Stained Glass Cookies – Christmas Special

Stained Glass Cookies – These pretty looking cookies caught my eye few months ago during my usual “blog inspiration” search. I knew instantly they would feature as my Christmas special recipe on the blog. And, here they are.

stained glass cookies

The cookies are nothing but sugar cookies with a colorful center of crushed sugar candies. The soft cookie melts in your mouth leaving a hard, crunchy candy center to bite on. Unlike other cookies, this one is quite adventurous on the palate.

christmas ornament

To make the cookies more Christmasy I have flavoured them with cinnamon powder, which explains the light brown tinge. They make good edible ornaments too.

star cookies

While I chose the flower shape to make my cookies, Nabeel made Stained Glass Cookies using his favourite smiley cutters. The star shape in particular. I think it looks so pretty and fun. Glad Nabeel is getting creative with food : )

The recipe is Basic Eggless Sugar Cookie Dough which I have shared earlier in this recipe –  Halloween Finger Cookies

christmas cookies

Stained Glass Cookies – Christmas Special (Basic Sugar Cookies flavoured with Cinnamon)

Ingredients
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup butter, cold
½ teaspoon Vanilla essence
1 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon powder
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Milk, if required
Colored Sugar Candy – approx 1 cup (I used Poppins. Fox candy also works well)

Method
Step 1 – In a dry bowl, place butter and sugar together. Cream them using a whisk.
Step 2 – Beat the mixture, till light and fluffy.
Step 3 – Add in the vanilla essence, mix.
Step 4 – Carefully fold in the flour, cinnamon powder and baking powder, mix gently to make dough. Use a spoon or two of milk, if required.
Step 5 – Rest the dough in fridge for 10mins before shaping.
Step 6 – Divide the dough into 2 parts and roll them out, one by one, into 1/4inch thickness.
Step 7 – Use any shape cookie cutter but ensure you have 2 sizes available in it.
Step 8 – Use the larger cutter and cut out cookies. Then use the smaller sized cutter and cut out the center. Place the cookies on a lined or greased baking sheet.
Step 9 – Crush same colored sugar candy and carefully place it in the centre hollow part of the cookies. If you wish to use the cookies as Christmas Tree Ornaments then make a hole in them before putting to bake. Refer to this image 

stained glass cookies 2
Step 10 – Place the cookies in a hot oven which has been pre-heating for 10 minutes at 180 C. The cookies should bake in about 15 minutes.
Step 11 – Remove from oven and cool the cookies.

Hope you enjoy making and sharing these cookies as much as I did. You can also try out the below listed Christmas Special Recipes.

Santa Crunch
Yule Log 
Edible Christmas Tree Decorations – Post 1 & Post 2

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Till then, Love Being a Mommy!

 

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Mini Peanut Butter Cupcakes

peanut butter cupcakesThe cupcakes are basic and light with chocolate beautifully complimenting the peanut butter flavour. 

And so, Nabeel is currently enjoying his summer break in full swing, ensuring I am on my toes 24 hours, or at least till he is awake. His constant needs to play, eat, read, and have fun sucks out all my energy and time. I am enjoying no doubt, but the everyday dilemma of “how to keep him busy? is tiring me completely. This year am adopting “no summer class” policy (hope to stick to it till the end) which means all me time will be converted to only mommy time..phew!

peanut butter cake

So, yesterday, we spent time in the kitchen baking cupcakes…something both of us thoroughly enjoy. We baked these cutsie mini cupcakes flavored with Peanut Butter and slathered with chocolate. Peanut butter gained entry into my kitchen for the first time and soon it was used in a baking recipe…something I generally do with all my new found ingredients :-).

We spent our evening snacking on these beauties while watching our 100th session (no exaggeration, really) of Kung Fu Panda.

cupcakes

Heading to the park now, please find this simple recipe of Mini Peanut Cupcakes, below. I adapted it from here.

Do try them with your kid..super fun and messy too 😉

chocolate frosting

Mini Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Makes 24 mini OR 12 regular sized cupcakes

Ingredients
Refined wheat flour – 1 cup
Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
Salt – a pinch
Creamy Peanut Butter – 1/2 cup
Butter – 1/3 cup
Castor Sugar – ½ cup
Eggs – 2 nos
Vanilla Essence – 2 drops
Milk – 3 tablespoons
Melted Dark Chocolate – ½ cup , for the frosting

Method
Step 1 – Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Keep it aside.
Step 2 – In a bowl, put peanut butter, butter and sugar together using an electric beater till fluffy and white in colour.
Step 3 – Lightly mix in eggs, one by one. Add Vanilla essence.
Step 4 – Fold in the dry ingredients with a light hand.
Step 5 – Mix in milk to adjust the batter consistency.
Step 6 – Pour the cupcake batter in moulds and place in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for 25 minutes, to bake.
Step 7 – Once the cupcakes have risen, remove and cool before serving.
Step 8 – Top the cupcakes with melted dark chocolate.

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Dual Berry and Yoghurt Lollies

dual berry n yoghurt lollies

Lollies are the perfect summer treat for kids. Delicious, healthy, easy to make using handful of ingredients they are a great way to give kids fresh fruit and yoghurt.

fruit lollies

Lollies are definitely better than giving readymade ice-creams to kids plus children can prepare lollies on their own making them forget the store bought ones.
I have used 2 berry flavours; Strawberry & Blueberry but any combination is possible.

Dual Berry and Yoghurt Lollies
Makes 8 lollies (as seen in image)

Ingredients
2 packs Danone Blueberry flavoured yoghurt (80gms pack)
1 pack Danone Vanilla flavoured yoghurt (80gms pack)
½ cup chopped Strawberries
1 tbsp honey (might need more in case the fruit is sour)
A pinch of salt

strawberry lollies

Method

mashed strawberryStep 1 – Mix strawberry, salt and honey in a bowl. Lightly mash to make pulp yet retaining few fruit chunks.

Step 2 – In another bowl, empty the yoghurt packs and whisk them well.

strawberry swirlStep 3 – Mix the strawberry pulp with the whisked yoghurt.

ice pops trayStep 4 – Pour the mixture into lolly / kulfi moulds and freeze overnight or for minimum 6 to 8 hours. If you don’t have moulds you can make lollies in paper or plastic cups, insert wooden candy sticks and then tear the outer covering once the lollies have frozen.

Here’s another fresh fruit summer treat for kids that you could try Real Strawberry Pops 

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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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5 fun breakfast ideas for kids

Breakfast is an important meal of the day for both adults and kids. Kids, in particular, need to eat a wholesome breakfast to face the challenging day ahead. We all know about the cold war between food and kids and how difficult it is to get the right thing in their system; unless of course the food is presented in a very attractive manner to them or when they whip up treats on their own. Here are some fun ways kids can make their own breakfast, with little help from parents, and relish it too.

fun-breakfast-ideas-for-kids

5 fun ways to involve kids in making their breakfast and eating it too!

Read through the 5 fun breakfast suggestions involving kids to bring a stop to all your kids breakfast woes.

chocolate-pancake-pizza

Chocolate Pancake Pizza

1) Chocolate Pancake PizzaWant kids to eat pancakes in a fun way? Let them convert pancakes to yummy chocolate pizzas. Kids can layer pancakes with maple syrup, sliced fruits and then grate oodles of chocolate over it before lightly baking it. The goodness of wheat pancakes, fruits and chocolate will make your child happy and ready to face the day.

rainbow-toast

Rainbow Toast  (Image credit:  www.learnplayimagine.com )

2) Rainbow Toast – I found this incredibly good looking breakfast idea on the net. With some edible rainbow food colours, the humble bread slice can be turned into something so appealing that kids will always look forward to breakfast. Mix some edible colors with milk and paint a rainbow on a bread slice, toast the slice and enjoy. For detailed procedure read here.

instant-kids-milkshake

Flavored straws are a great way to perk up a boring glass of milk

3) Strawesome Milkshake – Have you bought flavoured straws for your kids, yet? Yummy flavoured straws from Sipahh are a wonderful way to spike up a boring glass of milk at the breakfast table. All that the child has to do is rip open the individual straw packet, dip it in milk and sip through to enjoy instant delicious milkshake. Available in 10 exciting flavours, kids get to indulge in a different milkshake every day.

4) Assembling Quesadillas – Mexican quesadillas stuffed with vegetables and kidney beans make for a wholesome breakfast that will keep the child full for hours. Let your child build his own quesadillas by laying out its ingredients in different bowls on the breakfast table. Things required are tortillas, sautéed mixed vegetables or boiled shredded meat of your choice, mashed kidney beans, grated cheese, herbs and seasonings. Once the quesadillas are layered, help the child lightly toast or grill them in a pan.

fruit-skewers

Fruit Skewers for breakfast – artistic & fulfilling

5) Fruit Shashlik – Fruits are the most ideal thing to consume for breakfast. Lay an array of fruits at the table and ask kids to arrange them in an artistic way on skewers to make Fruit Shashlik or Fruit Kabobs. Instead of diced / cubed pieces of fruits use special cutters to cut fruit and make the entire breakfast activity interesting and fulfilling. Honey or maple syrup can be drizzled on the fruit skewers for added flavour.
Do try these simple yet interesting breakfast ideas involving kids this holiday season and let me know how your kids enjoyed them. Do you have any breakfast idea involving kids? If yes, then please share in the comments below.

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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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Halloween Finger Cookies

Last weekend, as a part of the #WeekendCookingProject Nabeel and I baked some cookies..real creepy Halloween cookies.

spooky-fingers

Halloween is few days away and the buzz created by the infinite Halloween events organised across the city encouraged me to have a little celebration of our own. It was also a good way of introducing this spooky festival, of witches and ghosts, to Nabeel.

halloween-finger-cookies

We picked up the Basic Sugar Cookie Dough from here and set off! This cookie dough has eggs but I have also shared (below) a tried and tested recipe of Eggless Cookie Dough, in case someone is not in mood for eggs or probably has run out of them.

Shaping and giving the final touches to the finger cookies was what Nabeel enjoyed the most and of course, serving them to his frightened friends. He introduced the cookies to them as “my mom’s fingers” and the terrified beings came running to me in order to cross check. How innocent! 🙂

fingers

Making Halloween Finger Cookies is pretty simple and the end results looks like a real work of painstaking art. They make a wonderful decor too if you don’t find them appetizing enough to eat 🙂

So, get set for Halloween by trying out these simple finger shaped cookies.

Halloween Finger Cookies
Makes 15 to 20 finger cookies

Ingredients
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup butter, cold
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon Vanilla essence
½ teaspoon baking powder
Milk, if required
10 to 12 Almonds cut into half
Any Red colored, Jam or sweet sauce

Method
Step 1 – In a dry bowl, place butter and sugar together. Cream them using a whisk.
Step 2 – Beat the mixture, till light and fluffy.
Step 3 – Add in the vanilla essence, mix.
Step 4 – Carefully fold in the flour and baking powder, mix gently to make dough. Use a spoon or two of milk, if required.
Step 5 – Rest the dough in fridge for 10 mins before shaping into fingers.
Step 6 – Divide the dough into approx 15 to 20 parts and shape into cylinders, they should be unevenly thick.
Step 7 – Place the shaped cookies on a greased baking tray and then stick a almond halve (skin side down) on the top end, to work as nails. Make wrinkled skin marks using a knife, look at your fingers for inspiration 🙂

unbaked-finger-cookies
Step 8 – Place the cookies in a hot oven which has been pre-heating for 10 minutes at 160 C. The cookies should bake in about 15 minutes.
Step 9 – Remove from oven and cool the cookies.
Step 10 – To give the final look, carefully pull out the almond and put a blob of the red jam or sauce in the cavity. Place the almond back, pressing it gently so that the blood oozes out. You can also paint some blood over the other areas of the finger to make them look bloodied and creepy.

halloween-treats

Happy Halloween!

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