Friday, 24 October 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The last time I baked with peanut butter was when I made these. A cousin, with a nut allergy, managed to eat a slice thinking it was something else - chaos.
Needless, to say, I've kind of avoided baking with peanut butter since - that is until now.
After a Sunday morning cookbook session, I decided to bake these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies. And, I was not disappointed. They are every peanut butter lover's dream - peanut butter cookies sandwiched together with a rich chocolate peanut butter filling. Just don't cut the cookies as thick as I did, and they'll be perfect with your mid-morning coffee.

Peanut Butter, previously: Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cake SlicesPeanut Butter and Chocolate Chunk CookiesSweet and Salty Chocolate Bars 

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Unsalted Butter
2. Smooth Peanut Butter
3. White Sugar
4. Light Brown Sugar
5. An Egg
6. Plain Flour
7. Bicarbonate of Soda
8. Salt
9. Dark Chocolate

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, gather up all your ingredients. I wish I did this full ingredients picture for all my recipes but sometimes, actually, usually all the time, I'm not that organised.

Into a bowl, place 115 grams Unsalted Butter, at room temperature.

Give it a beat until creamy.

Add 225 grams Smooth Peanut Butter, at room temperature.

Beat until well combined.

Pour in 100 grams White Sugar.

And, 95 grams Light Brown Sugar. This is the packed kind not demerara but I'm sure that it won't make a difference. I hope.

Beat again - I'm using the paddle attachment, by the way.

Crack 1 Large Egg.

And, plop it into the bowl.

Beat again until smooth.

Mix together 250 grams Plain Flour, 1/4 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda and 1/4 teaspoon Salt, and add to the bowl.

Mix on a low speed until combined.

Divide the mixture between two sheets of cling-film. It will be quite crumbly, but don't worry.

Form into two logs and wrap up. Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes until firm.

Whilst the dough chills, it's a good idea to make the chocolate peanut butter filling. 

Into a heatproof bowl, place:
3 tablespoons Smooth Peanut Butter
30 grams Unsalted Butter
Pinch of Salt

And, 230 grams Dark Chocolate.

Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and let everything melt together. Once melted, stir and take off the heat. Cool and then chill until thick but spreadable.

When it's time to bake the cookies, take the logs out of the freezer. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 or 180 degrees or 160 degrees fan.
Grease and line two baking trays.

Unwrap the dough, and slice into approximately 0.5cm slices.

I sliced mine a bit too thick but it was ok. 

Place the cookies onto the baking trays.

Leave a little gap between each cookie.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Once baked, they should be puffed and faintly golden around the edges.

Leave them to cool on the tray for 10 minutes.

Then, cool completely on wire racks.

Once completely cool, it's time to assemble them!

Put the cookies into pairs, and spoon or pipe a teaspoon of the chocolate filling onto one of the pairs.

Sandwich the pairs together.

Enjoy the cookies with a cup of hot tea or coffee on a grey afternoon!

Full Written Recipe:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies


Ingredients – makes approx. 15 cookies

For the Cookies
115 grams Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
225 grams Smooth Peanut Butter, at room temperature
100 grams White Sugar
95 grams Light Brown Sugar
1 large Egg
250 grams Plain Flour
¼ teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
¼ teaspoon Salt

For the Filling
230 grams Dark Chocolate
3 tablespoons Smooth Peanut Butter
30 grams Unsalted Butter
Pinch of Salt

Method

To make the cookies, into the bowl of an electric mixer, place the butter. Beat until smooth.

Add the peanut butter and beat again until well combined.

Pour in the white sugar and brown sugar, and beat again.

Add the egg, and beat.

In a separate bowl, mix together the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix on a low speed until combined.

Divide the mixture onto two sheets of clingfilm – it will be quite crumbly. Form into 2 logs and wrap with the clingfilm.

Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes or until firm.

Whilst the cookie dough freezes, make the chocolate filling. Place all the ingredients into a heatproof bowl, and put over a pan of simmering water.

Once melted and smooth, remove from the heat and let it cool. Chill in the fridge until it is thick but spreadable.

When the cookie dough is ready, preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 or 180 degrees or 160 degrees fan.

Grease and line two baking trays.

Slice each log into approximately 0.5cm slices. Pop onto the baking trays, leaving a little gap between each, and bake for 10-12 minutes until puffed and faintly golden around the edges.

Let them cool on the tray for 10 minutes before moving to wire racks to cool completely.

Once the cookies are cold, put them into pairs.

Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the chocolate filling onto one of the pair, using either a teaspoon or piping bag.
Sandwich together, and continue with the rest.


Serve the cookies with tea or coffee for a delicious sweet-salty treat!

This Time One Year Ago:


This Time Two Years Ago:


Keep me in your duas, please,

Wasalaam!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Butter Chicken

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I know that I just shared a chicken curry recipe but here's another. Someone on Instagram asked whether I had a butter chicken recipe and then I remembered, yes I do! In the depths of my food photos, I knew there was a time when I took pictures of my mum making a huge batch of it for a family dinner.
There are so many ways to make Butter Chicken that I actually have no idea if there is an original recipe out there. 
The dish first featured on this blog when my mother made it for a family gathering back in May. Then, she added the butter at the end of the dish to finish it and let it melt into the delicious sauce.
The version I will be sharing today is when the butter is added at the beginning in place of the usual vegetable oil. It was first made for a pre-Ramadan dinner held in June - I miss Ramadan now!

Chicken Curry, previously:

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Chicken Breast
2. Salt
3. Red Chilli Powder
4. Ground Turmeric
5. Curry Powder
6. Dried Fenugreek
7. Plain Yoghurt
8. Crushed Ginger
9. Crushed Garlic
10. Butter
11. Onions
12. Tinned Tomatoes
13. Ground Cumin
14. Ground Coriander
15. Fresh Coriander

Bismillah, let's begin!

The pictures will show larger amounts of ingredients than the recipe - I've scaled the recipe down to work with 1 pound of chicken breast but feel free to double or even triple, if you want.

First, we will marinade the chicken. The chicken is roasted in the oven and then added to the sauce at the end.
Into a large bowl or the actual roasting tin itself (line it with foil - it'll help with clean up), place 1 pound Chicken Breast, cut into medium pieces.

Then, add all the rest of the marinade ingredients which are:
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
2 teaspoons Dried Fenugreek
2 tablespoons Plain Yoghurt
1 teaspoon Crushed Ginger
1 teaspoon Crushed Garlic

Give everything a very good mix and then cover with foil to marinade. Marinade overnight, if you have time, but at least 1 hour.

When you're ready to bake, roast the chicken, covered, in a preheated oven at Gas Mark 7 or 220 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
Set aside until needed.

While the chicken cooks, make the sauce. In a large, deep saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons Butter on a low heat.

Add 3 Onions, peeled and sliced.

Give them a stir over a medium heat to get them coated in the butter.

Once they begin to sizzle, turn the heat to low and let them brown slowly.

Once they just begin to turn golden brown ...

.... add 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Ginger and 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Garlic.

Stir them in and fry for a few minutes on a medium heat.

Then, add 1/4 tin Tomatoes - both chopped or plum will work, as the sauce is going to be blended.

Stir them in.

Next, a few spices:
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander

Stir together and fry on a medium to low heat until the oil rises to the surface.

Remove from the heat and blend the sauce until smooth. Return it back to the same pan.

Add in 4 tablespoons Plain Yoghurt.

Stir in and cook again on a medium heat until the oil rises - about 5 minutes.

Then, grab your cooked chicken.

And, add it to the sauce.

Along with all of its roasting juices - this is where the flavour is!

Stir gently together and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes on low heat. Finally, add Fresh Coriander, chopped and to taste.

And, it's ready to serve! If you feel that it could do with more butter, add in a little more before simmering at the end.
Serve with boiled rice or naan bread.

Full Written Recipe:

Butter Chicken

Ingredients – serves 4-6 people

For the Chicken
1 pound Chicken Breast, cut into medium pieces
½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
2 teaspoons Dried Fenugreek
2 tablespoons Plain Yoghurt
1 teaspoon Crushed Ginger
1 teaspoon Crushed Garlic

For the Butter Sauce
4 tablespoons Butter
3 Onions, peeled and sliced
½ teaspoon Crushed Ginger
½ teaspoon Crushed Garlic
¼ tin Tomatoes (chopped or plum)
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
4 tablespoons Plain Yoghurt
Fresh Coriander, chopped and to taste

Method

First, to marinade the chicken. Put the chicken into a foil-lined roasting tray (for easy clean up). Add in all the rest of the marinade ingredients. Give everything a good mix.

Marinade for as long as you can – at least 1 hour but overnight is better.

To cook the chicken, preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7 or 220 degrees.

Roast the chicken, covered with foil, for 40 minutes or until fully cooked through. Once cooked, remove from the oven.

To make the butter sauce, take a large, deep pan. Melt the butter on a low heat and then add the sliced onions. Cook the onions, gently, until they are just turning golden brown.

Add in the crushed ginger and garlic, and fry for a few minutes on a medium heat.

Add in the tinned tomatoes and stir. Sprinkle in the salt, red chilli powder, ground cumin and ground coriander.

Fry on a medium to low heat until the oil rises to the surface.

Remove from the heat and blend the sauce until smooth.

Return the sauce back to the pan, and stir in the yoghurt. Cook again on a medium heat until the oil rises again – about 5 minutes.

Add the cooked chicken along with all its roasting juices. Stir together and let everything simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes, covered.


Finally, stir in the fresh coriander. Serve with boiled rice or naan bread.

This Time One Year Ago:


This Time Two Years Ago:


Keep me in your duas, please,

Wasalaam!