Christmas Bakes

Samosa Galette ….

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Samosa Galette ..
Galette is a term used in French cuisine to designate various types of flat round or freeform crusty cakes usually filled with a sweet or savory filling..

Samosa galette is less fussy than a traditional samosas and offers crisp crust. The flavors can be kept hot , medium or mild according to your taste and mild it can be a great way to introduce Indian dishes to your family and friends ..

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So lets Transform one of the most favorite Indian street food into this Galette which is so much easier than making the traditional, triangle shaped samosas which are deep fried.

Bringing these super easy and delicious galettes to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #108 which is comhosted this week by Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Zeba @ Food For The Soul.to share with fellow bloggers ..
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1 box Pie Crust OR frozen puff pastry
OR
For the home made crust

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
8 tablespoons (115 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
1/4 cup (60 grams) plain yogurt / curd
2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 ml) ice water
1 tablespoon milk (for brushing the dough right before baking)

Ingredients For the filling
4 medium potatoes
1 tablespoon oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seed, crushed
1/4 cup chopped onion
2-3 finely chopped green chiles or to taste
¼ cup frozen peas, thawed
2 teaspoons ginger, grated
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tbs cilantro leaves, chopped

Directions

To Make The dough:
1.Stir the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and, using your fingertips, work it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny green peas.
2. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt , lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture.
3. With a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat the lumps into a ball.
4. Create a disk with the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap then let it rest for an hour or up to 2 days.

Lets Prepare The Filling Now

1. While the dough rests, boil water and cook potatoes until they are fork tender .
2. Once cooled, peel the potatoes and roughly chop them.
3. Heat oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and cook until they start to pop.
4.Add onions to the pan and saute until it starts to brown. Add green chilies and ginger and saute for a minute more.
5. Stir in the cumin, garam masala, turmeric, salt and potatoes, .
6. Cook until heated through. Add the lemon juice and cilantro .
7. Let the fillings cool completely.

To Make The Galette

Preheat the oven to 375F.
Roll the dough to 1/8th inch and transfer into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Gently spread the filling on top of the rolled dough
Fold the pastry edge up and over to create a 2-3 inch border. Gently brush the top with milk.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until slightly brown.
Transfer the pan to a rack and let the galette cool. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

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Cooking is like love: It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” — Harriet van Horne

 

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Peanut butter cookie blossoms …Tis The Season…

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These cookie blossoms are packed with peanut butter flavor, a crowd pleaser and quick and easy to prepare …
I have used less amount if sugar as we are not a big fan of overly sweet cookies . You can add sugar as per taste.
The recipe says you can scoop and bake the cookies right away without chilling but I Prefer to refrigerate for sometime as it holds the shape better….
Cookies do not spread, so you can bake them pretty close together. If you are not using a cookie scoop, roll cookie dough into a 1″ ball, then continue with recipe.
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DO AHEAD : I have even made the dough a few days ahead and have kept in the freezer, however I Scooped the dough, made them into the balls so that they can directly go in the oven from the freezer ( after letting them sit on the counter for 30 mins )

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Peanut butter cookie blossoms …

Ingredients
All purpose flour – 1cup
Peanut butter 1 cup
Powder Sugar – 1/2 cup or to taste
Butter, unsalted – 1/2 cup, softened at room temperature
Salt – a small pinch
Milk – 1 tbsp
Vanilla Essence – 1/2 tsp
Chocolate kisses as needed
Granulated sugar for rolling the dough 1/4 cup, Optional

Method
1. Take the mixing bowl. Add peanut butter, butter and sugar to it and cream together till smooth and creamy ( I used a hand mixer )
2. Add flour and salt to the bowl. Incorporate well and bring the ingredients together in a crumbly dough. Don’t knead or else we will not get a good flakey texture. If it is too crumbly, add 1 tbsp milk to bind it.
3.Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour.
Preheat the oven at 375*F / 190*C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon sheet .
4.Divide the cookie dough in small 1 inch balls, roll in granulated sugar & flatten them in the center with the help of your thumb..
5.Place cookies on cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes (until barely golden brown around the edges). Meanwhile unwrap candy kisses. Set aside.
5.Remove from oven and place a chocolate kiss on top of each cookie ball, pressing down slightly. The cookies will crack a little around the edges.
7.Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

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Jujubes…Tis The Season ….

 

 

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These small, chewy, fruit-flavored sparkly squares reminds me of my childhood and are so fun to eat …

These fruity candies are very easy to prepare at home and Needless to say these are very addictive & you wont stop munching on them …
This is the basic recipe you will find on the internet for “Homemade Gumdrops” ..

 

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I think one can even use agar agar instead of gelatin and can add food coloring and essence or essential oils for flavoring … ( I myself have not tried mak in these using agar agar )

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Jujubes…Tis The Season ….

Ingredient
3 ounces flavored gelatin ( jello ) of your choice
1 cup sugar
1 envelope (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin {like Knox)
3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
granulated sugar or to coat the jujubes
Directions
Prepare a 8-inch square pan by lining it with parchment paper .
2. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, boil for 1 minute
Immediately pour into prepared pan
Place in refrigerator for 3 hours or until firm
Loosen sides from pan with a spatula
Turn Gum Drops onto a cutting board
Cut out gum drops using a knife dipped in hot water to cut squares or a cookie cutter
Roll Gum Drops in extra sugar, set onto wax paper until slightly dry
Store in an airtight container..

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Eggless Chocolate Spritz Sandwich Cookies … Tis The Season ……

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Now Christmas cookies are a special treat
The more I bake the more Kids eat
And sometimes They can’t get themselves to stop
And i will wait till they are asleep
And I’ll take the ones they didn’t eat….

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This is that time of the Year when a soft, sweet-smelling aroma has begun to come out of the oven with all the baking going around ..

Lets Celebrate Christmas with this all star light and crispy chocolate spritz cookies which has a rich and buttery flavor . A cookie press has been used to make these cookies …The cookie filling can also be flavored with 1 tsp. of your favorite extract and For adults-only cookies, stir 1 Tbsp. bourbon or rum into filling …

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Eggless Chocolate Spritz Sandwich Cookies …

Total time 1 hr 30 mins
Prep time 15 mins
Bake time 15 mins

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup more if needed
1 cup cocoa powder ( I used special dark )
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cup apple sauce
Frosting of your choice.

Method
Heat oven to 350°F.
In large bowl, beat butter and both the sugars until light and fluffy. ( It took me 6-8 mins in a stand mixer on low speed). Add vanilla and apple sauce….
In big enough bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
Gradually add 1/2 cup flour mixture at a time to butter mixture till all the flour is used , to make a soft smooth dough.
Place dough into cookie press and press cookies onto parment covered cookie sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until edges are browned a little ..
Cool cookies completely on cookie racks ( This is very important )
Apply frosting and Sandwich cookies together once cookies are completely cooled …

White Vanilla Frosting
1 cup powder sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tsp milk

1 In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with a spoon or electric hand mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 teaspoon of milk.
2 Gradually beat with remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, then add more milk, a few drops at a time…

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Have You Soaked Your Dry Fruits For Christmas cake Yet ???

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Have You Soaked Your Dry Fruits For Christmas cake Yet ???

Christmas is just a few weeks ahead and its that time of the year when we need to soak the dried fruits for our yearly fruit cake ..
I have been asked a lot of times on what dried fruits are used for soaking ?? What alcohol to use ?? Can we use something else besides alcohol ?? So this post is especially made to answer all these questions ..

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Traditionally dried fruits are soaked 2 months to 6 weeks in advance and the cake is baked a week or two before Christmas and the brushed with left over alcohol till Christmas .. This helps the fruits to absorb alcohol and give it rich flavor to the cake ..

Now what all fruits I soak …
It really depends upon what type of cake I am making .. Light fruits give lighter color and dark color fruits gives darker color to the cake .. I always use preservative free no artificial sweetener or flavor added fruits ..

1. Some of my favorite fruits for my rice christmas cakes are vine fruits like raisins , sultanas and currents . I use these fruits to give texture to the cake …
2. Dried pitted chopped dates are another of my favorite along with prunes and figs . I chop them all fine ..
3. I like to add some mixed colored cherries ,and other citrus fruits to give that festive look as well as citrus flavor to the cake ..
4. A handful of dried cranberries can also be added for the tartness in the cake ..
5. Last but not the least comes candied ginger for a hint of spiciness …

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Soaking Fruits In Alcohol

Alcohol acts a a preservative for your fruit cake and gives it that buzzy flavor ..
In the past I have soaked dried fruits in Brandy , Rum as well as red wine . Always remember that the choice of alcohol pronounces the fruit cake flavor .. Dried fruits should be completely covered with the alcohol as dried fruits needs to plump up and absorb the liquid .. I shuffle and mix all the dried fruits at least ones a week to make sure that all the dried fruits get soaked and plump up .
You do not need to refrigerate soaked dried fruits ..please make sure to use glass jar for soaking the dried fruits … Please never ever use a metal container as it will react with the alcohol .

NON ALCOHOLIC SOAKERS

For non alcoholic fruit can one can use black tea , orange juice or any other juice of your choice ..
I have used a a mix of black tea and orange juice in the past and loved the flavors ..

For non alcoholic fruit cakes you just need to soak the fruits in a glass container for maximum 2 days … Make sure to refrigerate the juice after draining the dried fruits out .. Left over juice can be used for basting the baked cake later on ..

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Method Of Preparation

Chop all the dried fruits of your choice in small pieces..
Pour in the alcohol or non alcoholic juice of your choice & Mix well .
Put them in an airtight glass jar and soak till ready to use ..
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Click on the link to the fruit cakes I made last year ..

1. Christmas fruit Cake with Rum

https://shailjatomar.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/christmas-fruit-cake-with-rum/

2. Christmas Fruit Cake with Orange Juice …

https://shailjatomar.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/christmas-fruit-cake-with-orange-juice/

3. Brazilian Nut Fruitcake…..

https://shailjatomar.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/brazilian-nut-fruitcake/