Diwali has always been a special festival growing up in my family… in fact for most Indian families. It’s the Festival of Lights, where we celebrate faith and hope and wish that everyone has a bright future, happiness and prosperity in their lives.
Everywhere you look, Diwali takes over with lights and colors. Rangoli designs are a prominent component of Diwali, with the idea that it brings strength, good luck and genorosity. Keeping in mind that very foundation of colors and brightness, I decided to bring the spirit of rangoli to my mithai (sweets) for Diwali this year.
Coconut ladoos are very popular in Indian and the best part is, they are very easy to make. The basis of each ladoo was kept the same with the main ingredients being coconut, almond flour/ground almonds, and condensed milk. The ratios vary based on the flavor and additions of the ladoo.
Here are the flavors I decided to go with:
- Mango (seriously, how could I not include this flavor?!)
- Lavender (because it’s a new obsession and the flavor and colors are so amazing!)
- Rose (the colors, the fragrance, and the taste are so pretty, it makes me feel like a princess when I’m eating this!)
- Mojito (…..yep. No alcohol, but that hint of lime and mint….YUM!)
- Coconut Almond (the original cannot be overlooked!)
Some tips to make it easier for you when you make this:
- Use a non-stick skillet to make these. It prevents the mixture from sticking and makes the process that much easier.
- Make them vegan! Use vegan condensed milk and coconut oil instead of ghee to roll the balls.
- You can use frozen grated coconut. Just leave it out for a little bit to thaw and bring to room temperature.
- If you don’t want to use or don’t have almond flour available, substitute with the same amount of almonds and grind them up into a flour. It’s an extra step but easy and a perfect swap.
- When buying almond flour, make sure you buy the almond flour and NOT the blend. I almost did that. The blend has a mixture of rice and other ingredients that would change the taste of this dessert.
If you end up making any of these delicious ladoos, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram at @bitofspice146. I would love to see your creations!
From as far back as I can remember, my brother and I have always loved oreos. Dunking them in milk, twisting them and eating the cream first, in shakes (mostly from fast food places), or hiding in the pantry and eating them (so my kids don’t catch me).
Don’t Judge. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do!
So many years later, cookies and cream remains our favorite flavor; definitely a go to for me.
Monday is Raksha Bandhan which is a big festival for Hindus. In a nutshell, this is a celebration between brothers and sisters where we promise to protect and honor each other. The sisters usually feed the brothers their favorite dessert after tying a Rakhi (kind of like a friendship bracelet) and receive a gift from their brothers as token of love (my favorite part).
Traditionally, I’ve done Indian sweets but my brother has never been a big fan of them. Don’t get me wrong, they’re delicious, but just not what he prefers. As I was sitting at the table planning Rakhi, I knew without a doubt in my mind I was going to make something with Oreos in it for him.
This Oreo Cheesecake is one of my favorites because it is not too sweet, is very easy to make and I don’t have to deal with a water bath. I know the cheesecake masters are probably gasping and worried that I haven’t used a water bath, but to be honest, I don’t think this one needed it!
It is very creamy on the inside with chunks of cookie in each bite and the cookie crust just finishes off this amazing cake.
I know Cheesecake is not a very traditional Mithai (dessert) for Rakhi, but it’s all about what my brother likes and I think I hit this one out of the park.
What event will you make this delicious Oreo Cheesecake for?
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy every bite of this cheesecake!
I used a 7″ springform pan for this recipe
One of my very good friends, Diana, has a plum tree that produces an abundance of plums every year. One of my favorite memories is when Sanaya was just over a year old, we had gone to her house and she let us pick plums in her backyard. We had so many plums in our hands, I had walked away to put them in a basket. When I came back, Sanaya had eaten half a plum (most of the juice was around her mouth and on her clothes) and was holding another she was getting ready to dive into. It was one the best afternoons ever!
We are a fruit loving family and we don’t discriminate (well, unless it’s mangoes – then everyone has to fend for themselves while I devour them). At any given time, there’s always fresh fruit in the house and I love that my girls share mine and hubby’s love for them. In honor of Diana’s plum tree (which I heard may not be around much longer and I almost cried), I got creative and added a little spice spin to these crumble bars.
I love this recipe because it is so easy to come together. For the filling, I stayed true to Salted Mint‘s filling. I tried out a few different variations but I love this one the best because it is simple, adds the warmth of star anise and cinnamon and tastes amazing!
For the crumble, I added hints of ginger and cardamom (I seriously felt like I could call this a Chai Spiced Plum Crumble because of the similar spices used). And the best is I can use the same mixture for the crust and crumble!
For the oats, I used old fashioned oats and mixed it by hand. You can absolutely pulse it in a food processor until you get a crumbly mixture.
I don’t think anyone can stop eating just one bar! These are so crumbly, flaky, sweet, tart, and have just a little hint of spice which just warms your insides up!
This recipe makes about 16 squares in a 8×8 baking pan.
To store, place in a sealed container and keep in fridge for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 2 months.
Keep the skin on the plums! I wasn’t sure about this when I first started experimenting but it just becomes a part of the jam and you can’t even notice it!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these delicious plum crumble bars!
Here are the tools I used for this recipe:
The amazing taste of ground nuts, just a hint of sweet, and the nostalgic flavor of halwa that any Indian can recognize. This Pear Halwa Cake has become so popular in my household, I’ve actually been making it almost on a weekly basis. Continue reading “Pear Halwa Cake”