Thursday, December 24, 2020

Eggless Vanilla cookies with Chocolate Filling

Rich buttery vanilla cookies with chocolate filled centers; these cookies are easy and always delicious. 

 These need a handful of ingredients and come together in under 30 minutes!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of OXO. All opinions are mine alone.

Cookies and Christmas go hand in hand. Every year we bake dozens of cookies through December. 

From piped cookies to stamped ones and from linzer cookies to thumbprint ones, we have them all. 

This year I decided to make a cookie box for a few friends and so ended up with far more cookies than I had anticipated. 



These eggless cookies filled with chocolate and decorated with tiny stars is my favorite from the box. 

For the longest time I would have a small Christmas tree as a child and would wait for Santa-Claus to drop off my favorite toy in the stocking. 

Then we had some friends who heard a tale that you get amazing gifts if you leave some cookies and milk for Mr. Claus to enjoy on the way. 

Thus began the saga of cookie making for Christmas. It has continued for years and though there is no more Santa coming for gifts, we make a lot of cookies and enjoy them ourselves :)

Why should you make this recipe?

From start to finish; this recipe comes together in 30 minutes! That is my favorite part of the recipe for sure. 

The recipe yields a batch of dozen buttery cookies that melt in the mouth. They are not overly sweet or bland. They are just right! 

Finally, the recipe is super versatile. I added melted chocolate chips in the center but some cranberry jelly or jams would be great too. Make the cookies festive by adding some sprinkles in the middle too. 

The recipe needs a handful of pantry essentials. It is easy to put together and needs no overnight chilling etc. 



What you need to make these cookies?

Flours: Here I have used a mix of all purpose flour, almond meal and some corn starch. 

Feel free to swap almond meal for all purpose flour if you desire. Adding some cornstarch is highly recommended though.

Sweetener: Powdered sugar works the best here. We avoid sticky sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. 

If you like to use confectioners' sugar, do so. Else just powder some regular sugar and you are good to go! 

Butter: I have used unsalted butter that is at room temperature. 

Of course I added some salt too, but would not really recommend using salted butter. It would make the cookies super salty.

Flavoring Extract: I used vanilla extract to make these cookies but adding some almond extract would make them perfectly festive. Add the flavor that you like the most.

Filling: I used a mix of coconut oil and semi-sweet chocolate chips in my recipe. And added some sprinkles on top. 

Feel free to use any jam or jelly of your choice. The jam needs to be filled in before baking. 



Dipping in chocolate

These cookies taste great by themselves. But if you are a chocolate fanatic, I would suggest you dip these in molten chocolate till about halfway and let the chocolate set. 

The cookies would then be even better for sure! 

Storing these cookies

Once made, the cookies can be stored in an air tight container for about a week. 

If storing them longer, refrigerate them or freeze them. They freeze wonderfully and can be enjoyed later. 


Steps

Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C.

In a mixing bowl add all purpose flour, corn starch and almond meal. Mix well.

In a medium size bowl cream the butter and sugar till pale and light.


Add vanilla and mix it in. 

Transfer the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mix and fold it in using a whisk.

Make a soft dough with a spatula or with your hands. Do it quickly so that the butter does not melt too much.



Make equal size balls using a medium size cookie scoop and place it on the cookie sheet leaving 2-3 inches on all sides.

Flatten it with your palms and make an indentation in the center using a small scoop or measuring spoon. 

If using jam, fill it in now. If using chocolate, leave it as is.


Bake for 13-15 minutes, not letting the cookies brown too much. They will still be soft when out of the oven so let them cool completely. 

To make the filling microwave the chocolate chips and coconut oil for 1 minute and stir them well. Transfer to a sandwich bag. 

Pipe in the the centers and decorate with sprinkles. 


Let the chocolate set before transferring to an airtight container. 



Yield: 12 medium cookies
Author: Smruti
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Eggless Vanilla cookies with Chocolate Filling

Eggless Vanilla cookies with Chocolate Filling

Rich buttery vanilla cookies with chocolate filled centers; these cookies are easy and always delicious. These need a handful of ingredients and come together in under 30 minutes!
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 25 Min

Ingredients

  • All purpose flour 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp
  • Almond meal 1/4 cup
  • Cornstarch 2 tbsp
  • Unsalted Butter 1/2 cup (room temperature)
  • Powdered Sugar 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
  • Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Semi Sweet Chocolate chips 1/2 cup
  • Coconut Oil 1/4 tsp
  • Sprinkles to decorate

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C.
  2. In a mixing bowl add all purpose flour, corn starch and almond meal. Mix well.
  3. In a medium size bowl cream the butter and sugar till pale and light.
  4. Add vanilla and mix it in.
  5. Transfer the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mix and fold it in using a whisk.
  6. Make a soft dough with a spatula or with your hands. Do it quickly so that the butter does not melt too much.
  7. Make equal size balls using a medium size cookie scoop and place it on the cookie sheet leaving 2-3 inches on all sides.
  8. Flatten it with your palms and make an indentation in the center using a small scoop or measuring spoon.
  9. If using jam, fill it in now. If using chocolate, leave it as is.
  10. Bake for 13-15 minutes, not letting the cookies brown too much. They will still be soft when out of the oven so let them cool completely.
  11. To make the filling microwave the chocolate chips and coconut oil for 1 minute and stir them well. Transfer to a sandwich bag.
  12. Pipe in the the centers and decorate with sprinkles. Let the chocolate set before transferring to an airtight container.

Notes:


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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts

An Asian style Brussels Sprouts stir-fry with garlic and peppers. This recipe is made on the stove top and takes just 10 minutes.

Time to make the easiest and BEST Vegan appetizer ever! 

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Lee Kum Kee. All opinons are mine alone. 

Brussels Sprouts are in season and it is the perfect time to make so many recipes using them. We love brussels in every possible way. Roasted, stir fried, steamed or cooked into a curry! 

Today I am sharing a simple stir-fry that is full of Asian flavors and super easy to make. 

No oven or air fryer required; this recipe comes together in under 10 minutes on the stove top.

Video Recipe

What are Brussels Sprouts?

A member of the cabbage family, brussels sprouts are grown to consume the buds.

They look like mini cabbages and are popular in many recipes for appetizers and mains. 

From roasting and grilling to steaming or stir frying; all the cooking methods work really well for them and they can be seasoned with a variety of spices.

What you need to make this recipe?

Brussels sprouts is the key ingredient here. I like to pick them almost of the same size if I buy them at the farmers market.

If I get them in bulk, I try and separate them by size and use the ones from one size together. That way they cook almost at the same time and have a consistent char.

Garlic and red pepper are added to flavor them. Scallions, broccoli or asparagus make a great addition to this recipe too. 

The sauce I used here is the stir fry sauce from Lee Kum Kee. The sauce is great for the recipe and is perfect to add a lot of flavor without having to add many ingredients. 

Chili oil and sesame oil are used here. They can be replaced by olive oil too. If chili oil seems to spicy, replace that with sesame oil or olive oil too. 

A hint of soy sauce helps give the brussels a great glaze and flavor. 

Making these stir fried Brussels Sprouts

The easiest way to make this recipe is to do it on the stove top. 

They take a few minutes to brown and char but it is still pretty easy. Only one pot and a handful of ingredients are required to make this.

If you like your sprouts roasted, you can roast them or air fry them till crisp. Sauté garlic and sauces in a pan and add them to the brussels. 

That way the brussels will be crisp throughout. The stove top method gives it a char but they are soft and tender inside. 

Serving Suggestions 

This recipe makes a great appetizer or snack.  

Packed with flavor from garlic, stir fry sauce and soy sauce; this recipe is great for steamed rice or quinoa too. 

Or serve it with a salad or Asian style spring rolls. We also like it with a side of soup for a light meal. 

Tips to get it right

To make sure the recipe works well each time, here are some pointers:
  • Use a wide pan for this recipe. Only the brussels that touch the base or sides of the pan will char. Taking a deep or narrow pan will cook the brussels through without charring the edges.
  • Try and pick the brussels sprouts of even size. They will cook uniformly.
  • Using a steel or cast iron pan works best for this recipe. They give the brussels a wonderful char.
  • The entire recipe is made on high flame. If after adding the sauces they start sticking to the pan, add a few spoons of water to deglaze the pan. 
  • Serve the brussels sprouts immediately to ensure they are crisp. 

Steps

Wash and pat dry the brussels sprouts. Trim the outer leaves and cut them into halves.

Heat sesame oil in a wide pan on high heat.

 

Once the oil is smoking hot, add the brussels sprouts and let them cook for a couple of minutes. 

Turn them over and let them cook on the other side for a couple of minutes. 


Move them to the side of the pan and add chili oil. 

Add in garlic and red pepper and sauté till the garlic is fragrant. 


Season with salt and pepper and mix well. 


Add Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Stir Fry sauce and soy sauce. 


Let the brussels sprouts absorb the sauces and turn down the flame. Serve topped with green onions, cilantro and roasted peanuts (optional).


Recipe card

Stir Fried Brussel Sproutshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TUfPWKpx6Qhttps://1.bp.blogspot.com/-s8TRuO4wUCA/X88rQlkBXwI/AAAAAAAASKU/WUj99zSzhnoCacksFf8nCyzezcN78nGBwCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/Brrussel-Sprouts-00008.jpgDecember 7, 2020
Yield: 3
Author: Smruti
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Stir Fried Brussels Sprouts

Stir Fried Brussels Sprouts

An Asian style Brussels Sprouts stir-fry with garlic and peppers. This recipe is made on the stove top and takes just 10 minutes.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 20 Min

Ingredients

  • Brussels Sprouts 2 cups, outer leaves trimmed and halved
  • Garlic 4-5 cloves, minced
  • Red Pepper 1/2 cup, julienned
  • Salt 3/4 tsp
  • Pepper Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Stir Fry Sauce 2 tbsp
  • Soy Sauce 1 tsp
  • Sesame Oil 2 tbsp
  • Chili Oil 1 tsp
  • Green onions and cilantro to top
  • Roasted Salted peanuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Wash and pat dry the brussels sprouts. Trim the outer leaves and cut them into halves.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a wide pan on high heat.
  3. Once the oil is smoking hot, add the brussels sprouts and let them cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Turn them over and let them cook on the other side for a couple of minutes.
  5. Move them to the side of the pan and add chili oil.
  6. Add in garlic and red pepper and sauté till the garlic is fragrant.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  8. Add Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Stir Fry sauce and soy sauce.
  9. Let the brussels sprouts absorb the sauces and turn down the flame. Serve topped with green onions, cilantro and roasted peanuts (optional).

Notes:

  • Use a wide pan for this recipe. Only the brussels that touch the base or sides of the pan will char. Taking a deep or narrow pan will cook the brussels through without charring the edges.
  • Try and pick the brussels sprouts of even size. They will cook uniformly.
  • Using a steel or cast iron pan works best for this recipe. They give the brussels a wonderful char.
  • The entire recipe is made on high flame. If after adding the sauces they start sticking to the pan, add a few spoons of water to deglaze the pan. 
  • Serve the brussels sprouts immediately to ensure they are crisp. 


Did you make this recipe?
Tag @herbivorecucina on instagram and hashtag it #herbivorecucina
Created using The Recipes Generator

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Instant Pot Steamed Dumplings

Delicious, flavorful and easy to make dumplings at home. Steam them in a bamboo steamer over the instant pot to get a batch of piping hot dumplings in a jiffy! 


Dumplings are an absolute favorite in our house! 

From pan fried version to the steamed ones and from dumplings in a soup base to the ones sautéed in schezwan sauce; we LOVE them all.

Asian treats that can be made in so many different ways, I learnt these from a friend and they have become a regular dinner idea for weeknights. 

What are dumplings?

Dumplings are a kind of Asian delicacy made by filling a mix of vegetables, meat or paste in a wheat or rice wrapper. 

Potstickers, wontons, gyoza, siu mai etc are all kinds of dumplings based on the shape and the covering used. 

Dumplings can be steamed, pan fried or even deep fried. They taste delicious in ALL these ways! 

Here I have a dumpling recipe that is filled with minced vegetables and tofu. It is steamed and taste great with soy sauce or hot sauce. 

The two main components of any dumpling recipe includes the filling and the cover.

 

What you need to fill these dumplings?

The filling here is a mix of vegetables and tofu. The vegetable choice can be made based on availability and taste.

I have used broccoli, spinach, carrots, cilantro, napa cabbage and green onions. 

I often add bok choy, mushrooms, baby corn and peppers to the recipe too. 

The vegetables need to be chopped finely. Doing that with a sharp knife of food processor works well. 

I added some firm tofu to the recipe too. Adding it is optional but it does give the recipe a great taste and some protein.

The dumpling skins

For this recipe and for most of my dumplings I buy the skins from the Asian store. 

My mother makes them from scratch and I totally LOVE it; but I opt for the store bought version to keep the recipe quick. 

Both will work well here. 

If using store bought ones, you can use the super thin ones or the medium ones. I have the medium ones and they are square cut. The same recipe works for the round ones too. 

Using the Instant Pot to steam dumplings

The Instant Pot works well to steam the dumplings. Whether you are making multiple batches on the stove top and in the instant pot at once or using just the instant pot, the method is easy and convenient. 

The steam function or the sauté function can be used. I use the sauté to boil the water at first and then switch to steam. 


Do you need a bamboo basket?

Not necessary! 

A large bamboo basket works well with the 6 quart instant pot. But a small one will do it. It needs to be placed on a trivet inside the instant pot. 

If a bamboo basket is unavailable, use a steel steamer insert. It does the job really well too. 

Serving suggestion

I like to serve the steamed dumplings with a sauce made using soy sauce, vinegar and minced garlic or ginger. This tastes great with the piping hot dumplings.

Another option is to use any hot sauce. It goes well with the dumplings too. 


Steps

Press firm tofu in kitchen towels and remove all the water. Mince all the vegetables and tofu.

In a pan or in the Instant Pot set to 'Sauté' mode add sesame oil. Once hot, add minced tofu. 


Sauté for 2-3 minutes till it begins to look dry and add the minced vegetables. 

Mix well and cook uncovered on high flame for 5-6 minutes. 


Cook for another minute and add chopped cilantro. Mix well. 

Once the moisture evaporates, add chili sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper powder. Stir well.

Let the mixture cool. 


Once the mixture is cool, start rolling the dumplings. 

To do so, place a dumpling wrapper and add a tbsp of the filling to one corner. 

Apply water on the edges and fold them over to make the dumpling as shown. Repeat for all the skins and make sure the folded dumplings are always covered with a wet kitchen towel. 


Line a bamboo steaming basket with parchment paper. Place the dumplings on it, spacing them out.

Add 2 cups water in the instant pot and set the mode to Sauté. Once the water starts to boil, change the mode to steam. Place the bamboo steamer on it and cover. 

Let the dumplings steam for 10 minutes. 


Open the lid and remove the dumplings. Repeat for the remaining dumplings. Enjoy with hot sauce or soy sauce and garlic! 



Yield: 25 dumplings
Author: Smruti
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Instant Pot Steamed Dumplings

Instant Pot Steamed Dumplings

Delicious, flavorful and easy to make dumplings at home. Steam them in a bamboo steamer over the instant pot to get a batch of piping hot dumplings in a jiffy!
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 10 MinInactive time: 20 MinTotal time: 50 Min

Ingredients

  • Dumpling wrappers 25
  • Firm Tofu 7 oz (1 cup, minced)
  • Napa Cabbage 1 cup, minced
  • Carrot 1/2 cup, minced
  • Green Onions 1/4 cup, minced
  • Spinach 1/2 cup, minced
  • Broccoli 1/2 cup, minced
  • Cilantro 3/4 cup, minced
  • Salt 1 tsp
  • Pepper powder 3/4 tsp
  • Soy Sauce 2 tsp
  • Vinegar 1 tsp
  • Chili Sauce 1 tsp
  • Sesame Oil 2 tsp
  • Water to seal the dumplings and steam

Instructions

  1. Press firm tofu in kitchen towels and remove all the water. Mince all the vegetables and tofu.
  2. In a pan or in the Instant Pot set to 'Sauté' mode add sesame oil. Once hot, add minced tofu.
  3. Sauté for 2-3 minutes till it begins to look dry and add the minced vegetables.
  4. Mix well and cook uncovered on high flame for 5-6 minutes.
  5. Cook for another minute and add chopped cilantro. Mix well.
  6. Once the moisture evaporates, add chili sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper powder. Stir well.
  7. Let the mixture cool.
  8. Once the mixture is cool, start rolling the dumplings.
  9. To do so, place a dumpling wrapper and add a tbsp of the filling to one corner.
  10. Apply water on the edges and fold them over to make the dumpling as shown. Repeat for all the skins and make sure the folded dumplings are always covered with a wet kitchen towel.
  11. Line a bamboo steaming basket with parchment paper. Place the dumplings on it, spacing them out.
  12. Add 2 cups water in the instant pot and set the mode to Sauté. Once the water starts to boil, change the mode to steam. Place the bamboo steamer on it and cover.
  13. Let the dumplings steam for 10 minutes.
  14. Open the lid and remove the dumplings. Repeat for the remaining dumplings. Enjoy with hot sauce or soy sauce and garlic!

Notes:


Did you make this recipe?
Tag @herbivorecucina on instagram and hashtag it #herbivorecucina
Created using The Recipes Generator