High Protein Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was making some basic recipe chocolate chip cookies with oats and my son comes in the kitchen and said “Can you put some of my protein powder  in the cookies?”  Just to explain the protein powder is a supplement people  generally consume immediately before and after exercising and my son is really into his sports and exercise.   Well I am always open to new ideas so I took up his challenge and made these cookies which I think should be called high protein chocolate chip cookies.   I still followed the basic cookie recipe so the results will be good even without the addition of the protein powder.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients for 20 medium sized cookies

125g salted butter at room temperature
90g brown sugar
1 organic egg
90g self raising flour
100g choc chips
20g rolled oats
100g protein shake powder

Method :

1. Using a coffee grinder – grind the oats for 2-3 spins.

2. In a food processor, mix the butter and sugar until creamy.

3. Add the egg and mix again.

4. Add the self raising flour, oats, protein powder and chocolate chips and mix well.

5. Remove the dough and shape it into a roll; wrap it in foil and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.

6. After 30 minutes, heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and prepare the baking tray by lining it with greaseproof paper.

7. Remove the cookie dough and cut into slices 1 cm thick.

8. Slightly shape them round and put them on the baking tray.

9. If you have a fan oven – cook for only 6 minutes. Convention oven will take 10 minutes. I suggest that you keep checking so that the cookies don’t burn.

10. The cookies turned out lovely and soft and had a creamy taste because of the protein powder added to the cookies.

11. Enjoy them with a glass of cold milk like we did.

Tip: You can make the cookie dough in advance and keep it in the freezer for a few weeks.

Tarte aux Pommes

APPLE TART

The final result of the tart was worth all the time spent in mixing and chopping and waiting !! Do not look for too many shortcuts to reduce the time to make a flaky and delicious apple tart but the entire process is actually a real stress buster! A nice way to relax one Sunday morning, with the slightly cool breeze suggesting the coming winter, and having this as a dessert to end a lavish Sunday meal.

A traditional French Apple tart recipe calls for the apple filling to be covered with apple slices placed in concentric circles before the final baking. But here I have replaced it with a crumble topping. It gives a nice buttery crunch on top.

TARTE AUX POMMES OR APPLE TART

Ethnicity – French

Total time- 2 hours  

Makes one 8” to 9” tart base

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

For tart base

Plain flour (maida) – 200 gms

Butter, unsalted & chilled – 100 gms

Salt – ½ tsp

Castor sugar – 1 to 2 tsp

Ice cold water – ¼ cup (approx)

For apple filling

Apples – 3 big or 4 medium

Brown sugar – 3 tbsp

Cinnamon powder -1/2 tsp

Lemon juice, freshly squeezed – 1 ½ tbsp

Lemon zest – ½ tsp

Raisins – 3 tbsp

Corn flour – 2 tsp

Butter – 2 tsp

Water – about ¼ to 1/2 cup

For crumble topping

Plain flour – ½ cup (approx)

Demerara sugar – 2 ½ tbsp

Chilled & chopped butter – 4 tbsp

Oats (quaker, quick cooking) – ¼ cup

Method

For the tart base

Chop the chilled butter and keep on fridge again to chill till you sift the flour.

Sift together plain flour, sugar, salt in a bowl. Add the chopped chilled butter and rub into the flour with fingertips gently until it resembles breadcrumbs i.e pea sized pieces of butter remain.

This process of mixing butter into flour can also be done in a food processor. Blend at low speed intermittently (not continuous) till mixture turns crumbly. Then transfer to a mixing bowl.

Now make a well in the center of  the crumbly flour-butter mixture add 1 tbsp water and knead lightly and quickly just until the dough holds together, adding more ice cold water only if necessary. Water should be added 1 tbsp at a time. It is important to work quickly to incorporated all the ingredients into a dough so that butter does not melt/ soften too much because of warm fingers.

When kneading to a dough, crush any big lumps of butter if any with the heel of your hand and press them back into the dough to combine. Do not add too much liquid, else dough will be sticky and tough. Do not overwork the dough.

Gather the just formed dough together and form into a thick disk (flatten very slightly). Wrap with cling film and refrigerate for minimum 30 mins or maximum 24 hours.

At the time of blind baking the base, grease a 8 to 9” tart tin.

Roll out the chilled dough between 2 cling film sheets to 1/8 inch thickness and slightly larger in diameter than the tart tin. Transfer rolled out dough onto greased tart tin with help of rolling pin. Using your fingertips gently press the dough into the tin to make a neat fit. Pinch off any excess dough around the edges to neaten. Refrigerate the base for 15 to 30 mins to chill again.

Preheat oven at 180 C for 10 mins. Remove base & prick all over to prevent it from puffing up. Then blind bake (to bake the base alone without the filling) for 15 mins or till very light golden.

Remove and cool slightly.

For the filling

Wash, peel apples and cut into dices. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent from darkening. Transfer all the ingredients for filling, except butter and corn flour, into a saucepan and cook over low heat till just soft, about 10 mins or so.

Remove from heat and cool a bit. Then add in the corn flour and butter, stir once.

 

For crumble topping

Mix together flour, oats, demerara sugar. Add chopped, chilled butter and mix with fingertips or fork till it resembles breadcrumbs/ is crumbly. Do not overmix as the butter might melt.

Proceed

Pour the apple filling onto the tart base and spread to cover the base evenly. Sprinkle the crumble topping all over the top.

Bake in preheated oven at 180 C for 15 to 20 mins till top is golden.

Serve warm or at room temperature, sliced with some crème anglaise or whipped cream or vanilla custard, ice cream or as is.

Store leftovers in refrigerator for upto a day. May microwave before serving or serve chilled!

Note

As I had some bits of the base remaining, I rolled them out and cut into leaf shapes and kept few on the top alongside crumble topping & baked. This is optional. If you want to do lattice work on top instead of crumble, use 250 gms flour (instead of 200 gms) & 125 gms chilled butter for the base. Keep ¼ of the dough aside. Roll out remaining for base and fit into the tin. Roll out ¼ th portion, cut into strips (or any shape desired) and do lattice design (or any design desired) on top after keeping the filling. Brush with little milk and bake till top is golden (180 C for 15 to 20 mins).

Evaluating the success of your tart base

1. When rolling out dough, small pieces of butter should be visible for a flaky tart baked base. If the butter pieces are too large, fold the dough several times and roll it our again. Too large pieces of butter will form holes when baking base. Also, overworked dough will be too elastic.

If no small butter pieces are visible, it means the dough was overworked and the butter has melted into the dough. So the baked pastry will not be flaky.

2. If the dough is too crumbly and cracks when rolled out, not enough water was added. If the dough is extremely soft even after chilling, too much water wad added.

3. The base/ pastry should be tender and flaky when baked.

Snowflake Lemon Shortbread





Rich melt in the mouth lemon shortbread with a lovely citrus zing.

Ingredients:

180 grams / 6 oz plain flour
60 grams / 2 oz sugar
120 grams /4 oz  butter
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon milk

Icing:
4 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon water approx

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F
2. In a bowl cream together the sugar and butter.
3. Add the lemon zest, milk and flour and make a dough.
4. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
5. After the dough has chilled, roll it out on a dusted surface and cut out snowflake shaped short bread.
6. Place shortbread on baking tray and bake for 10-12 mins until slightly golden.
7. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
8. In a bowl sieve the icing sugar, add the lemon juice and little water to form a thick dropping consistency icing that holds shape when piped.(The amount of water to add is approx and make sure the icing is not too runny otherwise you won’t be able to pipe with it.)
9.Make  icing bag  from greaseproof paper.( See the video here.)
10.Fill the cones with prepared icing and ice the shortbread with the icing.

Allow the icing to set for few hours before wrapping the short bread in cellophane for gifts.

 

Oatmeal Cookies

Healthy and delicious oatmeal cookies that are chewy and delicious with a glass of cold milk.

Preparation time – 30 minutes
Cooking time – 25 minutes
Chilling  time – 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

1 & ½ cups of rolled oats
1 cup wholewheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ cup chopped nuts
½ cup raisins or dried cranberries or dried blueberries
1 tablespoon almond halves for garnish

Wet Ingredients:

1 teaspoon vanilla essence
½ cup sunflower oil
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon flaxseed powder mixed with 2 tablespoons water (or 1 egg)
2 tablespoons golden syrup

 Method:

1. In bowl add all the dry ingredients and mix together.
2. In another bowl add the honey, oil, golden syrup, vanilla essence and mix together.
3. Add 2 tablespoons water to the powdered flax and beat together. Add this to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly add the wet mixture. Mix together to make dough. Add a little more flour if the mixture becomes too wet.
5. Bring the dough into a ball and cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
6. After 30 minutes divide the dough into walnut sized balls and place them on an oiled baking tray.
7. Using the flat bottom of a glass, press the walnut sized balls down to flatten them into cookie shapes about 5 mm thick. Press an almond half in the centre of each cookie.
8. Preheat oven to 350 º F / 180 º C. Bake cookies for 25 minutes till golden brown.

Transfer to a baking tray and allow to cool. Cookies should be golden brown with a soft chewy centre.

Serve with a cold glass of milk.

Other ideas: Replace raisins with chocolate chips or 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut.

Eggless Banana Muffins

Moist eggless banana muffins with a hint of spice and a surprisingly crunchy nutty crumble topping.

Preparation time – 15 minutes
Cooking time -25 minutes
Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

For muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Brazil nuts (can use any nut of choice)
2 tablespoons apple sauce (or 1 egg)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas mashed
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For Topping:

2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped Brazil nuts
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
25 grams butter chilled

Method:

For muffin batter:

1. Preheat oven to 175C (350 degrees) and line the muffin pan with cases.
2. Mix sugar, salt, oil and apple sauce until well blended. Add mashed banana and chopped nuts. Mix well.
3. Sieve the flour with the bicarbonate of soda 2 times.
4. Gently fold in the wet ingredients into the dry with a metal spoon, Do not over mix.
5. Spoon batter into muffin cases about 3/4 full.

For crumble topping:

6. In a separate bowl add the flour and butter from topping ingredients. Gently using tips of your finger rub the butter into the flour to form a breadcrumb type mixture.
7. Gently stir in the sugar, cinnamon and nuts.
8. Sprinkle this crumble topping over the muffins and bake in oven for approx 25 minutes. Muffins are ready when a skewer inserted in them comes out clean.
9. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Apple Cake

The delicate flavour of sweet apples and cinnamon baked in a soft, moist and spongy cake. Delicious served hot or cold making a superb dessert or teatime treat.

Preparation time – 20 minutes
Cooking time – 40 minutes
Serves 8

Ingredients

250 grams all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
125 grams caster sugar
2 eating apples
200ml milk
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
100 grams melted butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon icing sugar for dusting

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade or 350 fahrenheit.

1. Sieve the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and the flour together and keep aside.
2. Peel, core and grate the apples.
3 .To the melted butter, add the sugar, eggs, milk, yoghurt and beat lightly.
4. Stir in the grated apples into the wet mixture.
5. Gently fold the wet mixture into the flour, do not over mix. (Mixture may appear lumpy that’s fine.)
6. Pour the mixture into a prepared lined and greased baking tin.
7. Bake for 35-40 minutes. To check if cake is done insert skewer in to cake if it comes out clean cake is ready.
8. Remove from oven and cool on rack.
9. Dust with icing sugar.
Serve with cream, vanilla ice cream or vanilla custard.