Dry Fruits and Nuts Biscuits

Just like Sharmila, and I believe many other Indians, I tend to get confused between cookies and biscuits. Back home in India, only those that are studded with chocolate chips were called as cookies, whereas all others are referred to as biscuits. So you are free to call them whatever you wish, fruit biscuits, or fruit cookies, these melt in mouth morsels studded with dry fruits and nuts are a treat.

dry fruits and nuts biscuits

The famous Karachi Bakery in Hyderabad city is popular for fruit biscuits, among many other baked food products that they are known for. I had always loved these when I was a little kid. These were perhaps one my most early loves. So you can imagine my joy when I discovered a recipe for fruit biscuits at one of my favorite TV chefs website, Ina Garten. I have tried and took delight in many of her recipes, her homely style of cooking is something that I can identify with.

Simple to prepare and delightful to taste, these biscuits have become a regular in my house. Ofcourse I miss those that were available at Karachi Bakery, but these have been successful enough to win my heart and rock my tastebuds. I have made a few changes to the original recipe so that it suites me. For an eggless version, try Priya’s version.

Dry Fruits & Nuts Biscuits/ Cookies
Adapted from this original recipe

Ingredients:

Dried fruits – 1 cup [I used a mixture of tutti frutti and raisins. You can use whatever dry fruits you fancy, like dried berries, candied cherries (or any fruits) etc]
Dried nuts – 3/4 cup [I used a mixture of cashewnuts and walnuts]
Honey – 1 tbsp
Fresh orange juice – 2 tbsp
Fresh lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Unsalted butter – 1/2 cup (at room temperature)
Canola oil – 1/2 cup
Powdered cloves – 1/4 tsp
Light brown sugar – 1/3 cup
Granulated sugar – 1/2 cup
Eggs – 2, large
All purpose flour – 2 2/3 cups
Salt

Method:

1. Chop the dried nuts and fruits roughly. Place them in a mixing bowl, add orange juice, lemon juice, honey and a pinch of salt. Mix well. Cover with a plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight.
2. In a mixing bowl add butter and oil, powdered cloves, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Using a whisk or an electric hand mixer, beat for 3-4 minutes. Add eggs and beat for a minute or two until mixed. Add the the dried fruits and nuts, including any liquid in the bowl. Now add the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt just until combined. Don’t over-mix! Divide the dough in half. Place the half on a wax paper and using the long edge of the paper as a guide, shape them into logs. Cover the logs with plastic wrap entirely if you plan to freeze them now to use later. Or else, refrigerate the logs wrapped in wax paper for 1-2 hours or until firm (you can even freeze them for just 15-20 minutes) so that you can easily cut them into slices.

biscuit dough logs

biscuits, cut and ready to be baked

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a small, sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices 1/2-inch apart on aluminium foil lined cookie sheets and bake for 14 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden on the edges. Mine were done in just 14 minutes. Once done, transfer the biscuits immediately on a rack and let cool. Once cool, store in air tight food storage containers.

Luv,
Mona

Jhatpat fruit chaat

Some comfort for this wintry day today with this vivid, tart, sweet and spicy quick mix of fresh fruits. Get creative and use whatever seasonal fruits you can get your hands on and enjoy a yummy fruit chaat, usually prepared for Iftaar during the month of Ramadan.

Fruit Chaat – Fruit Salad
Serves – 2 or 3

Kiwi fruit – 2, peeled, and chopped
Fuji Apple – 1/2, cored and chopped
Clementine – 2, peeled, sectioned and halved
Clementine juice – 1 tsp
Granulated Sugar – 1 tsp
Salt – a pinch
Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp

Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Cover with a plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hrs for flavors to blend. Serve chilled.

Which are your favorite fruit combinations for fruit chaat?

Luv,
Mona

BlueBerry Muffins

There’s colour everywhere finally after a long peroid of snow when you only get to see endless sheets of white everywhere. That is a beauty in itself too. I love the seasons in Canada. Each has its own splendour and gorgeousness. Its spring here, with frequent showers of rain and colorful blooms on almost every tree. The markets are also full of fresh produce and lots and lots of fruits and vegetables. I happened to find some Blueberries a few days back and thought of preparing some muffins. 

Blue Berry Muffins and a mup of Warm Coffee

Any kind of blueberry-frozen or unfrozen, is good for you. The fruit is filled with immune-boosting Vitamin C and antioxidants said to improve brain function. Research shows that blueberries can help to increase the number of cells in the area of the brain responsible for memory.

Blue Berry muffins are my favorite breakfast for a change. These muffins were soft and delicious. I had them along with a mup of warm coffee. And as the author of New Baking Book from which I have adapted this recipe says:

There’s nothing better than a fresh-baked blueberry muffin with your favorite cup of coffee or tea.

I totally agree!

Ingredients:

  • All-Purpose Flour – 2 cups
  • Granulated Sugar – 1 cup
  • Baking Powder – 2 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Eggs – 2, beaten
  • Milk – 3/4 cup
  • Melted Unsalated Butter or Cooking Oil – 1/2 cup
  • Orange Zest – 1 tbsp
  • Fresh or Frozen blueberries – 1 cup, thawad
  • Coarse Sugar (optional)

Method:

  • Grease twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin cups for medium size muffins or you can grease six 3 1/2 inch muffin cups for giant size muffins. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture; set aside.
  • In an another medium mixing bowl combine eggs, milk, butter or oil, orange zest. Add egg mixture all at once to the dry mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lunpy). Fold in buleberries.
  • Spoon batter into the prepared muffins cups, filling each almost full. If desired sprinkle tops with coarse sugar. Bake in 350 oven for about 35 minutes or until golden. Cool muffin cups; serve warm.

Suggested Accompaniments: Along with a cup of warm Tea or Coffee for a filling breakfast.

I am sending this as an entry to Mansi who is hosting the Monthly Mingle:Appetizers & Hors’Doeuvres as she requested me to,. So here it is Mansi, all the way to you!

Also, I had been awarded the Yummy Blog Award by Meeso recently and I am delighted to recieve it.

“Yummy Blog Award is the award given to a blog with the most yummy recipes/photos”

And now according to the rules of this Award, I have to quote here my favorite dessert which I have prepared/eaten. My favorite desserts would be:

  1. Qubani Ka Meetha with Vanilla Icre-Cream
  2. Black Forest Cake
  3. Caramel Custard Pudding
  4. Trifle Pudding with dry fruits
  5. Ande Ka Meetha
  6. Cheesecakes

I now pass on this award to:

Leisure Reding: An article on Hyderabadi cuisine by a Toronto newspaper 

Luv,
Mona