Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holiday Thumbprint Cookies

Its been only a recent curiosity. Baking. Especially cookies. Christmas was approaching soon, and I had no idea what my contribution to this years feast was going to be. I started my web search. something easy, something fun. something useful for years to come.....then I saw it on! the rave reviews tempted me to try it and it seemed ridiculously easy. My guests loved these cookies and it turned out to be a great choice. I had decided to make some basic butter cookies with thumbprint filling. They were warm, soft and filled with total yumminess. The fillings inside the thumbprint can be anything you wish. I first started it off with Apricot Preserves & Raspberry Jam. Later, I melted 1/4th cup semi-chocolate with 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening and used the sauce as a chocolate filling. Results? each time they were gobbled up! I made 48 cookies in the last two days. Try it, you will find yourself wanting more. Maybe the next time I make this, I will put some exotic honey in the center...*drool*

Holiday Thumbprint Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
About 2 table spoons of anything you wish. Jam-Chocolate Sauce-Honey

* Equipment: a 1/2-inch-thick wooden spoon handle or dowel

Make dough:
Whisk together flour and salt. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until very pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes, then beat in egg and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches just until a dough forms. Divide dough in half and form each piece into a 6-inch disk, then chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 1 hour.

Assemble and bake cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll a level teaspoons of dough each into a ball, then flatten the ball slightly (to 1 inch wide and less than 1/2 inch thick). Make a deep indentation in center of each round with wooden spoon handle. Make more cookies, arranging them 1 inch apart on baking sheets.

Fill indentations in each cookie with jam
Bake until cookies are baked through and golden-brown on edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Bake more batches on cooled baking sheets lined with fresh parchment.
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Egg Curry

Egg Curry is one of the easiest indian dish to make (along with Chana Masala, a.k.a Chole)My mom is the indian expert here, I merely try to follow in her foot steps. My egg curry has been a mixture of several recipes through the course of ten years. This particular dish tonight was made in a hurry. I had no meat, and barely some vegetables. But I did have eggs, and always keep my indian spice rack nearby.

Egg Curry

Serves 4

4 eggs, boiled and sliced
half can of whole peeled tomtatoes
1 medium red onions sliced
2 medium garlic crushed
1/2 teapsoon ginger
1/3 cup tamarind paste
1/2 tspn turmeric
1 tspn coriander powder
1 tspn red chili powder
1 tspn garam masala
Salt and Pepper to taste
coriander leaves
lemon Juice

Tamarind Paste:
you can either buy this, or make it. I buy the dried tamarind from the indian store. Soak a handful in hot water. After ten minutes, squeeze and mash till the juice is nice and thick. Throw away excess tamarind skin and seeds from the sauce.
Thick juice is the tamarind paste. Set aside.

Sautee sliced onion with crushed garlic in a saucepan till about half way soft. About 5 mins. Gather about 4-5 small whole peeled tomatoes and slice in half. Place the onions and tomatoes in a food processor. Blend the ingredients, but not to a complete sauce. Leave it chunky (thats the way I prefer it). In the same sauce pan, add the ginger, turmeric, coriander, red chili powder and mix well. Add in about 3 tablespoons of some of the tomatoe juice remaining in the can. Mix and sautee all spices togther, till it starts to boil and thicken. Add the onion-tomato mixture. Blend well and mix till it starts to bubble. Add in the tamarind sauce and garam masala (this masala always goes in last because it has a tendency to evaporate rather quickly). Mix well. Add the 4 sliced eggs on top along with about a 1/3 cup of water. Mix all and boil for about five minutes covered.

Garnish with coriander leaves and lemon juice. Serve with fresh rice or bread.
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