Category Archives: Cookies

A Happy New Year!

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A very, very Happy New Year to all of you from The Odd Hour Kitchen 🙂

It has been so very long since my last post that I forgot my password 😦 Silly me!

I have missed logging on & reading all my friends’ blogs, interacting & connecting with folks I’ve never met but yet who are like kindred spirits bonding over our love & passion for food. I have really missed that!

And I’ve missed writing.

So one of my New Year Resolutions, one which I do not intend on breaking, is to be more regular on my blog (at least more than once in 4 months!)… and to remember my passwords!! Fingers Crossed!!

Well one of the main reasons why I haven’t been blogging is that I have been baking… like a lot! I haven’t felt as centered, at one with myself or simply delighted than when I’m in my Kitchen, mixing, whisking, tasting away! I think I may have found my calling.

I took the plunge & decided to take my passion for food a step further… The Odd Hour Kitchen is now a small home bakery 🙂 So with the apron, I now have on a little entrepreneurial hat. And it is such fun! I get to bake all the time, in my Kitchen with my music and spread love & joy through what I bake! All this without the extra calories (& the guilt that goes with it!) from the earlier days, when I just had to bake & whatever came out of the oven went straight to my hips! To be fair, I did share with the husband (who complained about the increasing inches round his waist!), my parents (who honestly don’t need the extra sugar!) & of course eager friends & family. But now with this new “venture,” my food is helping me connect & reach out to so many more!

It started with the Raksha Bandhan festival in August, the day which, according to Indian tradition, celebrates the bond & love between brothers & sisters. The sister ties an ornamental thread or Raakhi on the wrist of her brother who promises to protect her all their life while she in turn pledges to pray for his well being. The brother has to then gift her something pretty, while the sister gets him something sweet… of course, what would an Indian festival be without any mithai (sweetmeat)! There are loads & loads of Indian Sweets… kaju katlis (diamond shaped bites of heaven made with cashewnuts), laddoos (ball-shaped sweets made with different ingredients like chickpea flour, semolina, coconut & of course sugar & clarified butter), I could go on, & on…

But it’s not uncommon to go with chocolates, cupcakes, cookies either. In fact some of my first experiments in baking were nearly charred brownies for my brothers on Raakhi day!

Now, since I don’t burn my brownies anymore, & I have added a few more goodies to my repertoire, it seemed like a great time to open up my Kitchen to more people on Rakshabandhan! So I updated my Facebook page, sent out emails, Whatsapp messages to friends & family & put out 3 products on my menu… bite-sized versions to go with the Indian mithai theme.

And I got a surprisingly decent response & with that the exhilaration of baking to meet orders & deadlines… very exciting! All charged up then, I participated in a Bake Sale & then opened up for Diwali, the Hindu New Year. So far, I’ve been working from festival to festival & with a fairly fluid menu. Of course if somebody calls me & asks me to bake something for them off the menu, any day of the week… I never pass up the opportunity 😀

I’m hoping to crystallize the menu, get more organized & get myself out there a little better in terms of visibility this new year… & lets see where this goes 🙂 Meanwhile I’m happy to be experimenting, trying out new recipes & baking on request!

So, if you live in Mumbai (or have friends & family that do), & want to indulge your sweet tooth you could call, mail or check out my little online store for comforting goodies.

Here are some of things that I’ve been baking over the past few months.

These CHOCOLATE STREUSEL Cupcakes are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee… not too sweet, with a delicious crunchy chocolate chip topping.

DEVIL’S FOOD CUPCAKES… Rich, Dark, Moist & Mysterious… with a surprise filling in each… Eggless too! For a friend’s dessert night

Light, Melt in Your Mouth… I made these ALMOND SHORTBREAD COOKIES the first time for a friend’s baby shower

This one’s a Gluten Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free CHOCOLATE FUDGE cake… The husband’s childhood buddy & his brother dropped by for dinner & stayed till 5 am! The brother had all these diet restrictions… so this is what I served!

I call these BROOKIES… A Brownie & Cookie Hybrid 🙂 I made these the first time as an experiment on my unsuspecting brothers… it worked! I do them with home made Salted Maple Caramel Sauce & Almonds / Peanut Butter & Snicker Bars / Orange Marmalade

So that in a nutshell is what I have been up to over the past 4 months… with of course a trip or 2 to Jaipur to teach at the school & a visit to Singapore to  see my adorable little babus, my nephews. I do hope to cook more, share more recipes & be around a lot more!

To sign off… Magic, Dreams, Love, the Time to enjoy a good Book, favourite Music or a Quiet Moment alone, the Spirit to give wing to your Creativity, loads of exciting Adventures (inside the kitchen & out!) & of course Joy, Peace & Health…. That’s what I wish for you all this New Year!

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Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

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A fresh batch of gooey Nutella-Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies, just out of the oven! I love the way my Kitchen smells!

These are for Rudra & Nemo…. Chittoo’s nephews 🙂

Chittoo is my oldest friend ever & the real force behind me starting this Blog! It seems perfect that I’m baking something specially for her & her loved ones on my Blog’s 3rd Month-versary!

Off Season Gingerbread Men

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My home smells like Christmas… warm, cinnamon-y, Gingerbread-sy!

And that’s all thanks to my darling little nephews! Ahaan, the 3 year old, helped me bake some “Zinzer”bread Cookies the last time he was visiting here in January. I thought I’d roll out  the dough & have him stamp out the shapes. But no sir… that’s too easy!

He wanted to stir & stir & stir the butter & sugar! And when turned my back for a bit  to get something, he was busy adding spoonfuls of some more  butter & sugar! Since then, almost every time we speak, it’s “Maasi, I want zinzerbread man!” He apparently even told his mum the cookies she made were “Nice, but not like Maasi’s!” Oops! Didn’t make my sister too happy!

Anyway, so my parents are flying over to visit my sister (lucky them!) & I have been ordered to send a batch of cookies with them!

Luckily I had the kitchen all to myself this morning before all the craziness started. Music on, on, ingredients in place, I got to work using the same recipe from Pham Fatale I had worked with earlier. My sister’s family is vegetarian so this one had to be Eggless. The boys don’t eat honey either & I didn’t have molasses on hand, so I used Maple Syrup. A good call, because I love the rich flavour of Maple, it adds depth to the cookies. The last time I made these I used lemon zest & juice, which was good. This time I used Orange… it was heaven!  Add powdered Cinnamon, Cardamom & Nutmeg along with the key ingredient Dried Ginger Powder to this & you’ve got Christmas in your oven!

The Orange Juice-Cinnamon Glaze drizzled over the cookies made them even more magical & Christmas-y! I can’t get over the aromas wafting out of my oven, lingering around my Kitchen… sweet, spicy, & so festive!

Sending all my love to my little babus with these cookies! Save some for Mama & Papa too, okay?

🙂