The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts

July 22, 2012

Atlanta - Indulging In Sweets

Cracker Candy! Really? Doesn't that name sound a bit strange? At first I thought so too but as I started eating one and then two, I stopped thinking about it and just gave into the indulgence. Sometimes I feel we care too much about the names and less about the actual taste.

These remind me of black and white cookies! You know what I'm talking about.
The "candies" were crunchy, salty, sweet and simply yummy. We made these the night before I was leaving, so my friend packed me a goodie bag full of them for the flight the next morning. Isn't she so thoughtful!

I think it's okay to give into your sweet cravings once in a while. Give into your cravings and try it out. Don't let the name deter you from trying. 

- 2 sticks Salted Butter (do not use margarine)
- 1 (12oz) package of Milk chocolate* chips
- 1 cup of Brown Sugar
- 1 sleeve or roughly 35 saltine crackers (can use Ritz crackers too)

***Preheat oven to 400 degrees***


1) Line baking tray with aluminum foil and arrange the saltine crackers into the tray so they touch each other, making sure there are no spaces between them.

2) Melt butter in a saucepan and slowly add brown sugar. Boil at medium to high heat for approximately 3 minutes until it becomes bubbly. (Hint: Stir constantly to prevent the mixture from burning.)

Immediately pour the liquid over the crackers and spread it thoroughly over all the crackers.
3) Place in oven for 5 minutes and then take it out immediately.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over the caramelized crackers evenly. Set aside for 5 minutes and then spread the softened chocolate over all the crackers. Place tray in the refrigerator or freezer until solid. When it is ready to serve, lift the candied crackers from the foil and cut/break into desired shapes.

***Quick Tips: 
- Dark chocolate may be substituted instead of regular chocolate.  
- If you want to dress them up with M&Ms, peppermint bits, and/or nuts, it's best to do it right after spreading the chocolate over the crackers (when it's still hot).

February 14, 2012

~Chocolate and Coffee Lovers Unite~

~Happy Valentine's Day~
Decadent Chocolate Espresso Bean Cookies
It's nice to try different things to spice up one's life. I love cooking Indian dishes with my mom because I feel it brings us closer together. However, lately I've been going on a baking binge...from gingerbread cookies, banana and walnut muffins to seasoned potatoes and carrots. I get inspiration from lots of places including what I see on TV and what I think would go well together. I think some of my mom's cooking skill rubbed off on me (in a good way)! Whenever an idea pops in my head, I have to follow through so I don't fuss over it too long.
Recently my mom brought home a bag of chocolate covered espresso beans that she received from one of her friends. My mom wasn't a coffee lover, but she knew my dad might like them. To her surprise, he didn't care too much about them either. So now we were stuck with a bag full of chocolate bitter beans.

What shall we do with them? I immediately Googled espresso beans and found my next baking adventure, thanks to 101cookbooks. I tweaked the recipe a bit by substituting some of their ingredients with the ones we had in our pantry. Below is the list of ingredients I used for my version. 

- 2½ cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tbsp Coffee powder, freshly ground
- ¾ tsp Baking Soda
- ¾ tsp Baking Powder
- ¾ tsp Salt
- ½ cup Cocoa Powder
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter
- 1½ cups Light Brown Sugar and ½ cup Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 3 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¾ cup Chocolate covered Almonds, chopped
- 6.75oz Chocolate covered espresso beans
- 1.25oz Chocolate covered candied ginger

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Makes 2-3 dozen chunky, medium cookies.

The procedure is similar to what is listed on 101cookbooks. For your convenience, it's listed below:
1) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, coffee powder and cocoa powder. Set aside.
2) In a large bowl or electric mixer, beat the butter until it is fluffy and lightens a bit in color. Then beat in the sugar - it should have a thick frosting-like consistency. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, making sure the first egg gets incorporated before adding the next. Next add the vanilla and mix well.
3) Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix in about four waves. Stir a bit between each addition until the flour is incorporated well. At this point, you should have a moist brown dough that is uniform in color. Stir in the espresso beans, chocolate covered almonds and candied ginger by hand and mix only until they are evenly distributed through the dough. 
4) Use roughly one heaped tablespoonful for each cookie and place it onto the baking sheets. Don't worry about them being perfect.

I wasn't quite sure how the addition of the candied ginger would work in this recipe, but to my surprise, it was perfect. With each bite of this decadent cookie, you get a different taste: bitterness, spiciness, and sweetness; without overpowering either of those flavors. We are resisting the temptation of eating more than just one...however, we are still trying.

What are you doing for Valentine's Day? Staying in and cooking or dining out? Feel free to share your experiences with us.