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Indian Sweets from Hyderabad Recipe

Indian Sweets from Hyderabad

09.19.10 by Jackie
Family friends from Hyderabad (India) came to visit us last weekend. They brought with them delicious specialties from Lulu's father's hometown. They're called "fruit biscuits". The texture is crumbly, just like a shortbread cookie with a strong rose flavor and a variety of dried fruits.
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Speculoos Spread Cookie Tartlet Recipe Recipe

I recently received a jar of speculoos spread from a company called Tamarin. I first saw these new speculoos "pâte a tartiner" jars during my last trip to Paris. Our family loves Nutella and peanut butter, so I couldn't wait to develop a new dessert around this product. The thick spread is based on speculoos, which are specialty shortcrust cookies that originally were baked traditionally for consumption on St. Nicholas' Eve. They originated from the North of France and Belgium (also known as "speculaas" in Dutch) and often are shaped with an image stamp depicting the story of St. Nicholas. The main spices for the thin, crunchy, slightly brown cookie are cinnamon, cloves, ground ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and white pepper. The cookies are so delicious that they're available year 'round in France.

I made a cookie dough using the same spices as for speculoos cookies but instead of making shortcrust, I used it as a base and created a cookie tartlet. As soon as the shells come out from the oven, I pressed the center of the cookie to create a cavity so I could insert a creamy spread of speculoos inside. The result was fantastic. I’ll play around with the product more and post additional recipes, so stay tuned. Thanks, Tamarin!

Speculoos Spread


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Bruleed Banana Cheese Gingersnap Treats (Croques Banane Brie Recipe) Recipe

I have Lulu to thank for inspiring me to prepare this snack. He was feeling a bit peckish, but there wasn’t a lot of food at home (the refrigerator is broken ). We had some brie leftover from my little munchkin’s birthday party, so he took a wedge of it and put it on a gingersnap cookie. Lulu was very proud of himself and offered me a bite.

The mixture of sweet and salty flavors and soft and crunchy textures was very pleasant, and it instantly took me back in time to my childhood. When I came home from school, I used to make myself brie and banana “sandwiches” with baguette or just sliced bread. It was probably my favorite snack. Given that there were some very ripe bananas in the house along with the brie and gingersnaps, it seemed only fitting that I should share a little bite of my childhood with Lulu and my little munchkin.

Of course, I’m not 7 anymore, so I decided to jazz it up a little. Caramelizing the bananas brought out additional flavors that really complemented the creaminess of the brie. And instead of white bread I used gingersnap cookies as the delivery device for the banana brie combo (thanks Lulu!). I’ve often found myself disappointed when I try to relive the memories of my favorite childhood dishes. This, happily, was not one of those times!


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Earl Grey Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe Recipe

I made Earl Grey ice cream sandwiches today with homemade Earl Grey tea ice cream. One member in my family is allergic to eggs, so this recipe suits her perfectly, as no eggs are involved in this dessert. I used chocolate chip Walkers shortbread cookies, which are eggless as well. At the same time, I thought I'd experiment a bit in advance of my little munchkin's big birthday party at the end of the month. She's been such a good girl, helping me out all week long since she's on vacation. I thought this would be the perfect treat to reward her because the sandwiches are perfect for little hands and fingers!

I absolutely adore the flavor combination; the bergamot in Earl Grey tea has a truly distinctive flavor which, -interestingly- tastes almost like Fruit Loops cereal when mixed in ice cream batter. For convenience, and because they taste great, I made ice cream sandwiches using packs of Walkers chocolate chip cookies. If you have time, you could also make homemade chocolate chip cookies for the sandwiches.


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Chocolate Coconut Macaroons (Rochers Coco Recipe) Recipe

Coconut macaroons (called "rochers coco" in French) are another dessert that I bake very often.  When I have extra egg whites from pudding, custard, crème caramel or crème brulée, I always whip up a batch. The macaroons I've tasted in America are generally more crumbly and denser than the ones from France. I make mine with a coating of condensed milk, which enhances the flavor and alters the texture.

I also covered the coconut cookies with dark chocolate for a fancier look. Check back tomorrow to see how I used the cookies in a decadent dessert that is perfect for Mother’s Day.


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