Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies



These crunchy satisfying cookies are very simple to make. They don't need much sugar because the coconut shreds are already sweetened. I also felt they are a little healthier because of the oats.

I came across this recipe from my new favourite eggless recipe blog. I made a small adjustment and I think they turned out great. I replaced the granulated sugar with brown sugar and reduced the amount to 1/4 cup from 3/4 cup.

Ingredients

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1/2 oats (quick cook)
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda


3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp honey


Directions

Set oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, coconut, oats and salt and baking soda together in a bowl.

Melt the butter in a pot on the stove and add the brown sugar and honey to it. Let it combine and then cool for 2 minutes before adding it to the dry ingredients.

I found the mixture a little dry when I made it so I added some water to it to help it combine better. Two to three tablespoons did the trick.

Roll out round balls (walnut size) and flatten on baking sheet and put in the oven for 11-13 minutes or until brown.


These cookies are disappearing fast. I would definitely make them again. You could add chocolate chips or raisins to them for a nice variation.


I've submitted this post for the Cakes and Cookies food blog event hosted by the Indian Vegetarian Kitchen.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blue Bear Baby Shower Cake


This care bear inspired baby shower cake was for my cousin's wife Vani. The bears were made using a cookie cutter and the hearts were sugar confetti from Bulk Barn.

I used two tones of blue for the bears and flowers to stay with the baby boy theme. The red from the hearts really pops out because the other elements are not competing for your eye.

Our friend Anandhi hosted the shower. The menu was fantastic. If you are ever hosting a party these are some great ideas.

Menu

  • Cold Spring Rolls
  • Strawberry salad (served in mini Chinese takeout containers)
  • Veggies and dip served in individual shot glasses- little dip in the bottom, and the veggies standing up in the glass
  • Homemade hummus, and homemade salsa
  • Cocktail idly and chutney
  • Corn Chaat with Sev
  • Fresh Watermelon Juice with Ginger, Lime, and Mint topped up with Club Soda

A little over a year later, I had the pleasure of making baby Jayen's first birthday cake!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pink Henna Cake

I made this pink henna design without a plan in mind. I just began piping icing freehand and letting the designs inspire me. I think that is generally how mehendi artists work. I've been seeing more henna patterns on cake lately. I think people like to blend their cultural background in to the cake designs for weddings.


I used the star tip to pipe a flower pattern border edge. A pink and white cake is the perfect girly gift. I gave this cake to my friend Abhi for her birthday. If you look closely you will see an artistic A in the middle!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eggless Pecan Bars




I made these amazing pecan bars yesterday after seeing them on a blog dedicated to eggless cooking.

It is actually a Martha Stewart recipe. It tastes as good as it looks. It is quite sweet and buttery so a little bit goes a long way. The crust tastes like a shortbread cookie.

Ingredients

Crust
1 cup and 2 tbsp tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour



Filling
1/2 cup
unsalted butter
1/2 cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp honey
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (8 ounces) pecan halves
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract




Directions
Place rack in center of oven. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

To make the crust:

Mix butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add salt, and mix to combine. Add flour 1 cup at a time, on medium speed, mixing until fully incorporated. Continue mixing until the dough begins to come together in large clumps.
Press dough about 1/4-inch thick into a 9-by-13-by-1-inch baking pan. Prick the pastry with the tines of a fork. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

Reduce oven to 325 degrees.

To make the filling: Place butter, brown sugar, honey, granulated sugar, heavy cream, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; stir in nuts and vanilla.


Pour filling onto the cooled crust. Bake until filling bubbles, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1-by-3-inch bars. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.


The most tedious part of the recipe is waiting for the crust to cool before you can pour the filling inside.

They are buttery, sweet, sticky and have the perfect crunch from the pecans. The perfect holiday indulgence.






Saturday, December 19, 2009

Daisy Cake

This cake was my final creation for the Gum Paste and Fondant course at Michaels. The class really helped me refine my technique.

The daisies were made from flower cookie cutters that come in the course kit. The petals were scored to give them some definition. The flowers made of gum paste harden better than ones made of pure fondant.

This cake reminds me of spring. Something to look forward to once we get through the winter!

Baking for a Bachelorette

Geetanjali, one of my sister's close friends got married last year. I made her a cake and some cupcakes for her flower themed bachelorette party.

I put some cute elephants on top of the cake because in my culture elephants are like good luck. People pray to the elephant god, Ganesha, who removes obstacles before you start a new endeavour.

It was a vanilla cake with a mango mousse filling which I made with whipping cream and mango pulp.

Congrats Geeta and Kartik on your first anniversary!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Clowning Around with Cake


This clown cake was made for a baby's first birthday. Jayen, my cousin's son, is the cutest baby in town (no bias on my end).

I cut out some circles in various colours of fondant and piped two clowns on the top. The heads are made of plastic. You can buy them at Michael's or Bulk Barn. I've never been able to make red icing on my own (it always turns hot pink) so I bought a tube of red icing and it worked out perfectly.

It was a chocolate cake with blueberry and strawberry filling. I also found the best way to cut the cake is not to make huge wedges. You cut one inch pieces from the outside and work your way in. Here are some instructions from the Wilton website.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Diwali Diya Cake


This diya (clay lamp) shaped cake was made for a Diwali party I attended in Chicago last year. It was my first attempt at constructing a new shape.


Diwali has so many happy memories for me like eating delicious sweets, getting new clothes and watching fireworks! My mom would always have sparklers for us to light up.

Hope you have a joyous and memorable Diwali!

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