Ginger Cookies

GingerCookiesbyAllthingszeudon.wordpress.com
17th Feb ’14

Early morning baking. First attempt at Ginger Cookies. Sis helped. Absolute hit. Divine texture.

Edible Garden’s Ginger Cookies recipe

I probably used the wrong (slightly bigger)  cup for the measurements, because I ended up with dough enough to make more than I originally intended to. Crazy.

Totally going to refrigerate half of it to bake later. I love how it enhances the flavour and texture.

18th Feb ’14

Spent the night baking the cookies. If they’re not amazing, I don’t know what is. Made them for my twin-by-soul friend-sister Soumya (I call her Twee), since they’re so good and look like they can endure a day’s journey over to her city by mail, and mainly because I’ve wanted to do this for a while. Her exams are upon her and I hope this’ll bring some zing to her stressful schedule. 🙂 Will be posting them by eve.

19th Feb ’14

THEY REACHED HER! And she loved them. 😀 Soooo happy! These past two days have been joyous and productive. Especially for someone half as lazy as me. Heh.

Thanks for reading!

Much love,

Pratty

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Homemade Vada – Fritter-like snack

Homemade Vada by mum. 😀
Vada (a.k.a Bada, Bara) originated in Southern India. Be it store bought or homemade, it’s a much favoured snack in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha (my state) and Sri Lanka.

Doughnut-shaped, a savoury snack usually made from lentil, dal, gram flour, or potato, and that can be eaten with ketchup, chutney, curry, salad, or simply with anything you like.

Often on roadsides you can see vendors frying vadas, or in sweet shops and the like.

A very famous collaborated form of Vada is the Dahi Vada. Of many things, my city of Cuttack is also known for its something-special-about-it Dahi Vada (/Bara, as called in my language). I don’t know how or why “Cuttack’s Dahi Vada” is so renowned. But it is. And there’s no denying it really is out of the world. I’ll make sure I write a post dedicated only to its awesomeness. Heh.

Vada final wala final

And yes. These homemade vadas were fab.

— Praty

7 hours of daydreaming – baking

I just spent 7 hours reading around blogs and sites about bread baking. Now, I’ve always wanted to bake loaves and loaves of bread myself, and it’s high time it was accomplished.

I came across this blog – Korena in the kitchen, and that lead to some more… which lead to some more…

And then! This  divine website bestowed me with its presence. And knowledge. The site — The Fresh Loaf.

After reading their Your First Loaf  post, which happens to be their first of many lessons in bread baking, I can’t wait to bake one myself! But of course, it has to wait a day or two, considering the weather’s been kind of stormy here and sudden power-cuts picnic with them.

When I saw the replies under that post, with pictures of their  first attempts, I felt confident about trying it. Haha, I’m so pumped. 😀

Also, I stumbled upon some darn amazing (and easy) recipes  my mind instantly processed into fusions I’d LOVE to make. The ideas, I’m sure will be appreciated by my sister, since her photography will be greatly involved in the projects.

Currently, I have around 12 tabs open on my browser, all them screaming BAKING, DANISH PASTRY, BREADS, etc. And I’m absolutely enjoying the moment.

Speaking of Danish pastry… It’s one of the reasons I’d LOVE to master baking. Just. To. Bake. Danish. Pastry.

And of course, gobble ’em down all by myself. Heh. Just kidding.

Few years ago, I think I was 14 or 15, my first and only attempt to make croissants was somewhat a fail. Somewhat. Because the first batch ended up like cookies. Which were incredible. So I shaped the rest of the dough stuff as cookies, which made my sis’s friend go gaga about my baking.
It was funny.

 

Anyway… I hope my baking expeditions will come off at least okay, if not great. 🙂

— Pratty

Yay-worthy times

Image

It’s mum’s birthday and I made some small and simple mushroom pizzas as an early (it was 5 am) morning celebration. With sis’s help, of course.

Mum absolutely loved it. 🙂

bdy-2

Okay, this cake we made yesterday with instant cake-mix was awesome! And… I really hope they’d write “Do not eat batter” on the pack. I think I had a spoonful before baking it. Really, if chilled, the batter could’ve passed as chocolate pudding.

caku-2

Also, we watched a lovely Hindi movie! Aashiqui 2. Sequel to a movie from 1990. But completely unrelated (I’m glad). Wow, I wish Bollywood would make more such movies!

— Pratty

Sugar Vanilla Cookies – Utterly whimsical

Why whimsical? Possibly ’cause that’s what you’d classify a 4am baking expedition as. And considering I just made them without any recipe in mind, to my surprise, they turned out to be quite sinful. Able to quench the sudden cravings. Heh.

 

So. The recipe is VERY simple. In fact, the ingredients are the ones almost every dessert-and-baking-friendly household seems to have 24×7. Also, it’s very flexible, and you can totally make whatever changes you wanna.

One more thing – You don’t need to add caster/powdered/confectioner’s sugar. I opted for the normal one ’cause I didn’t want the first bite to be an explosion of super sweetness. I’m prone to toothache. Besides, you can feel the texture and sweetness blend and increase with every crunch, when using normal sugar. Yummy.

Oh and I couldn’t take pics of the process so the instructions might seem more or less explanatory…

Sugar Vanilla Cookies

Sugar Vanilla Cookies

Prep time: 10 mins, Baking time: 15 mins, Makes: 14 medium sized cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (you can use whole wheat flour instead)
  • 3/4 cup sugar. Feel free to tamper with how much YOU want to add.
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup butter or refined oil. Again, feel free to adjust it to your preference.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence.
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cashew nuts / almonds / chocolate chips / similar alternative
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed cardamom (optional)

Method: 

  • Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt well in a bowl. Add half of the butter/oil into it and lightly stir, add the rest of the butter/oil and mix them coarsely.  
  • Break in the egg, vanilla essence and cardamom. Knead it roughly at first so the sugar and butter blend, softening.  The dough will look flaky throughout. If it’s too soft/sticky add some flour, if too dry – add some butter/oil. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar and knead. This extra sugar is what you see in the pictures. After baking they look like tiny diamonds. Or at least that’s how I think of them.
  • Form a dough, leave it like that for a few minutes, and prepare the baking tray by slightly buttering/oiling it then sprinkling some flour on it and dusting off the excess, take out your cookie cutters (or your tool of choice), rolling pin, and lightly dust a clean flat surface with some flour. Preheat oven.
  • Retrieve the dough, you’ll notice it has softened a bit more, check if it’s yielding, if it isn’t – give it a few more kneads, place it on the floured surface and roll it ever so gently. Or simply flatten it out using your hand. Make sure it’s not flattened too thickly. Should be thinner than half an inch.
  • Cut them using cookie cutters or your preferred tool. Place them an inch apart on the tray. Take the nuts/chips, add some on top of the cookies, gently pressing them in.
  • Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 mins. Once done they’ll look golden-brown around the edges, leave them in the oven for 2-3 minutes before removing them onto a cooling rack. They  might seem semi-soft in the middle but will crisp down while cooling.

Here’s a suggestion – Leave the first batch to cool; place a second one in the oven. While it’s baking, make yourself some tea/coffee/hot-chocolate; and simply relax relishing some warm cookies with your favourite beverage. 🙂

If you try the recipe, do let me know if you like it! And feel free to shoot me an angry email if you don’t. 😀

If you find something confusing, do comment about it so I can clear it out. 🙂

Sis clicked this The 'diamond effect' is apparent here :D

Sis clicked this
The ‘diamond effect’ is visible here 😀

— Pratty