 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp
- White whole wheat flour – 25 grams or 3 tbsp
- Old fashioned oats – 50 grams or 1/2 cup plus 1.5 tbsp
- Whole almonds – 50 grams or 1/3 cup*
- Dried cranberries – 42 grams or 1/3 cup
- Orange zest – 1/2 tbsp or the zest of a small orange
- Orange juice – 1 tbsp
- Unsalted butter – 75 grams or 1/3 cup (softened to room temperature)
- Granulated sugar – 34 grams or 1/4 cup minus 1 tbsp
- Salt – a pinch
- Bittersweet chocolate bar (at least 60%) – 3 oz or 90 grams
*I used slivered almonds instead of whole almonds while testing the recipe and they turned out just as good. You will need 2/3 cup of slivered almonds. You can skip the roasting step and add them to the recipe as is
Yield – 10 to 12 cookies that are 2.5 inches in diameter. Recipe can be doubled
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread the whole almonds out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes till they’re just roasted. Set them to cool on a rack. Once cooled, chop them roughly into bite sized pieces. Set aside. If using slivered almonds you can skip this step
- Increase the oven temperature to 375 F or 190 degree Celsius and preheat
- Rough chop the dried cranberries. Soak them in the orange juice for about 10 minutes
- In a medium bowl combine the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, almonds and salt and set aside
- In the bowl of a mixer cream the butter, granulated sugar and orange zest till it turns light and fluffy and increases in volume. This takes at least 5 minutes
- Add the flour-almond mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and whip to combine
- Add the cranberries soaked in orange juice and whip briefly
- Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Turn the dough out onto it and gently bring it together into a ball
- Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper or cling film into a rough circle which is 1/4th of an inch thick
- Using a 2.5 inch cookie cutter punch out the cookies. Using a spatula gently transfer the cookies onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Place the cookies about an inch apart. They do not expand in the oven
- Bake in a preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes till they are uniformly golden brown
- Cool the cookies on the tray for 5 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack
- While the cookies are cooling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler (set a small sauce pan with an inch of water in it over the stovetop on low heat. Place the bowl with chocolate over this saucepan and stir periodically till the chocolate melts). Set aside to cool slightly
- Dollop about a teaspoon of chocolate on the cookies and spread it out evenly using the back of a spoon. Set the cookies back on the rack to cool completely and till the chocolate sets
- The cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week
Recipe adapted from the Cranberry and Oat Cookies recipe from his latest book Sweet
Cake rolls are a great dessert to make for company! They look impressive. They come together quickly, with a bake time of just 7 to 10 minutes. They can be made ahead of time and there are so many flavor combinations to choose from.
But what I love most about them is their simplicity. The ingredient list is very short and you don’t need to be a pastry chef to be able to whip one up – bake a simple sponge, slather on the filling, roll it up and you’re done.
Having said that, cake roll recipes up until this one, have always reduced me to a nervous wreck during the rolling process. They would invariably crack in all the wrong places and the filling would squirt out. But not with this recipe! This one is a keeper. No cracking, no squirting and no more tears!
I’ve made two of these this past week – the recipe really is that good – one with a whipped cream filling and one with buttercream. I found that the buttercream filled cake held up a lot better. The whipped cream tends to seep into the sponge and the cake collapses under it’s own weight overnight. So if you’re planning to make this cake ahead of time I would recommend a sturdy buttercream filling.
I made the cake a bit more special by baking a pattern onto the sponge. This step is entirely optional. But if you are somewhat handy with a piping tip and want to raise a few eyebrows then you should go for it.
Trace the pattern of your choice onto a sheet of parchment paper the same size as your swiss roll tin. and line your tin with this sheet. Pipe your pattern onto the parchment and chill while preparing the batter for the cake roll
Sponge for the decorative piping
- Unsalted butter – 35 grams or 2 and 1/2 tbsp
- Icing Sugar – 35 grams or 1/4 cup
- Egg white – from 1 large egg
- All purpose flour – 80 grams or 2/3 cup
- Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
- Gel food colors of your choice
*This recipe is enough to pipe a delicate pattern on the roll cake. If you’d like to make a more elaborate pattern then make double the recipe
Sponge for the roll cake
- Fine granulated sugar – 75 grams or 1/3 cup
- Eggs – 3 large
- All purpose flour – 75 grams minus 1 tbsp** or 2/3 cup minus 1 tbsp
- Baking powder – 1 tsp
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Cocoa powder – 1 tbsp
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Simple syrup – 3 tbsp of granulated sugar mixed with 3 tbsp of water
**This recipe is for a chocolate roll cake. If you want to make a plain vanilla cake then omit the cocoa powder and add the whole 75 grams of all purpose flour
- Unsalted butter – 115 grams or 1/2 cup
- Icing sugar – 150 grams or 1 and 1/3 cup
- Strong brewed coffee – 2 tsp
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
If you just want a plain swiss roll without any pattern piped on it then skip the recipe below and go directly onto the recipe for the roll cake sponge and buttercream
Sponge for decorative piping
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. Grease and line a 9×13 inch swiss roll tin with parchment paper. If you’re tracing a pattern onto the paper then flip the parchment over when you’re done so that the pencil side is facing down
- Using a mixer whip the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy
- While beating continuously gradually add the egg white and the vanilla extract. Whip until thoroughly combined
- Using a spatula gently fold in the flour. Add your food coloring at this stage if using
- Fill this mixture into a piping bag and pipe it onto the parchment paper. Chill this tray with the parchment paper in the freezer while you make the sponge for the roll cake
Sponge for the roll cake
- Preheat the oven to 400 F or 200 degree Celsius. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and set aside
- Using a mixer whip the eggs and the granulated sugar on medium speed till the mixture turns pale and fluffy and the beater leaves a trail when lifted up from the bowl. This takes at least 5 minutes
- Add the vanilla extract and beat briefly until it is mixed in
- Fold the flour mixture into the egg-sugar mixture gently using a spatula
- Remove the swiss roll tin that’s been chilling in the freezer and gently pour the sponge cake mixture over the parchment paper. Tilt the tin gently so that the batter spreads out evenly
- Bake in a preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes till the sponge turns a light golden brown and starts separating from the sides Make sure you do not over bake.
- Take two sheets of parchment paper larger than the size of the cake tin. Dust one with granulated sugar and lay it on your work surface. As soon as the cake is ready tip it on to this sheet. Carefully peel off the parchment paper that is on the cake to reveal your pattern. Now place the second sheet of parchment paper on the exposed surface and turn the cake back up again so that the patterned side is now underneath.
- Set it on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes
- Using a mixer whip butter until is light and creamy and has nearly doubled in volume
- Add 1 cup of icing sugar and salt and continue to whip on medium-high speed scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary
- Add the coffee and vanilla extract and continue to whip for 2 minutes more
- Do a taste test and add more sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time till you achieve your desired level of sweetness. I find that an additional 1/3 cup does the trick for me
- Spread the buttercream on the cooled cake in a thin even layer. Leave a gap of about a centimeter around the edges
- Using a palette or butter knife score the cake in a line about 2 cm in from one of the shorter sides. This will make the first roll easier
- Using the help of the parchment paper underneath gently roll the cake starting at the short edge that you scored. Keep the roll as tight and firm as possible till you reach the other end. Gently trim the uneven ends of the cake roll using a serrated knife.
- Make a simple syrup with 3 tbsp of granulated sugar and 3 tbsp of water. Warm gently on low heat till the sugar dissolves. Gently brush the roll cake with this syrup to keep the cake moist
This cake roll will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days or in the fridge for about 3 days
Recipe adapted from Paul Hollywood’s Blackcurrant and Liquorice Swiss Roll
That’s right! Baked, not fried.
I’ve been wanting to make a baked version of these insanely addictive treats for quite some time now. My mom absolutely loves them and I so wanted to bake her a batch while she was here, visiting us. But every time we went out to eat she would skip the entree and order a plate of churros for herself. I did not want to double up on those calories so I kept delegating this recipe to the bottom of my baking to-do list.
Then I found the perfect motivation. I made a batch of Smitten Kitchen’s Hot Fudge Sauce. This stuff is indeed the bomb. I want to put it over everything! And what goes better with chocolate sauce than churros?
I mean, just check this out!
It’s easy to make – half an hour from beginning to end – and it’s something you can easily whip up for company. Best part is, no special equipment needed. Just a saucepan, spatula and some elbow grease!
Let’s get started
Yield – 24 Churros each 4 inches long
- All purpose flour – 1 and 1/3 cup
- Large eggs – 3 (at room temperature)
- Unsalted butter – 1/2 cup (If using salted butter leave out salt from the dry ingredients)
- Light brown sugar – 1 tbsp
- Granulated sugar – 2 tbsp
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Water – 1 cup
- Vanilla extract -1 tsp
- Granulated sugar with 1 tsp of nutmeg or cinnamon for dusting finished churros – 1/3 cup
- Preheat oven to 400 F or 205 degree Celsius
- Add butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, salt (if using) and water to a medium sized saucepan and place it on medium heat. Stir occasionally till the sugars and butter melt completely
- Let the liquid come to a boil and then take it off the heat
- Add in the vanilla extract and flour to the hot liquid and stir vigorously till a smooth dough is formed and it begins to gather around the spatula
- Make a well in the center of the dough and and the first egg. Stir vigorously again till the egg is completely incorporated. It takes a couple of minutes. You will see the dough getting smoother and shinier after the egg is mixed in
- Mix the other two eggs one at a time stirring thoroughly after each addition. Here’s a visual guide. The image on the right was taken after the three eggs were added
- Fill the dough into a piping bag fitted with a wide open star tip and pipe the dough in straight lines on a parchment lined sheet tray. I piped them about 3.5 to 4 inches long
- Spray or lightly brush the piped dough with oil. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes
- When done the churros will be crisp and golden brown on the outside and will slide around easily on the tray
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes
- Take granulated sugar and nutmeg (or cinnamon) in a wide bowl and mix. Toss warm churros in the sugar till they are lightly coated. Serve!
Notes – These churros are best eaten fresh, right out of the oven. You can dip them in any sauce of your choice – melted chocolate, salted caramel, fudge – all work great! If you want to make these churros in advance, cool them and store in an airtight container. Just before serving, warm them in a preheated oven at 350 F or 180 degree Celsius for 5 minutes and then toss them in the sugar – nutmeg mixture
Recipe adapted from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
When your toddler refuses to get within 10 feet of anything that even remotely resembles a berry or dried fruit, you grumble a bit, blame it on her daddy’s genes and then, if you’re like me, you get baking. I find loaf cakes are excellent for camouflaging all kinds of those ‘too healthy to eat’ ingredients that your toddler and/or husband actively avoid. That’s how this Fig Loaf came to be.
It’s extremely easy to make. It goes excellently well with tea or coffee and it makes a great breakfast too! I like it lightly toasted with some chocolate spread and sprinkles on top. Now tell me that didn’t entice you!
This recipe requires you to make a fig puree or ‘jam’. You then add this puree to the batter which gives the loaf cake its pure fig-ey taste. It is a simple process that takes about 10 minutes start to finish.
If you want to forget about the loaf cake and just settle down with a bowl of this and a spoon, that’s okay too. I won’t mind.
UPDATE! I tried baking this recipe with Aquafaba, which is basically water in which chickpeas have been cooked, with fantastic results. Just substitute the egg in this recipe with 3 tbsp of aquafaba and follow the recipe as is. It turns out perfect as you can see from these mini loaves
- All purpose flour – 1 and 1/2 cups
- Baking soda – 1 and 1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Egg – 1 large
- Oil – 1/3 cup (Any neutral oil will do. No olive oil)
- Granulated sugar – 3/4 cup (Can increase to 1 cup for more sweetness)
- Buttermilk – 1/4 cup
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips – 1/3 cup
- Chopped dried figs – 1 heaping cup
- Brown sugar – 1 tbsp
- Lemon juice – 1 tsp
- Water – 1/4 cup
- Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
First we make Fig Puree
- In a small saucepan combine figs, brown sugar, lemon juice and vanilla essence and cook over medium low heat. Once the sugar has melted add the water to the figs and cook them down, stirring occasionally. Make sure the figs don’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn
- Once the figs turn mushy and begin to break down, take the pan off the heat and allow to cool. Puree the fig mixture, using very little water if necessary, to form a chunky ‘jam’. Set aside
Now onto the bread
- Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 degree Celsius
- Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside
- In another bowl whip the egg using a hand blender till it turns frothy
- Add the sugar to the egg and whip till the mixture becomes very pale and fluffy. This takes 2 to 3 minutes
- Now add the oil and the fig puree to the egg-sugar mixture and whip till it is thoroughly combined
- Next add half the flour mixture and whip briefly to combine
- Add in all the buttermilk and whip again
- Add the remaining half of the dry ingredients and whip till it is all incorporated
- Using a spatula gently mix in the chocolate chips and make sure there are no streaks of flour in the batter
- Pour the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan till it is 2/3 full
- Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes. At the 30 minute mark, check on the loaf cake. If the top is too dark, tent the loaf pan with foil and continue to bake till it is done. This ensures that the top doesn’t burn while the cake bakes
- The loaf cake is done when a tester inserted into it comes out clean or with very few crumbs attached.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes on a cooling rack
- Gently invert the pan onto the cooling and let the cake slide out and then allow it to cool completely
NOTES – I used a 7.5×3.5×2.5 inches loaf pan and had a bit of batter left over that made 3 small cupcakes. Every oven is different. Keep an eye on your loaf cake after the 30 minute mark to make sure it doesn’t over bake. Store the loaf cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Then store it in the fridge.
This recipe is based on the Fresh Fig Bread recipe over at thespruce.com
Biscotti has always been popular. With me. I found it puzzling then, that I had not bothered to dedicate even a single post to the perfect coffee companion. The situation had to be remedied.
I intend to bake a batch every few weeks in the name of recipe testing and if I’m able to hold on to them long enough to take a few pictures, I intend to blog about them too!
I was so excited with the way this batch turned out that I immediately invited a couple of friends over for a session of coffee and taste testing. Huge success!
When, after downing a couple of biscottis each, they showed no signs of slowing down I grew alarmed. I had to snatch the tray out of their hands and escort them to the door. HA! That saved the day and this blog post.
It’s super simple. Just cream butter and sugar together, add the eggs and whip until fluffy.
Add the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips and mix just until combined. Shape into a log and bake.
Cool and then slice the log.
Bake again till done. Don’t let the double baking scare you. It’s easier than it looks.
Make it but don’t invite any friends over. At least not the first time.
- Salted butter at room temperature – 6 tbsp (If using unsalted butter add 3/4 tsp salt to the dry ingredients)
- Granulated sugar – 3/4 cup
- Large eggs – 2
- Vanilla extract – 1/4 tsp
- Instant coffee powder or strong brewed coffee – 1 tsp
- All purpose flour – 1 and 1/4 cup
- Almond flour – 3/4 cup
- Cocoa powder – 1/2 cup
- Baking soda – 1 tsp
- Semi sweet chocolate chips – 3/4 cup
Yield – 20 cookies
- Preheat oven to 350 F or 175 degree Celsius
- Cream butter and sugar together with a mixer until light and fluffy
- Add the eggs in one at a time and whip well after each addition
- Mix the instant coffee powder with a teaspoon of water and add it to the sugar-butter-egg mixture along with the vanilla. Whip briefly to combine
- In a separate bowl add the all purpose flour, almond flour, cocoa powder and baking soda and combine with a fork or whisk
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three batches mixing well after each addition
- Fold in the chocolate chips using a spatula
- Line a cookie tray with parchment paper or foil or a silpat mat. Dump the dough onto the tray and shape it into a log approximately 12×4 inches
- Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. The log will develop cracks on top and should be firm to the touch
- Cool the log on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes
- Carefully slice the log at an angle into 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick slices. You’ll get approximately 20 slices. It is okay if the insides are still a little soft
- Transfer the slices back to the cookie sheet carefully. Place them cut side down in rows and bake in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake again for another 5 minutes until the slices are firm
- Transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container
Recipe adapted from the chocolate biscotti recipe at Chocolate Chocolate and More
So I sat down to (finally) begin my carrot cake blog post. You know the little adorable mini-loaves I posted on Instagram almost a month ago? I was so smitten that I promised on multiple social media platforms to post a recipe as soon as I could put the loaf down to take a breath. I mean, I meant well and truly wanted to share the recipe with the whole wide world (not that the world was missing a carrot cake recipe but one more definitely doesn’t hurt right?) I told all my friends about it and bragged and bragged…..
Yeah….about that. I had a complete and total brain-fart *sigh*
I couldn’t locate the original recipe. I looked and up and down my browser history and finally found something that was vaguely familiar but then I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember the tweaks that I had made. So I gave up the quest and turned instead to the mother of all comfort foods – COOKIES!
Now this is more of a review, or a tribute if you will, to the original recipe. I went completely out of character and followed the recipe without changing a thing! Okay confession – I did pulse the oats a little bit, just a tiny little bit to make it more toddler friendly but that’s it!
Perfect distribution of chocolate chips!
It’s like this. When a recipe like has 90K re-pins on Pinterest you just don’t argue with it. You stop whatever it is that you’re doing or plan to do, prop your iPad up on its stand and follow every word of the recipe to a ‘t’ to whip up an insanely awesome batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
The only painful part of this recipe is the chilling time the dough needs. I always overcome this difficulty by making a batch at night, shoving it in the fridge and promptly going to bed. Waiting is much easier when you’re sleeping AND you get to eat cookies for breakfast!!
Ready for some? Here goes
- Old-fashioned rolled oats – 1 and 1/2 cups
- All purpose flour – 3/4 cup
- Baking soda -1/2 tsp
- Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips – 1/2 cup You can up this to 1 cup for more chocolaty goodness!
- Salted butter – 1/2 cup or 1 stick You can use unsalted butter. Just add a pinch of salt to the dry ingredients if you do
- Light brown sugar – 1/2 cup packed
- Granulated sugar – 1/4 cup
- Vanilla extract – 1 tbsp
- Large egg – 1
Yield – About 24 to 30 depending on size
- Pulse oats in a food processor briefly just until the large grains have been broken down a bit. Be careful not to grind it to a flour. You want the cookies to have enough texture
- Combine oats with the flour and baking soda in a bowl and whisk to mix
- In another bowl beat the egg, sugars and vanilla extract with an electric mixture until it turns light and fluffy and increases in volume. This takes about 5 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl in between
- Add the dry ingredients and beat briefly just until combined
- Add the chocolate chips and beat on low speed for about half a minute. I used half a cup of mini chocolate chips because that’s all I had. I’m sure 1 whole cup of chips will be even more divine!
- Using a tablespoon measure, measure out the cookie dough and roll it into a ball in your hands. Flatten it slightly and place it on a greased tray or cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Cover the cookies with a clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. I left a batch in for 6 days and they were just fine
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit or 176 degree Celsius
- Place chilled cookies about 2 inches apart (they do spread) and bake for 12 minutes until they begin to brown at the edges. You can bake them for a few minutes more if you want firmer cookies
- Remove them from the oven and let them cool. They’ll firm up further after cooling.
- Store in an airtight container or freeze
All done! Now rejoice at the thought of having a jar full of these beauties on your counter 🙂
Adapted from http://www.averiecooks.com – http://www.averiecooks.com/2014/11/the-best-oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookies.html
When you’re craving a cookie that is chocolatey and rich but all you have are a whisk and a bowl, coffee time can get pretty tough. I mean, sure there’s a lot you can do with a whisk, or so I’ve heard but I did not want to risk an injury whipping up butter and sugar. So I poked around the internet a bit and found this fantastic recipe just begging to be tweaked.
Five ingredients, a bowl, a whisk and in about 20 minutes you’re done. If you’re feeling a little fancy you can even hide a surprise inside these cookies.
The pictures are not that great but the cookies definitely are!
This recipe makes 10 cookies
Doesn’t it look delicious? Let’s get started!
- Salted butter at room temperature – 4 tbsp
- All purpose flour – 1/2 cup minus 2 tbsp
- Cocoa powder – 2 tbsp
- Powdered sugar or caster sugar – 1/4 cup
- Baking powder – 1/4 tsp
- Hershey’s milk chocolate drops – 10 Optional
You can use unsalted butter. Just add a pinch of salt to the flour if you do. Ghee is another sunbstitute for butter that works well here
- Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit or 180 degree Celsius
- Whisk butter and sugar in a bowl for about 5 minutes till the sugar is well incorporated and the butter begins to look a little pale
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients and knead gently till it comes together. The dough will look a little crubmly but it should be soft to touch and should not be sticky
- Form balls of dough a little smaller in size than ping pong balls. The cookie balls should be smooth and crack free.
- Make an impression in the cookie with your thumb and press one milk chocolate drop into the centre. Gently roll the cookie back into a ball making sure the chocolate drop stays in the center
- If you don’t want a chocolate centre skip the previous step.
- Flatten the cookie balls gently, not too much though and place them on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper or greased foil. Make sure you place them about 2 inches apart
- Bake in a preheated oven for 12 minutes
- After 12 minutes take them out of the oven. Rest for a couple of minutes. Then try to nudge a cookie gently with a spatula. If it moves easily the cookies are done. If the cookie doesn’t move easily put the tray back in the oven for 2 more minutes and check for doneness again
- Be very careful not to over bake these cookies. The chocolate colour makes it hard to tell if they’re burning around the edges
- Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack
- Store in an airtight container
Can you spot the tiny hand trying to grab one 😉