Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies

April 13, 2015 § Leave a comment

lavender lemon shortbread cookies

“You haven’t baked cookies in a very long time now, son”, my papa told me last time I went home with a cake in my hands. Obviously, my parent love, to their heart’s content, whatever I bake or cook for them. I haven’t heard a bad review about anything I have baked for them till date. It has always been of great taste and ultimate experience for them, even if they aren’t totally into it. How sweet it is! Isn’t it? And I love them for this. Though on the hindsight, I get critical of my work all the times. And he’s equally interested in looking at the photos as well. Although, he doesn’t carry a smartphone, neither he is a tech savvy, but he ensures that I show him the images. He just loves to see those food pics and even more enjoys identifying those props which he helps me in sourcing whenever I go see him. He’s always there ready to go with me on the prop hunt, for the search of silliest of articles and the weirdest of surfaces. All these faux surfaces you see here on my blog, he is the reason behind them all. We’ve gone to the junk dealers and the wood yards together always in search of some surface and he’s always happily answered those strange looks – “why the hell anyone would want to buy that stuff” saying that my son needs them for his photography work. He’s that adorable you see. And I am the luckiest person on this earth to have him as my papa. I think parent are like that only. The least I can do is to treat him more with my cakes and bakes and extend my love with creating some more food images and have fun with him every time. Shortbread cookies are the simplest of cookies which one can bake with experimenting to whatever extent. They are like clean slate and you have total freedom to draw your imagination in terms of flavor combination on them. And they are always so forgiving that they’ll never fail you. I got a big bag of edible lavender from my dear friend who was visiting home from US. So now you see, how even more lucky I am. The house was already smelling amazing from the fragrant edible lavender and I wanted to bake something really quick. And there happened these lovely gorgeous summery lavender lemon shortbread cookies, glazed with tangy lemon icing. At first bite, they tasted like rosemary shortbread cookies I had baked previously, but after a couple of bites, the flavors just tricked me in and it tasted so refreshing and summery. I am hopeful to make few more recipes with these lovely fragrant flowers. 

lavender lemon shortbread cookies

lavender lemon shortbread cookies

lavender lemon shortbread cookies

Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Yields 18
Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  2. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 1 tbsp dried lavender, plus extra for topping
  6. 1/2 cup icing sugar
  7. 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, sugar, salt and lavender and mix thoroughly.
  2. Roll the dough into two equal halves, shaping them in a ball. Flatten each round into a disc and wrap in a cling wrap and let them set in fridge for half an hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 160 degree C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Taking one disc of dough at a time, roll it on a lightly floured surface to thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut out the cookies using a round cookie cutter and place 1inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes; let cool completely on wire rack.
  6. Make the glaze by whisking the icing sugar and lemon juice together. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the glaze over each cookie, spreading to cover the whole surface. Sprinkle with some more lavender. Let set for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
Adapted from Style At Home
Adapted from Style At Home
The White Ramekins http://thewhiteramekins.com/

Easy No Churn Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

April 4, 2015 § 14 Comments

Easy no churn strawberry frozen yogurt

Simple and easy to follow recipes requiring minimum labour in the kitchen have always been my favourite. I believe it gets even more important when you have a tiring day at office. You wouldn’t want to toil hard in the kitchen as well at the same time. And if you have been coming to this place quite often, you’d see even my baking recipes reflect that too. But that doesn’t mean I would ever compromise on the taste quotient. And for that matter I have seen through my experience that simple recipes with great flavours always remain your best friends. This is an easy no churn strawberry frozen yogurt recipe which is exactly what it’s name suggests. It’s as easy as boiling water, duh! And it doesn’t require churning like other ice creams would. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, it is completely fine. So that means it is fuss free too. And like I said, it is simple yet really high on flavours and texture too. Because this has got fresh frozen strawberries and thick luscious yogurt. The sweet and sour berries go so well with the thick yogurt. And it is entirely up to you if you want to make it little guilt free too by using a healthier sweetener instead of using sugar. It’s a perfect treat for both your eyes and palate. And you can top it with whatever topping you like, nuts, granola or even crushed biscuits. And if you are adding a healthier sweetener you can enjoy it in breakfast too. You can also go experimental and add some fresh basil or mint leaves too. Both these herbs go pretty well with strawberries and yogurt. You see how easy it is make your own frozen yogurt and how creative you can go with this. I so love it! 

Easy no churn strawberry frozen yogurt Easy no churn strawberry frozen yogurt

Easy no churn strawberry frozen yogurtEasy no churn strawberry frozen yogurt

Easy no churn strawberry frozen yogurt

Easy no churn strawberry frozen yogurt

Easy No Churn Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Easy No Churn Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
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Ingredients
  1. 750 gm strawberries, washed and hulled
  2. 500 gm hung curd / Greek yogurt
  3. 1/2 cup caster sugar / honey
  4. 1 tsp lemon zest
Instructions
  1. Place the strawberries on a wide baking sheet in single layer and place in freezer for 5-6 hours or overnight or until strawberries are completely frozen.
  2. Blitz the strawberries in a food processor 3 - 4 times. Add remaining ingredients and run the food processor on high speed until it forms into a smooth texture.
  3. Transfer the yogurt into an aluminium container quickly. Cover with cling film loosely. Place in freezer for 3 - 4 hours to set.
  4. Serve the scoops of frozen yogurt with mint leaves and chopped nuts.
The White Ramekins http://thewhiteramekins.com/

 

Vanilla Almond Milk & Espresso Granola

March 19, 2015 § 6 Comments

vanilla almond milk espresso granola

I am back with another drink recipe, because soon it’s going to change to sveltering Summer from the amazingly pleasant Spring. And right when you’d need more water replenishment for your body. It was last week only when it was amazingly pleasant, the kind of weather you’d expect to remain throughout the year. And within a matter of couple of days, it has started getting warmer now. I generally am not a fan of fizzy drinks in summers. I would rather splurge on a glass of calming buttermilk or a glass of fresh lemonade. That reminds me of the Strawberry and Orange Lemonade I made last week. I am still dreaming of it’s tangy and refreshing flavor. And I am happy that I have stashed away a big bag of strawberries in my freezer so that I can enjoy that lovely lemonade again when it is going to be extremely hot and I would need it terribly. Thanks to the summers, I am onto a constant search for new and refreshing drinks recipes. This time I am here with this pure and soothing vanilla almond milk. Oh my, I have become a great fan of this. This requires the almonds to be soaked in water overnight and I believe that mostly every Indian would have some connect with the overnight soaked almonds. We used to be fed soaked almonds in months of winters by our parents, for their purity and health benefits. And I like to chew on those lovely nibbles all through out my day during those days. Those memories make me so nostalgic and I wish that time could come back when you would know for sure that you’ve been taken care of. This soothing and light vanilla almond milk is one such drink which would take you down the memory lanes and you’d surely feel better after having this. I infused the milk with fragrant vanilla beans. You could use any spice you like; cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom or rose water for that matter. Because, breakfast is the time, when I like to sip on a glass of milk, I made this nutty espresso granola to make it a perfect power packed start of the day. Homemade granola is incomparable and you know what you are eating. You’ve got to try it once to believe it, if you haven’t baked your own granola at home yet. 

vanilla almond milk espresso granola

vanilla almond milk espresso granola

vanilla almond milk espresso granola

vanilla almond milk espresso granola

vanilla almond milk espresso granola

vanilla almond milk espresso granola

vanilla almond milk espresso granola

 

Vanilla Almond Milk & Espresso Granola
Vanilla Almond Milk & Espresso Granola
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For Vanilla Almond Milk
  1. 1 cup whole almonds
  2. 2 cups water, plus more for soaking
  3. Sweeteners like honey, sugar, agave syrup, or maple syrup, to taste,optional
  4. 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped.
For Espresso Granola
  1. 2 cup rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
  2. 1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  3. 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
  6. 1/4 cup olive oil
  7. 1/3 cup honey / maple syrup
  8. 2 tsp vanilla extract
For Vanilla Almond Milk
  1. Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with about an inch of water. They will plump as they absorb water. Let stand, uncovered, overnight or up to 2 days in fridge.
  2. Drain the almonds from their soaking water and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water.
  3. Place the almonds and scraped vanilla beans in the blender and cover with 2 cups of water.
  4. Blend at the highest speed, until almonds are completely broken down and blended thoroughly.
  5. Line the strainer with cheese cloth, and place over a measuring cup. Pour the almond mixture into the strainer.
  6. Press all the almond milk from the almond meal.
  7. Taste the almond milk, and if a sweeter drink is desired, add sweetener to taste.
  8. Refrigerate almond milk. Store the almond milk in sealed containers in the fridge for up to two days.
For Espresso Granola
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degree C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir to combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Spread evenly onto prepared baking sheet and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, mixing the granola about every 10 minutes.
  4. Cool on a cooling rack until completely cool. Break up the chunks and store in an airtight container for about 1 month.
Notes
  1. The longer the almonds soak, the creamier the almond milk.
Adapted from The Kitchn
Adapted from The Kitchn
The White Ramekins http://thewhiteramekins.com/
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