Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Crinkle Brookies

"You better watch out, you better not cry, You better not pout, I'm telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town....." 

I have a tongue twister for you! Try saying the title of this post 10 times, very fast!!

Christmas Crinkle Brookies
Christmas Crinkle Brookies
Christmas Crinkle Brookies
Christmas Crinkle Brookies
Christmas Crinkle Brookies
Christmas Crinkle Brookies
Christmas Brinkle Ciikies.... oopsie 

Thats how far I got. 

The year's almost coming to the end and before I get into romanticizing it all, every moment, of each day I thank God for the blessing that life is with the good the bad and the ugly. And no, this is not a NEW YEAR post because before the NYE, comes CHRISTMASSSSSS!! 

And how do we celebrate something we love?!

With Somethin' sweet!! 

For that I made these gobsmacking lovely batch of Brookies! 

Oh n these work really well if you want to bribe Santa into leaving you some good presents when he does walk down the chimney. Tried n tested. My Santa is always very kind to me and I think its because he loves these Brookies! Shhh... don't tell him this secret.... Thank you. 

For the uninitiated Brookies are Brownies + Cookies combined in one! Ahhh the goodness!! 

Today I made choco chip, red velvet and vanilla. Yummm!!!

And these ones look oh-so-pretty!! The best part- so easy to make!!! 'Tis the season to be jolly......




Serves: makes a batch of 24-28 brookies depending on the size

Time taken: 30 mins + cooling time

Complexity: ***

You'll need

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
100 gms or 1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
100 gms dark chocolate (use 3-4 tbsp cocoa powder instead if needed)
1/2 cup dark semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp red food colouring
1 tbsp green food colouring
confectioner's sugar for dredging (explained below)
Pinch of love


Method

In a large bowl, add the butter and sugar. I had muscovado sugar on hand I used that. I use Demerara too sometimes. So its upto you. Also I prefer using salted butter as it enhances all the flavours and perks them up. Or you can choose to add 1/2 tsp salt when you add the flour




Cream the butter and sugar together. My sugar was quite lumpy and I didn't bother dissolving it all. It all ends well.




Crack open the eggs. The eggs I had were pretty small so I used 3, but for 2 cups of flour, 2 eggs are enough. Give them a good whisk.




In goes the vanilla essence 




Combine flour n baking powder in a separate bowl and give it a rough mix





Add the flour mix to the wet ingredients. 




Here's everything combined together. My mixture was a little wet. If you use 2 eggs your mixture will be more like a dough which would be perfect. Add in your pinch of love




Now separate out 1/3rd of the dough in another bowl.




Add the green food colouring to this. Combine till you get the desired colour. I suggest you add the colour gradually, few drops at at time to get the desired result. 





Next, melt the hot chocolate bar in a double boiler. Cheers for my makeshift self made double boiler! Also, look at how glossy the melting chocolate looks....mmmm sexxxaayyyy!!




When the chocolate is almost melted, add it to the remaining 2/3rds of the brookie mixture.




Combine it all together. 




Now halve this mixture and transfer the half to another bowl. 

Add the dark choco chips to the chocolate brookie batch.


In the last part, add the red food colouring. 




Combine well. Also since I used brown sugar and the chocolate is also brown, my red colour isnt that bright vibrant red but you could make those changes if you want to.




Look how gorgeous these coloured bowls look! Christmas-sy!!




Transfer the mix onto saran wrap or cling films, wrap them tight n place in fridge for 3 hours till they harden. 




After 3 hours, remove from fridge. Have your oven preheating at 180C or 350F.

Scoop out dough with spoons of same size, no need to be fastidious though, and roll them to make balls. 

In a plate, have a cup of confectioner's sugar ready. 




Place the dough balls in the sugar and coat them well. 




Place the rolled balls in the baking tray lined with foil. My pretty little babies. 




Place the tray in the oven for 12- 15 mins or till done. This is almost at the 10 minute mark. 




The brookies are ready!!! ( My pretty li'l origami tree makes it all so festive!) 




Look how pretty n gorgeous and beautiful and delicious! 




Tell me Santa won't be impressed!! 




I made a a batch of 12 brookies and made a swirl brownie with the left over dough. It was easier for me since my dough was slightly wet because of the eggs. The groovy swirly brookie ready to be baked.




A light dusting of sugar and in the oven it goes! 




After 15 -18 mins, insert a tooth pick in the middle n if it comes out clean, take it out the oven.



The flaky crust on this was ammaahhhyyyyzing!! Here's a peek inside... the melted choco chips....mmmm.... Chocolate really is the best thing in the world!! 




Try it out, give your Santa some company, celebrate the joy, count your blessings, live a little! Indulge! 





Friday, December 19, 2014

Spinach Strawberry Salata


If you've read my previous post you'll know about the #FIAWinterenergizer. This is the 3rd week and yes, unfortunately I missed the second one. 

The 4 ingredients this week were 
Spinach
strawberry
garlic
corn meal

Since you all know me so well, I like to keep things as simple as possible. Healthy too if I can! And this salad is all that and so much more! 

I'm a huge fan of the spinach strawberry salad which we all love so much. This time I wanted to take it up a notch and add that somethin' somethin' to jazz it up.

The combination of flavours will make this salad a staple in your kitchen. Easy peasy here we go...



Serves: 2

Time taken: 20 mins

Complexity: **


You'll need

1/2 cup corn meal
2 tbsps rice flour
salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic powder or once clove of grated garlic
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp baking powder
oil for frying
15-20 spinach leaves (use baby spinach if you like)
strawberries, quartered
orange slices, halved
balsamic vinegar
pinch of love 

Method

In a bowl, add the corn meal



the rice flour (you can substitute with corn flour instead)



salt and pepper



in goes the garlic powder



the baking powder



some smoked paprika (you know how much I love it!!)



1/2 cup of water ( add a couple of tbsp more if required). The consistency of the batter should be like a cake batter. 



Not gloopy but thick enough to coat the spinach leaves. 



Meanwhile have your spinach leaves separated from the stems. Wash n pat dry them. 

Dunk each leaf individually to coat with the batter



Have oil heating in a shallow pan on a medium flame. 



When the oil starts to shimmer very carefully slide in the battered spinach leaves in. Be extra cautious because the spinach leaves splutter.



Take out the spinach crisps when both sides are golden brown and the leaf is crispy. Drain excess oil on a paper napkin or kitchen towel. They tasted so good that I could very easily make a snack of just these. I may or may not have sneaked in a few of these crisps while frying them.



For the salad, assemble the spinach crisps, 



toss in the quartered strawberries and the halved orange slices. Drizzle couple tbsps of balsamic vinegar reduction (heat half cup of BV over a low flame till it reduces by a third n thickens. The reduction becomes sweet and adds to the flavour of the strawberries)



Dust in your pinch of love et voila!! Salad is ready to be served! I wish I had a few basil leaves on hand, they would have definitely enhanced the flavours even more! You sure can! 

Indulge! 




Monday, December 15, 2014

Le Chocolat Chaud

Or Hot Chocolate as its better known.

I like french. It makes everything sound fancy and romantique and beautiful. Makes me have that warm fuzzy feeling.....warms the cockles of my heart. Oh wait, was talking about hot chocolate there!! 


I absolutely LOVE hot chocolate!! The liquid gold that coats my lips with silky molten chocolate, coating my tongue in that sinful delicious way that only chocolate can, trickling down my throat, warming up my insides.... ohhh my!!! *fanning myself* 

I think Hot Chocolate personifies 'Food Porn'.  Its so lusciously inviting, sensually beckoning you, warming you to the depths of your soul. 

In the month of December, nothing spells magic better for me than a cozy blanket, hot chocolate, a good book to read/ some good music or stars to gaze at. The festive spirit lurking in the background seems to make everything even more special. 

And fairy lights... fairy lights n a BIG cup of this molten gold.... 

Here's how you can make this too, Ki's Le Chocolat Chaud.



Serves: 2

Time taken: 15 mins

Complexity: *

You'll need

1 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
160 gms of semi sweet, dark chocolate
1 tbsp brown sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
marshmallows (optional)
mini dark choco chips

Method

In a sauce pan, chop up the dark chocolate bars and throw them in.



Add the sugar



The instant espresso powder



Cream and milk



Place the pan on a low medium flame and allow to simmer for 10 minutes while stirring intermittently every minute or so. Take care the chocolate does not stick to the pan as it melts otherwise it will add a burnt taste. Look at the glorious soul soother bubbling away



See how thick n glossy the texture is.



Pour yourself a cuppa. Top the hot chocolate with marshmallows and a few mini dark chocolate chips that melt so beautifully when you stir them in the steaming cup. 



My Christmassy cup of heaven! Indulge! 



Pssst.... Something a li'l extra, Spice up your hot cocoa with some ground cinnamon or a bit of ginger or cayenne or even some whipped cream. I do add a wee bit of Kahlua on special occasions to make it extra extra special....