Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snack Attack

A little cubby in my galley kitchen is dubbed the snack corner. It is home to a couple of bags of tortilla chips and potato chips, bananas and ripening cantaloupe melons, the occasional box of cookies (often triple ginger cookies from Trader Joe's or good old Parle-G) and boxes of homemade snacks. This way, people who complain that they are hungry an hour before dinner, friends and neighbors who drop in all have something to nosh on. During the holiday season, the snack corner is better stocked than usual and today it is almost crowded, because I spent the morning making two sweets and one savory snack.

Recipe #16 is Butterscotch Candy. I saw the recipe only 2 days ago on Pinch My Salt and jumped up and down when I did. A year or two ago, I bought a bag of butterscotch morsels for some recipe that I never made and have now forgotten. Since then, every time I spotted the bag of butterscotch morsels (which are some highly artificial too-sweet concoction), I regretted that impulse buy. This recipe seemed to be a sign from the universe that I should use up the butterscotch chips and make something guilty-but-yummy, which is OK during the holidays, in my book.

It is a super-simple 3-ingredient recipe that I followed word for word. You melt the butterscotch chips, stir in corn flakes and roasted peanuts and scoop mounds of the stuff and let it solidify. Even a 5-year old could do it. And in fact, 5-year olds should do it, because this recipe has exactly the kind of sticky, messy, happy feel to it that they would love.

In spite of myself, I'll go ahead and admit that this candy is a delicious sugar rush. As I'm typing this, I can spot V sneaking past me to get one more of these from the snack corner.

Recipe #15 is Flourless Pistachio Cookies that I spotted on Kalyn's Kitchen two weeks ago. I have a strong affinity for recipes with really short ingredient lists, and this one is a winner with only 4 ingredients (almond meal, pistachios, sugar, eggs). I followed the recipe closely, making only two modifications. I used sugar instead of Splenda but reduced the quantity to ¾ cup, and added a splash of vanilla extract to the batter. The whole thing gets put together in 5 minutes in the food processor.

The cookies were nutty and delicious! I made platters of the candy, cookies and slices of fruitcake (yes, I made it and it turned out great but that's a story for another post) for my neighbors.

I desperately needed something salty to counter all of that sweetness and decided to try the chivda from Vadani Kaval Gheta.  Now I have my own standard bare-bones recipe for chivda that I've posted before, 4 years ago (!!). I think of the recipe from Mints! as my chivda 2.0 because it has all the fixings like puffed chana dal, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coriander and cumin powder that really make the chivda authentic.

I followed her recipe closely with a few tweaks. I mixed 3 cups Rice Krispies cereal and 5 cups thin poha and spread them in a sheet pan and roasted them in the oven at 275F for 15-20 minutes to get them crispy (instead of the microwave method used in the original recipe). I added some cranberries to give the chivda a festive seasonal touch; the tartness is also wonderful.

So that's Recipe #14: Chivda

Enjoy your weekend; I need to log off and cook some more- hungry friends are due to show up for dinner!


  1. I definitely want to raid the snack cupboard at your house. Each of those looks delicious!

  2. My snack corner seems to be ever full... despite all attempts to convert the snack-o-holic in my house :)

    Chivda is something I should try soon.

  3. Wow, what a productive day Nupur!!! I am sugared out from all the recent baking, so HAVE to try out the chivda recipe - just the thing I need right now.

  4. Thanks Nupur! I loved the addition of cranberries and rice crispiest.

  5. Your almond cookies are gorgeous! I think that's a great little cookie recipe. (And I agree, the holidays are about the only time I indulge in something rich and indulgent like that, but they seem perfect for Christmas!)

  6. Nupur, your picture is giving me such a cravings for Chivda! I think I'll have to make it today :) Almond pistachio cookies look great and being flourless is an additional benefit!

  7. Nupur, my great aunt used to make recipe #16 when I was a little girl -- she called them 'butterscotch krinkles'. She used peanut butter rather than peanuts. Imagine my delight, seeing this again today!

    Now I have to go way back and find out what all these numbered recipes are about ;)

    Happy Sunday!

  8. Oh, how I used to love munching off those snacks.. these days.. I have restricted myself to have some and after reading your post, I wanna have some.. now!

    Happy Holidays Nupur.


  9. I hear ya about the sugar rush - just posted the Gingerbread men and gingersnap cookies we baked yesterday and though they weren't too sweet - I did icing! and boy is icing sweeet!!!!

    The pistachio cookies look perfect but tis the chivda which beckons me!

  10. Chivda recipe looks really good. One of the first things I learnt to make was chivda in my moms microwave. Felt like a great chef when it turned out right. Btw I must say it's amazing to see the way you churn out this amazing recipes and still get time for all the other stuff. I wish you a very merry holiday season and happy year ahead. May we see many more wonderful recipes in your blog

  11. Lydia- You can come and raid the snack corner any time!

    Raaga- I'm the snack-a-holic in my home so I better not say anything...

    Priya- The chivda recipe is so quick and tasty; definitely worth trying!

    Mints!- I had the rice crispies left over from another recipe and this was a great way to use them up. Thank you for sharing your fantastic recipe!

    Kalyn- It really is a terrific cookie and very easy to make! I'm dunking one in my tea right now :)

    PJ- Oh you have to make that chivda- it is very tasty. I have been eating bowlfuls all weekend.

    Linda- Peanut butter instead of peanuts is a great idea! I wish I had done that rather than buying roasted peanuts.
    The numbered recipes: I am counting down 40 days to the new year by trying 40 new recipes.

    Siri- Happy Holidays to you too! This is the season to indulge in snacks ;)

    RShan- Yes, icing is tooth-achingly sweet! I love gingersnap cookies but don't think I have ever tried making them at home.

    Lakshmi- Thank you for the good wishes. Wishing you happy holidays and a great new year 2010!


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