Children

Play the merry chef

Cookies and cakes and all things nice. Let’s go the extra mile this year and try out something different.

 

Gingerbread cookies for decoration

Ingredients

Flour - 125gm

Baking powder - 1/4 tsp

Bicarbonate of soda - 1/4 tsp

Ground ginger - 3/4 tsp

Ground cardamom - 1/8 tsp

A pinch of salt

Unsalted butter, softened - 30 gm

Dark brown sugar - 40 gm

Honey - 30gm

Egg - 1/4

Egg white - 1/4

Icing sugar, sifted, plus extra, for dusting silver balls, sprinkles etc., to decorate - 1/2 cup (60 gm)

Method

1 Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt into a bowl.

3. Beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy, with a electric blender or a fork. Add honey and egg. Beat until combined.

4. Slowly, beat in sifted dry ingredients until the mixture comes together. Divide dough in 1/2. Wrap separately in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Roll out dough to 4mm thick. Using different size star cutters cut out stars from the dough. Using a straw cut out small holes to thread the biscuits .

6. Place on a baking paper-lined oven trays. Bake larger stars for 8-10 minutes. Stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

7. Meanwhile, place egg white in a bowl. Stir in icing sugar, 2 tbsp at a time, until combined. Add a few drops of lemon juice. Divide into 2-3 portions and add colours of your choice.

8. Put it in a piping bag and pipe out different designs. Decorate with silver balls, or sprinkles

9. Dry and thread with coloured strings and hang on the trees or anywhere you like.

NOTE: You can replace egg with equal quantity of milk in the biscuit’s recipe and water in icing recipe.

Play the merry chef

Struffoli (Honey Balls)

Fry under adult supervision

Struffoli are fried dough balls covered in honey and sprinkles, served in a mound. This golden sweet treat is an Italian Christmas essential.

Ingredients

Eggs - 2

Granulated sugar - 1 1/2 tsp

Grated lemon peel - 1/2 tsp

Grated orange peel - 1/2 tsp

Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp

Salt - 1/4 tsp

Flour, divided - 150 gm

Oil for frying* - 300 ml

Honey - 3/4 cup

Sprinkles

Method

1. Lightly beat eggs in a mixing bowl. Add sugar, lemon and orange peel, vanilla extract, salt, and 1/2 of the flour. Stir until combined to a dough.

2. Flour a work surface and turn out the dough onto it. Knead in remaining flour. (The dough should only be mildly sticky — not too much. If it’s too sticky to handle, add additional flour 1 tbsp at a time until it reaches the desired consistency).

3. Using a knife, cut the dough into 10 equally-sized sections. Roll each section into a long, thin cylinder about 1/2"-thick, and slice into approximately 1/2"-wide pieces.

4. Add oil to a frying pan and place over medium heat on the stove top. When hot, add about one-third of the dough balls and fry till they turn golden-brown.

5. Remove the struffoli from the oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

6. Continue with the remaining two batches, placing a layer or two of paper towels between batches. Let struffoli cool, and then place them in a bowl.

7. Heat honey in a small saucepan until it is warmed and pourable. Pour warmed honey over top of the struffoli and stir to evenly coat.

8. Arrange struffoli on a plate in a big mound and sprinkle coloured sprinkles over top. Allow to cool and serve at room temperature.

NOTE: Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Play the merry chef

Peanut Chocolate Cups

Ingredients

Dark chocolate divided - 500 gm

Peanut butter - 260 gm

Salt - 1/2 tsp

Icing sugar - 65 gm

Method

1. Trim 12-15 paper muffin cup liners to half their height.

2. Place 1/2 the chocolate in a microwave safe container. Microwave for two minutes, stirring after each minute. Spoon melted chocolate into muffin cups, filling halfway. With a spoon, spread the chocolate along the sides of the cups until evenly coated. Cool in the refrigerator until firm.

3. In a small bowl, mix together peanut butter, icing sugar and salt.

4. Divide into the chocolate cups.

5. Melt the remaining chocolate, and spoon over peanut butter. Spread chocolate to edges of cups. Keep in fridge till set

NOTE: Nuts, dried fruits or biscuit pieces can be added to the peanut butter.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 1:54:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/play-the-merry-chef/article25790049.ece

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