Monday, 19 February 2018

Eggless Hedgehog Cookies with Orange flavor



Food art means the arts of preparation, cooking and presentation of food, usually in the form of meals. Food brings out so many different reactions in people. Some people are drawn by taste, however some others might be tempted by its smells and visual appearance. For thousands of years, people have sought not only to make food taste better, but great progresses also have been made in making food smell and look better. After all, no one wants to eat something that doesn't look appetizing !




Art has featured food for thousands of years. It is basically the one thing to make a platter visually appealing. Although, there are specific peoples often known as food artists who dedicate their time to turning edibles into visuals, but anyone can try their hands. Art can be experienced through many ways, but all most everyone can experience the art through food because of the daily impact and history that food has on every living being.





So if anyone stops to think about the role that food plays in our lives is notably significant. What we eat fully reflects our lifestyle, culture, preferences and beliefs. It is difficult to argue the importance of food, however it is possible to argue its importance in the world of art. Monday is here again and the theme for 132nd Foodie Monday Blog Hop is decided as 'Edible Food Art'. So I have prepared one baked dish, Hedgehog Cookie as contribution of mine. 


Well, these hedgehog cookies are completely eggless and I have flavored them with oranges since oranges are in season. The cookies are first shaped as body of a hedgehog and after baking they are finally decorated as a complete hedgehog using some melted chocolate, roughly chopped tiny cashew pieces and chocolate sprinkles. Here I have used roughly chopped tiny cashew pieces and chocolate sprinkles for reflecting those spines of a hedgehog. You may use any other things to become more creative. Kids'll definitely enjoy this if involved in preparing the whole process. Without taking time anymore, lets go in details.




Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 20 mins

Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
All purpose flour
1 cup
Powdered sugar
¼ cup
Butter
100 gm
Orange essence
½ tsp
Orange zest
¼ tsp
Salt
1 pinch
Dark chocolate chunk / dark chocolate chip
½ cup
Chocolate sprinkle
As needed
Cashew (roughly chopped to tiny pieces)
As needed


Method :
  1. Preheat the oven at 180 deg C.
  2. Take butter (at room temperature) and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl.
  3. Using a whisk, mix well until a creamy texture comes out.
  4. Then add orange essence, orange zest and whisk again to mix everything well.
  5. Next add all purpose flour, salt and fold gently to form a soft dough. If the dough becomes crumbly, then add 1-2 tbsp milk. If the dough becomes sticky, then add 1-2 tbsp flour more.
  6. Take 1 tbsp of dough, shape into a ball, pinch any one side of the ball to make the face of hedgehog and finally place over a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  7. Repeat for rest of the dough and arrange all the hedgehog shaped cookies over the baking tray having 2 inches space in between.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes.
  9. Once done, take out the cookies from the oven. Allow to cool on the baking tray for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. Meanwhile melt dark chocolate chunks by using double boiler or just microwave for 1 - 1.5 minutes. Stir in between until smooth.
  11. Pick one cooled cookie by holding the pinched area (face of the hedgehog) of the cookie, dip into the melted chocolate leaving the face area uncovered so that 2/3 rd top-area of the cookie will be covered by chocolate.
  12. Allow excess chocolate to drip off the cookie and immediately sprinkle some roughly chopped tiny cashew pieces or chocolate sprinkles over the chocolate covered area.
  13. Place on a plate lined with baking paper. Take a toothpick, dip in melted chocolate and then make eyes and nose in the chocolate uncovered face area of the hedgehog cookie.
  14. Repeat for rest hedgehog cookies and allow to harden the chocolate completely.
  15. Refrigerate all the hedgehog cookies in an airtight container and while serving, take out from refrigerator and serve !



Notes :

  • The dough has to be a smooth and soft texture. If the dough becomes crumbly, then add 1-2 tbsp milk. If the dough becomes sticky, then add 1-2 tbsp flour.
  • Don't worry if any cracks appear while baking the cookies, because those cracks will be covered by melted chocolate at last to give the final look of a hedgehog.
  • Any other coating can be opted instead of roughly chopped tiny cashew pieces and chocolate sprinkles.
  • If butter is salted one, then skip using salt along with flour.

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Saturday, 10 February 2018

Eggless Rose Thumbprint Cookies




A thumbprint cookie literally means a cookie pressed with the thumb in the center and filled basically with jams or preserves. These cookies are also known as butter balls. Basically the bread like dough is first rolled into balls and then an indentation is created in the center with the thumb. The jam is either filled in the indentation before baking the cookies or after it has been baked. The basic ingredients include sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, all purpose flour, salt, nuts, jam, vanilla etc.





But now-a-days, these thumbprint cookies are coming with many variations. The center filling may include chocolate kiss or toffee or pumpkin butter instead of jam or preserves. It really depends on recipe and personal preference. The preparation method remains the same. Some people mostly prefer to add the filling after baking in order to prevent breakage or leakage. Typically, the cookies do not require additional garnishing. Adding some jam in the indentation (center) makes the cookies look more appealing. These have become extremely popular all over the world and also fit for a perfect snack item. 




    This coming week the world would be gearing up to celebrate the Valentine's day and there are many multiple ways to express the love. Keeping that in mind, I have just prepared some rose flavored thumbprint cookies which are bit pink in color and hence will definitely spread some romantic treat to the eyes and the palate as well. Some of my other collections you might have interest as





    Well, these pink beauties are completely egg-less and made up of whole wheat flour. Also no baking powder and baking soda are used in this cookies. With just few ingredients, one can easily prepare this rose thumbprint cookie during the Valentine's day celebrations. These look perfect and taste even better. So lets go in details.




    Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 20 mins 


    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    Wheat flour
    ½ cup + 2 tbsp
    Powdered sugar
    ¼ cup
    Butter
    ¼ cup
    Rose essence
    1 tsp
    Pink food color
    Few drops
    White chocolate
    ¼ cup



    Method :
    1. Preheat the oven at 180 deg C.
    2. Shift wheat flour in a bowl and keep aside.
    3. In another mixing bowl, take butter (at room temperature) and powdered sugar. 
    4. Whisk until creamy and fluffy using hand / electric whisk.
    5. Next add rose essence, few pink food color and whisk again until everything incorporate well.
    6. Now add the shifted wheat flour to the fluffy mixture and mix well to get a dough.
    7. Take 1 tbsp of the dough and shape in to a ball.
    8. Similarly, make balls from rest of the dough.
    9. Place all the dough balls 1-inch apart from each other on a baking tray lined with baking sheet and bake them for 8 minutes.
    10. After 8 minutes, take out the baking tray from the oven.
    11. Press the center of each cookie using the back of any small spoon or a melon baller. 
    12. Bake for another 8-9 minutes.
    13. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate using a double boiler and keep aside.
    14. After 8-9 minutes, take out the baking tray from the oven and allow to cool down completely.
    15. Then fill the indentation of each cookie with melted white chocolate and allow the filling to set until firm.
    16. Store in an air-tight container !



    Notes :

    • The dough has to be non-sticky texture. If the dough becomes crumbly, then add 1-2 tbsp milk. If the dough becomes sticky, then add 1-2 tbsp flour.
    • Butter should be at room temperature. Also if not using salted butter, then add 1 pinch of salt along with flour while making dough.

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    This 'Eggless Rose Thumbprint Cookies' is contributed for 42 Healthy Wellthy Cuisines where the theme is 'Pyaar Ka Tyohar'. Here are more similar recipes shared by our Healthy Wealthy Group members as skillet brownie sundae , gulabJamun muffins, eggless persian love cake, chocolate walnut fudge, nutty cuppies, custard pie pudding , eggless strawberry mousse.


    Sharing this recipe to CookBlogShare and also to Fiesta Friday this week co hosted by Laurena and Jhuls.

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    Monday, 5 February 2018

    Virgin Rooh Afza Sangria



    February 2018, the month of love, romance has arrived. Particularly because it is the month in which Valentine’s Day (on February 14) takes prominence. Prior to the most awaited Valentine’s Day, an entire week is also popularly called as the Valentine’s Week which is celebrated by one and all.




    Today is the first Monday of this romantic month and as you all might already know about the Foodie Monday Blog Hop group which always choose a theme to be posted on Monday. So this time the Foodie Monday Blog Hop theme is decided as 'Session of Red'. So the contribution is a romantic red color non-alcoholic beverage, Virgin Rooh Afza Sangria. Also I am mentioning some other collections of mine as



    Sangria is an alcoholic beverage of Portuguese and Spanish origin. A punch, the sangria traditionally consists of red wine and chopped fruit, often with other ingredients such as orange juice or brandy. Sangria recipes vary widely with many different ingredients. Traditional recipes feature red wine mixed with fruits such as pineapple, peaches, berries, apples, pears, melon, nectarines and sweetened with sugar, orange juice. But I have come up with a non-alcoholic version of sangria. Instead of red wine, I have used Rooh Afza.






    Rooh Afza is a non-alcoholic natural concentrated squash cum refreshing syrup which is much popular in middle–east. In addition to Rooh Afza, I have added some orange juice too. Some black grape juice can also be included, but instead of juice I added black grapes as a whole along with some chopped apple, orange, lemon, peach and blueberry. The fruits used can be varied. This refreshing drink anyone can serve right away after preparing, but it is always going to give a better taste if the sangria is allowed to be in refrigerator overnight for the flavors mellow all-together.





    This non-alcoholic beverage is totally naturally sweetened, means no added sugar. The red color of Rooh Afza sangria will definitely create some romantic vibes during this romantic month. Also any age group will love this virgin beverage. So for celebration, instead of any store bought drinks, do try this non-alcoholic virgin Rooh Afza sangria by following the details method of preparation as mentioned below.


    Preparation Time : 5 mins  |  Cooking Time : 0 mins

    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    Rooh Afza
    ½ cup
    Orange juice
    ½ cup
    Apple
    1 no
    Orange
     1 no
    Black grape
    6-7 no
    Blue berry
    14-15 no
    Lemon
    1 no
    Chilled water
    2 cup
    Mint leaf
    For garnishing


    Method :
    1. First wash and clean all the fruits well.
    2. Then chop the fruits and put all the fruit chunks in a large pitcher.
    3. Using a muddler or wooden spoon smash everything a little in order to release some of the juices from the fruit chunks.
    4. Next pour the orange juice and rose syrup into the pitcher. Stir well for 1-2 minutes.
    5. Finally add chilled water and again mix everything well.
    6. Put in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
    7. At the time of serving just pour the roohafza sangria over serving glass and serve !



    Notes :

    • Here I have not added any sugar, sweetness of this sangria is perfect for me which comes from the Rooh Afza and the fruits. 
    • But still if you need more sweetness, then add any other ripe fruit.
    • Addition of fruits can be varried, but always prefer to choose the ripe ones to get the natural sweetness.
    • In place of Rooh Afza, rose syrup can be opted.

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    Thursday, 1 February 2018

    Bafauri - Steamed Chana Dal Dumpling



    The first month of 2018, January now came to end. The January month challenge in Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge group was 'Chhattisgarh Cuisine'. For this theme, my partner was Poornima who gave me 2 secret ingredients as Chana dal (split chickpea) and cumin seed. So I prepared one of the healthy snacks from Chhattisgarh cuisine, Bafauri using these two ingredients. 



     Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge


    Bafauri is mainly prepared from chana dal in a steaming process. Chana dal are basically baby chickpeas which are first splitted and then polished to get the final texture. This dal is much nutritious and can be easily digested. Some health benefits of chana dal or split chickpeas :

    • The chana dal has a very low hypoglycemic index which is important for diabetes person.
    • Also high in fiber and helps to lower cholesterol.
    • A helpful source of calcium, folate, zinc and protein.
    • Consists of polyunsaturated fat and hence helps in diet control.



    With these health benefits of chana dal and including the steaming process, bafauris are the most healthiest ones as compared to the fried snacks. Basically some soaked chana dal are grounded to a paste of smooth texture. Some spices are then added to the paste and finally these are steamed as we normally do for pakoras, but instead of frying these are steamed. These are the most simplest and healthy snacks made using chana dal. 




    If you are more health conscious, then these bafauris are perfectly fit in your diet plan as a healthy tea time snack. Also kids'll love these, but just avoid the addition of green chilies in the mixture for kids. These snacks can be prepared so quick and easily. I have kept the mixture simple, but any preferable veggies can be added in finely chopped shape. So lets go in details method of preparation of these light and healthy tea time snack, Bafauri from Chhattisgarh cuisine.




    Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Soaking Time : 2 hrs  |  Cooking Time : 25 mins


    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    Chana dal (split chickpea)
    2 cup
    Onion (finely chopped)
    ¼ cup
    Ginger (grated)
    ½ tsp
    Garlic (finely chopped)
    1 tsp
    Green chili
    2-3 no
    Cumin seed
    ½ tsp
    Coriander leaf (finely chopped)
    2 tbsp
    Salt
    As needed


    Method :
    1. First wash the chana dal or split chickpeas very well and then soak in enough water for at least 2 hours.
    2. Then drain all water and collect all the soaked chana dal.
    3. In a blender make a smooth paste of these soaked chana dal without adding water.
    4. Transfer all the paste to a mixing bowl.
    5. Add grated ginger, finely chopped onions, garlic, coriander leaves, green chilies, cumin seeds, salt and mix everything well.
    6. Heat steamer and when the steamer is ready to steam, first grease the steamer plate with little oil.
    7. Then take approximately 1/2 tbsp amount of mixer and put on the greased steamer plate like pakoras.
    8. Steam for 20-25 minutes or until bafauris are cooked perfectly.
    9. Turn off heat and serve these hot bafauris with sliced onions, green chilies or with any preferable chutney or sauce or tea !



    Notes :

    • Adjust the spiciness by adding more or less green chilies.
    • That little amount of oil can be omitted also. Only for removing the bafauris from the steamer plate easily, oil is used.

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