Buttermilk Biscuits

I first had buttermilk biscuits at Popeyes along with fried chicken. And it was love at first bite.

Since then I have been in search for a recipe to recreate them in my home myself. I tried a lot of recipes online and finally I can say that I might have found one that I am really happy with. Today I am going to share it with you all.

Buttermilk Biscuitsmakes: 8 biscuits
adapted from here

Ingredients:

All purpose (not self-rising) – 2 cups
Baking powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Unsalted cold butter – 6 tbsp
Buttermilk – 1 cup

Method:

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix. Now add cold butter cut into tiny pieces and buttermilk. Using a fork, gently mix, avoid overmixing. Dust flour on your kitchen countertop and invert the buttermilk+flour mixture. Knead dough gently 3 to 4 times until it holds together. Dust your palms with flour as well and pat the mixture down into a large patty, approx 1 inch in thickness.

Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper and dust it lightly with flour. Working quickly, use a biscuit cutter to cut biscuits and keep placing the biscuits on the tray, make sure they are all placed close to each other. Place the baking tray in the refrigerator for approx 15-30 minutes. Now transfer the tray to the preheated oven and let them bake for 15 minutes. As soon as you see a get a light brown hue, remove from oven and serve warm along with a salad or coleslaw and baked/grilled chicken.

Luv,
Mona

Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

A true American delicacy~brownies and chocolate chop cookies are my weakness. Oversize and dense with chocolate chips, these cookies are thin, crisp and slightly chewy in the center.

I got hold of this recipe for these indulgent cookies which are so easy to prepare from my darling dear sister, which she got from one of her close friend. I keep preparing them quite frequently at my home whenever the craving hits me. She deserves all the compliments for these delightful cookies.

Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 15 jumbo cookies

All-purpose flour – 1 1/2 cup
Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Granulated white sugar – 1/2 cup
Brown sugar – 1 cup, firmly packed
Eggs – 2, large, at room temperature
Canola oil – 90 ml
Vanilla powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Unsalted butter – 1/2 cup, melted and slightly cooled
Semi-sweet chocolate chips – 1 1/4 cup

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
2. Add all the first 6 listed dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mix using a whisk. In an another mixing bowl, add the next 4 wet ingredients and lightly whip using a whisk for approx a minute. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well until dough like. Mix in the chocolate chips using a wooden spoon. Using an ice-cream scoop, scoop onto prepared cookie sheets.

3. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Keep a close eye at the last minutes, they can get burned or overdone easily.

4. Leave to cool on tray for 5 minutes. Using a flat spatula transfer them to a wire rack until they are cooled completely, approx 1 hour. Store in an air tight container at room temperature.

Tip: You can also freeze the cookie dough for later use, and when required bake them at a moments notice. Simply, scoop the cookie dough on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and freeze for 1 hour. Later, transfer the frozen cookie dough balls into to an air tight zip-lock plastic bag and freeze for later use for up to 3 months. When guests arrive, or your kids desire them, simply transfer the frozen unbaked cookie dough balls onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake as directed above, adding a couple of minutes to the baking time, keeping a close eye.

Note: Vanilla extract (vanilla in liquid form) is non-halal. Only powdered vanilla is Halal.

Luv,
Mona

Dum ke Rote ~ I

Rote (also referred to as roat), are baked~cooked on dum, sweet and crunchy semolina flat cookie sort of delicacies made especially in Hyderabad city, which are deliciously crunchy from the outside, but soft in the center. This confection has the all goodness in them, including exotic saffron, nuts, khoa and glorious ghee.

Semolina -Sooji rawa (fine variety)

The following is one of my friend Saba’s recipe, which I have changed just a little bit here and there. My hubby loved these rote a lot الحمد لله and I plan to make them again soon inshallah.

My mother-in-law’s version is simpler. Inshallah I will post my Mother-in-laws version for this confectionery sometime in the future.

Dum ke Rote – Baked Sweet Semolina flat breads
Makes: 13 large rote as shown in the picture below

Ingredients:

Almonds – 3/4 cup
Pistachios – 1/2 cup
Saffron threads – 2 pinch
Semolina/Sooji (fine variety) – 3 cups
All-Purpose flour – 3 1/4 cup
Granulated Sugar – 3 cups
Baking powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
Homemade Khoya – 3/4 cup
Ghee – 1 cup, warmed
Warmed Milk – 1 cup

Dum ke Rote

Method:

1. Soak the almonds and pistachios together in cool water overnight. The next day, peel them and keep aside. In a blender container pour in 1/2 cup warmed milk and the peeled nuts and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside in a bowl.
2. Add the khoya and the remaining warmed milk in a blender container and blend to a smooth paste.
3. In a mixing bowl, add semolina, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and cardamom powder. Using a whisk, mix well. Add the nuts+milk paste, and the khoya+milk paste and ghee and mix well. Knead to form a dough. Cover and keep aside for 1 hour for it to rest. Later, knead again until dough is pliable and cover again and let rest for 1 more hour.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F and knead the dough a final time. Pinch out fist size balls from the dough and shape into smooth balls. Using your fingers flatten them into discs (approx 6 inches in diameter) and arrange on greased foil lined baking sheets leaving 2 inch space all around each of the discs. Gently press few sliced almonds on top of each disc. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the sides and base are nicely browned (but not burnt). Keep a close eye. Immediately switch to broil on low setting for 2-5 minutes until the tops are browned (but not burnt) and the nuts are toasted. Keep a close eye.
5. Remove the baking sheets from the oven. Leave to cool on tray for 5 minutes. Using a flat spatula transfer them to wire racks until they are cooled completely. Store in an air tight container at room temperature. Finish within 3-4 weeks.

If you prepare this delicacy at home too, feel free to send me your recipe for Dum ke Rote. I will be happy to try it out.

Luv,
Mona

Buttermilk Pancakes

Light and fluffy, tender and slightly tart buttermilk pancakes, what better way to start a lazy weekend morning.  This classic American breakfast/brunch will surely delight you and your family.

Buttermilk Pancakes
Recipe Source: Chatelaine
Makes – 12

Ingredients:

Unsalted Butter – 1/2 cup,melted and cooled + extra for cooking
Buttermilk – 2 cups (or mix 2 cup milk + 2 tbsp lemon juice and let stand 5 minutes until it thickens)
All Purpose flour – 1 cup
Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
Granulated Sugar – 1/4 cup
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Eggs – 2, large, at room temperature
Vanilla powder – 1 1/2 tsp

Method:

1. In a bowl, add eggs, buttermilk (or the milk+lemon juice mixture), butter and vanilla.
2. In a bowl, using a fork mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and add the above wet mixture. Mix until just blended. The flour should be lumpy in texture for fluffy pancakes. Mix as little as possible.
3. Pour little butter in a non-stick frying pan at medium high heat. As soon as it warms up, pour 1/3 cup batter into the pan. Make 1 or 2 pancakes at a time depending on the size of the pan. Cook until bubbles form on top of pancake and edges begin to brown, 2-4 minutes. Using a flat rubber spatula, flip and cook the other side until the other side is golden-brown, 2-3 minutes. Do not press or they will not be fluffy.
4. Serve right away. To keep warm, keep them stacked in a warm oven until all are cooked. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve.

Tips: Pour batter into the pan, gently push in a few seasonal fruit slices (sliced banana, peaches, or berries), pinch of spices (like cinnamon powder, cardamom or nutmeg etc) or you can also add a few chopped toasted nuts (pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds or even shredded coconut) or chocolate chips into the pancake batter before you flip it.
Freeze leftover pancakes in a freezer bag and reheat it when fancied in a toaster or toaster oven.

Luv,
Mona

Dried Cranberry-Walnut Muffins

Looks like Fall/Autumn has finally arrived in Toronto. Strong cold winds, falling leaves, and the beautiful red, orange and yellow hues on the tree leaves indicating that a new weather has commenced.

Frozen Moment #5 – Vivid blue sky against Autumn leaves

This summer seemed very short to me, but I thoroughly enjoyed and made use of the beautiful sunshine with whatever little gardening I was able to do in my backyard. Now, my lovely tomato plant is slowly dying, and raspberry plants will soon be asleep. Herb pots have all be brought indoors to adapt to the scanty indirect sunshine.

Bed of Fallen Leaves

This kind of weather leaves me craving for warm baked goods. Mornings are commenced with warm coffee or tea, and something baked fresh from my oven. Today I baked these delicious muffins using dried cranberries which I bought from Bulk barn and some walnuts that I had lying in the refrigerator from a long time.

Toasted and chopped Walnuts & dried Cranberries

I really enjoyed the raisin like dried cranberries with a hint of tartness bursting in my mouth with every bite.

Dried Cranberry-Walnut Muffins
Recipe adapted from: Cakes – 1,001 recipes from around the world

Ingredients:

All-Purpose flour – 2 cups
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp
Nutmeg powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Dried Cranberries – 1 cup
Walnuts – 1/2 cup, toasted & chopped (you can also use any other nuts you like)
Buttermilk – 1 cup
Brown Sugar – 1/2 cup, firmly packed
Eggs – 2, large, at room temperature
Butter – 1/4 cup, melted

Warm, freshly baked Cranberry-Walnut muffins cooling on rack

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F
2. Butter and flour a 12-cup muffin pan, or line with aluminium foil or paper baking cups.
3. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, nutmeg and salt into a large bowl. Stir in cranberries and walnuts.
4. Beat buttermilk, brown sugar, eggs, butter in medium bowl with an electric hand mixer at high speed.
5. Stir the egg mixture into dry ingredients. Spoon the batter into muffin cups filling each 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the muffin pan on rack.

My friends of Northern hemisphere, enjoy the fall weather and keep warm!

Luv,
Mona