Christmas Sandwich Cookies – Dulce De Leche Sandwich Cookies

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Which is your favorite holiday cookie? Is it the Christmas special gingerbread cookies, some healthy oatmeal cookies, everyone’s favorite chocolate cookies or these drool worthy Dulce De Leche Christmas Cookies. December is the cookie month and there is so much excitement in my kitchen about it. Simple ingredients coming today everyday to create some new magical cookie. The latest on the block being these Dulce De Leche Christmas Sandwich Cookies. Totally festive and delicious in flavor. Every since I made a batch of these cookies, I think I have a crush on these. It got over from my kitchen in no time and its no exaggeration.

Buttery and loaded with the goodness of Dulce De Leche, these wonders are the prettiest things to gift this Christmas to your near and dear ones. The enticing smell of the freshly baked shortbreads wafting from the oven to the lip smacking Dulce De Leche, what a winning combo! The beautifully carved out stars, christmas trees in these cookies is surely to take you to Christmas cookie heaven. The fun day is just a week away and it’s time to make these beauties right away.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (makes 12 sandwich cookies

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour + extra for dusting
  • 60 gms icing sugar
  • 220 gms unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup store bought Dulce De Leche (I used store bought Dulce De Leche)
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

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METHOD:

  • In a bowl, beat the unsalted butter until its smooth and pale. Now add the icing sugar and beat it for 40 – 50 seconds until its smooth and creamy.
  • Now add vanilla extract and beat for 10 – 20 seconds.
  • Add all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and lemon zest and beat it until just combined. There may be crumbs which is completely fine. Do not over beat it.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and bring the entire dough together and flatten it in the form of a disk, cling wrap it and put it in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • meanwhile line a baking tray with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Once the dough its slightly firm, roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Using a cookie cutter cut out round cookies of 1/4 inch to 1/3 inch height. Transfer it to the baking tray.
  • Now take smaller cookie cutter of different shapes and cut out the center of half of the cookies.
  • Put this baking tray into the freezer for 10 minutes. Once done put it to bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
  • Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely on the wire rack.
  • Now take a whole cookie and spread 1 tsp (or slightly more) amount of Dulce De Leche evenly, keeping some gaps on the edges.
  • Take a cookie with some shape carved on it and place it gently on the above cookie.
  • Repeat the same with the remaining cookies and enjoy!

Eggless Oat Cookies

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Usher into the cookie month with some simple Oat Cookies. Making batches after batches of cookies is indeed therapeutic. Warm spices to fresh herbs, chunks of butter to heaps of flour, beautiful little cookie cutters to perfectly baked cookies – the journey of making cookies is fun. Every cookie dough has exciting ingredients and its own story to tell.

These Oat Cookies were specially baked for my 2.5 year old lil one. He loves munching on homemade cookies during evenings and I love baking it for him. It allows me to introduce different flavor combinations in a beautiful way. Watching me bake so often, he loves taking part in the entire process, mixing ingredients to cutting the cookies. These classic cookies are super easy, fun to bake with kids and a total winner in my kitchen. The spice blend in the cookie dough lends a wonderful warmth to the cookie, while the oats make it chewy and addictive. Add this easy cookie recipe to your reportoire and you’ll never regret it!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 24 cookies)

  • 220 gms oat flour + extra for dusting
  • 40 gms rolled oats
  • 220 gms unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 70 gms icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 2 tbsp whole milk (optional)
  • pinch of salt

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METHOD:

  • In a bowl take unsalted butter and beat it until smooth. This will take around 30 – 40 seconds. Now add icing sugar and beat it until its smooth.
  • Now add vanilla extract and beat it for 20 – 25 seconds.
  • Add oat flour, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and salt and fold in the mixture until well incorporated.
  • Add the remaining rolled oats and fold in until just incorporated. In case the dough is too thick, add 1 – 2 tbsp of whole milk and fold in gently.
  • Transfer the mixture to a well dusted surface and bring the dough together to form a disc. Do not knead it.
  • Wrap the dough with cling wrap and put it in the refrigerator for 40 – 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile line the baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside. Preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 – 1/3 inch thick circle. Using cookie cutter cut the cookies into the desired shape and tranfer on the baking sheet.
  • Keep this baking sheet in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until its firm.
  • Now take it out and put it to bake for 15 – 17 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.
  • Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely. Once its cools down, it firms up better.
  • Transfer it to an airtight container and enjoy these for a week.

 

 

Spiced Semolina Cake with Orange Drizzle

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Simple ingredients, quick recipe and an addictive cake – this Spiced Semolina Cake with Orange Drizzle is juts about that. Its getting quite cold back in Bangalore and all I am craving for is nuts and spices for the extra warmth. And then its December where I don’t need any additional excuse to make homemade cakes. My kitchen smells amazing – some nuts and fruits soaking in booze at one end, cookies baking in the oven, fruits being converted into jam on the stove top, cake cooling down and cream getting whipped up elsewhere. Amidst all this its me – an excited soul who is loving every bit of this scene in my kitchen.

Suddenly my mum calls and tells me she made this amazing semolina cake loaded with nuts. Ah! My to do baking list just increased slightly and I set to make this cake since I had everything stocked up at home. The crumbly cake loaded with the goodness from different seeds is a perfect accompaniment during tea time. Garnished with toasted nuts and a tangy orange drizzle, I have got my go to recipe whenever I want to bake something quickly. Delicious, moist and super easy. Try it now!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes a 8 inch cake)

  • 1 1/4 cup semolina
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature + extra for preparing the baking tin
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (you can use granulated white sugar too)
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp mixed seeds (I used pumpkin, melon, flax seeds and chia seeds)
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
  • 2 tbsp unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • few strands of saffron
  • pinch of salt

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 200 C for atleast 10 minutes. Spread the blanched almonds on the baking tray and allow it to toast for 8 – 10 minutes or until just slightly brown.
  • Once done, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely.
  • Again Preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Take 2 tbsp of milk and soak the saffron strands in it for sometime.
  • Meanwhile take the cake mould, slightly butter and flour it and keep it aside.
  • Now in a bowl whisk melted butter and brown sugar until a smooth mixture is formed. To this add semolina, whole wheat flour, salt, , orange zest, cardamom powder, mixed seeds, saffron soaked milk, curd and milk and fold in gently until well combined.
  • Allow this mixture to rest for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Lastly add baking powder and baking soda and fold the mix gently until just combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to cake mould and allow it to bake for 30 – 35 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Take it out of the oven and allow the cake to cool completely.
  • In a bowl take fresh orange juice and add icing sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
  • Take the cake, generously drizzle the orange juice mixture. Garnish with toasted almonds, pistachios and dig in.

Orange Glaze Cream Scones with Blackcurrant Jam

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Kick starting this New Years the sweet way, the British way with scrumptious Orange Glaze Cream Scones with Blackcurrant Jam. These scones are as welcome on the breakfast table as they are on the teatime table. The aroma of the spices and fresh orange is so enticing that you will reach out to have a second helping of these scones.

I devour scones since they are so simple to make yet so delicious! I ended up making these scones one fine evening when I returned from work and got an itch to bake something apart from the usual cupcakes and cakes. In no time the scones were ready and I couldn’t resist myself and ended up having a couple of them. Right out of the oven – so warm, so comforting! They are mildly sweet, buttery flavored with infusion of warm spices. The buttery earthy flavor with a crisp exterior and fluffy interior is what you can expect of these scones. The orange glaze is not to be missed, since its just too perfect to go with these scones. The black currant jam adds the perfect sweetness-tartness to the scones while you have it with your cuppa.

So if you haven’t started baking this New Year, this is the perfect recipe to start your baking spree and surprise your friends and family.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 12 round scones)

For the scones:

  • 260 grams all purpose flour
  • 55 grams of granulated white sugar
  • 12 grams baking powder
  • 120 ml full fat milk
  • 80 grams unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • 2 egg, lightly beaten (keep each egg in separate bowls)
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze and filling:

  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest (optional)
  • 3/4 cup blackcurrant jam ( I used Hartley’s blackcurrant jam)

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METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside
  • Meanwhile, mix all purpose flour, sugar baking powder, salt and keep aside.
  • Add the cold cut butter and blend in the flour mixture using a pastry blender or your finger tips.
  • Once the mixture looks like coarse crumbs, keep it aside.
  • In another bowl, mix milk and  1 egg and lightly beat it.
  • Now add the milk-egg mixture to the flour-butter mixture along with cinnamon and orange zest and fold it gently with a spatula until just combined. Do not over mix it.
  • Slightly flour the surface and knead the dough a little and pat it to form a 7 – 8 inch disc shape. Using a round cookie cutter, cut the dough and place each scone dough into the baking sheet.
  • Now take a pastry brush and brush the top of the scones with the lightly beaten egg to get a good color.
     
  • Bake it for 15-17 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Allow it to cool on the wire rack for a while once its completed baking.
  • Meanwhile whisk orange juice, orange zest and icing sugar until its well combined.
  • To assemble the scones, take each scone and cut it horizontally into equal halves. Take a tablespoon of blackcurrant jam and spread it evenly on the scone. Place the other half on top and garnish generously with orange glaze.
  • Serve immediately!

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Happy January, happy eating!

Chocolate and Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

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Chocolate, peppermint and sugar – a match made in heaven! These are my favorite holiday cookies and oh so addictive. The decadent chocolate cookies encased in sugar is nothing short of blissfulness. So if you haven’t yet started baking your holiday cookies, it’s Happy Christmas Cookie Baking Friday!

The melt in your mouth center and the crispiness towards the edges of these cookies with a generous coating of sugar makes it look simple and darn pretty. Though I don’t live in that part of the world where it snows, but looking at the pictures in the books since childhood (and now Facebook and Google) these crinkle cookies are just everything I have envisioned about Christmas – snowy wonderland that tastes delicious. The cracking of the cookies while its baking in the oven is so satisfying that it make you want to eat the cookies right away.

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So if you need some quick and easy to make cookies to adorn your Christmas dessert tray then these crinkle cookies is your resort. It’s Christmas, it’s time to indulge and it’s time to bake these chocolate and peppermint crinkle cookies for your friends and family now.

Merry Christmas!

RECIPE

INGREDIENT: (Makes 15 cookies)

  • 30 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 130 grams dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I used 55% dark chocolate)
  • 1 large egg
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 90 grams all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp peppermint essence
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar, for coating

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METHOD:

  • Using double boiler method, melt roughly chopped chocolate and unsalted butter until the chocolate has completely melted.
  • Keep the melted chocolate and butter mixture aside and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, beat granulated sugar and egg using a electric beater until light and fluffy.
  • Now add vanilla extract, peppermint essence and room temperature melted chocolate mixture and beat it just incorporated.
  • Now in a separate bowl, whisk all purpose flour, baking powder and salt using a wire whisk and keep aside.
  • Now all the flour mixture to the egg-chocolate mixture and beat until it forms a dough and is well mixed.
  • Cling wrap the dough and refrigerate atleast for 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  • Preheat your oven to 160C for atleast 15 minutes. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take a tablespoon of the dough and make a ball out of it. (You can choose to flatten it a little).
  • Generously coat the chocolate ball with icing sugar. Repeat it with the remaining dough and place it on the baking sheet with each ball being 2 inches apart.
  • Bake the cookie for 7 – 8 minutes. Please do not over bake it since the cookie will become dry.
  • Allow the cookies to cool slightly and indulge! These cookies are best when eaten the day its baked. However you can store these cookies in an airtight container for 2 – 3 days.

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Happy holidays and Merry Xmas!