Four Clan Kitchen

What we eat everyday

Posts Tagged ‘quick snacks’

Almond Shortbread

Posted by fourclankitchen on June 2, 2012

Have you ever used almond paste?  It is basically marzipan, except that it has a little less sugar.  But if you like the flavor of almonds, this could be the ingredient that jazzes up your desserts.  I previously posted an almond cake on this blog that uses almond paste: it is one of my favorite cakes in the whole world.  I was rooting around for a recipe to use up a log of almond paste when I came across this recipe on the manufacturer’s (Odense) website.  I tinkered some with it and liked the results.  I swirled in some strawberry jam into the batter, it looked pretty, but the shortbread is really lovely without it.  Either way, this is a quick and wonderful recipe to have in your repertoire.


1-7 oz log Odense Almond Paste, grated (I cut it into small pieces, this worked fine, but next time I will blend it with the butter and sugar in the food processor)

1 cup sugar

2 sticks salted butter, room temp (the butter does need to be at room temp).

2 egg yolks

1tsp almond essence  (this is not in the original recipe, but I wanted a more intense almond flavor)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1 substituted 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup ground almond powder)

1 teaspoon baking powder

2-21/2 tbs.  jam (strawberry or raspberry),  optional


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Grease a 9×13″ baking dish.

3. Add the almond paste, sugar and butter to a mixing bowl. Mix

on low speed until combined. Increase speed to high and beat for

three minutes, scraping down bottom and sides of bowl.

4. Add the almond essence and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well between each yolk.

Beat on high speed for three minutes, until light in color and


5. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add to batter. Mix on

low speed, until just incorporated.Do not over-mix!

6. Lightly press the dough into the greased baking dish and  smooth the surface.

7.  Warm up the jam for a few seconds in the microwave, till it is runny.  Using a butter knife or a fork, swirl in the jam so that it forms a pretty pattern (I am no good at this, but the shortbread will go down the hatch pretty easily, pretty or not).

8. Bake 22-29 minutes or until lightly golden.  Mine needed 29 min, may be because I added the almond flour and the jam.

9. Cool pan on wire rack. Don’t cut until cool.

10. Store in an airtight container.


Posted in baked, Dessert, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Onion-cilantro dip (Onion chutney)

Posted by fourclankitchen on February 26, 2011

This dip is taken from the book Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan.  It has a number of exquisite recipes and if you are a vegetarian or would like to expand your repertoire of Indian foods, particularly Southern Indian foods, this book is for you.  This chutney is made by  sauteing onions with spices and then grinding the onions with cilantro/coriander leaves for freshness.  A feature of south Indian cooking, the use of lentils as spices is really well showcased here.  This dip is lovely with any flat bread or pita chips or as a side with any Indian meal.  And it could not be simpler to make.


2 tbs. oil

2 large sweet onions (or any yellow onions of your choice), diced in the food processor

2 tsp brown mustard seeds

3 dried cayenne peppers (omit if this is too hot for you)

1 green hot pepper , e.g, thai bird pepper or serrano (optional)

4 tsp washed urad dal

1/2 tsp asafetida/hing

1 marble sized dollop of tamarind concentrate

salt to taste

1/2-3/4 cup coriander leaves and tender stems (rinsed)


The original recipe requires 3 steps.  In the first step you infuse your cooking oil with spices and set these aside (tempering).  Then you saute you onions.  Finally, you  grind everything together with coriander.  I did this in 2 shots with perfectly delicious results.  So here goes.  Heat oil in a cast iron or other heavy-bottomed pan.  When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, the red and green chilies if using,  the hing and the lentils. Turn down the flame and continue to cook till the lentils are roasted and pick up a red/roasted look (2-3 min).  Now add the onions and saute till they are soft and golden-brown.  Now add the tamarind paste and mix thoroughly with the onions.  Add salt.  Allow the onions to cool, then transfer to a food processor or blender.  Add the cilantro to the food processor and blend the chutney till fairly smooth. Adjust the salt if needed. The lentils will remain partially unprocessed and will provide a contrast to the otherwise smooth chutney.  Serve as you would any dip, with pita chips or naan or as a side at an Indian or middle eastern meal.

Posted in Asian, condiments, Indian Food, Side Dishes, vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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