Thai Spiced Nuts

Inspired by our lasted trip to Thailand, I created this spiced nuts recipe. When I travel, I always like to visit the local markets and supermarkets to see and try what they have to offer. I could spend hours browsing through each isle or stand. Pieter actually got tired of waiting for me on our last supermarket trip there while I was examining the information on the packaging of every snack I found interesting.

These nuts are sticky and they have a sort of umami taste. I just used the Thai basil for decoration but you can add it freshly chopped right before serving. And it’s done in 20 minutes with minimal amount of cooking. I was generous with the spice measurements. If you like it spicy, you can always add for chili powder or cayenne.

Ingredients:

150grs of unsalted cashew nuts

125grs of unsalted almonds

80grs of unsalted pumpkin seeds

For the Sauce:

Juice of 1 lime

1 ½ teaspoon of kaffir lime leaf powder

1 ½ teaspoon of cayenne or chili powder

1 teaspoon of lemon grass powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 ½ tablespoon of salt

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

¼ cup of sugar

¼ cup of water

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place all of the ingredients for the sauce in a medium saucepan. Whisk so all the spices get dissolve into the water. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Don’t forget to stir constantly so that it doesn’t burn. It’s ready when most of the water has evaporated and it has become a syrup.

Add the nuts and mix well to coat them. Spread them in a single layer over the prepared baking sheet.

Bake them for 15 minutes. Stirring half way though the cooking time.

Once they come out of the oven, allow them to cool. Then try to separate the nuts into smaller chunks.

If you want, add freshly chopped Thai basil right before serving. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories.

Saffron & Cranberry Star Bread

IMG_6076

I wanted to try to make a star bread for a while. I just love the shape and it is perfect for the holidays. Based on the Swedish saffron buns, I thought of making a saffron star bread. And to add more color and flavor, I added a homemade cranberry jam.

IMG_6077

This recipe makes 1 star bread.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

3 ½ cups of All-purpose flour

7gr dry yeast

½ cup of warm water

½ cup of milk

0.2 grams of saffron

1 teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

1/3 cup of sugar

1 egg

For the cranberry jam:

1 cup of cranberries

1 cup of water

1/3 of a cup of sugar

For the egg wash:

1 egg

1 tablespoon of cream

 

Start by making the cranberry jam. Place the cranberries, water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let it cook for about 12 minutes, the cranberries will burst and it will thicken. Then blend it until smooth. Transfer it to a bowl and set it aside to cool down.

To make the dough, place the milk and saffron in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let it come to a simmer and then turn off the heat. Let it steep for 5 minutes. Then blend it to break the saffron threads. Set it aside.

Place the yeast and the warm water in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

Place the flour, salt, egg, cooled melted butter, sugar and the saffron milk into the bowl with the yeast.

Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment.  You can also knead it by hand.

Then remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with a bit of vegetable oil. Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the greased bowl. Cover with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

Once the dough has risen, place it on your floured working area and divide it into 4 equal pieces.

Roll out one piece big enough to cut a circle of about 24cm. Just use a large plate or cake pan to cut the dough into a large circle. Place the circle on a piece of parchment paper. Then repeat for the remaining dough. Once all the dough is ready, place one circle on top of a sheet of parchment paper. This will make it easier to transfer to a baking sheet once the star is assembled.

Spread some of the cranberry jam all over it. Be careful to not add too much because it won’t stick and it will just get very messy.

Place one circle on top of the one with the jam. Repeat until you have no more circles left.

Place a glass in the middle of the circle. Using a knife cut the dough into 16 pieces starting from the rim of the glass. To try to make them as even as possible, I first cut it into 4, then into 8 and finally into 16.

FullSizeRender

Then grab 2 slices and twist them twice. Repeat for all of the 16 slices.

Finally grab two of the twisted slices and press them together to seal them. Let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Then brush it with the egg wash.

FullSizeRender (5)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Bake the star bread for 20 minutes or until golden. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Chocolate, Oatmeal & Cranberry Sandwich Cookies with Vanilla Bean Frosting

IMG_5626

These cookie sandwiches are soft and chewy. They make a perfect edible gift for the holidays.

IMG_5348

This recipe makes about 23 small sandwich cookies.

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour

¼ cup of cocoa powder

1 cup of instant oats

1 cup of brown sugar

113grs of softened butter

1 egg

½ teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of baking soda

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1/3 cup of chopped dried cranberries

1 tablespoon of milk

For the vanilla bean frosting:

4 tablespoons of skyr or Greek yogurt

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped off

3 cups of powdered sugar

 

To make the cookies, preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line an oven sheet with parchment paper.

Cream the butter with the sugar. Then add the egg and vanilla extract. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder. Finally add the milk, oats and cranberries.

Grab about 1 teaspoon of the dough and roll it into a ball using your hands. Place it on the prepared baking sheet and repeat for the rest of the dough. Bake them for about 10 minutes. Allow them to cool down for a couple of minutes in the baking sheet, and then transfer them to a cooling rack.

Once all the cookies are cold, start making the frosting. Whisk the skyr with the vanilla bean seeds and then gradually add the powdered sugar.

Place about one teaspoon of the frosting on the flat side of one cookie, top with the flat side of another cookie, and press to spread the filling. Repeat for all. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies with Matcha-White Chocolate

IMG_3996

Cookie season is coming soon and these chocolate thumbprint cookies make perfect edible gifts or you can just eat them yourself of course. I made the filling with just white chocolate and matcha. But if you would like a softer filling, you can make it into a ganache by adding about 75ml of cream when you are melting the chocolate over a water bath.  These cookies are quite fudgy and I find them nicer if they are not too big, so try to use not more than 1 tablespoon of cookie dough per cookie.

IMG_4229

FullSizeRender

You can use the leftover matcha-white chocolate to make hot chocolate milk.

FullSizeRender (1)

This recipe makes about 15 cookies.

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

1 cup of self-rising flour

113grs of butter at room temperature

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

1 egg yolk

½ cup of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1 tablespoon of milk

For the matcha filling:

225gr of white chocolate, chopped

1 ½ tablespoons of sifted matcha

Extra:

50grs of dark chocolate, melted

 

Preheat the oven to 180/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, vanilla and the egg yolk. Then add the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix until combined. Finally add the milk and mix only until combined.

Make small balls with about 1 tablespoon of the cookie dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space in between. With your thumb press a bit with your fingers to flatten them. Using the handle of a wooden spoon; press gently in the middle of each cookie to create an indentation.

Bake them for 10 minutes. As soon as they come out of the oven, press each cookie again with the handle of the wooden spoon as the indentations lose definition while baking. Allow them cool completely.

Once the cookies have cooled down, start making the filling. Melt the white chocolate over a water bath. Once it has completely melted, slowly start adding and mixing in the sifted matcha.

Place the matcha-white chocolate in a piping bag or zip lock bag. Pipe it into the center of each cookie. Allow the chocolate to harden. You can place the cookies in the fridge to speed up the process.

Once the chocolate has hardened, decorate each cookie by drizzling melted dark chocolate over each one. Once the dark chocolate has hardened, keep them in an airtight container.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.