Friday, February 13, 2015

Shortbread Hearts for the Valentines!

Shortbread Hearts
                                                                       Foodgawked, Tastespotted       

For me, cookie dough is a kid's play-doh. The more the creative, more the products. More the interest, more the ways to dress 'em up
Some name them, sexy. Some, romantic ; a few, delectable.
 I love semi-formals or smart casuals when it comes to clothing. Enterprising ladies and gentlemen dressed in semi-formals.  My mind relates these choco-dipped cookies to them.

Most of you would have heard about shortbread. Scottish in origin, this is a kind of biscuit which is baked traditionally using one part of white sugar, two parts of butter and three parts of flour; all by weight. No chemical leavening agents such as baking powder or soda get into this.

Anyway, now that it's much looked forward Valentines week, we should be talking about hearts, roses, love, beauty, fragrance and whatever related to it :)

Shortbread Hearts

Shortbread Cookies
From- Joy of baking
Bakes 25 hearts

You Need:

1 cup all-purpose flour

A fat pinch of salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar

1/2 teaspoon  pure vanilla extract

For Chocolate Dipped Shortbreads:

3 ounces (90 grams) semi sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

How to make:

Shortbread Hearts

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and creamy or for a minute. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch (.6 cm) thick circle. Cut into rounds or other shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. (This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked.) Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

For Chocolate Dipped Shortbreads: Place 1.5 ounces (45 grams) of the finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place it over a saucepan of simmering water. Once the chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat. Add the remaining chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until it has completely melted and is smooth and glossy. Taking one cookie at a time, dip one end of each cookie in the melted chocolate and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Once all the cookies have been dipped in the chocolate, place the baking sheets in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened.

Shortbread cookies with keep in an airtight container for about a week or they can be frozen.

Stephanie is again there with the video and the elaborations, if you might need a look upon.

Shortbread Hearts

                                                                To the Valentines of the world

                                                                                        Love twice in your lifetime. 
                                                                                              Now.  And for ever!

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Friday, February 6, 2015

The Cherishable Moments of an 8 Year Old Blogger!

Why away?

I had been away from the blogging world for quite some time. My latest one was a couple of months ago. If given a chance to give reasons, I have quite a few. Been travelling out of India, back home going around for weddings, sick, giving much importance to losing weight etc. (did you know I am in my early 40's and in the borderline of overweight and obesity?) Bloggers are food lovers. We cook, feast the family and eat generously :)
Most importantly I had a few problems which weren't major after my Cholecystectomy. If you wish to read about the A-Z experiences, it's here, but be warned it is a long long read which needs the patience of the world. It's meant for those who plan to undergo the same, but hey, if you manage to do it, DO leave a comment, I would love LOVE you for that :)

My 8 year old blog child

So now, coming back to this space, its almost 8 years since this baby was born. I used to nurture him throughout the day. He demanded almost all my free time and grew up happy and healthy. I visited and encouraged his baby friends, some already grown. I changed his dress and looks as he was growing up, added more nutrition to his food with new devices. He made me forget worries and tide over difficult situations in my life. Whatever done for him personally, I take the pleasure, it was from my side. He got cheers and fun from my friends who had babies just like him.
I have not publicised much about this part. My young child had made me proud when the reporters raved about him. Thanks to Olympia (The Hindu) and Nuvena (TOI)
Now that he is grown and on his own, I take the liberty of not over caring him..
He has made me proud to have improved my skills; be it presentation, writing, photography, creativity, patience and the utmost, made a confident me with a strong individuality!

I have earned many friends and am awed to see the individual talents in each. I am contented to have not fallen a victim of jealousy and gossips in this sphere, hopefully :). I don't recall any hurtful or bad incidents all through these years and call myself lucky. I still receive mails and personal phone calls who mention that I had been the inspiration for them! The proudest moments of a blogger! In turn, I continue to help and encourage my fellow bloggers when needed and am excited about their achievements.
Now that I receive hearty compliments from my relatives, distant and near, my happiness knows no bounds...
Blogging has really made me someone!!!

Now, will a heart shaped shortbread cookie recipe do for the Valentines? (Yikes) ;)

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