Santa Crunch – Christmas Treats

Continuing with our Popcorn mania, Nabeel and I rustled up a new Popcorn dish called Santa Crunch, keeping in mind the festive season. This one’s a colourful mix of sweet and salty ingredients which is very alluring and fun to make..maybe that’s why Nabeel christened it Funfetti 🙂

santa-crunch

Santa Crunch Recipe

Ingredients
2 tablespoons popcorn kernels
2 tablespoon + 2 tablespoon butter
½ cup + ½ cup marshmallow bits
½ cup green and red M &M’s or Gems
Christmas sprinkles or colourful cake sprinkles

Method
Step 1 – Heat 2 tablespoon butter in a pan, add one or two corn kernels to check if the butter is hot enough and they pop instantly.

poppping-corn
Step 2 – Once popped, remove the kernels and add in the remaining corn kernels. Mix them well with the butter. Cover the pan with a lid while the corn kernels pop.

popcorn
Step 3 – After all the kernels have popped, uncover the pan and let the popcorn cool.
Step 4 – Spread the popcorn on a dish, preferably over butter paper.
Step 5 – Mix in the green and red candies and spread them evenly.

mm-popcorn
Step 6 – In a heavy bottomed pan melted 2 tablespoon of butter. Stir in ½ cup marshmallows and melt them on low heat to make a sauce.

marshmallow-sauce
Step 7 – Once melted, remove from flame and pour over the popcorn mix, evenly.
Step 8 – Let the marshmallow sauce cool then transfer the mix to a serving bowl. Mix in the remaining ½ cup of marshmallows and top with Christmas sprinkles.

christmas-funfetti

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Till then, Love Being a Mommy!

Salted Caramel Popcorn

Salted Caramel Popcorn is the sole reason we visit shopping malls frequently….yes such is the craze and love for popcorn that Nabeel and I share. Seems like our trips to the mall are going to end soon, for we tried out an incredibly satisfying, no-frills, melt-in the mouth kinda Homemade Salted Caramel Popcorn Recipe over the weekend as part of our #WeekendCookingProject.

homemade-salted-caramel-popcorn

It’s a fairly simple recipe divided in two parts; the first part calls for making the popcorn and the second one for caramel sauce. Kids can actively participate in making Caramel Popcorn but take care they don’t dip their fingers in hot caramel. This is a no-bake caramel popcorn recipe which is quick and hassle free and best suited for immediate consumption. The popcorn turns out very crunchy and flavourful. If you prefer a complete caramel flavour then just omit the salt.

Let’s get popping now!

salted-caramel-popcorn

Salted Caramel Popcorn Recipe
(Makes enough to last one round of KungFu Panda…we soo love Po!)

Ingredients
½ cup popcorn kernels
3 tablespoon unsalted butter

For the Caramel Sauce
1 tablespoon salted butter
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder

Method
Step 1 – Heat the butter in a pan, add one or two corn kernels to check if the butter is hot enough and they pop instantly.
Step 2 – Once popped, remove the kernels and add in the remaining corn kernels. Mix them well with the butter. Cover the pan with a lid while the corn kernels pop.
Step 3 – After all the kernels have popped, uncover the pan and let the popcorn cool.
Step 4 – To make the caramel sauce; heat butter in a pan, add in the sugar and let it melt completely. Avoid stirring while the sugar melts, if required just swirl the pan contents by tilting the pan with its handle.
Step 5 – Let the sugar achieve a light brown colour. Switch off the flame, the sugar will quickly turn a shade darker to caramel.
Step 6 – Quickly mix in salt followed by the baking powder. Baking powder will cause the caramel to froth a bit and give it a luscious consistency.
Step 7 – Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn and mix quickly. Ensure all popcorn is coated evenly; some might even cling together which is ok because they can be separated later on.
Step 8 – Let the corn stand for 5 minutes to allow the caramel to harden. Serve immediately.

Tips: If you have left over popcorn which has turned soggy just place it in a hot oven for 5 minutes till its crunchy again.

homemade-toffee-popcorn

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Till then, Love Being a Mommy!

Yule Log Recipe – Christmas Treats

Last year for Christmas,  I made Edible Christmas Tree Ornaments for Nabeel’s Christmas Tree. This year it’s going to be entirely his job to decorate the tree. Just to motivate him I made him a Traditional Christmas Yule Log, today. We leave for a short vacation soon and since Christmas is going to be away from home his tree is already set-up and the Christmas Yule Log is ready for him to cut.

Christmas Dessert

Yule Log preparation doesn’t involve any alcohol making it the apt Christmas Treat for kids & adults alike.

Yule Log / Yule Llog or Buche de Noel is a Classic Christmas Dessert that is easy to make and looks super awesome. It is a special log that is burnt during Christmas period, mostly in European countries.

Checkout my Illustrated Yule Log Recipe here.

Yule Log

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Till then, Love Being a Mommy!

Carrot Almond Cinnamon Muffins

Carrot Almond Cinnamon Muffins

For some months now, I have been waiting to try a cake using carrots. And this winter when they arrived, one of my first preparations using carrots, besides the famed Gajar Halwa (Indian Carrot Dessert) was Carrot Almond Cinnamon muffins. Heavily spiced with cinnamon, these hearty muffins added a special charm to our Christmas breakfast and also made me forget the Christmas cake that I was craving for and couldn’t bake due to lack of preparation (read soaking of fruit in rum).
Carrot -Almond-Cinnamon Muffins

The muffins also doubled up as Nabeel’s Christmas Tiffin Treat. I was happy to find an empty tiffin box when he returned from school; they managed to please Nabeel too 🙂

carrot muffins

Carrot Almond Cinnamon Muffins
Makes 6 muffins

Ingredients
¾ cup castor sugar
½ cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup refined wheat flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon powder (if you want a subtle cinnamon flavour add only 1 teaspoon)
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
¼ teaspoon salt
1.5 cups finely grated carrots
¼ cup almond slivers

Carrot Muffins _ before baking

Step 1 – In a dry vessel beat sugar, oil and eggs at a medium speed till the mixture appears frothy.
Step 2 – Add vanilla essence, flour, cinnamon powder, baking powder and salt. Beat lightly just to mix the ingredients well. DONOT overbeat.
Step 3 – Add in the carrots and almonds and fold the batter lightly.
Step 4 – Pour the batter in muffin tray and bake @ 160 for 20 to 25 minutes.

Fresh out of the oven

Carrot Almond Cinnamon Muffins – fresh out of the oven

As you just read the muffins are very simple and easy to prepare. They excel in taste, too. It’s a good idea to serve your loved ones these super delicious muffins on the first morning of the New Year.

Carrot Almond Cinnamon Muffins 1

Have a Happy and Fun filled 2015

Remember, the best is yet to come. See you next year

Till then, love Being a Mommy!

Edible Christmas Tree Decorations – Post 2

Welcome to Post 2 of Edible Christmas Tree Decorations. This is a continued post of Edible Christmas Tree Decorations Post 1, which you may want to read to get an idea of what is going on 🙂

Christmas Tree with Edible Decoration

FONDANT DECORATION
I made rolled fondant for the decorations.

Ingredients for Rolled Fondant

Rolled Fondant 

500grams Icing or Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon powdered gelatine (melted in 2 tbsp hot water)
1 teaspoon liquid glucose

Step 1 – On a dry surface bring together the fondant ingredients and make dough. Do not use water initially. Using your fingertips, mix the gelatine and glucose well with the sugar.
Step 2 – Once the sugar has caught moisture add few drops of water and make dough. Too much water will dissolve the sugar and you will never be able to make the fondant.
Step 3 – Once you get pliable dough which can be rolled smoothly wrap it up in cling wrap and refrigerate for 24hours.
Step 4 – Fondant is ready to use after 24hours, if you need to colour it do so using a painting brush. Use as required.

1) Christmas Candy Cane

Christmas CandyCane

To make the Candy Cane you need red and white fondant. Refer to image below for further method.

Making Fondant Candy Cane

2) Fondant Christmas Cut-outs – Just like how you would cut out cookies by rolling the dough similarly cut out fondant shapes using the fondant dough. I made stars and stockings. The stars were iced using cookie icing; some stars were also decorated with edible balls and sugar dust. Make the holes for the ribbon/string in the cut outs before they harden; I forgot to do so and eventually had to pin my little stars and stockings on the tree. If you notice cracks on the fondant seal them with little water or knead the dough again with some water.

Fondant Christmas Stocking

Decoration

CREAM CRACKER HOUSE

CreamCracker House
This is a very cute decoration idea using cream cracker biscuits. To make the house you also need a ribbon/string loop with a knot at one end and red, green and white icing. Refer to image below on how to make the house.

Making Christmas Cream Cracker House

Step 1 – Take 3 crackers and stick them together in a house shape using the icing. Make sure the ribbon is caught in between 2 crackers forming the roof of the house. Let the house dry for 30 minutes.
Step 2 – Pipe out design on both sides of the cracker using white icing.
Step 3 – Complete the design using coloured icing.

Two Days Work Plan for Edible Christmas Decoration
Day 1 – Prepare, bake and wrap cookies. Refrigerate. Prepare fondant dough, cling wrap and refrigerate. This is going to be a tough day with so many cookies to bake. And if you are making fondant for the first time then it’s going to be even tougher. Be ready to put in at least 4 to 6hrs of work on Day 1 (Did I scare you?)
Day 2 – Prepare cookie icing, divide and colour to make 4 icings. First make the 3d cookie tree followed by the cream cracker house and then the other decorations. Fondant decorations need more time to dry make them first before decorating the cookies. Day 2 activities are the most enjoyable sadly they won’t require more than 2 hours to finish 🙂

So ends the post I really hope you also try some, if not all, decorations. Trust me it is a lot of fun.

Christmas Tree with Edible Decoration 2
This shall be my last post of this year, see you soon next year.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year

Till then, Love Being a Mommy!

DISCLAIMER : I do not claim any rights of the designs in this post. I am just an enthusiastic mom who wanted to create some unique Christmassy stuff for her child. After spending long hours on the internet I shortlisted these fun ideas to replicate. The joy and excitement while creating them and thereafter watching my son enjoy them was priceless thus wanted to share them with you so that you could also make the same for your kids/loved ones. Have a great Christmas.

Edible Christmas Tree Decorations – Post 1

After my last post, I got busy researching for DIY Christmas Tree Decorations for Nabeel’s first ever Christmas Tree that he will get this year. The research landed me on an article which suggested creating edible Christmas decorations. Wow, I thought. On further reading I realised most of the decorations were iced cookies or fondant cut outs. Now, I had good enough sugar cookie dough from my last blog post on High Five Cookies lying in the freezer, this was a great chance to use it up. So it was decided, 1-Nabeel’s first Christmas Tree will have all edible decoration and 2 – I was going to share the entire experience, recipes and fun involved in making them with my lovely readers 🙂 .
Thus, here I am with my season’s special post on Edible Christmas Tree Decoration and since I want my post to inspire you guys to try out the same, it is coming in a week early. (yes, Nabeel’s tree was set up before time).

Christmas Tree with Edible Decoration

I did 3 types of decorations
 Cookie Based
 Rolled Fondant
 Cream Cracker House

Because there is so much information and too many photos to share the topic is divided into 2 posts. All cookie based decorations will be shown in Post 1 and the remaining will be done in Post 2. At the end of Post 2, I have given you a 2 day plan to follow. The entire exercise is not going to take you more than 2 days, if well planned. Read and try to recreate.

Now, let’s roll.

COOKIE BASED DECORATIONS

The first thing you need to do is get Sugar Cookie Dough Recipe & the Cookie Icing Recipe from here. Prepare the dough and use Christmas special cookie cutters to make relevant shaped cookies. As you continue reading you will know what shapes are needed exactly.

Using a Straw to make holes in the cookies
Before putting the tray in the oven create holes on top of the cookies using a straw. These holes are needed to pass the ribbon/string that will help tie the cookie to the tree. The holes tend to fill up on baking so make sure you punch big holes in the cookies. Refer to image on right.
Prepare the icing and divide into 4 parts: leave one part as it is and colour the others in red, light blue and green. You are going to need only these 4 icings for the entire exercise.
Also make sure you have read the Do’s and Don’t’s of cookie dough and cookie icing before starting.

1) Edible Mini Christmas Tree

Edible Mini Christmas Tree

This is a 3D tree made using star cookies of different sizes. So ensure you have star cookies in 3 sizes and at least 3 cookies of each size. Bottom to top, largest to smallest arrange star cookies and stick them using cookie icing. Dust icing sugar on the tree and tap all the sugar out. This is done to get the mild white snowy tinge. Then pipe the edges with green icing. Finally, place a decorated star on top to finish the Christmas tree. Refer to image below. I placed the mini tree next to the decorated Christmas tree since I couldn’t find a proper way of hanging it on the tree. See, if you can.

Making Edible Mini Christmas Tree
2) Sugar Cookie Christmas Man – This is actually mock gingerbread cookie decoration. Since the cookie is made using sugar cookie dough and not the original gingerbread dough it’s not correct to call it Gingerbread man. Refer to image below on how to decorate the man shaped cookie. You can string them together or choose to hang them individually on the tree.

Christmas Cookies
3) Round Cookies with Christmas Images – I made a few simple round cookies (some with serrated edges) and using the icing piped out Christmas relevant shapes like candy cane, Christmas stocking, Merry X’mas text, etc. on them. See images below.

Cookie Base Christmas Plaque

Stocking on a Cookie

Decoration2

4) Christmas Snowflake Cookies – I used a small 5 petal flower cookie cutter to make snowflake cookies. Ice the cookies using blue and white icing as show in the image below. Pin up the snowflake cookies on the tip of the branches.

Christmas Snowflake Cookies

If you have a nice set of Christmas cookie cutters then don’t limit yourself to the above decorations. Keeping the basics in mind, get creative 🙂

Let’s go to the next post for Fondant Christmas Decorations and the Cream Cracker House.

Till then, Love Being a Mommy!
DISCLAIMER : I do not claim any rights of the designs in this post. I am just an enthusiastic mom who wanted to create some unique Christmassy stuff for her child. After spending long hours on the internet I shortlisted these fun ideas to replicate. The joy and excitement while creating them and thereafter watching my son enjoy them was priceless thus wanted to share them with you so that you could also make the same for your kids/loved ones. Have a great Christmas.