Date & Raisin Butter Biscuits

Dates! They have been cultivated for thousands of years since ancient times, and what a blessing they truly are! They have been used extensively in Middle East and the Indus Valley since then.

As for me, I have consumed  a fair share of dates in my early days. 😀  My mother made sure we had these growing up as they are quite healthy and a good source of energy! What with school and the after-school play time activites! My younger brother would play cricket for hours at a stretch under the scorching sun on holidays, he needed these most.. 😉 My gandfather loved Khajoor, as they are called in Hindi, and he would always make sure we never ran out of these sweet goodies!

I don’t cook much or rather not at all with dates and love to eat them in the raw form. However, this time I have dared to come out of my comfort zone and used them in biscuits. You will find half and half of dates and raisins in this recipe, but these can be made with dates solely. They were quite delicious and the dates impart a richness and not to forget, nutrition to these swet buttery, crumbly, melt in the mouth cookies! They are perfect to serve with tea. I have used the same recipe I used for these Butter Biscuits.

Butter Biscuits

Butter Biscuits

 

final

Ingredients:
Biscuit Dough:
125 g all purpose flour
100 g butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened
50 g icing sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk

Filling:
100 g dates,seedless or dried figs
100 g raisins
120 ml heavy cream

Instructions:
Biscuits:
Heap the flour on the work surface and make a well. Put in the butter, icing sugar and salt.
With your fingertips, mix and cream the butter with the sugar and salt, then add the egg yolks and work them in delicately with your fingertips.

Slowly, draw the flour into the center and work the mixture delicately with your fingers until you have a homogeneous dough.

Using the palm of your hand, push the dough away from you 3 or 4 times until it is completely smooth.
Roll into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Filling:
Finely chop the dates and raisins. Add the cream and stir until smooth. Ideally this should be done in a food processor until the mixture has a smooth creamy consistency.

Date & Raisin Butter Biscuits
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, flatten the chilled dough and roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/8th inch thick.
Trim the edges so you have a neat rectangle.
Place it on a baking tray with parchment paper and chill for 15 minutes.

Remove from the refrigerator and spread the date cream evenly over the dough with a spatula.
With the long side facing you begin rolling up the dough tightly. Chill until firm, at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Cut into small slices and transfer them to the prepared baking tray. Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

co

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Melt in your mouth Cinnamon Meringues

This is a great recipe to use for any leftover egg whites. Why throw and waste when one can make such crunchy, melt in your mouth meringues. These cinnamon meringues are a great accompaniment to a cup of coffee.
I can’t help but smile after eating them and just find myself having more than any one should. 😉

DSC_0701

Makes about 35-40 small sized meringues

Meringues :
1 egg white (36 g), at room temperature
approx 72 g caster sugar (double the weight of egg whites)
1 tsp vanilla essence, optional
Cinnamon powder 1/2 tbsp
Cocoa powder 1/2 tsp

DSC_0638

Instructions:

Preheat the oven at 105°C.Line a baking tray with baking paper/baking mat.
Use a piping bag fitted with a plain round nozzle.

Make the dry mixture by sifting the sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder in a bowl.

Put the egg white in a large, clean, grease free bowl and using a hand mixer, beat the egg white at high speed until very stiff peaks form.
Add half teaspoon of vanilla essence if using.
Gradually add the dry mixture , a couple of tablespoons at a time, else the meringue will get soft.

Pipe rounds on the baking mat leaving some gap in between.
You could also use a dessert spoon to spoon the mixture on the baking tray if you are running out of piping bags. 🙂

DSC_0647

Bake in the preheated oven for an hour.
Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside the oven to cool completely. This can take about an hour or more.

Bon Apetit !

Bon Apetit !


Note: Meringues will keep very well for upto 5 days in an air tight container.

Faworki (Angel Wings)

Faworki or Angel Wings, are traditional Polish sweet pastries shaped in the form of thin ribbons. They are deep fried and dusted with loads of icing sugar. As legend has it, women in medieval times tied coloured ribbons on their knights’ armour before they went into battle. This was a symbol of good luck and a sweet reminder that they awaited their return. Faworki are named for such “favours”

I came across these sweet, crisp bow pastries in a Polish Piekernia (bakery) and took an instant liking to them. They should be delicate and melt in the mouth. I thought to give it a try and they turned out pretty decent for my first attempt. 🙂

This recipe has been adapted from RECIPES & STORIES FROM A SUMMER IN POLAND.

Angel Wings

Angel Wings

Ingredients :

500 g All purpose flour
5 egg yolks
2 tsp white vinegar
4 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions :

Sift the flour and icing sugar on the work surface.

Make a well in the center and mix in the eggs, vinegar and sour cream to form a dough.
Knead the dough well until smooth.

Divide the dough into chunks and dust the work surface with some flour. Roll out each piece so it is about 4mm thick.
Cut the thin dough into strips about 3 cm wide and 15 cm long.
Dust the pastry with extra flour if it is too sticky to handle.
IMG_5278

Cut a slit in the middle of each strip.
IMG_5279
Take one end of the rectangle and put it through the center to make a bow shape.
IMG_5280
IMG_5282

Heat the oil and deep fry till the strips are golden but not brown.
DSC_0512
Drain on a kitchen paper and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Sablée (Butter Biscuits)

I was going through my school photo album and reminiscing the most carefree, fun-filled days of my life. I was telling my better half all the silly things me and my friends would do at school.Diving further into past I remembered that we, my brother and I would pester our mom to get us cream biscuits. They are nothing but two biscuits with a flavored cream or jam within them. Much to my mother’s annoyance and amusement, we would open up the cream biscuit, lick off the delicious cream and discard the biscuits! 🙂

The ones filled with jam were called Jim Jam and my family loved to have this with tea.

In memory of my childhood days, I have made butter biscuits and topped the jam on two biscuits instead of making it as a sandwich so I don’t embarrass my hubby. 🙂

Mini Sablés

Mini Sablés

Makes about 325 g dough – Makes about 24-26

Ingredients:

125 g all purpose flour
100 g butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened
50 g icing sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk

Instructions :

Preheat the oven to 170°C.Line a baking tray with baking mat or baking paper.

Heap the flour on the work surface and make a well. Put in the butter, icing sugar and salt.
With your fingertips, mix and cream the butter with the sugar and salt, then add the egg yolks and work them in delicately with your fingertips.

Slowly, draw the flour into the center and work the mixture delicately with your fingers until you have a homogeneous dough.

Using the palm of your hand, push the dough away from you 3 or 4 times until it is completely smooth.
Roll into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

There are a lot of ways you can bake these biscuits!You could just bake them the way they are or if you have kids, they would love to have Strawberry jam biscuits.You could also just top them up with some almond flakes and voila!
You have a treat to serve for a tea party.

Roll out the dough to a 2-3 mm thickness.Using a cookie cutter, cut out as many discs as possible.
photo (2)

photo (3)
Make the sablés as below:

Strawberry Jam:
Place an even number of cut out dough (discs) on a baking sheet and moisten lightly with pastry brush dipped in cold water.You could also just pat water with your fingertips.

Cut a hole in the center of half of the discs and place them on top of the solid discs.
sab
sab1
sab2

Use a teaspoon to fill the cavities with the jam, then brush the borders with egg wash.

Almond:
Place the desired number of pastry discs on a baking sheet, brush with egg wash and arrange 5 or 6 almond flakes on each one.
DSC_1020
Bake the sablés:
Bake the sablés for 6-10 minutes, depending on their thickness.

If you’d prefer more color, increase the temperate to 180 for the last minute or two.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool before serving.

DSC_1025

My mom would serve tea in the pretty tea cups with saucers. I have none, 😦 and we Indians like our tea in glass too, this one is french…. 🙂
ummmm..masala chai in a french glass served with french sablés, pretty neat I’d say 😉

Chai Biscuit

Chai Biscuit

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

The Best Chewy Chocolate chip cookies ever!

 

I am currently living in Wroclaw,Poland and have had a hard time finding chocolate chips. So, I would bake my cookies sans chips or with chocolate pieces. One sunny Saturday morning, my hubby and I went for grocery shopping at Hala targowa, a fresh produce marketplace in Wroclaw.

MarketPlace

MarketPlace

While we were strolling along the many stalls,we discovered a cute little stall in a nook run by a young and friendly Polish girl who was selling candies and some cake decorating ingredients.
Hala_targowa_wrocław_wnętrze
Being me, I always like to scout for different things that I can incorporate in my baking.As i began gazing at the different colors of edible glitter, my eyes fell upon a box of chocolate chips.I was ecstatic and yes,you guessed it right.I had to make chocolate chip cookies right away!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

In this recipe I have used butter straight from the refrigerator and microwaved for 15-20 seconds to get the chill off it.This means you do not need to chill the dough.Chill for about 20-30 minutes if the dough is very soft.

DSC_0811

Makes about 12-14 cookies

Ingredients:

113 g butter
55 g caster sugar
100 g light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
150 g all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100 g semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5.Line two baking sheets with baking paper.

Remove the butter from the fridge and microwave for about 20 seconds.

In a bowl sift together all the dry ingredients except sugar.

In another bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy.Add the white and brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy.Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until incorporated.

Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat until incorporated.

Add in the chocolate chips and mix through.

Chocolate Chips

Chocolate Chips

Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.

For the cookies,use an ice cream scoop and arrange on the baking tray leaving enough space for the cookies to spread.

DSC_0765
Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown in color.

DSC_0817

Just out of the oven!

Just out of the oven!

Cool completely on wire rack.

Cool before serving

Cool before serving

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

DSC_0802
The chocolate chip cookies were crisp at the edges and chewy at the center,just as I like it.They were perfect and can satisfy your cravings for a chewy yummy chocolate chip cookie anytime.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Bon apetit!