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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

S'MORES [Oh so delicious] FOR A COOKIE CARNIVAL



It's June and its good....as the showers work their magic....
Evening walks on the Beach are cooler and as usual i tread along with a little bag, collecting shells and pebbles...

its the best time to bake too, specially if the bake happens to remind u of hot chocolate and more.

OR Campfire .......

This is the first time i learnt about S'mores and was deliciously happy to, with so muc to love about these American  Campfire treat....


Visions of molten Marshmellow , melting some chocolate on Crackers and more...and left all who bit into them wanting for more and more....

I was full on ...everythings to love about these chocolatey little havens.....They are so so good , that u'll camp on the request to have some more ...:-)
And more than thrilled that Tami chose these little darlings, as one of the recipes for the cookie carnival this time round!!!

There's another cookie she has that i still have to bake and post, loved her choice for both cookies!!!

These are so muc fun to make, delicious to eat and pretty to look at too:-)

They have so muc going on for the fillings that u'd love to play along.


These r what tender moments are made of, a lovely biscuity base with a layer of ur fav chocolate , marshmellows , and some batter atop too:-)

For the base , i loved the flavors of lime zest & vanilla , added coconut to a part, ground hazelnuts/almonds/cashewnuts to a part and almond essence to a part....

And Hah, i had some soft vanilla wafers , so ground them too and replaced part of the AP flour with them!

PRessed them into heart and tart trays......

BAked the base first......


A few hearts wen with a layer of roasted ,crushed hazlenuts, with a thick layer of nutella......
And some more Nutella and Hazelnuts and Nutella and Hazelnuts....and a sprinkle or 2....

More nutella...dont u love it???


A few hearts went with a layer of cashewnuts bits and Mangada......and sliced bananas.


A few with MAngada and white chocolate....

And a few with milk chocolate chips....
And yes some bar hearts with dairy milk shots too...shots jus got better....

How delicious they are .....with these bars....

And had some gooey marshmellow puffs

and normal marshy's too...both in pink and white...

S'mores Sandwich Bar Cookies
  Adapted from Here


Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour [i made to with one cup of flour and had 1/3rd cup ground vanilla wafers instead]
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs [and a little more of the MArie biscuit crumbs i used]
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/3 cups (8-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S Mini Milk Chocolate Bars OR 5 HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Bars (1.55 oz. each)
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows 

For the base
~~~Add some almond meal /ground hazelnuts /crushed hazelnuts or any crushed nuts [walnuts/pistas] to the base by subbing flour for a nuttier base.

~~~For flavor vanilla and lemon/orange zest, almond extract , cinnamon or lavender is beautiful.
 ~~~I used the good 'ol Marie Biscuit , grinding them , for the base- i love what butter and sugar and vanilla beans do to Marie Biscuits ground!!!
~~~as also some ground vanilla wafers ,that were soft, and i thought this would be a great add in, it was...
~~~A vanilla bean or 2 or more :-) went in too..


FOR filling

~~~Milk chocolate + marshmellow [pink and white]

~~~ Roasted chopped Hazelnut + Nutella + Roasted Chopped HAzelnut

~~~Mangada [Portuguese mango preserve] + ground cashewnuts+sliced banana

~~~Cherry /cranberry preserve + white chocolate & cream

~~~ MAcadamia + ginger + white chocolate

~~~in milk chocolate ,i had Callebaut coverture milk chocolate and origin milk choclate, dairy milk bars and Cadbury's chocolate shots.



Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.
[now i got 6hearts + 7 mini tarts + 3 * 3inch tarts with this ]


2. Beat butter and sugar until well blended in large bowl.
Add egg and vanilla; beat well. [a vanilla bean or 2 i love]

Stir together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until blended.
Press half of dough in prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes.

3. Sprinkle mini chocolate bars over baked layer or arrange unwrapped chocolate bars over baked layer, breaking as needed to fit.
 Or have any options u want -i had 7 different combos!!!
home made mangada with a base of ground cashewnuts and a few chopped cashewnuts!

Sprinkle with marshmallows; scatter bits of remaining dough over marshmallows, forming top layer.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes or just until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.
16 bars.or 6hearts ,6mini tarts and 3 *3inch tarts.

  The Bake it Pretty SPrinkles sure did help me dress up my S'mores pretty too!!!



Thursday, July 1, 2010

GRECIAN ODYSSEY - GRECIAN CUPCAKES IN THE NATIONAL COLOR OF GREECE,Blue and White

When i think Greece, besides Exotic Locales [romantic] and Olives and Olive oil [hah, fragrantly a foodies delite] or Mediterranean cuisine [healthy salads ,so flavourful too], there's something else that comes in my mind now too!!!


Joanne , yup she hosts the regional festival and we are at Greece this month...oh i so hope i make it there.....
And i so want to make it with her, every month , the globe around!!
And if u meet her , do ask her where we going by the next !!!

And these coconut cupcakes are based on the national color of Greece...blue and white....
ok i couldn get the exact shade of blue but i got it in the backgrounds didn i:-)

Now i want to whip up a Grecian storm ....am i out to impress a Greek God [ the human male species] or otherwise ....i wanna whip up all these gorgeous salads , ok toss these gorgeous salads and more....

But i settle on desserts....that brings on the cakes and bakes ....and more....
Ah am so at peace now....

Wiki, as usaual throws in a lot of lite on all u need to know...briefly...  oh yeah google is a great fren too...my know all fren...

I love the tradition between this New Year Cake, Vassolipita and this fabulous walnut spice cake with a syrupy story....ahah...but i fiannly settle down [again ] for Coconut cake   though a good Moussaka did cross my mind too....

Moussaka with Aubergine, peas , Mushrooms and Egg white's...add cottage cheese and zucchini and ur good to go...
Even without a classic greek salad.
Or maybe with  Spanakopita or Bougatsa ....
Spanakopita recipe here or B recipe here.......

Moussaka [coming later]

adapted from here, here and here
Working with some gorgeous grecian herbs gave an amazing twist f flavorful delite to the senses....
And the important veggies of Greece ..which include include tomato, aubergine (eggplant), potato, green beans, okra, green peppers, and onions.
 
The most characteristic and ancient element of Greek cuisine is olive oil, which is frequently used in most dishes .....olives and olive oil....
It is produced from the olive trees prominent throughout the region, and adds to the distinctive taste of Greek food.

Greek cuisine uses some flavorings more often than other Mediterranean cuisines do, namely: oregano, mint, garlic, onion, dill and bay laurel leaves. Other common herbs and spices include basil, thyme and fennel seed.
Persillade is also used as a garnish on some dishes. Many Greek recipes, especially in the northern parts of the country, use "sweet" spices in combination with meat, for example cinnamon and cloves in stews.

 Hah and ...feta cheese

So we have layers of Mushrooms, Zuchini , Aubergine , spiced with garlic and thyme, garlic,parsely, tomato and Basil and basil and fennel.
And topped with Kamalata and feta cheese.

Ahh u will hear more about the Moussaka soonnnn but now lets move on to dessert ...a delicious coconut cake....how summery is that!!!

A Coconut Cake from Greece
adapted from here

White coconut.....

The recipe didn have VAnilla in ...

No vanilla beans but i couldn resist....could u????

See what the beans do to the butter too.....pretty little specs of flavor...

I did add a little extra milk too...and barely beat the egg whites stiff.

And added a wee little bit extra coconut....so white ....and snowy ,,,was calling me...
ANd oh it did match the blue and ''white '' too......


The batter seemed dry/wee stiff before adding the egg white...and then wham...it hit me....i hadn put in sugar at all...

Relax....cool....real cool..take some milk ,whisk the sugar, ok doesnt work , jus dunk it in and Fold.Fold.Fold.Well. worked:-)
Yeah ,and i baked a few cuppy cakes in blue and white cups, the Grecian theme here:-))
For the syrup, i added a cardomon or 2 and microwaved it all, dont over do or u'll have candy ,i did the first time round:-)
And i did give it a lite blue tingeee.....

For the frosting i went the butter cream way , adding a bit of my meringue powder...white and blue..
And i dressed them in the same style a pair , in the contrasting colors of white and blue..


The cupcakes are delicious, jus the way cupcakes are, besides being fluffy and soft and melt in ur mouth!

The coconut paired beautifully  with the vanilla and they in turn with the buttercream!

They were so so delicious and the whole place had a fragrant aroma so irresistible that i miss them now, save a piece as i write the post next time.

HEre's the original recipe....
Adapted from here

This delightfully light coconut cake is topped with a light syrup containing the tastes of lemon, cloves, and cinnamon. The recipe calls for self-rising flour, eggs, butter, sugar, milk, and coconut.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 pound of margarine (or butter), softened (2/3 cup)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of self-rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded coconut
  • --------
  • FOR THE SYRUP
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • juice and peel of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • ----------
  • margarine (or butter) for baking pan
  • flour for baking pan
  • 4-5 tablespoons of shredded coconut for topping

    Preparation:

    Combine all syrup ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

    Preheat oven to 340°F (170°C).

    Beat the egg whites with salt to the stiff peak stage.

    In another bowl, beat together the egg yolks, margarine, and sugar until creamy. Beat in milk. Whisk together the flour and baking powder and beat into the mixture.
    Stir in the coconut.
    With a spatula, lightly fold in the beaten egg whites.

    Lightly grease a 15 X 10 inch (or equivalent) baking pan with margarine or butter, and lightly coat with flour (shake the pan and discard excess flour) or go the loved cupcake way!

    Transfer the cake batter to the pan and spread evenly. Bake at 340°F (170°C) for 40-45 minutes until golden and the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.

    Remove from the oven, cut in pieces, and while it's hot pour the cooled syrup evenly over the cake.
    Pour carefully, starting around the edges and moving into the middle. Sprinkle the top with 4-5 tablespoons of shredded coconut.

    Allow 2-3 hours for the syrup to be absorbed and the cake to cool completely before serving.

    Or for CUpcakes , serve thick syrup with the cupcake or scoop a bit of cake, put a tsp of syrup, and close.... OR
    ''inject'' the syrup with a decorating gun!


    Delicious anyway!!!

    And with these cuppy cake i began baking with my Bake it Pretty goodies!!
    The silicone tea cups are there and so are the Cupcake papers and SPrinkles!!
    Love their super cute stuff!!!