Kiddos! – White chocolate apricot shortbread

Months after I stepped to Finland in 2005, I got to know three wonderful Finnish family who have adopted three Indian baby girls, two from south  India and one from north. To connect with these family has been a blessing for me, have seen them growing for past five years. First time when I met one of those babies, her parents ran to me asking if was from south of India and could I speak in Tamil? Initially she used to very well understand Tamil and smiled when I spoke with her that’s when we started to connect later I got to know two other families. These days they hardly remember any Indian languages, but speak perfect Finnish!

I meet them now and then since not only I get chance to be with three lil girls but also with other blue eyed cute Finnish boys, families own kids. Most of the time, I hear their stories, though I don’t understand, play toys or just run up and down! My evening with them are so relaxing and enjoyable. Last summer (yes pretty old  recipe I say which was resting in hard disk, had to come out finally) for a evening with one of those kids, made apricot white chocolate shortbread, thinking she would like it. I was wrong!
                                              
As always we went around up and down, they had two fat cats, am not cat person they freak me out, knowing that she made sure cats sits on me and I was literally running from her, letting her to laugh loud and her mum saying stop!! 

Then came cookie time, the moment she saw my cookies, she asked “Mita…?” (what is ….)  followed by “Ei…” ” No….” all that was running in my mind was “Oh Ananda, you failed to impress a little girl, go jump into the lake”. Beside my shortbread, there was yum strawberry fresh cream cake glowing, no wonder she hardly had a look at my shortbread. Even-though her mum tried to convince her she didn’t bother much as she was licking clean her mum’s cake. I wasn’t sad but was smiling all the way and enjoying the cake aswell, but others were happy with my creations.
Later she was in the mission to teach me some Finnish, after hearing my poor Finnish pronunciation. We sat down and were learning, slowly her mum came and said in ears she is teaching you bad words. I was again thinking, 5 yrs in Finland, my knowledge level in this area is less than 5 yrs kids, jump again into lake. Oh don’t worry guys, I’m living city of lake!
End of day, I came back home, with some cartoon tattoos and stamps on my wrist, some flowers which she picked and some gifts from their trip to India, wonderful evening it was. Another lesson learnt, to bring food into kids attention is difficult. This is not the first time, I have failed with my niece as well. Have to work more on it!
Note: this recipes makes a big batch, following day took it to office for coffee, colleagues enjoyed it, realised it was more for grown ups!!

Ingredients

150 gram butter
200 gram sugar
230 gram cream cheese 
300 gram flour
200 gram white chocolate (chopped)
150 gram dry apricot ( cut in small pieces)
Method
Butter, cream cheese should be at room temperature.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly mix in cream cheese till it is evenly mixed. Add in white chocolate and dry apricot, then gently mix flour till a dough is formed. Make small balls out of dough. Give a small stab with fingers to flatten a bit and bake at 165 C in preheated oven for 15- 20 mins till turn pale pink brown.. Cool them for while for them to crisp up a bit!

Lazy Sunday Afternoon – Cinnamon Honey Baked Apricots

Sometime I crave for desserts which are light, sweet, warm and it should hardly take any efforts to make, after all it’s Sunday afternoon. I have mini dark chocolate store (7 to 8 flavors) but they don’t help at times. I went and stood staring at them for few minutes, walked to my refrigerator saw few apricots shrinking. Right then active grey matter reminded me of a quick recipe which Vinoo said to me, here it is. I simply love it, thanks Vinoo for coming up with wonderful recipe. Have it warm, for those who don’t like white chocolate you can very well have with vanilla ice cream or vanilla sauce. Happy working week ahead. Hugs!

Ingredients
5 Fresh for frozen apricots (I used fresh)
Few or desired amount of fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen) say I added 5 to 6 berries in each ramekins
5 tbsp of honey
1 – 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder ( I used 1 1/2)
5 piece of white chocolate (or choose much ever you want :))
Method
Deseed the apricots, make sure that you don’t cut them through out. Place each apricots in separate ramekins. Mix honey and cinnamon powder. Pour one tbsp of honey cinnamon mixture into the apricots.  Tug in few blue berries into the apricots. Bake the apricots in a preheated oven at 170 degree for 8 -10 minutes. The fruit and berries should become soft and juicy. Place chocolate pieces in each ramekins and bake them again for 2 to 4 mins till the chocolate just starts to melt.
Note: the baking time may vary according the fruit and the chocolate variety you use. May be it might take few mins less or more kindly check according! 

Apricot White Chocolate Pulla

Am excited to express that Google has started to recognize my blog “happy dance”. I celebrated by doing some shopping (ofcourse, indeed) at an antique shop (to be honest it was more or less an old market). I managed to pick those cutie little stuffs :)
Have decided to introduce names of my friends or people I encounter in my day to day life instead of me saying, my “this” and “that” friend. As a bond between me and novel world has started to form through my blog. So why not?
Today’s recipe, yes the color says it all, it’s basically Easter bread. I relished this extra soft “moist” pulla at Marjut (my department’s office secretary,  very warm and friendly person) house during Easter. Fell in love with white chocolate apricot combination. Immediately got the recipe from her, but it took more than a year for me to bake. Soon you will see many white chocolate based desserts, yes lately am drifting towards white chocolates.
Pulla is basically a sweet/dessert bread/bun. There are many different varieties of pulla. One that anyone would drool on is cinnamon pulla. I do have the recipe, hopefully it doesn’t take another one year for me to bake :)
I binged on couple of slices soon after photo session, when it was still warm. It tastes great with milk. Tea and coffee can be other options. Hope you all will enjoy the wonderful combination of apricot and white chocolate, don’t forget to mix a pinch of love.

These are the one I picked from so called antique shop