Follow Me On…

Cookies

Sep 222015
 
Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars
Share

Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars

Are they cookies? Are they Brownies? Is it a cheesecake? These were the questions floating around the living room. No one was asking me, but the guessing game was on. Sometimes I let them wonder without telling them what I am up to. Seeing me make a batch of cookie dough, whip up cream cheese with eggs and mix a batch of eggs and chocolates, the spouse and the offspring were trying to guess what I was making. Usually I finish my baking before the kid gets home, so she can come home to a fresh batch of goodies and enjoy them before heading out for the next activity of the day. But some times life happens and I end up baking well after dinner time. This was one such day.

Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars

So I let them wonder and kept working. The batch of brownies came out, the house was smelling brownie like and  people were waiting for it cool down when I layered it with cheesecake and topped with the chocolate chip cookie dough. It might have raised some eyebrows but by now they have gotten used to some unique type of creations every once a while. So in anticipation they waited and finally after much patience for waiting for the photos to be taken, they ate a few of these Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars with some milk. Patience pays in cookies!

I minimally adapted the recipe for Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars from the Brownie Bottom Cookie Dough Cheesecake recipe from  Handle the Heat . I used a brownie recipe that works for me, and used the idea for the bars from Tessa’s blog.

Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars

The theme this month for the Creative Cookie Exchange  is Layered Bar Cookies–if you like crispy, crunchy, chewy, creamy or gooey layers packed into one cookie you have come to the right place!! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

 

Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake BarsYou can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of our bloggers have made this month:

Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars #Creative Cookie Exchange

Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars #Creative Cookie Exchange

Ingredients

    For the brownies
  • 1 1/4 sticks butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • For the cheesecake layer
  • 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • For Cookie dough
  • ¼ C unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • a pinch of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 3/4 C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 C semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

    Make the Brownies
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang.
  2. Melt the butter then add sugar, cocoa, and salt. Mix until the mixture is smooth. It will look gritty and thick. Allow to cool before adding the eggs.
  3. Once the mixture is cool to touch, stir in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition. Mix until the batter looks shiny then add the flour and stir until the flour is completely mixed in. Do not over mix.
  4. Spread the brownie batter into the pan and bake for 12 – 15 minutes. You want to remove it before they are completely done as they will bake again with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Remove and let cool for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  6. Make the cookie dough
  7. Beat the butter, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and milk in the stand mixer. Once the mixture is fluffy, stop the mixer and gradually add the flour and mix with a spatula until combined. Add in the chocolate chips. Mix and remove from the mixer, set aside in another bowl.
  8. The cheesecake layer
  9. Clean and dry the mixer bowl and then add cream cheese and sugar and using a paddle attachment, mix until well combined and smooth. Add in the salt and beat in the eggs one at a time and combine until just mixed in completely.
  10. Pour this over the now cooled brownie. Spread the cookie dough batter on top the cheesecake. You could alternately scoop out small cookies from the dough and place them on the cheese layer like I did.
  11. Bake at 325°F for 40 to 50 minutes. The cheesecake will set and cookie dough will look a light brown. Allow to come to room temperature before letting it cool in the fridge overnight or at least a few hours. Cut into desired shapes.
http://www.spiceroots.com/cookie-dough-brownie-and-cheesecake-bars-creative-cookie-exchange/

Share
Aug 182015
 
Naan Khatai
Share

Naan Khatai

Nan Khatai – Indian Shortbread cookies are not shortbread cookies in the real definition of the word. But saying light and crispy, yet flakey and utterly buttery and melt in the mouth cookies sounds like a mouthful. Which after a few bites of the Nan Khatai is simply not possible.

My Naani ( Naani is how you address your grandmother on your mom’s side) got me hooked to Nan Khatai. She knew all the right bake shops that sold the best Nan Khatai and she would stop by every few days and place an order for special ones. You may ask if they were the best shops why would she place an order for special ones? That’s because she would carry a pot of home made ghee and bring it to the store and ask them to use it in the order she just placed. She has a gentle demeanor that disarms even the non-indulgent kinds. The chefs would see her arrive and grin wide and ask her how many of the nan khatai biscuits she wanted. Biscuits – because we are still British in our use of English, though they way it’s pronounced in most of India – BisKOOT may not be understood by the English speaking English.

Naan Khatai

 

Made with fresh, homemade ghee and catered to our taste, they were melt in the mouth, divine rounds of cookie goodness. Really soft to touch, they have an outer crunch, feathery soft interior that falls into the mouth and you close your mouth and it simply melts and vanishes. I never found them anywhere else in the country. Though every region has its nan khatai, the ones from Jammu are my favorite. It could be because of the memories attached to it or it could be because they simply are divine.

Naan Khatai

To put the theory to test, I made two batches of Nan Khatai today for the Creative Cookie Exchange. The theme this month was Pack for a picnic cookies. Basically cookies that won’t go bad, get soggy or hard if kept in less than ideal conditions. Nan Khatai fits the bill perfectly as they are made with ghee that has a better shelf life than butter. They are not easily spoiled, stay fresh for days and are just delicious.

Naan Khatai
The two kinds of Nan Khatai I made were blind taste tested by the in house taste tester. He picked the Jammu one over the other. Though both the cookies taste great, there is just something about eating food that has memories that makes it taste special.
You can try one or both and let me know which one you preferred.

Naan Khatai

The theme this month is Pack for a Picnic Cookies–any kind of cookie that sounds great for a picnic! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

 

 

Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Naan Khatai – Indian Shortbread Cookies #Creative Cookie Exchange

Naan Khatai – Indian Shortbread Cookies #Creative Cookie Exchange

Ingredients

  • 1.5 C flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
  • a small pinch of salt
  • Optional - almond slivers for garnish
  • 1/2 C sugar ( If you don't live in the US.. look for baker's sugar or coarsely grind your sugar)
  • 1/2 C ghee, room temperature that looks a little melty

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F
  2. Mix the flour, baking soda, cardamom powder and salt. Keep aside.
  3. Cream together the ghee and the sugar
  4. Add in the dry ingredients and mix very briefly until the dough comes together
  5. Take 2 tbs of the dough and roll it and then press it down to flatten it. Keep it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  6. If using almonds, put those slivers on the cookies and press down
  7. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes. The cookies won't brown on top so check after 10 minutes to see if the bottom has browned a bit. You don't want to over bake these.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

This is the recipe for the Jammu style Naan Khatai. To make the Pakistani style Nan Khatai, swap 1/2 C flour with garbanzo bean flour and follow the same procedure.

http://www.spiceroots.com/naan-khatai-indian-shortbread-cookies-creative-cookie-exchange/

Share
 Posted by on August 18, 2015 at 2:14 AM
Jul 202015
 
chocolate chip cookie bowls
Share

chocolate chip cookie bowls

Dear Pinterest,
You sometimes fill me with misery. I must break up with you. It’s you, It’s not me. And I say that with all dignity I can muster up after an unhappy (disastrous) project. Many such projects if I had kept a count. So as beautiful as you look, and as enticing as you are – It’s over between us. Yes, you have been very useful when I have tried to look for inspiration and most of the projects have turned out ok. But it’s the projects that look nothing like you showed that hurt the most. And for those I can’t forgive you.
I have much to thank you for. Take for example all the time you make vanish because I am checking things that I, in my wildest dreams would not even think of undertaking – like building the fish aquarium from scratch. Or the times when I think I can finally undertake the DIY projects in my bathroom because you make them look and sound fabulously easy. Sadly the husband always says No and I am left dreaming And then I am on to make some more time vanish with you. Really! It’s like magic.
But you have given me a lot more grief than you will ever care to acknowledge. Take for example these chocolate chip cookie bowls. They were supposed to look like this! See this?  That’s how they were supposed to look.

But instead looked like this:-

chocolate chip cookie bowls

 

What do you have to say for yourself? I am ending this right now. It’s over between you and me!

And while you are at it, do tell people that this project is not really worth the time, though it tastes good. Also tell them that If they have a willing teenage helper who wants to really bake the cups, go ahead. Otherwise, they should just make some chocolate chip cookies and fill in some ice cream into them and call it an ice-cream sandwich. They will thank you and not break up with you. I am saving you some heart ache.

chocolate chip cookie bowls

Oh I am adding this disaster to your boards. After all YOU did make me make these. And good bye!

Oh yes, before the final Good Bye – be sure to tell people to check how awesome cookies with ice-cream ACTUALLY look like – Here is a list for your kind information!

I was supposed to send my chocolate chip cookie cups to this event:-

The theme this month is Ice Cream Cookies–any kind of cookie that works well with ice cream in any form–could be an ice cream sandwich, could be the perfect cookie garnish! If you are dying to beat the heat with a fun ice cream creation involving cookies, we’ve got you covered! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. Please be patient though, as this month Laura is off to Italy and will not be checking email quite as often!

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

Disclaimer – Pinterest is actually not human! So don’t go looking for him. He is not even a He.  Even if you have had temporary lapse of reasoning like I do, just don’t do it. Most of the times – he/she/it is nice!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowls

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowls

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray the reverse side of a mini bundt pan (the outside) with a pan spray.
  2. In medium bowl, combine flour and salt. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and the vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix it until combined.
  3. Roll out dough on generously-floured surface to 1/8 in. thickness. Cut 4-1/2 in. circles from dough.. Drape each circle over each of the reverse side of the bundt pan, pressing to form smooth surface.
  4. Bake 12 minutes or until cookie cups are firm and golden brown. Cool on pan on cooling rack 10 minutes. Loosen bottom edges of cookies from pan using small spatula. Carefully remove cups from pan and cool completely. Wash, dry and spray pan; repeat with remaining dough.

Notes

Recipe source ;- Wilton

http://www.spiceroots.com/chocolate-chip-cookie-bowls-creative-cookie-exchange/
Share
Jun 162015
 
Cherry and Chocolate chip Scones
Share

Cherry and Chocolate chip  Scones

A quaint English cafe, scones with jam and clotted cream and some tea to sip. That’s how I had imagined my first tryst with the scone. It did happen exactly like I had imagined, only the quaint English cafe was right here in my neighborhood.
I still go there, to drink a cup of tea and eat some scones and to chat with the Gentleman who owns the place. I don’t really remember what he says, for I always am engrossed in his oh so British accent! I only hope that if he ever asks me a question I am able to gather enough wits to answer.
In all of my visits to this cafe, I have always thought about asking him for a recipe for their scones. Someday, when I am not too smitten with the accent I might actually ask. Until then, there is always Mark Bittman and his classic scones. The recipe works like a charm.

Cherry and Chocolate chip Scone

I love that these scones are not overly sweet and that the recipe comes together quickly. It is a simple recipe, but be careful to not overwork the dough.  I took liberties with the recipe and made it like an American scone – with fillings and cut like a wedge. But it does not have as much sugar. So a best of both scone world’s!
Tara, is our wonderful host for this month’s Creative Cookie Exchange. The theme this month is Chips, Chunks or Bits! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. Please be patient though, as this month Laura is off to Italy and will not be checking email quite as often!
You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Cherry and Chocolate Chip Scones #Creative Cookie Exchange

Cherry and Chocolate Chip Scones #Creative Cookie Exchange

Ingredients

  • 2 C All Purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 egg
  • ½ heavy cream
  • 1/2 C pitted and dried cherries
  • 1/4 C Semi sweet Milk chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment .
  2. Put the flour, salt, baking powder and the sugar in a sifter and sift three times. Add the butter and using a fork mix the butter in until the mixture looks like cornmeal. Alternately you may pulse it in the food processor.
  3. Add the egg in and then the cream, cherries and chocolate. Mix lightly to form a slightly sticky dough.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice. Gather into a ball and press down to form a thick circle and cut into 8 wedges. Just like cutting a pie.
  5. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.Serve warm with jam and tea.

Notes

Recipe source :- Mark Bittman

http://www.spiceroots.com/cherry-and-chocolate-chip-scones-creative-cookie-exchange/

Share
May 192015
 
Millionaire shortbread Bars
Share

Millionaire shortbread Bars

A dairy based caramel from France, A shortbread from Scotland and a name like Millionaire Shortbread Bars – Swooning yet?  Although no one seems to know where it originated from, Millionaire shortbread bars are  a treat worthy of those ‘supposed’ million calories.

This month’s theme for Creative cookie Exchange was Caramel and I immediately thought of making Millionaire’s shortbread. I love anything caramel. I know I have said many times I don’t have a sweet tooth. But for caramel I always make an exception. These were cookies I was making for me. And so I was making the best use of my cheat day and load up on all the goodness I could.

Millionaire shortbread bars

There are multiple components for the Millionaire’s shortbread, but it is not a very difficult treat to make. This time I went on a tangent and instead of using just milk chocolate for the top layer, I used white chocolate and some milk chocolate for a swirly effect. Since white chocolate is a tad bit sweeter you may want to use this only if you are sure you like it really sweet.

Millionaire shortbread

The theme this month is Caramel–any kind of caramel in any kind of cookie! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. Please be patient though, as this month Laura is off to Italy and will not be checking email quite as often!

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Millionaire Shortbread Bars

Millionaire Shortbread Bars

Ingredients

    For Shortbread
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 50g sugar
  • 170 g plain flour
  • For Caramel
  • 1 Can condensed milk
  • Chocolate Layer
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 2- 3 Tbs semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

    Make the Shortbread
  1. Line an 8” square pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350*F. Cream together the butter and sugar until well combined.
  2. Add the flour and mix it together until the dough comes together.
  3. Transfer it to the baking pan and spread it with your hands or the back of a spoon until it fills the base of the pan.
  4. Prick it over with a fork and bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes until it is just turning a golden color near the edges. Remove and let it cool.
  5. Make the Caramel
  6. Preheat oven to 425° F. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk into 9-inch pie plate. Cover with aluminum foil; place in shallow pan that is larger than the pie plate. Fill pan with hot water. Place the pan holding the pie plate into the oven. Carefully so as not to mix the water into the condensed milk. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until thick and caramel-colored.Allow to cool slightly and then gently whisk it until smooth.
  7. Assemble
  8. Once the shortbread is a bit cool to touch, pour the caramel on top of it and spread evenly . Allow it to cool completely before adding the chocolate topping.
  9. Add the chocolate
  10. Melt the while chocolate and the semi sweet chocolate separately.
  11. Pour the white chocolate on top of the caramel and coax it to spread evenly. Then quickly fill a small disposable piping bag with the semi sweet chocolate. Snip off a tiny edge of the piping bag and drizzle the chocolate over the white chocolate,
  12. Take a toothpick and drag it on top of the white and semi sweet chocolate making swirls.
  13. Allow to set for a few minutes, then cut into squares or bars and let it chill completely in the refrigerator before serving.
http://www.spiceroots.com/millionaire-shortbread-bars/

Share
 Posted by on May 19, 2015 at 4:00 AM
Mar 172015
 
Matcha and White chocolate cookies
Share

 

Matcha and White chocolate cookies

White Chocolate- the sophisticated, velvety, luscious derivative of the cocoa powder making process is our theme this month.  Rich and fatty, ivory white and elegant looking white chocolate. I did not want to undermine its flavors by mixing it in as chips into cookies. So I thought about using it on top of a matcha cookie.  It is after all St. Patrick’s day. The lingering sweetness from the matcha when matched with the buttery flavors of the white chocolate makes for a good combination. I sent these to my hubby’s work and this time the reactions from people were mixed. A few of the tasters were not a fan of the matcha. That’s understandable. It takes a while to develop a liking for matcha .

Matcha and White chocolate cookies-4

But the tasters who liked the matcha cookies, liked them very much.  They said it felt like having a cup of tea with a chocolate cookie. I will take that! Matcha is also a tea that you in fact use whole. You don’t just use the tea leaves and then discard them. You use the powdered form of the tea and you drink/eat everything. It has a vegetable like first taste, which quickly turns into notes of sweetness.

Matcha and White chocolate cookies

Tea grade matcha is ground on a stone mill into a fine powder. Look at the color it imparts. I think this green is luscious for St. Patrick’s day.

Matcha and White chocolate cookies

 

White chocolate is seriously underrated as a baking ingredient–it complements so many other flavors so nicely, like citrus, spices, berries, winter squash, etc. So if you want to see all the ways white chocolate can be used to make terrific cookies, you have come to the right place! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

 

Matcha and White Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

  • For the Cookies
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1.5 Tbs Matcha powder
  • 1/2 C White chocolate to melt and coat

Instructions

  1. Preheat the Oven to 350*F.
  2. Whisk together both flours, baking powder, matcha and salt.
  3. Beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, and beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in two - three batches. Once the dough forms, remove it from the bowl and gather into a ball.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough. Using a lightly floured round cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place about 1 inch apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Bake for 15- 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Melt the white chocolate and spoon it on the cookies once they are cool. If there is some chocolate remaining, add some macha into it and drizzle some green lines on top of the cookies.
http://www.spiceroots.com/matcha-and-white-chocolate-cookies/

Share