Orange Spiced Christmas Cookies

I have long been an admirer of Shivesh’s work on instagram, under the handle @bakewithshivesh. A 20 year old Delhi based baker and blogger, Shivesh has been an inspiration for many and rightly so. Recently I got the opportunity to collaborate with him on some recipe videos for TeaBox. Today I am sharing these Orange spiced cookies which are perfect for Christmas cookie baking.

I  love this time of the year. Being a secular country Indians celebrate all the important holidays of different religions. Growing up, Christmas was a fun time for us. We had winter break from school, which generally started on 23rd December. The Air Force Wives’ Welfare Association would organize special children programs for us kids. Preparation for these would start days in advance, and I would always participate in some form or the other. Once I was part of the christmas carol choir, another time a play, and quite a number of times in the fancy dress competition. The best part of the evening would be when Santa Claus would come in a fire engine with gifts that had been pre handed to him by our parents. Candies and chocolate would be handed too. My mom’s Christian friend always sent her awesome christmas cake home which was enjoyed by us for days. Christmas also falls two days before my birthday and a day before my parents’ anniversary so our celebration would continue for days. This time of the year is always filled with family time, and baking. Lots of baking.

Classic Linzer cookies are made from shortbread dough that is baked and then slathered with jam to make a sandwich cookie of sorts. These cookies that I am sharing today get a twist with the Orange Spice tea from Tea Box, which has star anise, cinnamon, orange peel and cloves making it perfect for these christmas theme cookies. Shivesh adds the whole tea leaves in the dough itself, lending the cookies a lovely orange and spice flavor.

It was so much fun shooting this video for Bake with Shivesh and hope you enjoy the video I conceptualized and created for him. For the full recipe check Shivesh’s blog, Bake with Shivesh.

I know its been a while since I shared a recipe video on the blog, and I hope you like this one. For more recipe videos made by me you, click here.

Happy Holidays!

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Tart cherry, butterscotch and dark chocolate chip cookies.

Seas salt caramel, tart cherry and dark chocolate chip cookies

“Be brave.
You are never going to see the whole picture. You won’t always know how the pieces will fall together or break apart. Life doesn’t work like that. You take chances. You try your best. You follow your heart and your instincts. You give yourself a chance. You risk. You win sometimes and you lose sometimes – but either way you live. You learn. You grow. Be brave. Love, I pray that you will be brave. Bravely try. Bravely believe. Bravely fall and bravely rise again and again and again. You have to choose to believe that there is nothing and no one that can destroy you. You have to choose to believe there is no failure you cannot recover from. You have to choose confidence over cowardice. Choose faith over fear. Choose to try rather than stand still. Choose your story. Choose your dream. Choose your life. Be brave…”-   @soulbraille.

 

My mom used to make nestle tollhouse’s chocolate chip cookies for us as kids. That was the only chocolate chip cookie I ever ate as a child. Growing up chocolate chip cookies weren’t a thing in India. You didn’t get chocolate chips in India. A friend of my dad’s in the US would send us a packet of Nestle’s chocolate chips and my mom would use the recipe on the back of the packet to bake cookies for us. My brother and I loved them. The chips would be rationed carefully so these cookies were not made that often and were always a special treat when made.

Those were the good ‘ol days.

Phone wasn’t a thing, no social media to see what other people are up to and secretly envying their “perfect” lifestyle. Internet hadn’t arrived- at least not in our parts of the world. TV was limited to a single channel, satellite TV came a little later, but that too had only a handful of shows. We went outside to play. We spoke to people to make connections. We appreciated in person when we liked something instead of hitting a like button on a photo. We cared more about ourselves and not what other people were up to. We had time to make real and not virtual relationships and work towards growing them. While I love that technology has brought us all closer, it has some how also managed to keep us apart. It’s a different world we live in than the one I grew up in. There are times I want to disconnect from it all. But somehow my job requires me to remain connected. Or so I tell myself.

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Madeleines are a classic french butter cake/cookie. This recipe yields light and wonderful madeleines that have a hint of orange blossom in them. Super easy to whip up and a reliable crowd-pleaser!

Orange Blossom Madeleine

I have always wanted to make madeleines but since I did not have a madeleine pan I never attempted them. I have posted my mom’s english madeleine recipe on the blog, and while I love that recipe, english madeleines differ from their french counterpart. Both absolutely delicious but in different respects.

I finally invested in a madeleine pan and had been waiting to try a recipe for these. I knew as my first try I wanted to make the classic version, and keep the more complicated and fancier sounding madeleines for later. I had recently bought orange blossom water from amazon for another recipe, and never got around to making the recipe I bought the water for. From reviews of the madeleine recipes I had read online, I knew I had found the perfect way to use the orange blossom water lying in my cupboard.

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