Whole wheat Oatmeal cookies

1oatmeal_chocochips BM #105: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : One country, One category

Here is another popular sweet treat from USA- cookies! My son is a big fan of homemade cookies. I used to bake these a lot when I was in India, but after moving to US, I find it easier to buy this from Costco than to make it at home. The main reason I hesitate to make is that the quantity is almost always huge. It’s hard to overcome the temptation when you have to spend the whole day at home with these delicious treats right in front of you!

Anyway, these cookies are also from my drafts folder. I had made these awhile back. It was a Christmas gift for some of our friends. Home baked treats make excellent gifts in my opinion. We had received whole flour oatmeal cookies with coconut as a gift from my husband’s colleague that year. Those cookies were delicious and that was the trigger for me to bake the ones here. I have followed the recipe from King Arthur Flour and didn’t make any changes to it.

Read on for the recipe.

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Recipe source: Basic Whole grain cookies

Makes : 4 dozen plus cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (113 gms) butter, at room temp.
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 2 cups nuts, and/or dried fruit, optional

Method:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using paddle attachment, beat the butter, both the sugars, salt, baking powder and soda until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat again until well combined.
  3. Add flour and oats, combine at the lowest speed possible, or better- fold it in using a spatula. That prevents the flour from spreading all over the kitchen.
  4. Add the dry fruits and /or nuts, if using. I have used chocolate chips here. Refrigerate the dough if not baking right away.
  5. When ready to bake, heat oven to 375F. In a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drop a tablespoon of dough leaving enough space to spread. Don’t crowd the pan. The cookies might spread and fuse together otherwise.
  6. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10-13 minutes or until the edges start to turn brown in color. Take of the oven, let it cool on the pan for a few minutes. Move to an airtight container once it’s cool. Repeat the baking with the rest of the dough.

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Sending this entry to Kid’s Delight – Anniversary party.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Nutella cake with Nutella frosting

BM #105: Week 2, Day 1
Theme : One country, One category

For this week’s theme, I have chosen three dessert recipes from USA. I am beginning the series with a Nutella cake. The recipe is from the book Erin Bakes Cake, which I borrowed from the library. It’s one of the best baking books I have come across. The book gives base recipes for cakes, but with numerous options to try different flavors. The recipe I am sharing is a base recipe for any “butter” cake (Nut based butter). The version here is for Nutella, but say if you want a peanut butter cake, make the substitution. You will also need to increase the sugar by one more cup as Nutella has sugar and peanut butter doesn’t.

I had made this cake last summer for a friend’s birthday. Between the cake and the frosting, there is some serious amount of Nutella here :-). The flavor was amazing and I decided to go for a very simple decoration with a chocolate drip and some cherries on top.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: Erin Bakes Cake

Makes two 8″x3″ cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups butter (~340 gms) , at room temp
  • 1.5 cups Nutella
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 9 eggs
  • 1.5 cups flour

Method:

  1. Pre Heat oven to 350F/ 180C. Grease and line two 8″ x 3″ pans.
  2. Beat the butter, Nutella, sugar, vanilla, baking powder and salt using a stand mixer or hand mixer. Beat until it’s a smooth and fluffy mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl in between to make sure everything mixes well.
  3. Add eggs one at a time and beat it in.
  4. Stop the mixer and add the flour in. Fold the flour in, using a rubber spatula. This prevents the flour from going all over the place.
  5. Divide the batter between the two greased pans. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, the cake is done when a skewer inserted to the middle comes free of crumbs.
  6. Take off the oven, let it rest in the pan for ten minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  7. Once the cake is completely cooled down, prepare the frosting and decorate the cake as you wish.

For the Nutella buttercream,

  • Beat 4 sticks (16oz/450gms) softened butter and a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes in a stand mixer bowl.
  • Turn off the mixer, Add 7 1/2 cups (2 lbs bag) powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 2-4 tablespoons milk. Mix it in with a spatula to prevent sugar flying all over the kitchen.
  • Switch the mixer ON at the lowest setting and beat it until it reaches a creamy consistency. To make Nutella buttercream, add 3/4 cup chilled Nutella. Beat it in until creamy. Makes about 6 cups of frosting.

Sending this entry to Kid’s Delight – Anniversary party.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Instant Pot Nutella Bread Pudding

BM# 103: Week 2, Day 3
Theme : Recreate into a new dish

I always pack snacks for my son so that he has something to eat on the way back home after his practice or a match. He is very hungry at that time and can eat one or two sandwiches easily. Sometimes I pack a little more than what he needs as his hunger quotient cannot be exactly determined. So it’s not too uncommon to be left with some leftovers. Recently when I ended up with two extra Nutella sandwiches, instead of devouring it immediately, I decided to make bread pudding out of it.

I made some more sandwiches, cut it into big cubes and added a custard made with eggs and milk/cream to it. Traditionally bread pudding is made in oven, but I used the Instant Pot instead and the pudding was so moist and delicious! I loved the taste of it, it wasn’t too sweet and the Nutella tasted great in there. The next time, I might add some Nutella or chocolate chips to the custard as well, because everything tastes a little better with chocolate.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source : Nutella Croissant Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 6 Nutella sandwiches*, cut into cubes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Almond slices for serving, optional

*I used bakery bread with about 2 teaspoons of Nutella for each sandwich.

Method:

  1. Mix the eggs, cream, milk, vanilla and sugar in a bowl. Whisk well to combine.
  2. In a big tray or plate add the sandwich cubes and add 1/2 of the whisked custard. Let the bread absorb some of the custard.
  3. Now transfer this to a stainless pot or Pyrex bowl that fits well inside the Instant Pot and add the rest of the custard on top of it.
  4. Add one cup of water to instant pot bowl and place the trivet inside it. Place the bread pudding inside the Instant Pot bowl and cover it with a lid that fits or aluminum foil.
  5. Set instant pot to Manual mode and set timer to 25 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. Serve warm or cold with sliced almonds on top.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Platanos Calados

BM# 102 : Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Cuisines from South America

Now that my son’s summer vacation has started, I am finding that my time is completely tied up with his. All of his activities are at places at least 20 minutes away from home. Since I don’t want to drive forty minutes to drop him and then another forty to pick him up, I prefer to stay back with him. So long story short, I wasn’t prepared well for this week’s posts. Bear with me please! I promise I will be prompt from next week.

Coming to the recipe here, this is a recipe from Columbia. Most of the Latin American countries have some or the other version of sweet caramelized plantains. For an adult version, wine can be used instead of water. Panela or dark brown sugar is used with spices and water. It’s important to use very ripe plantains, the skin should be almost black for this.

The base recipe reminds me of how I grew up eating plantains. In Kerala, steamed plantains are served for breakfast. But when we were kids, my grandma used to add some jaggery and a pinch of ghee – very similar to the recipe here.

Read on for the recipe and do try to make this one.

Recipe source: My Colombian Recipes

Serves : 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 large, very ripe plantains
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Method:

  1. Add everything to a small thick bottomed pan.
  2. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes in medium heat.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.