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I’ve come a long way from my initial kitchen début (revisit the pancake fiasco). With the help of this awesome recipe book called the internet, I’ve learnt the art of not-having-maggi-for-dinner. And I must say I’ve enjoyed cooking much more than I thought I could. It’s a quiet pleasure, in having a kitchen and ingredients and making something that tastes just like what mom’s cooking did. Any guys out there who think it’s just a feminine thing are welcome to think so.. you just don’t know what you’re missing out on. I’m not concerned with the arguement of whether women belong in the kitchen. Cooking is very much like my work at a molecular biology lab. How much does pepper offset the flavor of other spices, and how much BSA will be too much for xyz restriction enzyme. (Ok, that’s kinda geeky). The fact remains that once you get the hang of it, you can pretty much make anything that you see in a recipe book. And as long as you have supportive neighbours to cook for, you’re well set :).

Watch out for my next self-help book titled “You can cook too!”. But for now, here’s one of my fav recipes, by popular demand. – Shortbread Cookies

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1) Mix together 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla essence.
The best thing about these cookies are that they are so easy to flavor. Add powdered cinnamon, or elaichi (cardamom) powder to get some fragrant cookies. Grated orange rind makes it citrusy, and minced almonds makes your house smell simply awesome. Crushed peanuts also give a good flavor. I tried it with chocolate chips, but they didn’t fare too well in the oven. Feel free to try it out anyway. 

2) Soften butter (around 100g, unsweetened is better.. salty butter make the cookies less sweet, thats all). Cut up the soft butter in pieces and mix it in the dough nicely.It should end up a lil stiff, not soft.

3) Knead the dough into a long cylinder, that you can cut slices out to make circular biscuits.

4) Wrap the dough in wax paper, saran wrap, or just cover it and keep in the fridge for 45 mins. It turns from a malleable dough into a hard something.

5) Cut out thin slices with a sharp knife. The dough should be firm and not bend under pressure.

6) I put the cookies some distance apart in the over at 375F for 12-15 mins (until they brown at the edges).

.. and voila :).

It’s not hard at all, I just broke it up into points to make it seem as though the process is important.

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