Deliciously quick & easy vegetarian/
When you are faced with a gluten free spouse and vegan daughters, making baked goods can be a challenge. No eggs, no butter, milk, cream and also no flour. I hardly bake because it always turns out flat - literally and taste wise! I keep to my safe territory - cooking.
Last night, I came across this recipe for vegan peanut butter cookies and attempted to make it today. I'm a big fan of peanut butter - on bread with jam, in ice creams and even in cookies. So imagine my excitement when I saw this recipe...My husband asked me to try making it gluten free as well. I had just made a batch of vegan but not gluten free brownies and it didn't feel right to not to bake for my husband something gluten free. Fortunately, I had almond flour at home and the quantity remaining in the packet was just what I needed. It turned out pretty tasty and brittle like how cookies should be. So imagine my surprise at the outcome:))
The recipe below yields large cookies so do ensure they are spaced apart. Do store it an airtight container once it cools down because it becomes soft and chewy if left outside for too long.
Ingredients (makes 22 pieces of 2inch cookies)
1 and 1/4 cups almond meal (ground almond)
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup crunchy or creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup vegan coconut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract/essence
1 tbsp water
Pecan Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookies
A friend of mine from my secondary school, June, gave me a great recipe for a basic choc chip cookie recently. Choc chip cookies are what even an amateur cook will be able to bake. I mean its such a basic recipe. But to some, like me, I like my cookies soft and chewy in the center and crispy on the outside and to get a perfect texture in a cookie like that is not easy. I tried Martha Stewart's recipe but my cookies turned out flat like pancakes! Literally - I'm not exaggerating. So when June had posted in her FB account her recently baked choc chip cookies and they all looked like my preferred version, I immediately requested her recipe. Thanks darling - its a very simple quick recipe even kids can attempt!
I was very surprised that it didn't involve any creaming of butter and sugar or whipping. There was just a lot of mixing which is my fav kind of recipes :) But I did reduce the sugar and the choc chips to suit my family's tastebuds. And because I like texture in my cookies, I added oats and pecans.
Ingredients (around 30 cookies)
1 cup melted butter
1/2 tbsp vanilla essence
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semi-sweet choc chips
1) Mix all the ingredients A and whisk them well.
2) Then, add in all the dry ingredients B. Mix together.
3) Use a 1 tbsp measuring spoon to scoop out and place the cookie dough in rows of 3 on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
4) Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg C for 20-25 mins.
5) Enjoy soft chewy healthier choc chip cookies!
The inspiration for this recipe came from the many recipes for bars and squares that i recently chanced upon. My sister makes a great granola bar. I will post the recipe soon for that. I used prunes, chopped into bits, instead of the dates which are used in many versions. The squares tasted a little bland because they are really super skinny - no eggs, no butter and no oil whatsoever. And there is no added sugar too. Only the sugars from the banana and the prunes. Hence, if you prefer, add 1/2 cup of brown sugar when mixing.
I just bought a bunch of these lovely dotted purple orchids and I simply had to show them off in my photos!! Aren't they captivating? :)
Ingredients (for 16 squares)
2 large very ripe bananas, mashed to liquid form with no lumps
2 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped prunes
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp salt to balance the flavor (optional)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1) Preheat the oven to 180 deg C or 350 F. Gather all the ingredients. From left, chopped walnuts, ground cinnamon, salt, oats, vanilla essence, mashed bananas and lastly chopped prunes. As you can see, I have used instant oats (I only had those at home) but rolled oats will give a crunchier bitier squares. Do add 1/2 cup brown sugar if you prefer sweeter squares.
2) Oil a square baking dish wth olive oil. Then get a mixing bowl and mix the bananas and vanilla essence first.
3) Then add in the oats. Mix well and then add in the other ingredients.
4) It would form a big lump by now. Flatten this lump into the oiled square baking dish. Use your hands if necessary. Flattening like this is important so that we can cut into neat squares after baking.
5) Bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 mins till the edges are brown and crisp. Cut them into squares while still warm.
6) Enjoy these Skinny Banana Oat Prune Squares without any guilt. Have it as a snack or with your coffee or tea.
Easy Cornflake Cookies
I had a taste of these delicious cookies in my brother's place years ago. Seeing my enjoyment, my sis in law Jenny gave me a whole container to take back home. It didn't last very long at my place!! Using only a few ingredients, cornflake cookies are one of the easiest cookies to bake.
I hadn't celebrated Diwali the last two years due to my upheavel to America and back. So, this year I did the whole works - murukkus, sujee cookies, cornflake cookies, marble cakes and henna art on my hands and my girls', kolam and tea lights at the front door and shopping for simple Indian outfits for myself and girls...inviting family and friends for Diwali lunch and another lunch for my close friends. It was tiring no doubt but was quite fulfilling. I wanted my girls to have lovely lasting memories of Diwali. So, when they look back in years to come, wherever in the world they may be, they would remember Diwali at home fondly.
Ingredients (to make aound 30-40 cookies)
150gm sugar (this amount of sugar is fine - its not too sweet)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
300 gm all purpose flour
30 gm cornflour
60gm cornflakes, crushed coarsely
Easy Shortbread Wedges
Using only 3 ingredients, these decadent shortbread wedges can be prepared under an hour!! Needless to say, it is one of the easiest cookies I have baked and the results were quite appealing.
Enjoy them on their own or topped with Strawberry Lemon Compote ( my next recipe) for an extra delish dessert.
Ingredients (for 8 wedges of 8 inch circle baking pan)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar (or icing sugar)
Preheat your oven to 300deg F or 150deg C.
Cream butter in a mixing bowl and then add flour and sugar. Remember don't over mix otherwise, it will become too soft. If it does, place the bowl in the fridge for 10 mins.
Pat onto the pan and crimp the edges with a fork.
Bake for 30-35 mins till the edges start browning.
Take the pan out from the oven and immediately cut into 8 wedges while still in the pan.
Let it cool completely before serving.
Hi guys! I'm Nilofar Iyer and I have shared my dishes here for you to cook for your own family and friends with love and most importantly with their long term good health in mind.