Monday, April 7, 2014

Coconut-Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was during one of my visits to the Williams-Sonoma Cooking demos that I walked by Paradise Bakery. It was the only store open in the huge food court, and there was long line. That was no surprise, especially with the aroma of freshly baked goodies wafting in the air.
I decided to check out their ware on my way out. An hour and a half later, I walked past and there was still a long line. This made me even more curious, and I joined the queue. As I neared the counter, I kept peeking at their display to find out what all they had. There were about 10 varieties of cookies and a few breakfast pastries. There was also the smell of freshly brewed coffee to complement the goodies. It was finally my turn and after taking a few moments to decide, I ordered one coconut-chocolate chip cookie and one white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. Both were fresh, warm and oh so inviting. But I decided to wait until I got home to indulge in the goodness…you see, I did not want to end up eating both the cookies and leaving only crumbs for my husband!
Fast forward 30 minutes, I was home and taking my first bite of the coconut cookie…bliss!!!
Ingredients (Makes 2 dozen)
Wheat flour – 1 cup
All-purpose flour – 1 cup
Olive oil – 3/4th cup
Light brown sugar – 1 ¼ cups
Baking Powder – ½ tsp
Milk – 6 tbsps
Toasted coconut – 1 cup
Chocolate chips – ½ cup
In a pan placed on low to medium heat, toast the coconut until it turns light brown. Remember to keep stirring at regular intervals to avoid burning.

Add all the ingredients, except milk, to a bowl and mix well. Slowly add the milk and knead to soft dough. Refrigerate it for 20 minutes. As the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet/baking tray with parchment paper or foil (takes the hassle out of cleaning burnt on stuff).
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out into balls. Flatten with your palms, place on a lined sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them though; the cookies might get done faster in your oven. 
Don’t worry if they feel soft when just out of the oven, they will harden a bit as they cool.
Even though these weren’t as sinfully delicious as the ones from the bakery (considering the fact that these don’t have butter), they were still really really good. Bon Appétit.
  • I used frozen grated coconut but dried coconut flakes would be a better option.
  • You can make it with all-purpose flour only too. But making it with whole wheat alone may not give it the desired texture.
  • If you like crunchier cookies, leave them in the warm oven for a few minutes longer. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cardamom and Nutmeg Custard

March has been a month of experiments, and I am loving every minute of it. I am part of a Facebook group called Cooking Tribe @ Cucumber Town. It is a group of passionate and amazingly creative cooks, who have a passion for cooking and baking. Anyway, they have a weekly theme and people share photos of their creations. This week’s theme was puddings and I decided to try this out.
Even though it didn’t turn out as pretty as some of the entries by the group’s members, it is definitely delicious.
Milk – 2 cups
Sugar – ½ cup
Corn flour – 3 tbsps.
Egg - 1
Cardamom powder and nutmeg powder – 1 tsp
Banana slices
Ginger cookies (optional)
Heat milk and corn flour in a saucepan, on low-medium heat, while stirring continuously. Beat one egg in a bowl and keep ready. As the milk starts thickening, take a spoon full and add to the egg. This is to bring the egg to the same temperature as the milk; else the egg might curdle.
Add sugar and the beaten egg to the milk mixture and keep stirring. Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, add the cardamom and nutmeg powder and stir well. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool. If you want thicker custard, you can heat it for some more time.
While the custard is cooling, cut a banana into thin rounds and keep ready. Crumble the cookies (if using) and keep aside too.
Take a bowl, preferably made of glass, to set the custard. Starting with custard, layer the bananas and cookies alternately. Complete with a layer of custard.
This is where you can get creative, by using jelly, marmalade or other types of cookies.
Set in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours or overnight and serve chilled. Bon Appètit.