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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Cook with Hyatt Culinary Challenge

Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, one of the two celebrity chefs for the event, cooking his Gosht Badam Pasanda

Last weekend I got the opportunity to attend the Hyatt Culinary Challenge 2016 Grand Finale at Hyatt Regency, Chandigarh.

This is the third year of Hyatt Culinary Challenge, which started in 2014. To actively involve as well as encourage Hyatt’s patrons in the corporate world to explore their passions in the field of cooking, Hyatt India introduced this concept of a culinary challenge between senior representatives from the corporate world across 13 cities and its 24 hotels in India. Each of the participating hotels invited elite corporates to participate in a cook off in their respective cities and show off their cooking skills. A winner was selected from each city and on 19th November the 13 winners competed in the Finale for a chance to win the grand prize.

For the culinary challenge, Hyatt India partnered with SMILE foundation and a child from the foundation was paired with each guest participant for the cook-off, assisting them during the 90 minutes they had to prepare and plate their dish for the judges. The idea behind this is to expose these kids to various different professional options in the hope that for some it may lead them to discover and harness a skill they never thought of exploring before.

Cook with Hyatt Culinary Challenge

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Creamy, fresh and slightly tangy homemade passionfruit icecream

Homemade Passionfruit Icecream (eggless recipe)Homemade Passionfruit Icecream (eggless recipe)

A few years back I had a passionfruit and mango icecream at the Delhi Häagen-Dazs outlet. It was one of the best flavors I have ever tried and since then I have it in my mind to recreate a passionfruit and mango ice cream at home.

I had some frozen passionfruit pulp that has been lying in the freezer for a while now. I had bought it to use in a lemon curd, passionfruit buttercream and coconut cake, which turned out absolutely delicious. I somehow never got around to share the recipe, but hopefully will make it again and share on the blog soon.

Coming back to the ice cream, I have no idea why I waited this long to try the recipe, but oh my goodness, this ice cream is the bomb. Its not mango season any more in India so I couldn’t recreate the exact flavors, but I am not complaining. With a smooth and creamy texture and a slight tang from the passionfruit, this ice cream is a winner in my book.

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