52 Week of 2012 · Baking · Cookies/Biscuits · Uncategorized

Torcettini di Saint Vincent – Yeasted Cookie – We Knead to Bake #4

“Torcettini di Saint Vincent” – heard this name for the first time one when Aparna gave us the baking challenge for this month. These four months have been fun and have cooked different things till now and i am sure that the coming months will be full of baking surprises.

Same as i have done earlier i have followed Aparna’s recipe to the tee and so will be sharing her recipe here. Torcettini di Saint Vincent – these are cookies which have a crispy crust due to the caramelised sugar and has a chewy texture inside. It was a good experience baking these, not a favorite of mine but good for a try. So here goes a bit on the name of the cookie and the recipe as well.

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Torcettini are smaller versions ofTorcetti (meaning small twists), and these pear/ teardrop shaped twists are made of a dough of flour, yeast and butterwhich are shaped and then rolled in sugar before being baked. These biscuits are synonymous with the town of Saint Vincent in Valle d’Aosta, a small mountainous region in North-Western Italy, even though they’re well known throughout the Piedmont region as well.

The origin of these biscuits is believed to be from Grissini (breadsticks) which were made from the leftover scraps of bread dough. According to one story, a Grissini baker had some leftover butter which he needed to use up. Inspiration struck and he decided to add the butter to the last batch of his Grissini dough for the day. To be able to differentiate this lot of “breadsticks”, he rolled them in sugar and shaped them into loops, and the Torcetti was born. Torcetti/ Torchettinitaste even better when they’re flavoured with lime/ lemon zest or anise.

Torcettini di Saint Vincent

Recipe Source : My Diverse Kitchen

Ingredients

1/2 cup warm water

 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp  lemon zest

40gm unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces

1/3 cup sugar for rolling the cookies

Method

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, in a small bowl and keep aside.

Put the flour and the salt in  large bowl  and mix. Add the butter pieces and  mix till the flour-butter mixture looks powdery.

Add the yeast-water mixture and mix till it all comes together as a ball. Do not over  knead. Place the ball of dough in a oiled bowl, turning it so it is well coated with the oil. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise quite a bit.

This dough does not really double in volume, but it should look “puffy” after about an hour or so. When you pinch off a bit from the top you can see the interior looking a bit like honeycomb. Press down the dough and deflate it, wrap it in cling warp and refrigerate it for 2 hours.

When ready to make the cookies, take the dough out and lightly roll it out into an approximately 6” square. If the dough feels sticky, scatter a little sugar on it. Using a pizza wheel cut the dough into four strips of equal width.
Cut each strip into 6 equal pieces, by cutting across, making a total of 24 pieces.
Roll each piece into a pencil thick “rope” about 5” long. Sprinkle a little sugar on your work surface and roll the “rope” in it so the sugar crusts the dough uniformly. Form the “rope” into a loop crossing it over before the ends.
Place the Torcettini baking sheets, leaving 1 1/2″ between them. Leave them for about 20 minutes or so till they rise/ puff up slightly.
Bake them at 160C  for about 25 minutes till they’re a nice golden brown. Cool the cookies completely and store.
Pinks Notes :
You can make a chocolate version as well by adding 2tbsp cocoa and removing the same qty of maida.
Baking · Cookies/Biscuits · Kids

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies

I love cookies and it is only recently that my cookies are turning out to be decent enough. This recipe is also fromSanjeetha’s blog which she has adapted from Tami’ Blog and they were a success at home, my daughter couldn’t stop from munching on them.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 Cup Maida

1/2 cup oil

3/4 cup Peanut Butter

11/4 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Tbsp curds

1 Tbsp Milk

1/2 cup cocoa

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp Vanilla essence

Handful of chocolate Chips

Method

1. In a bowl mix but flours, Cocoa and baking soda.

2. In another bowl mix all the remaining ingredients and beat nicely till the sugar as melted

3. Mix the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bring the whole mixture to form a dough.

4. Make small lemon sized balls and flatten very lightly.

5. Place them on a baking sheet and bake them at 170c for 12 mins.

6. Cool then on a rack and enjoy these cookies and if leftover store them in a cookie jar.

Notes

The cookies turned out to be great and were crispy from outside and a very light chewy texture at the centre. I am at last finding good use of peanut butter.

My only concern was the final look of the cookie, if u visit sanjeetha’s blog for this u will see a big difference in the appearance of the cookie.

After mixing both the ingredients I could form a dough where as her recipe mentions it as a batter…….. will give another try on this to see whether even i get the same outcome.

Baking · Cakes · Cookies/Biscuits

Ragi -The Healthy Grain In Baking

Ragi is considered a very healthy grain and I have used it sometimes in my kitchen to make dosas, but never ever thought of using it in cakes and cookies in place of all-purpose flour, but somebody did think about using it and have successfully used it in a cake and cookie. I recently got sprouted Ragi flour from the super market to prepare dosas, but one look at sanjeetha’s blog and I was ready to use it in baking instead. She has a lovely blog with healthy recipes and do hop over there for healthy virtual and visual treats.

Hear are the 2 recipes I made and both of them are  from sanjeetha’s blog.

Ragi Chocolate Cake

Recipe form Lite Bite

Ingredients

1/2 cup Ragi Flour ( I used sprouted Ragi flour)

1 cup All purpose flour

1 tbsp. Cocoa powder

3/4 cup sugar ( I used Brown Sugar)

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/ 2 cup curds

1/4 cup milk

1tsp cinnamon powder

Method

Preaheat oven for 10 mins at 180c

Grease and slightly dust a baking pan.

Sift Ragi flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon .

In a separate bowl add curd, oil, milk and sugar in it, beat the liquid mixture with a hand beater  till the sugar is dissolved.

Add the dry ingredients to the above liquid mixture and fold gently till mixed.

Pour the mixture into the baking pan and bake at 180c for 30 mins.

Do insert a toothpick in the centre after 10 mins to check whether it is done.

After cooling the cake for some time I spread it with Hershey’s chocolate sauce and sprinkled chocolate vermicelli all over the cake.

Verdict : The cake turned out to be nice and nobody guessed that it had Ragi in it. I liked it the best the same day coz the next day it had become a bit denser in texture but a good treat it was.

Ragi Cookies

Makes 12 Medium cookies.

Ingredients

1 cup Ragi flour ( I used Sprouted Ragi Flour)

1 tbsp. cornflour powder

1 tbsp. All purpose flour

1 tbsp. cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar/palm sugar ( I used Brown Sugar)

1/2 cup butter

1 tsp curds

Chocolate chips

1 tsp. cinnamon powder

1 tsp. baking powder

Method

Dry roast Ragi flour in a pan on a medium flame for 2-3 mins. When cooled mix it with cornflour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and cinnamon powder.

Ina separate bowl mix  melted butter, sugar and the curd and mix nicely till sugar has melted.

Add the wet Ing. to the dry mixture and mix it with hands lightly to get everything together to form a dough.

Chill in the fridge for 30 mins or more.

Make small balls from the dough and slightly flatten it and place it on a baking sheet.

Bake at 180 for 10 mins.

Cool them on a cooling rack for some tome and enjoy munching them.

Verdict : Even these turned out to very good but you  do get a distinctive taste in this when compared to the regular cookies. But we all enjoyed it and even my daughter was happy munching on them.

Baking · Cookies/Biscuits · Kids

Peanut Butter Cookies

Last some days have been busy and tiring at home so was not able to post anything….had a long list of recipes to try but apart from the day-to-day cooking dint try anything from my bookmarked list. Baking cookies have always been a disaster for me…..i know you will think how hard can cookies be but very less I have got good results in cookies. The last cookies  i had baked where good in taste but on appearance wise they were a downfall. Thanx to Simran who has given me many tips to get the perfect cookies.

Had purchased Peanut butter some time back, but frankly was not very fond of its taste on toast so wanted to use it up in other ways as  dint have a heart of thrashing the whole Jar.Then some days back sanjeetha had posted a peanut butter cookie and after looking at her recipe had to try it out. You should hop over to her blog as well she has some healthy baking recipes and next on my list is her Ragi cookies and chocolate peanut butter cookies.

I have followed her recipe completely so surely do try this out……we at home loved this cookie a lot it has nice crust on the top and is a bit chewy from the inside. This is also the 1st time that my cookies have turned out good in appearance as well. Thanx Sanjeetha for the recipe as this is surely a keeper..maybe next time will pick a jar of peanut butter only to prepare these cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from Lite Bite

 

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup powder sugar

1/4 cup peanut butter

Chocolate Chips

1 Tbsp Milk

Method

1. Mix Butter and sugar nicely till smooth and creamy. I mixed both of them by hand itself till the butter mixture was smooth and creamy.

2. Add peanut butter and mix again

3. Add whole-wheat flour and chocolate chips to the butter mixture and bring the dough to together.

4. here i added a tbsp of milk to get the whole dough together as my mixture was quiet crumbly.

5. After the dough was formed i freezed the dough for half hour.

6. Then make round balls and flatten them a bit with a  fork and place them on a baking tray.

7. Bake at 160c for 20 mins.

8. I Could make 10 jumbo cookies.

and the perfect cookies were ready to eat.

My daughter was happily munching on them and she loved it.

Baking · Cookies/Biscuits

Butter Cookies

Baking cookies have always been a disaster for me. when I look at the recipe it looks so simple but whenever I have baked them they have never turned out to be perfect .A year back in search of good and simple recipes for cookies I came upon Simran’s blog and loved her blog for the  simple recipes. When i tried baking cookies and the end result was not good i contacted her for some tips to help me and she replied with so many useful tips which were very helpful to me.

Today’s recipe is from Simran’s blog as well.I just felt like baking something today late at night,  So at 11.30 at night I went to the kitchen and started making them and as I am writing this post the cookies are still baking.

Butter Cookies.

Ingredients.

Soft Butter 50 gms

Maida  1/2 Cup

Cornflour  1 Tbsp

Brown Sugar 3 Tbsp

Method

Mix all the 3  dry ingredients nicely , Add butter and slowly mix it in. Try to form a dough with it.

I added 1 tsp of milk just to moisten it a bit.

Make round balls and bake in a preheated oven at 160c for for 15 mins.

Cool on a wire rack for some time and start munching.

Note

As u can see from the pic above they are not the  best looking  cookies , but if u hop over to Simran’s blog u will see the actual cookie pic, still a lot to learn to master the art of baking cookies.

The cookies did  turn out nice and I was a tee bit happy with the result. I will surely be trying out some other cookies and till then keep watching this space for more food.