Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Baking for Kids with Cancer - A recipe for Beet Halwa bars with #OXOGoodCookies


Its no secret, I'm a confirmed OXO fan and have been ever since I was gifted my first set of peelers & a knife by my dad when I first came to the US of A. A complete newbie, the only store I had heard of in New York city were Bloomingdales & Macy's, and so I marched out there and had my dad buy me most of  whatever I needed to settle in. Sheesh, it was much later that I discovered other comfort outlets like the erstwhile Lecters.
 The fact that I still use the OXO peeler from last century is a testament to the product quality and design.

What keeps me loyal to to the brand in addition to the superb quality, is the company's dedication to noble and worthy causes. One such endeavor is raising awareness for the 'Cookies for Kids' Cancer' foundation, a recognized 501c(3) public charity in New Jersey, my home state. The company will donate $100 towards the charity because of this particular post and I owe it to you, my readers to make it well worth it. In all,  their target for 2015 is to donate $ 100,000  through product proceeds, bake sales and other fundraising efforts.


The latest baking tools that I tested were their new Baking pans, brownie spatula and this amazing wand used for dusting sugar. and as with all the other OXO products, this does  not disappoint.
The baking tray is made of heavy gauge aluminum with a high quality nonstick coating. Its professional grade, and you can feel the difference the instant you lift it up and hold it. Almost like a Le Creuset of baking pans!

 I fell in love with the tiny dusting wand. its a spherical scoop which turns into a perforated sphere with a single half turn. The gadget is completely non messy compared to the tiny sieves that I had been using all along. It may even be a multipurpose tool - perfect for steeping tea.


My 19 year old OXO peeler still going strong.
 For my new recipe, I decided to rework my pet recipe -  ( as much as I shouldn't be admitting that I have favorites from the 500 + recipes I've created, I do have a special attachment to one particular dish)  my Carrot Halwa Blondie bars. When I first made this 4 + years ago, I was a novice in terms of baking and all these years have taught me so  much more.

Yes, the carrots were replaced by red beets and the net result is this gorgeous scarlet color that imbues the bars. A worthy companion to the sunny orange of the original.

Beet Halwa Bars: (makes 24 pieces)


You need:

  • 2 cups All purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups shredded red beetroot
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter softened
  • 4-5 pods cardamom seeds, powdered
  • 4-5 cloves, powdered
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup brown demerara sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • confectioners sugar for dusting


Method:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Toss in the toasted pecan pieces into the flour and distribute evenly.



Combine the shredded beets, condensed milk and  the whole milk in a heat proof bowl and microwave for about 7-8 minutes until the beets soften. Set aside and allow to cool.
Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add  the powdered spices. Add the beet and milk mixture gradually and combine well with the creamed sugar and butter mix. Lower the speed on the mixer and gradually fold in the flour by the spoonfuls,  taking care to completely incorporate the flour before adding the next spoonful.




Pour out the batter into a 9 x 13 rectangular baking pan. Smooth out the surface using a silicone spatula.




Place the tray into the oven and bake for ~ 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.



Remove the tray onto a cooling rack. once the tray has cooled, dust the surface liberally with confectioners sugar.




Using a Brownie spatula, cut into squares and serve as an afternoon snack with a hot cup of coffee



To purchase any of these fabulous products, just click on the links in the post.

Bon Appetit!

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