Tag Archives: cookies

M&M cookies

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I baked these cookies this Family Day – it was too cold to step outside and there is nothing more than my family enjoys than fresh baked cookies. Aditi and I often bake together – she has her opinion and suggestions around every recipe I pick. These ones are totally her kind – full of M&Ms and chocochips, soft and chewy.IMG_1204

Recipe source  – YummyoYummy

Steps –

  1. Take 1 cup of unsalted butter out of the fridge in a big mixing bowl. Let it be – for like three to four hours, so that it gets to room temperature. I usually bake on weekend evenings, and take out the butter to soften at room temperature while having my morning tea. At the same time, also take out two eggs if you keep them in the fridge, we need room temperature eggs.
  2. Whisk together 2 and 1/4 cups of All Purpose Flour, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp baking soda in a bowl. You may want to sift it, but I just mix everything together for 5 minutes with the teaspoon I use to measure. These are your dry ingredients.
  3. To the softened butter, add 1 cup of white granulated sugar and packed half cup of light brown sugar. It is the brown sugar that gives the cookies its soft and chewy texture, there is no way you can skip or replace it. Add 2 tsp of vanilla extract too.
  4. Beat the butter and sugars together for 2 minutes using a hand mixer, till it gets all fluffy and creamy.
  5. Add in the eggs, beat again for a minute till everything is well incorporated.
  6. Now add the dry ingredients, in three parts, mixing / beating after every addition.
  7. Now keep the hand mixer aside and using in big spoon, scrape together the sides of the bowl so that the entire dough is one uniform sticky mess.
  8. Add in 1 cup of M&Ms and 1/2 cup of choco chips. I had mini M&Ms and Kirkland semi sweet choco chips. You will also need 1/4 cup of M&Ms and 1/4 cup of choco chips later on. Keep them aside.
  9. Stick the dough in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.
  10. When you take out the dough, you should be able to roll it in a ball, else use an ice cream scoop or a cookie dough scoop. I use my hands.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350F. Take a cookie sheet, line it up with parchment paper.
  12. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the dough and roll into balls. Space them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Using the tablespoon ensures same sized cookies. If you have a kitchen scale, you can weigh each ball for same weight.
  13. Get the kid hovering in the kitchen to stick M&Ms and choco chips that you had kept aside on each cookie dough ball. I asked three to four additions to each one, but mine got her own way and stuck them liberally.
  14. Put the cookie tray in the pre heated oven, and bake for 14 minutes. Take out the tray and let the cookies remain on the tray for 2 minutes. Place them gently on a wire rack to cool, they are soft when right out of the oven.
  15. These taste the best when eaten warm, straight from the cooling rack. If some remain, store them in an air tight container. I make dough balls, stick them in the freezer in a big plate for 2 hours. When they harden up, I put them in a zip lock and store them in the freezer for a month, so that I can bake a fresh small batch every weekend. Just take the cookie dough balls from the freezer and place them straight in the preheated oven.
  16. The original recipe says 375F, but 14 minutes at 350F worked best for me.

 

Chocolate Cutout Cookies

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Here is another cookie I tried these holidays and they were super loved by Aditi. The cookies are chewy as they call for brown sugar and honey. There are no eggs involved and melted butter is used – so there is no waiting for the eggs and butter to get to room temperature. The festive sprinkles bring color to the cookies as well as to the atmosphere .

Recipe source – Spicy Treats.

Ingredients – (made 24 cookies, but the number depends on the size of cookie cutters used).
1 and ¼ cup – APF (maida)
¼ tsp – Baking powder, ¼ tsp – Baking soda
¼ tsp – Salt
¼ tsp – Instant Coffee Powder
1 tbsp – Cocoa powder
¼ cup – Butter
¼ cup – Honey
¼ cup – Brown Sugar
½ tsp – Vanilla Essence
2-3 tbsp – Milk
Colored sugar sprinkles for decoration

Method –
1. Melt the butter. I just kept it on a burner for 5 minutes, left warm after I switched it off.
2. Add honey and brown sugar to it. Mix so that everything dissolves. Add vanilla essence too. Hold off the milk for now.
3. In a mixing bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients – APF + Baking soda + Baking Powder + Cocoa Powder + Coffee Powder + Salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet or vice-versa. Now, we are trying to get a tight dough here. Add milk (only if needed) a few drops at a time for this. Don’t just add 2 tbsp of milk because the recipe says so – you may end up with a gooey mess.
5. Pat the dough to form a flat disc, wrap it in a cling wrap and put it away in the fridge for 30 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven at 350F and line a cookie baking tray with parchment paper.
7. Take out the dough and roll it into a sheet about .25 inch in thickness. Since the dough got butter, I did not find it sticking while rolling, but if you do, roll it between sheets of butter paper. If the dough is still hard, let is sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes and then roll it.
8. Now comes the fun part from where my 6 year old takes over. Use cookie cutters to cut out cookies and sprinkle them with decorations. We found the pretty snowflake ones at Bulk Barn. Press down the sprinkles a bit into the cookies so that they stick after baking.
9. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. The sides will get slightly browned but there will not be a huge color change.
10. Cool them completely on a wire rack before storing in an air tight container.

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My notes –
1.I would skip the coffee powder from the next time. ¼ tsp does not lend any coffee flavor and the granules don’t get evenly distributed in the dough, giving a bitter bite in the cookies where they remain.
2.Don’t cook small and big cookies in one batch – the smaller ones bake faster.
3.You may not need milk at all. Don’t add it just because the recipe mentions it.

Cranberry Biscotti – perfect snack with no butter, less sugar.

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Biscotti was on my mind and in my bookmarks since the day I started my tryst with baking – it looked pretty similar to the ‘cake rusk’ the bakeries in Indore sell, I remember the ones I bought from Mathurawala being a delight. An extreme cold warning over a long weekend was the perfect setting, I had all the ingredients and could use all my time inside the home to bake. I started a bit scared, but was super amazed by the great results. With just one fourth cup of olive oil and one third cup of sugar, this recipe is going to be used in my kitchen again and again. One more merit of this recipe is that the quantities are not for a party but pretty consumable by a small family of umm…2.5.

Yay! biscotti!

Yay! biscotti!


Recipe source – foodoliciouspictured.com
Yield – 10 to 12 biscottis (if your family does not eat away half of the log while it is cooling!)
Ingredients –
All purpose flour – 1 1/4 cups
Sugar – 1/3 cup
Egg- 1, at room temperature (mine was not)
Olive oil – 1/4 cup
Vanilla essence -1/2 teaspoon
Dried cranberries-1/2 cup
Baking powder 1/2 teaspoon
Salt – 1/4 teaspoon

The rectangle log after baking for 30 minutes.

The rectangle log after baking for 30 minutes.

Sliced - going back to the oven to crisp up.

Sliced – going back to the oven to crisp up.

Crisped and browned - now cooling

Crisped and browned – now cooling


Method –
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil.Mix the flour, baking powder, salt on a big newspaper spread on your kitchen counter / a bowl. Keep aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg, sugar, vanilla essence and oil till well combined. I did this using my electric hand mixer -for two minutes.Now add the flour and cranberries. Mix with a spatula and with your hands, knead till smooth.
3. Dump the kneaded dough on the baking tray and using your fingers shape it into a rectangle. (see picture for shape and size).
4. Bake for about 30 minutes in the middle rack.
5. Remove from oven and cool completely. Don’t get impatient about it, else the deal will crumble all over the place. My method of cooling was to place it near my balcony full of snow for 10 minutes 🙂
6. Once cooled, cut the log into 1/2 inch slices. If you are from India, try to recall the Nafees toast thickness – that is what we want.
7. Place the slices on the baking tray and bake them again for 10 minutes flipping them once after 5 minutes. They should be lightly browned.
8. Remove and allow to cool completely before storing them in airtight containers. You may think they are soft when you take them out, but they get crispy after cooling – let go of the temptation to over bake.

Notes –
1. I have used canola oil in the past for baking, and it can be an alternative if olive oil not around.
2. If cranberries are not available, you can use raisins or almonds or pistachios or walnuts or a mix.