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.

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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.

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

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

Tarator – Cold cucumber soup


BM #103: Week 4, Day
Theme : Balkan States

Looking for vegetarian recipes from the Balkan states, I came across some recipes very close to home. I didn’t know that our buttermilk is a common drink there as well but with a different name. It’s called Doogh, tahn or Ayran depending on the place.

Then I came across another yogurt based recipe, that’s not tzaziki but a slightly thinner soupy version – Tarator. Its one of those are recipes that can be prepared in more ways that one, I guess. I could see a lot of different recipes online, but the base recipe is almost same for all. Yogurt, thin or thick – according to personal preference, with cucumber that’s either chopped very finely or ground to a paste along with yogurt. Walnuts and dill are common additions , so is the oil. I personally liked the addition of olive oil and walnuts and this soup turned out to be more delicious than I thought it would be. It’s light and perfect for a hot summer day.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: Cooking LSL

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water, or per preference
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoon chopped dill( I didn’t have any)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Whisk the yogurt with water and set aside.
  2. Set aside a spoon of cucumbers and walnuts for topping, if preferred. In a bowl, add cucumbers, garlic, walnuts, salt and oil. Mix in the yogurt. Taste test and adjust seasonings.
  3. Top with the reserved cucumbers and walnuts and a spoon of oil.

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Greek frappe

BM 103: Week 4, Day 2
Theme: Balkan States

While looking for recipes under this theme, I came across the frappe recipe and the interesting story behind its invention. Apparently a Necafe employee wanted to have coffee but didn’t have any hot water to make it. So he mixed Instant coffee, with ice water and ice cubes in a shaker and thus frappe was born!

It’s a very popular drink in Greece and it’s so easy to make. I wish I had come across this recipe at the start of summer than at the end of it. Take instant coffee, sugar and a little water in a bottle with a tight lid and shake it for a minute or two. I actually keep a kitchen timer, else I might shake for ten seconds and say it’s done :D. Pour this frothy mix into a tall glass filled with ice. Add water or if you prefer coffee with milk, add cold milk. That’s it! Frothy delicious frappe is ready to serve.

Recipe source : Classic Greek Frappe

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
  • 2-4 teaspoons sugar, or per taste
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Ice cubes
  • Milk or Water as needed

Method:

  1. In a clean glass jar with a tight lid, add the coffee, sugar and water. Screw the lid on and shake vigorously for about 2 minutes.
  2. Fill a tall coffee cup half way with ice cubes. Add the frothy coffee into it. Slowly add water and/or milk to the cups. Serve. I like to add water first and then a little milk to it.

And here it is with a little milk. Frothy still!

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