Aug 2, 2013

Eggless Pinwheel Cookies

My darling dotzy turned five last weekend and we had an amazing party at the park. Among the fun and frolic was great food including snacks made at home. I made Blueberry Vanilla Cupcakes, Chocolate cupcakes, pinwheel cookies, Nipattu and Pakoda all of which were well recieved and the boxes were nearly empty by the time we came back home. Its always very gratifying to have super success with your food!
Pinwheel cookies was part of  the Home Bakers Challenge for June, a group which I have joined on FB. I had already made the Peanut Butter Cookies and now found the perfect opportunity to bake cookies in a house where the folks dont eat anything sweet!

One thing I must say about these cookies - they taste best till the next day once done. They get a cardboard-y taste after 2 days. So eating them fresh is the way to go according to me.
This recipe has been adapted from The Heritage Cook and adapted to make it eggless. It requires making two varieties of dough, one chocolate and one vanilla, and rolling it together.

Tips for making the process easier

1) The easiest way to handle this dough is to keep it cold. I refridgerated the dough quite a few times to be able to make it easily. After I kneaded it wrapped in cling wrap and also after I rolled it out and wedged between parchment paper, for 30 mins each time.
2) Flatten the dough  in between layers of parchment paper to make it easier to roll out. Else it sticks to the rolling pin. Also cleaning up becomes a breeze!
3) It might be easier to press down on the dough with a heavy wooden spoon or rolling pin and push it outwards to flatten it rather than rolling on it using a pin.
4) While rolling the dough into a log, roll using the parchment halfway and then pull back the paper. Do this for every roll
5) Refridgerate dough log for atleast an hour before cutting it into cookies. This ensures the dough log is stiff and cutting it into cookie rounds makes it easier without the dough losing shape.
6) Last but not the least, dont get intimated by the length of the instructions. Its easier done than explained.

Eggless Pinwheel Cookies

Servings: 32 cookies
Prep Time: 2 hrs Cook Time: 30 mins


All purpose flour – 1 ½ Cup
Baking powder – ½ Tsp
Salt – ¼ Tsp
Unsalted softened butter – ½ Cup
Granulated sugar – ¾ Cup
3/4 tbsp EnerG Egg Replacer
1 1/2 tbsp Warm water
Vanilla extract – 1 Tsp
Unsweetened cocoa powder – 2 Tbsp
Semi sweet chocolate chips – ¼ Cup
2 tsp Milk


Vanilla Dough

  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. Whip the egg-replacer with warm water until it is gooey and set aside
  3. In a mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg replacer and vanilla extract and beat again until blended.
  4. Add the flour mixture slowly, beating just until combined.
  5. Divide the dough into two parts
  6. Refrigerate one part wrapped in cling wrap for 30 mins. That will be the vanilla dough.

Chocolate Dough

  1. Melt the chocolate chips along with the milk in a microwave by heating it for 10 secs. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add the cocoa and the cooled melted chocolate to the second half of the dough and mix till well incorporated.
  3. Refrigerate this chocolate dough wrapped in cling wrap for 30 mins.

Making pinwheel Shape

  1. Place the vanilla dough in between parchment sheets measuring 12 inches * 12 inches. 
  2. Flatten the dough in between the sheets to the dimension of the paper. 
  3. Repeat for the chocolate dough (use another set of parchment paper of size 12 inches * 12 inches)
  4. Optionally refrigerate the two dough discs along with the parchment paper for 30 mins. This step is necessary if the weather is really hot and humid.
  5. Set the vanilla disc on a counter and peel away the top paper. Do the same for the chocolate disc.
  6. Now flip the chocolate disc and stack on top of the vanilla disc ensuring that the discs are again sandwiched between the remaining parchment paper. (Bottom parchment of Chocolate disc now becomes top parchment of the sandwich)
  7. Roll lightly over the layers so that the dough adhere.
  8. Remove the parchment paper on top.
  9. Starting from one side, roll up the dough into one big log 12 inches long. Since the first couple of rolls will form the center of the cookie late ensure its firmly packed in. (I did falter here a bit and rolled it loose and you can see from the pics that the pinwheel shape at the center is not perfect)
  10. Wrap the log in parchment and refrigerate it for upto an hour. 

Making the cookies

  1. In the meantime preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Carefully slice the log into ¼ inch thick cookies and place on a baking sheet 1 inch apart. 
  3. Bake it for 10-12 minutes. The cookies are done when you see the edges turning golden brown. They also harden on the cooling rack. 
  4. Cool it on wire rack.

Aug 1, 2013

Berry Healthy Smoothie

After a long hard tiring day picking blueberries, what better way to relax than to sip on ice cold berry smoothie!

Berry Healthy Smoothie

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 5 mins


1 cup Blueberries
1 cup Strawberries
1/2 cup Milk
A few ice cubes
2 tbsp Vanilla Icecream (optional)


  1. Wash the berries thoroughly if using fresh, by running a stream of water over a colander of berries
  2. No need to thaw the berries if using frozen.
  3. I used both fresh
  4. Blend the berries along with milk till smooth.
  5. Drop in the ice cubes and give it a couple of churns
  6. Add in the ice cream and whirr it again.
  7. Serve straight from the blender or chill it some more

Healthy Vegan Vegetable Mini Pie

I have become a part of the Eggless Baking Challenge Group where we are given challenges every month to convert a egg filled delicacy to eggless. July's challenge was one of my favourites because not only was it something I wanted to try from a long time but the twist was that it was savoury. A welcome relief from all the sweet bakes that I have been doing.

I have been wanting to bake a pie from forever but the quantity of butter required and the sheer size of a pie was holding me back. When this challenge came up the first thing I did was to logon to Amazon to buy pie pans. After browsing through a lot of options, I couldnt make up my mind on the large pans vs the mini ones. I found that the mini pans were also 4.5 inches or more in diameter and felt it was a bit too big. I prefer individual portions than an overwhelming big size. And thats the same reason I prefer cupcakes to cakes. I then stumbled upon some images of pies being made in muffin pans and I had the tool I was looking for right in my kitchen.

I also found a recipe for making the pie crust without butter (which I cant seem to find again to link to) and adapted it further to incorporate whole grains into it by substituting half the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour.

My tips for a happy experience:

1) Use parchment strips/aluminium foil strips lining each cup in a way that lifting the strip would lift out the mini pie. Aluminium foils are easily pliable and can line the cups better. Ensure that both ends of the strip jut out of the muffin cavity.
2) I found it easier to flatten a ball of dough with my hand using my palm. Since the pie dough is usually hard it is tough to roll it out using a rolling pin even if sandwiched between sheets of parchment/wax paper. I flattened the dough to 1/5 inch thickness and used a round cutter to cut out the pie bottom and top.
3) Cooling the ingredients before mixing and mixing it barely ensures a flaky texture. No muscle power required.
4) If placing a top crust then brush with little oil to get a better taste before baking.

This pie crust is a keeper because its low calorie and really good.

Healthy Vegan Vegetable Mini Pie

Servings: 6 Mini Pies (2 inch wide)
Prep Time: 2 hrs   Cook Time: 30 mins


For the Pie Crust

3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/4 cup Oil (I used Canola)
1/4 cup Cold water
Salt to taste

For the savoury filling

1/2 Medium onion
1 Carrot
1/2 Capsicum
1/2 cup Corn
3 tsp Oil
1 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Black pepper powder
Salt to taste


To make the savoury filling

  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and saute finely cut onions till transcluscent.
  2. Add in the grated carrot, finely cut capsicum and corn and saute for a couple of minutes.
  3. Mix in the spice powders and salt and saute for another couple of minutes till its done. 
  4. Set aside to cool.

To make Pie 

  1. Line the muffin cavities with aluminium foil strips such that the two ends of the strip jut out of the cavity.
  2. Lightly grease the cups
  3. Mix the all purpose flour and the whole wheat pastry flour in a bowl and freeze for 30 - 45 mins
  4. Freeze the oil for the same amount of time
  5. Mix salt into the chilled flour, add the oil and mix lightly. 
  6. The flour becomes crumbly and should remain that way with big clumps
  7. Add water very little at a time to form a hard ball of dough. Do not add too much water and also ensure that the dough does not become soft and pliable. 
  8. Pinch off a golf ball sized dough and flatten it to form a 1/5 inch thick disc.
  9. Cut the dough to a 3 inch diameter circle using a round cutter. (I used a container cap)
  10. Push the circle into a muffin cup and lightly press against the walls of the cup to form a pastry shell.
  11. Optionally, leave a little bit of the dough outlining the mouth of the cup especially if its an open pie
  12. Spoon in a tablespoon of the filling into the shell, topping it with cheese optionally.
  13. Cut out a 2 inch dough circle and place on top of the filling. Press a fork all around the top crust so that it seals the pie. Lightly brush oil on the top to aid browning.
  14. Bake at 350 F for around 30 mins. The top may not brown all that much if using whole wheat flour. It is done when the dough gets crusty.
  15. Serve warm optionally topped with cream cheese. 
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