Welcome to a special edition of the Secret Recipe Club. As some of you know, I’ve been a part of this super fun club for a couple of years now and needless to say I love every minute of it. This month you would have noticed, this is my second post for the club. This post is a little different. Our brave leader, Sarah of Fastantical Sharing of Recipes came up with the brilliant suggestion that in time for Christmas, we should get together across our 4 groups and do a Cookie post. I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.
For this special reveal of the SRC, I was assigned Lauren’s blog ‘Sew You Think You Can Cook‘ – what a clever name; I do love a good pun. Get this Lauren is an aerospace engineer and hopes to become a caterer one day. Not only does she cook, but she also crafts – quilting, cross stitch and scrapbooking, to name a few. I like that because I love to dabble in a few crafts myself. Like me she loves Holiday decorations. I think we’d get along very well. I enjoy cross stitch but have never tried my hand at quilting. But after checking out a few tutorials on Lauren’s blog, I am so tempted. I think I will soon try my hand at it. 🙂
For now however, I will have to be satisfied just baking one of her cookie recipes. And when I saw her recipe for Ginger Molasses Cookies, I knew I was going to make it. I love a good Gingersnap cookie, have loved them since I was a child, and the mild spices seem perfect for Christmas.
Just a couple of changes to the recipe. The original one uses unsalted butter and 1/2 tsp salt. I just used salted butter, since thats all I had, and I left out the salt. Also, I used treacle instead of molasses. I couldn’t find molasses in any of the local store here; shocking (I think) at this time of the year.
The cookies were lovely. Crunchy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside, with just the right amount of sweetness. The only change I will make the next time I make these cookies, will be to cut down on the ground cloves. It was a little strong for me. But overall, this recipe is a keeper. Thank you Lauren, for sharing this recipe.
Ginger Molasses Cookies
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies in
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 egg whites
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Beat the butter and sugars till combined.
Add the molasses and mix.
And the egg whites and mix till combined.
In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients, namely the flour, baking soda and spices.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mix in two parts, mixing well between each addition.
Roll the dough into 1″ balls.
Roll the balls in some granulated white sugar.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes.
Leave the cookies to cool off on the tray.
If you find the dough too sticky to handle, refrigerate the dough for about 5 minutes and then try.
For this months reveal, I decided to try out her recipe for Macadamia toasted muesli. Very recently, I had tried out some muesli with pecans in it and I quite liked it. So I decided to swap in pecans for the macadamia. My next batch will be a macadamia one for sure. I have made muesli at home before. But what I really like about this recipe is that there is no added sugar. It just uses a bit of apple juice for sweetness and moisture. I used a juice without added sugar. It was really easy to whip up a batch. I don’t know why I haven’t been making my own muesli more often. Just four easy steps and pop it in the oven.
Let the muesli cool down completely before you store it.
A little jar of this homemade muesli prettied up with some ribbon and a little gift tag would make such a nice little gift / hostess gift this holiday season.
For a good breakfast to go option, serve up this muesli with yogurt and some berries. Look at what I found at the store recently; a little Sistema container that lets you keep your muesli and yogurt with berries separate so that it doesn’t get soggy. And the little yogurt container has a slot for a spoon too. I’m so glad I found it. I need to pick up one of these for hubby too.
DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a sponsored post. I’m sharing a product that I find amazing with you.
If you’d like to be a part of the Club and join in the reveals, you can read all about it and sign up here.
I know while we’re enjoying the slight warming of the weather, most of you are in the middle of autumn / fall and you should have plentiful access to some apples. Now, I’ve had my share of apple cobblers and pies before, but this little dessert is in a league of its own. The crisp almond topping adds a whole new dimension to the apple-cinnamon mix. Its adds some crunch and pairs with the apples so well, you have to eat it to believe it. In the picture, I’ve only captured the crisp, but you could serve it up with some vanilla custard or some lovely vanilla bean ice cream.
The only thing I did differently, is I left the skin on the apples. But if you don’t like it, you could peel them. Oh yeah, I also left out the nutmeg. This recipe is a sure keeper. I see myself making this over and over again.
(Recipe from: Brown Eyed Baker)
For the apple filling –
1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 pounds Red Delicious / Gala apples
1/2 tsp cornstarch
4 tsp lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
A pinch of salt
A pinch of cinnamon powder
For the Almond Crisp topping –
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup slivered almonds, crumbled with your fingers
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
To make the filling –
Stir the cornstarch and the lemon juice in a large bowl till it dissolves.
Add the apples, sugar, salt and cinnamon and toss well to combine.
Pour the mix into and 8″ square baking dish. I did that and had some left over so I used a couple of ramekins.
To make the topping –
In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
Rub the butter into this mix, by using your fingers till it resembles coarse crumbs.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apple mix.
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
But today we’re here to talk not about the chips, but this really yummy salsa dip. A while ago, I’d picked up a jar from the local supermarket, that claimed to be ‘Hot’. I love spicy stuff, so I thought this would really hit the spot. What I love about Mexican food is the spice from the chillies and peppers and the tang from the lemon and tomatoes. Much to my disappointment, this store bought salsa was neither ‘Hot’ nor tangy. I knew I had to figure out a way to get my hands on something better. So when I came across this recipe for a blender version of Salsa, I decided to try it out. It was too quick and easy a recipe to pass up. And am I glad I tried this out. The salsa was fresh, packed full of flavor, you can easily adjust the spice levels to your liking. It was everything a good salsa should be. I sure hope you try it out.
The picture doesn’t do it much justice. It was fairly late in the evening when it was taken. I hope to get a better picture up sometime soon.
Super Fast Salsa
(Adapted from: Barbara Bakes)
1 clove of garlic
1/4 onion, roughly chopped
2 -3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
Fresh coriander leaves with stalks
Lime juice, to taste
Salt, to taste
Place all the ingredients in the food processor.
Pulse till it reaches the consistency you like and is combined.
Adjust the salt and lime if needed.
2 cups of milk (I used full cream)
2 tsp instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla
8 tsp sugar
12-15 ice cubes
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz till the ice has crushed.
Serve up chilled.
Come back tomorrow and I’ll show you how to use these fritters to make another yummy snack.
Usually my husband is the one who whips up the smoothies in our house. I have also consciously started taking some juice or a homemade smoothie to work over the last couple of weeks. Its been a nice change and has helped me lay off the coffee and give me a burst of energy that I need. I just made a couple of changes to the recipe for this smoothie like leaving out the cinnamon and I also cut down the honey to half. You could adjust the sweetness to your liking. I would like to try it soon with the cinnamon and see how that turns out. Let me tell you a little about this smoothie. Even though it didnt have any cream, yogurt, ice cream or avocado, it turned out nice and creamy and that was a pleasant surprise. I reckon I have the oats to thank for that. They also give the smoothie good substance and a glass of this great stuff will keep you going for a while. I have a punnet of blueberries that I will use to make another batch of these smoothies. Thanks Leslie for introducing me to a great new twist on the smoothie. 🙂
Strawberry Oat Smoothie
1 1/2 cup cold milk
4 tbsp. dry oats
2 tbsp. honey
Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and puree till smooth.
Pour out into a glass and enjoy!!!
Today, I’m very excited to share with you the recipe I picked and recreated for the reveal. I was assigned Ilona’s Kitchen. I was excited when I learned I was paired with this wonderful blog and on spending some time going through the wonderful recipes here, I wasn’t disappointed. Ilona’s blog is choc full of yummy recipes. She has a ton of citrus desserts. I love citrus desserts and I have a few of her recipes earmarked to make soon. But when I saw her post on a coconut pie, I was sold. I love coconut in all its many forms in chutneys, coconut based curries, in my veggies and of course in the sweet form. If you love a Bounty bar or a Cherry Ripe (minus the cherry, of course), you will love this. This recipe reminded me of a Goan recipe for coconut cake, which I happen to love and will share on this blog soon. I stuck to the recipe but just made one little change, it wasn’t a choice, but a little bit of a necessity. You see I thought I had some frozen shortcrust pastry in the freezer, but it turned out I didn’t. I did however have some puff pastry and decided to give it a go and see what happened. Oh and I used unsweetened desiccated coconut, because no matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find the sweetened version.
With the ingredients on hand, this pie is a dream to put together. It is simple and quick with no fussy process involved. Of course, I could barely wait for this to cool. I didn’t get a picture of a cut piece of this pie. But it was so very good. The pastry was flaky and crispy and the filling was just right. Using the unsweetened desiccated coconut worked well and the filling wasn’t cloyingly sweet. My husband really liked the pie, but he didn’t care for my puff pastry base and I agree. The next time I make this, it will have a homemade shortcrust pastry base.
If you’d like to make your pastry from scratch, you can refer to my shortcrust pastry recipe here.
For the filling –
1 stick of butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 tsp vanilla essense
1 tsp white vinegar
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl till frothy.
Add the sugar and stir well.
Add the melted butter and stir to incorporate.
Add the vanilla and vinegar and stir well.
Add the coconut and stir till well incorporated.
|Here’s what it looks like just before going into the oven|
For the pie –
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the pastry in a pie dish and pour the filling in the unbaked pie base.
Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
1) I left the edges of the pastry on since it was just for us at home, you could trim the edges if you’d like
2) Also, I think I’ve let this bake for a couple of minutes more than I should have, so it looks darker than golden brown. We tend to like our pastry a tiny bit over. Feel free to take the pie out of the oven when you are satisfied with the color.
Mind you, with a blog like Love and Flour, LeAndra has a ton of recipes that will take you by the hand, lead you to the kitchen and urge you to make them. Before I decided on these muffins, I was considering the Banana Rum Cake, Marbled Chocolate & Vanilla Quick Bread, Tiramisu Bread Pudding (I still intend making this soon), or on the savory side this Corn Pudding and these Crab Cakes. I was torn between these choices so I was really glad when the Blueberry Muffins spoke up 🙂
The muffins were easy to make. The batter came together really quick and then all it took was 20 minutes in the oven. I pretty much stuck to the recipe except for the cinnamon powder. I used it but just reduced the amount compared to what the original recipe called for. I couldn’t seem to figure where it went, so I just added it to the sugary topping mix. Another thing I noticed was that the ingredient list had white sugar mentioned twice, I considered that a typo. Also, something I was really excited about was, for a change, I managed to get the actual yield that the recipe suggested. Happy days!!!
On another note, check out these cupcake liners I picked up at the supermarket a couple of days ago. They look like so much fun. I baked the muffins in these liners and I think it would be a fantastic way to add muffins to a kids birthday party dessert spread.
Back to the muffins. These blueberry muffins were amazing. They weren’t too sweet, just the way I like it. I loved the flavor that the cinnamon added. And those bursts of delicious berries with the light crunch of the sugary topping were something else altogether. In all, I’d consider this the perfect muffin. Its everything I look for in a muffin and so much more. Do yourself a favor and make them soon.
And don’t forget to hop on over to LeAndra’s blog and say Hi.
1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided in half
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of 1 lemon, divided in half
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients – 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the cinnamon powder and half the lemon zest.
In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients – the flour, brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and 1/2 the zest.
In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients – the milk, oil and egg.
Stir in the dry ingredients till combined.
Fold in the blueberries.
Spoon the batter into the lined muffin tin, filling almost to the top.
Sprinkle with the topping mix.
Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes or till a toothpick pierced through the middle comes out clean.