Sheetal Kamat

Recently I discovered magic and power of library system here. The minute I stepped into library I knew I am going to pick lot of books and variety of topics. I must have spent more than 5 hours that week just browsing through books and selecting what all I like. I got this book on the desserts and it had this recipe. First time I made, I tried word to word with few changes in ingredients but this time I changed the proportion of butter, maida as well. I loved how nice and crispy it turned out. We are now set for atleast a week of 4pm snacks :)

Almond Pistachio Craisn Biscotti
3/4 Cup Butter
2.25 Cup Sugar
6.25 Cup Maida
2 Spoon Baking Powder
2 Lemon's Zest
4 Eggs
1 Cup Almonds
1 Cup Pistachios
1 Cup Craisins
2 Spoon Fennel Seeds
1 Spoon Salt

  • Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
  • Beat butter and sugar together until combined, about a minute.
  • Add in Maida, baking powder, salt and lemon zest and beat again till mixed well.
  • Add in one egg at a time and beat till mixed well.
  • Add in chopped almonds, pistachios, craisins and saunf and again mix well.
  • Dust the flat surface with little bit of maida and pull out the mixture and knead and shape it into two 12 inch logs that are just over 1 inch in height.
  • Line a baking pan with the parchment paper and transfer the logs into it.
  • Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Pull the logs out of oven and let them cool down for around 10 minutes
  • Using sharp knife, slice the log diagonally around 1/2 inch thick slice.
  • Transfer the logs into pan with cut side facing up, bake at 350F for another 25 minutes.
  • Let the biscotti cool and then transfer into the container.

I used almonds, pistachio and craisins but really you can use any nuts and dry fruits. In fact this time I forgot to add saunf but last time I made this, I had added it and it gave nice taste and everyone loved it :)
I used my kitchenaid standing mixer to beat in everything, as it was much easier that way than the hand mixer. But if you don't have it, you can use hand mixer too.

Sheetal Kamat

I was looking to bake something new and yet something that would be ready in couple of hours. This turned out amazing twist to the lemon bars I had made last month. Since with lemon bars I felt the presence of egg was too strong for my liking, I was interested in something that would use less egg and that's when I decided to create these using fusion of cheese cake and bar. I cant believe that this was my so far the most bold *experiment*given that I was to serve the friends who were coming over for dinner right away without any margin to recover but thankfully this turned out really great.

Pear Bars
1 Cup Butter
2.25 Cup Sugar
1.5 Egg
1.5 cup Maida
2.5 Spoon Vanilla Essence
2.75 Cup Pecans
12Oz Cream Cheese
2 Pears
1/2 Spoon Cinnamon Powder

  • Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
  • Using handheld mixer cream the butter till very fluffy and light.
  • Add in 2/3 cup of sugar and cream further.
  • Add in 1 spoon of vanilla essence, sieved Maida and cream further.
  • Mix in the coarsely chopped nuts.
  • Grease two baking pans of 6inch in size and spread half of mixture evenly in each pan.
  • Bake in oven at 350F/175C for 22 minutes.
  • Let the base layer cool down in the pan itself for about 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, with the handheld electric mixer cream the cream cheese till soft and even.
  • Add in 1.5 cup sugar, egg and remaining 1.5 spoon of vanilla essence in the cream cheese and cream till soft and even.
  • Cut the pears such that their center is removed and then slice them. Add in 1 Spoon of sugar and mix well. Keep aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
  • Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly in both the baking pans half in each.
  • Spread the pear slices on top of this mixture.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon and remaining (around 1 spoon of) sugar evenly on top of pears.
  • Bake in the oven over 370F/190C for about 35 minutes.
  • Take out of the oven. Let it cool for 30 minutes and then transfer it to fridge for at least another hour and then serve by making square pieces.

I know 1.5 egg is hard to measure :) but I tried using the mixture with 1 egg and 1 cheese packet but it wasn't enough to cover both pans. For the next egg, I beat the egg and took half the quantity. But in case you are baking this in single pan you could use 8-9 inch pan and use 1 egg with 1 packet of cream cheese. Note you would need to use 1 cup of sugar in that case.
I used pecan nuts because I had them available at home, but you can theoretically use any nuts, they give nice crunch and crisp taste.
I used little overripe pears so they turned out nice tender and I didn't have trouble while making pieces of the dessert.
When you take out the final bar out of the oven, there might be liquid on top, don't worry about it, it sets after the bars cool down.

Sheetal Kamat

I had made this as a starter few months back as it had been quite some time I had made something new with bhendi. This turned out quite nice and I actually made this twice again after that..

Burnt Garlic Bhendi
2 handful Bhendi
6 Garlic Cloves
Salt to taste

  • Wash bhendi and cut their heads.
  • In a pan of hot oil, fry these till light brown in color. Pull them out of oil on the tissues.
  • Once all bhendis are fried, take very little oil in the pan and keep it going on the heat.
  • Add in the coarsely chopped garlic and stir for a minute.
  • Add in fried bhendis and salt to taste and stir for another 3-4 minutes till crispy.

Use tender bhendis as they will taste better when fried and eating by themselves.

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