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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Chocolate Peanut Clusters


Here is one more delectable chocolate based treat, after the one I posted yesterday. This one too is a quick and easy one which lures people of all ages. The amount of chocolate chips can be increased if you prefer more chocolate than nuts and vice versa. I wanted to have more peanuts in my clusters and the ratio of chocolate and peanuts mentioned below would yield that.

Ingredients: (Yields 10 clusters)
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup skinned peanuts (salted or unsalted)
 
Method:
* Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
* Add the chocolate chips to a glass or any microwave safe bowl and melt them in a microwave, stirring at 30 seconds intervals, until smooth. Remove the bowl from the microwave and add the peanuts to the melted chocolate chips. Mix well to coat the peanuts with chocolate uniformly.
* Drop spoonfuls of the mixture on the foil lined baking sheet, spacing them.
* Refrigerate until firm.

This goes to the following events.
1. Blogging marathon #73, under the theme 'Sweets prepared in less than an hour'.
2. Srivalli's Kids' Delight event, hosted by Kalyani this month with the theme 'Chocolate'.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Chocolate - Shredded Wheat Treat


This makes a quick fix and yummy chocolate treat for kids. It hardly takes five minutes to prepare and so an apt one for play dates or even kids' based parties. I came across this chocolate - cereal based sweet somewhere on the web and barely remembered the ingredients when I got to make this today. I could neither recall the name of the recipe nor the quantities of the ingredients. I just kinda eyeballed the measurements and came up with this crunchy treat. 

Ingredients:
1 cup shredded wheat (I used this.)
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips
1 heaped tbsp. of chocolate peanut butter  / regular peanut butter
1/4 cup - A mixture of unsweetened cocoa powder + icing sugar
* The ratio of cocoa powder and sugar can be adjusted to the preferred sweet level. 
 
Method:
* Melt butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter on low flame and stir to a smooth mixture.
* Turn off the stove and add shredded wheat and mix well to coat with the chocolate - butter mixture.
Add the cocoa and sugar mixture to a plastic bag with seal or a brown paper bag. Add the shredded wheat from the above step to the bag and close it. Shake the bag well until the wheat pieces are coated with cocoa mixture uniformly.

This goes to the following events.
1. Blogging marathon #73, under the theme 'Sweets prepared in less than an hour'.
2. Srivalli's Kids' Delight event, hosted by Kalyani this month with the theme 'Chocolate'.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Celebrating 10th blog anniversary with Sukhdi / Gud Papdi


This post has been due for a couple of months now but the lazy me kept postponing it. My blog reached a milestone last December, hitting the 10th year mark. Quite an achievement from a personal stand considering that I lose interest in things after a while. Thanks to my readers and fellow bloggers who visit and leave a positive trail and keep me going.
I thought the celebration deserves a treat and so, here comes the sukhdi aka gud papdi. This sweet dish seems to be a quite popular one in Gujarat and the neighboring state of Rajasthan. The basic preparation includes only three ingredients - wheat flour, jaggery and ghee which all are considered to be healthy ones. Yes, in spite of the flak the butter receives because of it's calorie content, the traditional belief in India is that ghee in moderate amounts is good for the body. I am neither fond of nor prepare ghee laden sweets, the only exception being 'Mysore Pak' which is a favorite of everyone at my home including the father-daughter duo who claim to be sweet phobics.
This is a quick preparation but tests your arm strength since you need to keep stirring the mixture the whole time. Properly made sukhdi has a melt in mouth texture. Additional ingredients like nuts / spices can be added to the basic preparation. I used very pale colored jaggery and my sukhdi had a brownish yellow hue but somehow they are looking yellow in the pictures. (That's for people who are wondering why my sukhdi have that color. And also they look firm since they were in the refrigerator for a week or so by the time I took pictures.)
Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour / atta
1/2 cup ghee 
1/2 cup powdered jaggery
 
Method:
* Grease a plate or a circular pan which is at least one inch deep. Take care to powder the jaggery leaving no bits and chunks.
* Heat ghee in a wide non stick pan on medium flame and add the wheat flour. Stir well so that the whole flour is coated with ghee. Continue to stir without stopping until the flour attains a darker hue than the one you started with and you begin to notice the aroma, about 5 to 7 minutes. (If the mixture appears dry while stirring, add a tbsp or more of ghee and continue to stir.)
* Turn off the stove and remove the pan from the heat. Place it on the counter top or any solid surface and immediately add the jaggery and stir quickly to mix until the jaggery gets incorporated into the mixture.
* Pour the mixture into the greased plate and even out the surface with the back of a spatula. Cut into desired shapes when the mixture is still warm and set it aside to let cool. When the sukhdi cools, separate the pieces and store in an airtight container.
This goes to Blogging marathon #73, under the theme 'Sweets prepared in less than an hour'. Check here to find out what the other marathoners are cooking as part of the BM.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Poha Laddu / Sweetened Beaten Rice Flakes' Balls / Atukula laddu

 
Here are some delicious laddus which happen to be a quick preparation. These are very easy even for a novice and are apt sweet choice for festivals like Diwali, and Krishnasthami.
Ingredients: (Yield 10 laddus)
2 cups beaten rice flakes / poha / atukulu
1/2 cup sweetened desiccated coconut / grated dry coconut
3/4 cup powdered jaggery *
2 cardamoms
2 tbsp. ghee
1 tbsp. each - cashews and raisins
2 tbsp. melted ghee or milk at room temperature to shape the laddus
* Adjust the quantity of the jaggery depending upon it's sweetness
 
Method:
* Toast rice flakes on medium flame in a wide pan until crisp. Transfer the flakes to a wide plate and let cool.
* Toast cashews and raisins in ghee until the cashews turn golden and the raisins turn plump. Keep them aside.
* Grind the cardamom seeds finely.
* Grind the beaten rice flakes, coconut, jaggery and cardamom in a blender / food processor finely. Remember to grind the mixture fine since coarsely ground poha bits are hard to chew.
* Transfer the ground mixture to a wide plate and add the toasted cashews and raisins along with the ghee. Mix well and add extra ghee / milk as needed to shape the mixture to balls.
* Make lime sized balls using the mixture. Store them in a bottle or a container with a tight lid. Refrigerate them if milk was used to shape the balls.
 
This goes to Blogging marathon #73, under the theme 'Sweets prepared in less than an hour'. Check here to find out what the other marathoners are cooking as part of the BM.

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