Showing posts with label Cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cookies. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pistachio Almond Milk Cookies

Almond pistachio cookies, made from whole-wheat pastry flour, love the flavor of almond in the  chewy crunch cookies. Super easy to bake.

I have never been a great baker, no kidding. It does not come natural to me. Not like spices and curries…but given a good recipe, I can manage. This is a keeper, loved the taste and you really don’t need to study rocket science to bake these cookies. The recipe is from A brown table, the only difference I used almond and pistachio, while Nik has just used pistachio. I also did not bake for as long as he did, as I prefer chewy cookies. Thanks Nik for a great recipe.

I have been promising this post for almost a week now, it’s just been a whee bit busy. Had an exciting photography project (can’t talk about it now) - I’ll definitely share with you guys, when I can. In the mean while thank you so much for the love, appreciation, compliments, best wishes on the release of the book ‘A Life of Spice’  - by Monica Bhide on amazon yesterday, which I have photographed. I was absolutely overwhelmed with all the generous comments. Time to descend down to mother earth…

 This batch made 25 cookies and the cookies were generous size.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lemon and pistachio cookies

#PistachioLemonCookies #SuperEasyCookies #Recipe #SimiJoisPhotography

#PistachioLemonCookies #SuperEasyCookies #Recipe #SimiJoisPhotography
I can turn a happy cookie post into a weather rant, but be rest assured nothing like that is going to happen. Long story short, yesterday was a snow day; got over a foot of snow, with sub zeros that was bone chilling. Teen had a day off and lots of time on her hands, she wanted to bake chocolate chip cookies,  after some deliberation she decided on these amazing lemon cookies. This is very similar to the Indian naankhatai. This was quite a hit in the Jois household.  Super delicious, melt in your mouth cookies.

Just one of those days where I have nothing much to say,  am just itching to do something creative today, so after a long time I just might take out my sketching book…in the meantime you guys enjoy the cookies, teen baked for you.

#PistachioLemonCookies #SuperEasyCookies #Recipe #SimiJoisPhotography

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Roundup

#HolidayRecipes #HolidayBaking #HolidayCakes #HolidayTreats
It is that time of the year when you will be spending a lot of time in your kitchen. The gorgeous smell of baking and the cold snow outside….it’s just so romantic. Can an aroma be gorgeous, I don’t see why not. I still have to start thinking what to bake this year, I have bookmarked some cookies, let’s see if am able to photograph anything at all with the holiday frenzy. I am sure there will be cookies, a cake and panna cotta, mulled wine goes without saying…Am planning to skip making a meal, this could be it - all dessert meal: a new family tradition :)) A ten course dessert, am sure if my teen reads this she is going to hold me accountable. She loves desserts and will embrace the idea, I am not sure about hubster, he might go on a frenzy - he takes his meals very seriously and is looking forward to a good Christmas spread. But you do have to admit, “ desserts for meal” is a great idea. 

Any case if you are in a situation like mine and are still planning your menu, here is my recommendations for cakes. 

I almost forgot my ALL time favorite - Battenburg ( it’s a very old image - don’t judge people)
#HolidayRecipes #HolidayBaking #HolidayCakes #HolidayTreats
Now, if cakes are not your thing, I don’t relate to it but I’ll try Lol! Custards, panna cotta and gooey juicy desserts are what you prefer, here is what I recommend. In the eggnog pannacotta you can add chocolate liquor and make it a bit boozy, or I have Butterscotch pots de Crème which has scotch. 

#HolidayRecipes #HolidayBaking #HolidayCakes #HolidayTreats

Keep going I have cookies and more….
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Granola Bars

#GranolaBars #HomemadeGranolaBars

#GranolaBars #HomemadeGranolaBars

#GranolaBars #HomemadeGranolaBars

Granola for snack, granola on the go, granola before a workout, granola after a work out, we consume a lot of granola bars in our household. So I have many variations on the bar that I like to try, I still buy the store bought ones for on the go, as they are individually wrapped. One thing I need to learn and get into is wrapping my food better, I hate it to just be put in a zip lock, I want it to look desirable, not sad. Something I will definitely be exploring this year. Some people really know how to package gifts, especially edible gifts. They are done to a perfection, all you want to do is open the wrapper and devour it. Delicate, feminine things always catch my eye, and I really admire people who have a keen eye for finer details. As far as I am concerned, I stick to the basics,  no extra frills. Maybe it’s time to explore that a bit …any pointers in that direction, will be awesome. 

Before I forget, a lot of people ask me about the smoke. Yes! it’s real. 
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Thursday, December 26, 2013


#FRANKFURT BETHMÄNNCHEN  #Marzipan Biscuit # GermanCookie#FRANKFURT BETHMÄNNCHEN  #Marzipan Biscuit # GermanCookie

This post was supposed to be published before Christmas,  I was not procrastinating this time. I was patient and wanted to think and absorb all the learning that went with this post, before I hit the publish button. It all started with my urge to bake German cookies that I had had a couple of years ago on my trip to Germany (I mention it in this post).  It was made from marzipan or almond flour. A query on FB let to a thread of recipes, but none of them were the one I was looking for. Thanks to Rumki (one of my friends on FB), who searched and found the recipe for me. I was really happy with the recipe and the outcome, it was exactly what I had in mind (the taste, texture and flavor) 

The next day I set up the props to take some pictures, something was amiss, after spending a couple of hours, I reached out to my photo critique forum on FB. I got a lot of inputs and was a bit confused on which one to go with. By the time the sun had already set, so that gave me some time to sink in all the ideas. That evening Sophia (a new member of the photo critique forum) pinged me on FB; at the time, I hardly knew her. We started talking about my pictures, and the first thing she told me was my strainer didn’t fit the picture: she asked me to replace it with an aged one. (See the picture of the shiny strainer). After a bit of research, I did manage to batter my poor strainer to give it a look of character. (You see what I did with it ;)) You don’t want to know the family’s reaction to this, so let’s just say that they are still recovering from it.  Sophia spent at least 2-3 hours trying to critique and guide me through my image. She’s an amazing artist: here is a link to her site. She gave me a lot of input on light, angle, and props and we talked for a long time about photography. There was really nothing in it for her, but she still spent the time and made the effort to help me understand the art behind the science. The images above are not exactly what I had in mind, they aren’t as good as I would have liked it to be, but they are special, as I made a new friend :) Thank you  Sophia for talking the time and making the effort. I call the whole exercise a brain work out.  
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Roundup

It’s just that time of the year, where I can’t help but look back. What a year it’s been! There is so many different things I have tried this year, I surprise myself. I’ve made so many new contacts that have blossomed into friendship. I feel that I’m very lucky to be surrounded by such talented and helpful people. There is so much to learn and people are willing to hand-hold and teach you — it’s an amazing world we live in.  I am part of a few groups (photography and blogging), I also moderate a few of them, so if you guys are interested just message me on Facebook (my personal account or the blog page) or on google plus, and I will be more than happy to add you. It’s a great learning experience to be attached to these communities.  

What are your plans for the holidays — what’s on your menu?   Growing up we did celebrate Xmas but there was never a traditional meal. My mother would always bake a fruit and nut cake and there would be marvelous food that would vary every year. In some ways I have followed the same tradition, it is always something special, but not anything predetermined. I remember biking on cold and foggy December mornings, just before Christmas, visiting one of my teachers, just to eat her rum cake. The doors of her home would always be open, kids would pour in with flowers, cookies ’n cake and in turn she would give us  a generous helping of the most delicious rum cake. The taste still lingers, mingling with the faint smell of a bonfire, and feeling of the wind against me as I rode my bike through the curvy roads of Dehradun. Now it all seems like a distant dream. 

Alright, so I’m snapping out of this nostalgia. Phew! Back into the present with coffee, and that usually helps. Back into the sweet world of desserts. Even though I’ve never confessed it, I do have a sweet tooth and while planning the menu, I often plan the dessert first :) So here is my line up of a few of my favorites; I hope I have inspired you to bake one of these for the holidays. Do let me know if you did!  Merry Christmas to all of you. 

P.S. I still need grammar lessons, so if any one of you is willing to hand-hold me on that, I assure you some good food and we can start from there :) 

Ginger caramel tiramisu 
#EasyTiramisu #GingerHolidayTiramisu
You can top it two ways, cinnamon and caramel with  candied ginger bits inside or just candied ginger and caramel. No baking, just assembly! Can it get easier than this :) Here is the link.

Orange spice cake with candied oranges 
#OrangeSpiceCake #FruitCake #HolidayCake
If you are someone who enjoys fruit in their desserts you may want to click here.

Ginger Bread 
#gingerbread #spicybread #Festivebread #Christmasdessert #OldfashionedGingerBread

The gingerbread from my previous post is a classic. But if you want something dramatic and still stick with the ginger cake, David Lebovitz’s ginger cake is the right one for you.

Ginger cake

One of my favorites and a stunning piece of work is the Battenburg. It’s worth all the time you spend in the kitchen. I shall say no more. Click here. 

Battenburg cake 

If cake is not your thing and you prefer you have some more options here…

Coffee Panna Cotta 
#CoffeePannaCotta #PannaCotta #CreamyPannaCotta

Creamy rich coffee panna cotta,  with a wiped cream topping and some home made sugar art, can be made ahead of time and looks like you spend the whole day in the kitchen ;)

Pots de Crème is my all time favorite, I remember the first time we made it, we were licking the bowl ( actually every time)

Cookie exchange ? Here is my line up …
#ChristmasCookies #CookieOptions #CookieExchange
Hope you guys have a fantabulous holiday! Hugs!!

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pistachio Saffron Meringue

I  did not know my last post would move some of my friends  I received some beautiful messages/emails ...that did bring tears to my eyes. I wish I could share, but not everyone wants to share everything, having said that let's leave somethings unsaid ! Thank you for the beautiful words. Talking about sharing,  I always wonder how much should one share on social media, be it a blog or face book or google plus or... ! I know what you guys are going to tell me, whatever one is comfortable with  and I cannot agree more, to each their own we are all unique in the way we are and the choices we make. What am not comfortable with is when and if someone needles you into sharing more than what you are comfortable with or if people get cynical and judgmental about who you are. Well thankfully we are all matured adults and hopefully we all know how to deal with that, but there are moments when it does become a learning experience :) am sure a lot of you relate to that ! It is really amazing how social media has redefined the way we interact, am no expert in that field. But as a parent I do worry about the medium, a balance between trusting your child's judgement and protecting their actions that might be driven by ignorance, I think there is a fine line there and a challenging one. I would love to read your take on it .....

Getting back to what's cooking in my kitchen,  it all started with 'Downton Abby' I think we were  watching the episodes (I don't remember which one) where Mrs Patmore bakes a raspberry meringue (yes! the one with salt), since the day Mrs Patmore made the meringue, there has been pleas of "can you make it too" in our household. And no it is not from my other half, who does not fancy 'Downton Abbey' as much as we girls do. The law of attraction did seem to work this time and I was seeing meringue everywhere, I saw pistachio rose-water meringue on sparrows and spatula and that was the recipe for me. Well the raspberries were out and we hid the salt never know :)) I replaced the rose-water with saffron water...

I always thought baking meringue was a work of skill and intense labor, well note to self : don't think so much !! These are really airy and sweet, I love the delicate flavor of saffron, am so glad I baked it. I did not pipe them, I was lazy and did not want  any delay in trying them, so no extra steps.   I was pretty happy with the outcome and loved the non-uniform shapes.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Savory Masala Cookies

In a tropical country you may not get snow, but it is cold in some parts of the country during winter months, specially the northern belt.  Not having central heat had its own charm and we could survive the winter as it was never or very rarely sub-zero temperature (in centigrade). My most beautiful memories from my childhood comes from Dehradun, a small quaint town, at least that was what it used to be, memories of sitting in the sunshine - soaking up the warmth,  munching on peanuts, chikki (a brittle made from peanuts and jaggery/sugar), hot pakoras (fritters)  and endless supply of chai (dad with his coffee, he always preferred to drink coffee). Adrak (ginger) chai (tea), we never needed a reason to have chai...thanks to Starbucks chai has become a household name in the West now. I remember those days, there was never a sense of rush or hurry - there was aways time to sit back and enjoy the smaller things in life which had more meaning. Some of my most memorable moments and some of the most valuable lessons were learnt in my front yard, where we would bask in the warmth of the sun. My dad and I would talk, debate, discuss a lot about philosophy, about life, about human aspirations and inspirations ...little did I know that over all the endless cups of chai I was making some great memories that I would cherish and yearn for in my adult life. After I came of age, dad and I would read the same book, talk about it at length and many times we would share moments of silence - those moments of silence is when we understood a lot of each other. I think that really helped me recognize the core of who I was at an early age, as a young teenager, I never realized how important it is to know who you are and be comfortable in your own skin. It's been a while since dad has gone, but on days when it is cold and am having my chai and some spicy savories, I cant help but think of him.

Dad loved madur vada and as disciplined  health freak as he was, he avoided fried foods. These cookies are NOT a baked version for madur vada, but they do remind me of it and of dad. I remember writing down this recipe from somewhere and tweaking it a bit, I don't remember where, if you have seen it somewhere, let me know - I should give due credit to the original post/recipe. 

( from last nite) A cold February evening, the sun going down,  snow glittering in the sunshine, or wait is it the moon...a hot cup of chai, some savory and my memories....probably some years from now, I will read this post and remember this evening...the sounds of finally teen filling up the room as she is narrating a funny story,  my other half smiling as he looks up from his iPad, the taste of these cookies and the aroma of the chai will be still fresh in my mind. The heart does not need great events to record as the finest memories. Hope you are all enjoying the smaller things in life, which do add up to make the big picture.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

German Lebkuchen : Holiday Cookies - DBC November, 2012

Lebkuchen, reminds me of our trip to Germany last year in December. We took a cruise along the Rhine river and I think it was the most romantic and scenic cruise, we have ever taken. Breathtaking medieval castles, fortresses and palaces ! Among all the stories of the fortresses and castles, what stayed on my mind was the story of a woman named Lorelei date back several centuries. Her statue is on top of a hill, in the midst of the Rhine river. There are many stories legends behind this statue. According to one, She would lure sailors by her beauty and voice, causing ship wrecks. Another legend states that her lover was unfaithful to her, so she threw herself in the water to meet her end. Her song of lament caused many a ship wrecks. Whatever the legend, the mythical charm of Lorelei and the breath taking scenery of the Rhine river, makes the whole trip feel like a dream. 

 After the cruise, our next stop was the  local Christmas market. I was like a kid in a candy store, the festivity, people, music, food and oh yes the mulled wine ( not exactly a beverage for a kid :)). I was hooked - mulled wine and some stollen and lebkuchen - too much excitement  for one day ! Well I really cannot recreate the mood at the Christmas markets but the lebkuchen did bring back sweet memories of a trip that I will cherish for a long long time. Thanks Peta from Peta Eats for hosting the DBC - Daring Baker's challenge for the holiday season. 

The Lebkuchen has  a bit of history under its belt.  The history of the Lebkuchen begins with the Honigkuchen (Honey Cake). The Egyptians, (dated around1500 BC) baked these cakes to be placed in the graves of kings as the egyptians believed that honey was a gift for the Gods and they regarded their kings as Gods.. The lebkuchen of today finds its origin in Belgium. The cookies were introduced to the city of Ulm in 1296. Enough  nerd facts for one post... any more and you guys will un-follow me :))) Isn't it exciting to bake something that was also baked centuries ago - so much would have changed in the recipe and the treatment of the ingredients. Am sure it would have tasted better then, pure unrefined and unprocessed ingredients.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Cookies- Expresso Cream Sables : DBC November, 2012

This month's daring baker challenge was to bake some cookies for the holidays. Something out of the box and not the same old same old. Peta from Peta Eats provided us with 12 awesome recipes. It was very hard to pick one, so I did make more than one, as you will see in the weeks that follow. She gave us the recipe for  almond nutmeg sables, since I had already baked with almonds in lebkuchen, I picked espresso cream sables.

Now for the blog checking lines :  Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Almond Macaroons

Day two of summer break in this part of the world. I have not had a lot of 'I am bored' yet, but I am expecting it. Day one was spent eating out and shopping, which left me exhausted, but it was fun !! Almost-Teen had her friend over for the day, and after air hockey, lunch, a movie, talking, chess, and much, much more, finally came the dreaded sentence: 'Mom, we're bored'. So, I suggested baking something. The instant response of 'yeah!' did take me by surprise. Before I knew it, I saw them poring through my recipe books and googling away. In 10 min they announced that they were going to bake macaroons and they did not want anything to do with me in the kitchen. I did have to step in to help them blend the almonds and while using the oven, but other than that, they did a pretty awesome job! The enthusiasm did seem to dip a bit when I asked them to clean up: it did require a little more than an obvious hint. With the bright blue skies and the perfect early evening light, it took me no time to click some pictures! And as I told the girls, don't eat too many, or you'll be spending some quality time in the bathroom the next day!

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Chocolate cookies

Little things tick me off's always the infinitely small things that bother me the most !! Speaking of little, tiny things surprises makes me happy, like a kid in a candy store, or flower shop in my case :)) Not that am against big surprises, but the tiny once touch me the most.

Last weekend, I think it was a Saturday, I was whipping up some quick dinner and the door bell rang. Sp (my sister-in law i.e husband's sis) was standing there with a shopping bag "this is for you, I know you have been wanting this for a while. I found it and cld not wait to give it to you" I was so excited to see two bottles - milk bottles !! I have been looking for it for a while - new props !! she has a very keen artistic eye and somehow she finds stuff that is cute and irresistible. I"ll cherish these and the milk does taste sweeter ;) You can see me show off one of them on this post :))))

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Monday, March 26, 2012

M&M oatmeal cookies

My youngest has been taking cooking lessons in school and since it is spring break......she decided to bake some cookies for us. This is the first recipe that she has made from scratch without help.  It's a no fuss quick recipe and some awesome cookies. The only thing she needed help was to put the cookies in the oven.  Am really looking fwd to some fun in the kitchen this week.

Some cookies, a glass of milk and a book......................!! A well deserved spring break :)

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ginger Cookies

Reposting due to tech issues.

A little spice to spice up your Valentine's day. You have to bake them to know what I am talking about, if you like a little spice with your sweet........this is it......look no further!  Hope you all have a great Valentine's day!!


All-purpose flour: 2 1/4 cups
Baking soda : 1 tsp
Ground cinnamon : 2 tsp
Ground cloves: 1and 1/2 tsp
Ground nutmeg: 1/2 tsp
Grated ginger : 1tsp (fresh)
Salt : 1/4 tsp
Brown sugar, lightly packed : 1 cup
Vegetable oil: 1/4 cup
Unsulfured molasses: 1/3 cup
1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
Chopped crystallized ginger (6 ounces): 1 and 1/4 cup
Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies - optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and then combine the mixture with your hands. In the bowl beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the egg, and beat for 2 minute. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined. You can use an electric mixer.

Scoop the dough with 2 spoons . With your hands, roll each cookie into a 1 3/4-inch ball and then flatten them lightly with your fingers. Press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on the pan. This is optional, I did a mix of both some has sugar topping and others don't. Bake for exactly 13 minutes. The cookies will be crackled on the top and soft inside. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes.

Candied crystalised ginger in every bite !!

Adapted from from Barefoot Contessa

This is my recipe for "Bookmarked Recipes" hosted by Mharo Rajasthan. Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oatmeal Cookies

I am not big on cookies. ( Ya! hard to believe), well the same is not true for my family, who can make a meal out of them ( I can see a lot of my friends relating to that). More than devouring cookies...I just love baking them....the house smells so good.

It has been getting cold here, can't complain as we had a exceptionally warm October. On a cold sunny day... nothing like some freshly baked cookies with some hot coffee....ya even me...I get cookie cravings once in a while...and with the holiday season approaching you just get in the mood of some baking and cooking. Holiday season reminds me of eggnog!!  I can make a meal out of eggnog.....these oatmeal cookies go so well with eggnog it is just hard to resist.

I have been baking these cookies for some time now and I got the recipe from Quaker. They call it Vanishing oatmeal raisin cookies...and yes it is true...they vanish from the cookie jar before you know it.

Margarine or Butter: 2 sticks
Brown Sugar firmly packed : 1 cup
Granulated sugar: 1/2 cup
Eggs : 2
Vanilla: 1 tsp
All purpose flour: 1-1/2 cups
Baking soda : 1tsp
cinnamon: 1tsp
Salt: pinch 9optional)
Oats- Quaker old fashioned - uncooked- 3 cups
Raisins: 1 cup

Heat oven 350. Beat butter add sugars till creamy, add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and fold in. Stir in oats and raisins. Mix well. Drop rounded tablespoonful of dough on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 min or till golden brown.  Cool before u serve. Makes about 40-45 cookies. Enjoy with milk, coffee or eggnog!

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