Strawberry Oat Bars


These bars are delicious, adaptable and very easy to make. You can substitute any preserves of your choice like raspberry, peach etc. I usually have strawberry preserves on hand and so I used it in this recipe.   

The crust in many ways reminds me of the one that I had made for Apple crisp.I was in a hurry when I made these and so did not have the time to take good pictures. Trust me the pictures do not do justice to the taste of these delicious bars. These make a good snack and great accompaniment with tea or coffee. 

Adapted from: All Recipes

 Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups All purpose flour/maida
  • 1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter ( melted)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup strawberry preserve (substitute with raspberry or any other flavor)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes

Method: 

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease a square baking pan and set aside.
  • Take a bowl and in that first combine dry ingredients AP flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Add melted butter and vanilla to this and mix until crumbly. Measure 1 cup of this crumbly mixture and keep aside.
  • Take the remaining mixture and press the crumb mixture evenly in the baking pan. Use the tip of your fingers to even it out and making sure there are no spaces.
  • Take spoonful of the preserves and spread the preserves over the crust. Continue until the entire crust is covered.
  • Combine the coconut flakes to the reserved crumb mixture and it sprinkle over preserves and press lightly.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes or until coconut is lightly browned. Cool and then cut into desired shapes.

Tutti Frutti Cake


Tutti Frutti cake brings back many memories reminiscent of our childhood.  This cake adorned the shelves of the local Bangalore bakeries and . As kids it was a treat for us to have it and we had it on special occasions, Christmas etc.  Tutti Frutti is nothing but fruity bits that are colored and cooked in sugar water. The fruit in this context could be pineapple, candied cherries and apricots.

I am still I the festive mood long after Diwali is done, thanks mainly to the upcoming Thanks Giving holidays. It is going to be a long long holiday here in the US with a total of four days off from work. Let us just say we are so looking forward to it and I am celebrating way in advance. 

This cake has a rich, festive look embedded with those colored fruity bits. I was not able to find the red colored tutti frutti otherwise this would have looked even more festive and pretty with the beautiful combination of red and green against the yellow background. 

I landed onto this recipe from Sharmi’s blog after seeing her Tutti Frutti Cake and I saw that she referred to Parita’s recipe.  I have followed Parita’s recipe to a T, without making any changes to the procedure. While trying however I halved the quantity and made a small cake. 

 Let me tell you, the taste of this cake is downright delicious. Rich with a touch of fruity pineapple flavor, it is pleasing to your taste buds. A note though, do not skimp on the pineapple essence as this creates the essential fruity flavor of the cake. Also try not to substitute this essence with vanilla as the originality of the taste will be lost. 

DH who is not too fond of desserts asked for a second helping. I made this during a weekend afternoon and we loved it along with our afternoon tea. 

Recipe Source: Adapted from Parita’s Kitchen

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups AP flour/maida
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup tutti frutti (mixed with 1 tbsp of flour )
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 eggs (room temperature )
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp pineapple essence/extract (do not skip this)

    Procedure:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C and grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  • On a big paper, sieve together flour, baking powder and baking soda and keep aside.
  • In a bowl beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (using a hand mixer) for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add one egg at a time to this wet mixture, then add the pineapple extract/essence and beat well.
  • Now add the flour mixture and milk alternatively in batches and beat well.
  • Fold in the tutti frutti’s and mix in gently. (no need to beat)
  • Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow it to cool. Slice and serve as required. 

Simple Birthday Cake

 

I know I have been away from this blog for a bit and it has been a while since I posted a recipe. Work, family commitments, Diwali celebrations etc kept me busy and so I was not able to post for a while. Anyway I am back now with a simple Birthday cake recipe.

 The kiddo had his birthday in October and he turned a year older. Like any 6 year old kid, his birthday is a big deal from him. He waits patiently for months together counting days for the big day to arrive. He makes plans like which gift to buy, what to do in the school, whom to invite and where to celebrate etc.

 This year was no different and he had plans for the same. I was thrilled as it would give me an opportunity to bake a cake.  Now the kid reluctantly agreed to join me for baking a cake; reluctant because he doesn’t like cakes preferring Chocolate Chip cookies instead. But how is one to put candles on a cookie, make it stick and blow it? After all, birthdays is all about getting special attention, blowing candles and singing birthday songs right?

 Speaking on blowing candles, this kid for one loves blowing candles. I mean, if this kid had to blow the candles every single day then there would be nothing like it.  We do his mock birthdays often so that he can blow candles and have fun. He will not eat the cake mind you, the mom will eat it but he will blow the candles and make us sing the birthday song. When I light the diyas in front of the God, they get ‘mysteriously’ blown away. No prizes for guessing how they get blown away just minutes after I light them. J

So to overcome the dilemma he agreed to bake a cake and the sole intention was to stick candles and blow them. So I did not want anything fancy and made a very simple vanilla cake. I used store brought frosting and some M & M’s for decorating. Of course, he made us blow the candles 3 times, before he agreed to cut the cake.

Before we go onto the recipe, I wanted to share some of his funny dialogues.

  • One evening while I was heating pizza in the oven “Take your time and do it faster”
  • His common query while baking “Amma, what is the secret Indian in this cake?”
  • Showing off his newly acquired knowledge “You know George Washington built the roads so we will not fall.”
  • His explanation when one day I caught him cutting his hair with a scissor” I cut my hair because my brain was heavy and hurting”.
  • The kiddo quizzing me “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
  • Which is the fruit of the king?

Recipe Source: Simple White Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a cake pan and keep it ready.
  • Take a bowl and cream the sugar and butter together. Add in the eggs, one at a time and mix this with a hand mixer. Now stir in the vanilla and mix again.
  • Combine flour and baking powder separately in a bowl.
  • Add this in parts to the creamed mixture and mix well.
  • Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth.
  • Transfer this batter to the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until a knife inserted in middle comes clean.
  • Take it out and allow it to cool before frosting and decorating.