Monday, November 24, 2014

Eggless Cranberry Orange Cookies

Somebody could not wait to put the Christmas tree up, and so we did. Yesterday. We are still in the process of decorating it. It is a little too early, I know, but sometimes we just have give in to the little one's enthusiasm. We have already started our holiday baking, so why not start decorating as well. That gives us something do when the nasty weather keeps us cooped up inside.
We kicked off our Holiday Baking with some Cookie Cups last week and this week we made some Cranberry-Orange Cookies. 

Eggless Cranberry Orange Cookies

Ingredients: (Yield about 18 small ones)
  • Flour - 1 Cup + 1 tbsp
  • Butter - 1 stick or 1/2 Cup, unsalted, at room temperature
  • Granulated Sugar -  7 tbsp
  • Dried Cranberry - 1/2 Cup
  • Orange Zest - 1/2 tsp
  • Vanilla - 1/2 tsp
  • A pinch of salt
  • Cornstarch - 1/2 tbsp
  • Water - 1 tbsp
In a bowl, using a electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. In a small bowl, make a paste of the cornstarch and water - I used this mixture as an egg substitute. Add the cornstarch mixture, orange zest, vanilla extract and salt to creamed butter and sugar and mix well. Add the flour little by little and mix well to form a crumbly mix. Gently fold in the cranberries. Use your hands to bring everything together and form 2 logs of dough. Refrigerate the logs of dough for at least 2 hours. I had prepared the dough the night before and kept it in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, cut discs from the chilled logs of dough. Place the discs on the lined cookie sheet about an inch apart and bake for 12-15 minutes till the cookies start turning golden brown on the edges. Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and let the cookies cool before you move them. 

These will stay fresh for 3-4 days in an airtight container. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Savory French Toast inspired by Jayati

Mom to a very handsome 14 year old, Jayati Saha, the star of this week's Kolkata Food Bloggers event - Know Your Blogger (Part 2) juggles her life at home and in the corporate world beautifully. Calm and collected, she exudes a warmth which makes one want to be friends with her right away. Yup, we are a lucky bunch at Team KFB - we got to know such wonderful people and by recreating their recipes, the bond only grows more intimate.
Jayati blogs from Jayati's Food Journey - and her culinary journey laces in and out of everyday life, weaving a beautiful story of dishes, both Indian and international. I love how she adds her own little flare to her recipes. Oh, she has many every-day Bengali recipes on her blog as well.
Nowadays the husband has taken over the breakfast-making during the week while I feed the 5 year old his breakfast before he leaves for school. So I make breakfast over the weekend. Saturdays are rushed as the 5 year old has soccer, so I try to sneak in a little something special on Sundays, well on most Sundays.  Which means, I am always on the lookout for interesting yet easy breakfast options. Sometimes it is a recipe that catches my fancy and sometimes it is an idea. Jayati's classic French Toast with Peanut Butter gave me the idea to make a savory version (the quintessential Bengali French Toast AKA Dim-Paurooti) and kick it up a notch by adding a Spinach Pesto and Cheese filling.

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Ingredients: For the Savory French Toasts (Yield about 6 triangles)
  • Bread - 6 (preferably sandwich bread)
  • Eggs - 5
  • Onions - 2 tbsp, very finely chopped
  • Milk - 2 tsp
  • Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp, freshly cracked
  • Salt to taste
  • Spinach Pesto - 3 tbsp (Recipe here)
  • Cheese Slices - 3
  • Oil - enough for frying, I needed about 1 tbsp
In a swallow bowl whisk together the eggs and milk for a couple of minutes. Throw in the chopped onions, sprinkle the salt and pepper and give it another whisk. 
Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Now dunk the bread (you can cut of the crust if you want to) into the egg-mixture , flip and let it coat both the sides. Gently slide the bread slices into the pan and fry till golden brown on both sides. Drain the excess oil on paper towels. Slather one slice with Spinach Pesto, add a slice of cheese, cover it with another slice (slathered with Spinach Pesto). Cut it diagonally in  the middle (or not) and serve warm with some tomato sauce or some more spinach pesto on the side to dunk it in. 

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