Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Caramel Pecan Rolls

Nothing beats the aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls just out of the oven, first thing in the morning...And with a cup of hot coffee, these sticky buns with goeey pecan topping, tastes just divine..can be conveniently prepared the day before and refrigerated, but I would prefer baking them just after the second rise...reminded me of the famous cinnamon rolls we used to relish at Cici's Pizza in the US...


For the dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (2 1/4 tsp)quick active dry yeast
1/2 cup very warm milk, (120°F to 130°F )
3 tbsp butter, softened
1 egg

For the caramel:

1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp water

For the filling:

1 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup chopped pecans or raisins
1/8 cup granulated sugar or packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Mix 1 cup of the flour, granulated sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl. Add warm milk, butter and the egg. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute. Stir in enough remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle. Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl and turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place about 1 hour 30 minutes or until double.

Grease bottom and sides of rectangular pan. Boil the sugar and water on medium heat for about 7-8 minutes until golden brown. Turn off the heat and pour the caramel onto the pan. Punch down dough. Flatten with hands or rolling pin into rectangle on lightly floured surface. Spread with 1 tbsp butter. Mix pecans, granulated sugar and the cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over butter.

Roll rectangle up tightly, beginning at the wider side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Stretch and shape until even. Cut roll into 1-inch slices. Place slightly apart in pan. Cover and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes or until double.

Bake in a 350 deg F(180 C) oven for 30 minutes. If you plan to bake the next morning, cover and refrigerate overnight for atleast 12 hours. And bake as directed above. Remove from pan to wire rack. Invert the pan onto a plate and drizzle the caramel onto the rolls. Cool for 10 minutes and serve warm.

Makes ~12 rolls

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lemon Coffee Cake

I am a huge fan of coffee cakes, and I make them often. This cake is moist, fluffy and lemony, the pecan brown sugar crumble topping adds to the crunch - great tasting and perfect for summer!


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup yogurt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


In a bowl, combine brown sugar, pecans and nutmeg. Keep aside.

Spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper. Beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on low speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add yogurt, lemon juice, flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Beat on low speed until smooth. Spread batter in pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture.

Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes. Cut into slices and serve warm.

Serves 5

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

A classic American dessert - pineapple upside down cake is a buttery rich moist cake with brown sugar, caramelized pineapple slices topped with cherries and served upside down. Traditionally, canned pineapple slices are used as topping, I used fresh ones instead. The cake turned out great, very happy with the taste and texture. It is best served warm from the oven.


3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
3/4 cup light brown sugar
6 slices of pineapple (peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick)
candied cherries (optional)

Cake Batter:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp cream of tartar(optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) a 9 inch round cake pan.


Place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking, without stirring, for a few more minutes or until bubbles just start to appear around the outside edges of the mixture (the sugar starts to caramelize). Then remove from heat, and pour into the cake pan.

Arrange the fresh pineapple slices on top of the sugar mixture. Decorate with cherries.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well. Add the flour mixture, alternately with the milk ending with the dry ingredients.

In a bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar just until the whites hold a firm peak. If you dont have cream of tartar, just beat the egg whites with a whisk until firm peak forms. With a large spatula gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter in two additions. Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the top of the cake has browned and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan (a toothpick inserted into the cake (not the pineapple) will come out clean). Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and then invert the cake onto your serving plate. Tastes best when served warm.

Serves 6

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hersheys Chocolate Syrup Cake


1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (8 oz) HERSHEY'S chocolate syrup
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips(optional)


Heat oven to 350°F/180 deg C. Grease a baking pan. Beat butter, sugar and eggs until thoroughly blended in large bowl. Add flour and baking soda, blending well. Add syrup and mix thoroughly. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Serves 6

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Shortbread Hearts

Shortbreads are traditionally made with sugar, butter and flour, and one of the easiest cookies to make. Generally they are baked at low temperatures, and when cooked, they are nearly white or a very light golden brown in color.

I made these sandwich cookies for valentine's day - they are not too sweet, buttery and melt in your mouth kinds. My kids loved it and so did I!


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (~200 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry/raspberry jam (I used a mixed fruit jam)


In a bowl whisk the flour with the salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until mixed. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch (1 cm) thick. Using a 2 to 3 inch (5 to 7.5 cm) cookie cutter (round, square, heart, etc.) cut out the dough.

Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the centers of half of the cookies on the baking sheet. (You will be sandwiching two cookies together and there will be a small cut out in the top cookie so you can see the jam underneath). Place the unbaked cookies, on the baking sheet, in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned. Place the cookies with the cut-outs on a wire rack and dust the tops with the confectioners sugar. Cool on a wire rack.

To Assemble Cookies:

On the bottom surface of the full cookie, spread about a 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Place the cut-out cookie on top and gently sandwich them together, making sure not to smug the confectioners sugar. Using a small spoon, fill the cut-out with a little more jam.

Makes about 10 sandwich cookies.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Raisin Cookies

Raisin cookies are soft and chewy unlike regular cookies, which are hard and crispy. These are simple to make - just beat all the ingredients in a bowl for a minute, and stir in the raisins. The recipe calls for dark raisins, but I used the golden ones and it turned out great!


2 cups maida/all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup light brown sugar
10 tbsp/~150 gms unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat together the flour, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Add the brown sugar, softened butter, egg, milk, and vanilla extract and beat for one minute. Add the raisins and beat until mixed well.

Drop the batter by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheet, spacing a couple of inches apart. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Friday, January 20, 2012

Banana Nut Bread

Hey all

I am back after a long break...recently went through my blog, and realised its been close to two years since I posted a recipe! What happened, you ask? Long story short - somewhere down the road, i got a bit lazy..anyways, will try and blog more often in the coming months...

I've been wanting to post this recipe for quite some time now...ingredients are simple and the bread is very easy to prepare. A quick and easy snack for one and all!


2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar or granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 ripe large bananas, mashed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) the bottom and sides of a loaf pan. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 2/3 cup of pecans.

In a medium bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, yogurt, and vanilla. With a spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients until just combined and the batter is thick and chunky. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup of pecans over the top of the batter. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, mine took about 40 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 1 loaf
Serves 6