Nankhatai Bars

Crispy exterior with a soft interior made with ghee, thandai masala, sugar, and a little bit of milk.  Nankhatai is a traditional Indian cookie similar in texture to shortbread.  There are many variations of flavors and flours used based on where in India you are eating this delicious cookie.
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Fig and Pistachio Tartlets

Sweet, flaky, melt in your mouth delicious, and best of all, perfect to make in a pinch or for a simple dessert that looks as if you spent hours making it!

Figs are one of my favorite fruits and every year, I look forward to seeing them at the Farmer’s Market.  I saw the most delicious looking figs at the market last week and knew I had to get them.  I’ve been eating them with my chia pudding parfait, and just snacking on them throughout the day but wanted to jazz them up a little more.

These Fig and Pistachio Tartlets are so perfect to elevate the figs without completely losing them in a myriad of ingredients.  They are extremely easy and quick to make too!  I used store bought puff pastry squares (though a large sheet cut into squares works just as well), added a little butter and brown sugar to help caramelize the base, some ground pistachios to give it a nutty flavor and balance the earthiness of the figs, layered on the sliced figs and finally topped it off with some honey.  Yep, I’m drooling thinking about them again!

What if Figs are not available anymore?
Yes, I dread when the Farmer’s Market doesn’t have anymore figs because they have such a short season that I try to get my figs in as much as I can during that time.  But no worries!  Here are a few more fruits you can use:

  • Stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, plums, and apricots are in season now also.  Try one of those!
  • Apples, pears, and even berries would work well!
  • Instead of pistachios, try using ground almonds or walnuts


How do I serve the Tartlets?
Warm and fresh out of the oven is the best way to eat these.  I’ve found that if I let them sit for too long, the puff pastry can get a bit chewy.  Also, don’t forget the vanilla ice cream to go with these babies.

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy eating this delicious Fig and Pistachio Tartlets!

Here are the tools I used for this recipe:

If you want to check out more desserts, here are some of my favorites:
Mango Coconut Panna Cotta Tart
Vegan Amaretti Cookies
Thandai Infused Rainbow Crème Brûlée (Vegan)
Rose Pistachio Ice Cream

Thandai Infused Rainbow Crème Brûlée (Vegan)

A creamy, rich, aromatic custard with a beautiful caramelized crust that is unbelievably easy to make.  This Thandai Infused Crème Brûlée is a twist on the classic French dessert by using coconut cream and coconut milk making it vegan and gluten-free.

Holi has always been one of my favorite Indian festivals.  The colors, the food, the fun.  What makes it even more special is that 8 years ago, my husband bent down on one knee in the middle of a very public festival (the organizers were in on it as were our siblings and friends) and everyone (about at least 100 people) stopped playing to watch him ask me to marry him.  I will always treasure that moment.

So for this Holi, I decided to do a fun fusion in honor of my very special husband.  His favorite dessert is crème brûlée.  What better way than to infuse a Holi special drink of Thandai and combine my two favorite events together?  Honestly, it tastes SO YUM that I had to stop myself from “tasting” the custard before it set.

WHAT DO I NEED FOR A VEGAN CREME BRULEE?

Full-fat Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream – this is important to give the custard it’s rich creamy texture.
Arrowroot Powder – this acts as a thickening agent.
Agave – for that hint of sweet
Thandai Masala – this is going to lend that brilliant aromatic and floral flavor to the custard
Saffron – for a beautiful golden color
Vanilla Extract
Almond Milk
Sugar
Rainbow Sprinkles – optional but I love how the colors brighten up the dessert
Salt

THREE IMPORTANT STEPS TO A PERFECT THANDAI INFUSED CREME BRULEE

1. Infusing the thandai masala.  This is important to get that flavor in there.  The longer you infuse, the better the end result will be.

2. Blending all of the ingredients.  This is extremely important because the arrowroot powder can clump and that would ruin the whole dessert.  When you blend it into a smooth liquid, you end up with a rich, silky dessert.

3. Once it’s blended, whisk the mixture on the stove constantly to prevent it clumping and/or burning until you get your custard consistency.

THE CHERRY SUGAR ON TOP
How can I possibly leave this part out?  This is my favorite part.  I used cane sugar to layer on top of the custard but for my Holi special, I used colored sugar and dusted the caramelized sugar to symbolize the fun of Holi.  Take a blowtorch and carefully caramelize the sugar.  If you don’t have a blowtorch – don’t worry!  I’ve included directions in the recipe card to caramelize the sugar using a broiler.  Reminder – the top won’t be as crunchy using the broiler setting but it will do the trick to caramelize your sugar.

This recipe is perfect for Holi, Diwali, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, or pretty much any occasion you want to celebrate.  I might even make this again for our next date night.  Feel free to add berries.  I chose not to this time because I wanted the colors to shine.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!  Feel free to follow and share comments on my Instagram and Facebook pages!  I would love to hear your thoughts!

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this decadent THANDAI INFUSED RAINBOW CREME BRULEE!

Here are the tools that I used for this recipe:

**Note: The ramekins I used are passed on to me from a family member but the ones I’ve featured in the tools list are the closest in size and shape to the ones that I used.

Apple Pie Bread

A little variation on banana bread, I added in some sweet apples, lots of cinnamon (as requested by my little ones), just a hint of nutmeg, and a streusel topping to finish it off is the perfect afternoon snack.  (Spoiler Alert:  It doesn’t last more than a day – maybe two – in our house.  It flies so quickly!)

I first made this loaf to take as a treat with me when I took the girls hiking last month.  We did almost 4 miles with quite an uphill so I was proud of my littles ones who not only trekked without a single complaint, they also put up with me while I took pics of them with cows in the background as they thought their Mom was crazy!

Let me get back on track though and tell you a little more about this delicious loaf!  The base recipe is similar to that of a banana bread but I wanted it a little more moist to balance the addition of spices so I added in a bit of yogurt.  The sweetness of ripe bananas and the warm spices to give a hint of apple pie is so amazing of a combination.  Who says you can only have apple pie in the fall?!

This recipe makes enough for two large loaves or 4 minis.  I’ve made both depending on what occasion I’m using these.  I love the minis for gifts or travel (the hike was a perfect example) and the large loaves I’ll use to pack in lunches, give as an afternoon snack, or even with breakfast on the weekends.

Here are a few other loaves to check out:
Spiced Pear Loaf
Pumpkin Bread
Zucchini Bread
Lemon Blueberry Mini Loaves

Can you tell we love fruity loaves in this house?!

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy eating this Apple Pie Bread.

Lemon Blueberry Mini Loaves

A few days ago, my brother and sister-in-law were blessed with an adorable little baby!  Throughout her pregnancy, we had nicknamed the baby Blueberry and called him as such.  It is in honor of his birth that I dedicate this recipe to my little munchkin.  He is so adorable and cute, I’m so excited and lucky to be his aunt!

In the spirit of welcoming the new baby, I made these loaves in mini pans but you can absolutely bake them in a regular 9×5 loaf pan.

Last week, a friend was kind enough to share lemons from her lemon tree and they are absolutely amazing.  The juice from the lemons were the perfect complement to brighten up these lovely blueberry loaves.  In addition, I added a little yogurt and replaced the sugar with honey to give it just a hint of sweet without overpowering it.  The addition of these two ingredients makes the loaves even more fluffy and light.

Pair it with coffee or chai to complement a slice of this delicious loaf for breakfast, snack, or dinner.  Once you’ve baked them, they will keep at room temperature for up to 1 week and in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.  Though, we’re pretty good about making sure they are eaten pretty quickly!

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy these delicious Lemon Blueberry Mini Loaves.

Here are the tools I used:

Pumpkin Bread

One of the best things about the Fall season is pumpkin bread.  The spices and the aroma when you are baking it compares to no other.  It makes me feel so warm and cozy and ready for the winter.

I love this pumpkin bread recipe because:

  • It’s moist
  • Easy to make
  • Isn’t too dense
  • Has all the Fall spices:  Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, & Nutmeg
  • Fun to make with the kids


Here’s a little trick….. to keep it moist, I added applesauce to the batter.  You can’t taste it but it makes the pumpkin bread so much better!

The girls have been eating it in the mornings with breakfast and I love having a slice in the afternoon with my cuppa chai.  It’s perfect to snack on any time of the day!  And with the holidays right around the corner, make an extra batch for a relative or neighbor.  What a great gift to give too!

If you like this Pumpkin Bread recipe, try out….

My Spiced Pear Loaf and Zucchini Bread.

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this Pumpkin Bread!

The tools that I used for this recipe are:

Oreo Cheesecake

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).
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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).
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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!
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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.
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What event will you make this delicious Oreo Cheesecake for?

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy every bite of this cheesecake!

Notes:
I used a 7″ springform pan for this recipe