Vanilla Button Wafer Cookies – Eggless, Simple and Irresistible

It was good to get a breather . Don’t remember the last time I had a weekend where I could actually have a cup of tea and sneak in a few moments that did not involve schedules and lists – of any kind . DH and yours truly are Yin and yang when it  comes to tea – a dash of sugar in one and absolutely none in the other one . Ginger shining through in one and no thanks on the other. Cardamom with a heavy hand on one and not so fast on the other hand. But for the 30 minutes, it was middle ground for tea and absolute serenity. Accompanied by absolutely ” melt in the mouth vanilla button wafer cookies”. Oh these were so good . Had to try this out because I wanted to make something for a dear old soul who would not eat anything with eggs in it.

These were buttery, crispy , absolutely melt in your mouth with vanilla not overpowering and keeping the flavor subtle but classy. I like those kind .  And I suppose now that these were such a hit , I would be experimenting a bit more – on the flavors .

INGREDIENTS:

  • Unsalted Butter: 1/2 cup 
  • Fine All Purpose flour : 1 and  1/4 cups
  • Powdered / Confectioner’s sugar : 1/2 cup
  • Fine Granulated Sugar: 1/4 cup
  • Salt: 1/4 tsp.
  • Milk : 1/4 cup
  • Pure Vanilla Extract : 1 Tbsp.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer cream the butter and sugar till you get a light fluffy mix. It should take about 4-5 minutes. Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl so all is incorporated and you do not have butter stuck high on the paddle.
  4. Add the quarter cup of milk and vanilla extra extract and make sure it is whipped in well.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl sift the flour and salt together.
  6. Add the flour to the creamed mix and fold  gently. Only till incorporated. DO NOT OVER MIX.
  7. Fit a pastry or piping bag with a large round piping tip. The dough is very very soft and pliable . Almost like very sturdy buttercream. So you should be able to pipe it out easily.
  8. Pipe about an inch diameter circles onto the baking sheets. These do not spread very much so an inch space between then should do.
  9. Bake for 16-18 minutes. You are looking for golden brown on the bottoms and around the edges. It is very easy to over bake, so keep an eye.
  10. Let it cool on the pan for about a couple of minutes (the cookies set further on the baking sheet ) and then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely and store it in air tight container.
  11. This makes about 60-65 one inch button cookies. Lasted about a couple of days  hours at my place.

NOTES:

  • Creaming is absolutely essential otherwise you will not get the desired consistency. If you think your white granulated sugar is a little big on the crystal size, pulverize it once before creaming. I would not use brown sugar here, because the molasses content in the brown sugar will make these soft.
  • Over mixing will produce tough cookies. The texture is crispy, absolutely melt in the mouth because of the high butter content. There is a fraction of caramelization as well and you can feel it in the taste.
  • Are these sweet? Yes. Overpowering? No. Could you reduce the sugar content? Possibly. I would probably experiment the next time by increasing the flour content and adding a couple of tablespoons of milk to ease out for the texture, keeping the butter and sugar content the same.
  • I honestly felt the vanilla extract was just perfect. You need the taste subtle not overpowering and this will make it a wonderful addition to a pudding or in ice cream. Would this work with wheat flour? Possibly but you will need fine milled whole wheat pastry flour for this. And definitely work on the ratios to get the texture.

 

 

Chunky Milk Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

How would you like some big – fat – wholesome – crunchy and crispy on the edge and chewy in the middle wheat – oats  and toasted nut – Chocolate chip cookies? Drooling ?

Fresh cookies baked with hint of cinnamon and some milk chocolate as well . And did I day they have reduced sugar. Definitely a worthy contender to the list of wholesome options. And not to mention the kitchen smelled heavenly . Definitely christmassy in spring theme , I say !

This was to have been published a couple of weeks ago. But let’s just say my Macbook decided not to cooperate and a whole bunch of my photos just poofed up in thin air !

Chunky Milk Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Lots of adventures aside, this recipe needs to be up as the cookies are long gone  and kids are clamoring for more. And I would love for you all to try it as well.

 

IMG_0722_edited-1HChunky Milk Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Gorgeous, big fat near bakery style cookies with crunch of nuts, hint of cinnamon and sweetness of milk chocolate balanced by semi sweet chips. Crispy, yet chewy oatmeal wheat cookies – served with a glass of milk and a big smile !

 

Prep time : 20 min

Baking time :  10-12 min

Cookies about : 24 -36

 

Ingredients:

Sift and Mix :

  • White whole wheat flour : 3/4 cup
  • Unbleached All purpose flour : 3/4 cup
  • Baking powder : 1/2 tsp.
  • Baking soda : 1/2 tsp.
  • Cinnamon ground : 1 tsp.
  • Salt : 1/2 tsp.
  • Quick cooking oats : 1 cup

To cream :  ( Ingredients at room temperature)

  • Unsalted butter  : 1 and 1/2 sticks or  12 Tbsp.
  • Granulated sugar : 1/4 cup
  • Packed dark brown sugar : 2/3 cup
  • Pure Vanilla extract : 1 Tbsp.
  • Almond extract : 1 tsp. ( optional)
  • Large , cage free egg : 1
  • 2 % milk : 2 Tbsp.

Additions for the final cookie base :

  • Milk chocolate chips : 1 and 1/4 cups
  • Semi sweet chips : 1/4 cups
  • Toasted and chopped walnuts and almonds : 1 cup

Instructions:

  • Pre heat oven to 375 F.
  • Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Clean up would be a breeze.
  • Sift and mix all the ingredients listed under order. Add the quick cooking oats  at the very final stage and then given a thorough mix.
  • Cream the butter well initially. Say for about 3 minutes.Then add in the sugars and cream for another couple of minutes to yield a fluffy creamy mass.
  • Add the whole egg and mix it in thoroughly and then add the vanilla and almond extracts and the couple of tablespoons of milk and mix till blended again.
  • Now add in the flour-oats combination mix. Just mix until no streaks remain . Do not over mix.
  • Finally fold in the chocolate chips and nuts for even distribution.  Fold it in please. Again DO NOT over mix please.
  • Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon scoop, scoop out portions of the cookie dough and place about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake at 375 F for about 10-12 min so edges are browned crisp , but centers remain chewy. Or if you prefer you can make it crisp entirely too. I made a combination of both.
  • Remove and cook on baking sheets for about 5 min. Remember they do continue to cook on the sheets, so change them out to wire racks after that to cool down.

Chunky Milk Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe is a minor adaptation of the original one from  Nestle site.

Chunky Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie

Would you like some whole wheat flour and thick rolled oats cookies with goodies which are tart, sweet and crunchy in it ? Oatmeal raisin is an all american classic cookie, but not exactly a favorite here at home. I really wanted to use up the tin of thick,rolled oats that found its way home after a shopping trip in November. Well you cannot really use it all up, but this is a great start and DH can swim in oatmeal whereas A1, 2 and 3 run away at the sight of it. It’s all about the compromise folks..Life is peaceful and oat battleground is calm again. What is it like in your place? do you guys love it? hate it? necessary evil it?

Chunky Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie

Why mess around with the basics eh? But we do what we got to do. And we bake the classic cookies with a minor twist. And who would not like to be done in 30 min flat ( apart from getting the butter and egg to RT ) ? 
And pick one while warm and flip it hand to hand so you can take a bite ? A 3 has just about perfected a neat technique he practices when the cookies are right out of the oven and cooling off on a tray. And we just absolutely would die if it cannot be picked up ๐Ÿ™‚

Chunky Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie

Let’s get a rundown on this ..

  • Whole wheat flour : check 
  • Rolled oats : check
  • Brown sugar : check 
  • Goodies : check 
  • Under 30 min : check !!
  • Chunky, Crunchy ,Crispy, Chewy : check 

Prep time : 15 min

Baking time : 16 minutes  

Yield : about 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • White whole wheat flour : 3/4 cup
  • Thick, rolled oats ( not instant) : 1 and 1/4 cups
  • Dark brown sugar : 1/2 cup ( packed)
  • Granulated sugar : 1/4 cup
  • Unsalted butter , room temperature: 7 Tbsp.
  • Large, cage free egg : 1
  • Cinnamon , ground : 1/4 tsp ( optional)
  • salt : 1/2 tsp.
  • Baking powder : 1/2 tsp.
  • Chopped, toasted walnuts : 1/4 cup
  • Dried Cranberries : 1/2 cup
  • Chopped Semi sweet or dark chocolate : 1/4 cup
  • Pure Vanilla extract : 1 Tbsp.

Method:

  • Pre that the oven to 350 F
  • Line two baking trays with parchment paper or silpat.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk very well. Add the rolled oats and whisk again.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer ( or if using a hand mixer) cream the butter initially for a couple of minutes and then add the sugars and cream for another 2 minutes. Smooth texture is all that we need
  • Add the egg and whisk till incorporated. Do not over beat.
  • Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon powder and whisk once again.
  • Add the flour and oats mix and fold it in.
  • Add the chocolate bits, cranberries and toasted walnuts and fold again. Note: Fold, not beat it in. Simple gently fold in so they are distributed. Do do not beat th check out of it. You will have tough cookie and not a tender one then.
  • Place spoonfuls ( about 1.5 inch balls/ globes / scoops) about a couple of inches apart  on the lined baking tray. Tip : taller scoops will yield chunkier , puffier cookies.
  • Bake for about 14-17 minutes, till edges turn brown and tops are a pale brown.
  • Let it cool in the baking tray for about 5-8 minutes before transferring to a wired cookie sheet to finish off the cooling process.

Enjoy with a tall glass of cold/ warm milk. Or perfect with a robust tea.

Chunky Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie

 

Gasp ! this is a breakfast cookie ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

Espresso/ Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

The sun peeked out after days of bleh weather here. An appointment got rescheduled. Multiple loads of laundry got done and dust bunnies were chased away. The sun shining on the deck enticed Maya ( my gorgeous and slightly nutty black lab) and she acutely made me aware why I probably needed to invest in a doggie door. The girl wanted to be in multiple places at once.. And there you have it, I think I influenced the dog !

And did I tell you about this week. We usually have nice weeks , crazy weeks and  – I – can’t – find – my head weeks.. This week was mercifully though just toggling between the first two kinds.  The next week would be headless chicken week. I guess the cookies fortify me for those. DH traveling and school, afterschool and after-after school schedules run amok. The kids had it more packed  and A1’s schedule honestly made my high school one look easy peasy.

Espresso/ Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

So in any case, felt the kids would enjoy this and a cup of milk as an afterschool treat.

And then again mom could sneak in one with a cup of coffee. After all when one bakes cookies, quality control and all .. Absolutely mandatory to test one. Fresh and warm out of the oven makes it even better. Oh and  what a treat it was, crisp on the edges, gooey chocolate chip , coffee shining through and bit of delicate fudgy center.

This is a take on the traditional toll house recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

I also was made aware of a National cookie day. Well a happy coincidence it seems.

Espresso/ Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep time : 10 min  Bake time : 10-12 min  Yields : About 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • Unbleached and Unbromated  APF : 1 cup
  • Salt : 1/4 tsp
  • Baking powder : 3/4 tsp.
  • Baking soda: 1/4 tsp.
  • Butter : 1/2 cup at room temperature
  • Granulated cane sugar : 3/4 cup
  • Large egg : 1
  • Pure Vanilla extract : 1 tsp.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder : 1/4 cup
  • Instant coffee or espresso powder : 3 Tbsp.
  • Mini  semi sweet chocolate chips : 3/4 cup ( reserve 1 Tbsp. to sprinkle on top if desired)

Procedure

Before you begin the baking process, please ensure all the ingredients are at room temperature.

  • Pre heat your oven to 350 F.
  • Line a couple of cookie sheets/ baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, first measure out the flour and whisk together with salt , baking powder and soda. Do not add more than what is called for.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer if using or any big mixing bowl – add the room temperature butter and sugar and cream till it is smooth and light in color. Mine took about 3 -4 minutes.
  • Now add the egg and whisk till incorporated.
  • Then add in the cocoa powder, instant coffee or  espresso powder, vanilla extract and whisk once again.
  • Add the flour gradually and fold till you do not see any dry flour remaining. Do not over mix.
  • Fold in the mini choco chips and reserving a tbsp. if desired so to sprinkle on the top of cookies before baking.
  • Scoop out using a cookie scoop ( usually a tablespoon of it or a bit more ) and drop onto the prepared baking sheets. Space them apart to allow room for expansion.
  • Bake for about 10 min, the cookies will remain soft but set.
  • Cool them in the tray for about 5 minutes and then gently using a spatula, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • These are firm and tender, crispy yet fudgy in the center.
  • Best with a tall cup of milk

Espresso/ Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti with dark chocolate drizzle !! Perfectly crisp and delicious!

Gosh ! Don’t you just love  Biscotti ? Well I do ! Atleast now. Twice baked goodies of perfection originated in Italy and as American as apple pie, these  find their way into my pantry now more often.

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti With dark chocolate drizzle

There was time it was viewed as dry dust by me. More like saw dust. Hard as rock and bone dry, I was puzzled by it’s universal love. Maybe I had just got a bad batch, I reasoned. But nope after a couple of tries just nodded my head pleasantly and fixed a smile on my face whenever I was offered one, all the while thinking perhaps it was an acquired taste and how not choke on it!  I mean how much can one love those hard as rock, dry as saw dust cookies…. even when dipped into espresso?

Then, I chanced upon these glorious home made treats from a fellow worker. Moist but yet crispy with tons of flavor !  ( Yes, I do realize its quite oxymoronic in its description). She was generous enough to bake me some for Christmas. Rather her mom was a sweetheart ! And then over the years I developed tender feelings towards it. That’s just me, sort of need to crack the science in it.

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti With dark chocolate drizzle

And another version at TJ’s marketed as the soft biscotti caught my fancy. Rather DH bought a tub and we I indulged in it a bit too much over the weeks. Whatever the case, I fell in love. Oh!, not that dewy, butterflies in the stomach kind , my lips are are truthful, but the OMG I can bake this at home kind.

So after much wheedling for the recipe and a few pointers and misfires, this recipe from a friend and mish mashed with the one on Allrecipes site works perfectly!

Crispy and crunchy and perfectly dippable but eminently eatable as a standalone cookie,with a generous combination of lemon and pistachios and with a touch of softness so you enjoy the cookie ! Add a tiny, tiny touch of wow with the gorgeous drizzle of dark chocolate ! C’mon now, what’s your excuse for not reaching out for one ?

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti With dark chocolate drizzle

  • Baking temp : 375F
  • Baking time : About  25 minutes + 10 minutes 
  • Prep time : 15-20 minutes
  • Yield : 24-48 cookies

 Ingredients

  • All purpose flour / APF : 3 1/4 cups/ ( I use unbleached and unbromated one)
  • Canola/Vegetable/Sunflower oil : 1/2 cup
  • Sugar : 1 cup ( 1/2 white + 1/2 brown or all white granulated)
  • Large Eggs : 3 ( at room temperature)
  • Baking powder : 1 Tablespoon
  • Lemon extract : 1 Tablespoon
  • Grated zest of lemon : 2 tsp.
  • Chopped raw pistachios : 1/3 cup ( chopped roughly)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. This recipe absolutely needs parchment/ baking paper. Greasing the sheets with oil or dusting with flour might not really produce the same kind of success.
  3. In a separate bowl mix 3 and 1/4 cups of flour and baking powder and whisk well to ensure they are mixed. While measuring out the flour, just scoop and level the flour. DO NOT make it a packed cup.
  4. In  the bowl of your stand mixer or the large mixing bowl you are going to use, break open  3 eggs and beat together with oil and sugar and lemon extract and lemon zest. Just a couple of minutes will do. You are aiming for a homogeneous mix of all.
  5. Add the flour to this egg- oil -sugar and flavor mix in stages until all incorporated. The dough will be heavy and sticky. DO NOT add any more flour than what is called  for.
  6. Scoop out the dough onto the 2 prepared  cookie sheets by dividing it as equally as possible.
  7. Flour your hands well. Yep I prefer flouring my hands rather than flouring the sheet or the dough. Just dip your hands or dust it well with the flour. Now pat each dough to about 1/2 inch thickness and the length of your cookie sheet. I kept the width of the dough to about 9 inches ( ala the starbucks kind) so it did not extend all the way to the end. But if you keep the width to about 4 – 5 inches then you can form a neat rectangle that extends to the length of the cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes. DO NOT wait too long then the cookie log will harden to a point beyond usability. Using a pizza cutter or a very sharp serrated knife, make 1/2 inches to 1 inch slices thickness.
  10.  Place the slices cut side up back onto the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes on one side.
  11. Then flip it and back for another 3 minutes or so on the other side. Please do keep an eye out. You want these toasted golden brown and not burn to crisp.
  12. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  13. Once cooled very well, melt some dipping dark chocolate and drizzle to create a lovely pattern.
  14. Let the drizzle set and enjoy the fresh baked biscotti with a cup of espresso, latte or like in my case a good cup of tea!

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti With dark chocolate drizzle

Wheat shortbread cookies ( Nankhatai) with Cranberry and Pistachios

I swear I do not know if baking is therapeutic. I seem to do these things when I have million other things going.. When I do seem to find a bit of time ,I usually reach for a book. Though the latter does not seem to be happening lately. I am falling behind on catching up with some great novels. I used to be a bibliophile? Notice the past tense? Sigh ! Maybe these will put me in the mood to catch up on some reading, movies and music.

Wheat shortbread cookies ( Nankhatai) with Cranberry and Pistachios

 

A seemingly blah day can be perked up with these dainty Shortbread cookies or  Nankhatai made with wheat? Yes of course! Made with wheat and some goodies in it as well.

Improvised my old recipe on a lark and it seemed to work ..

These are some gorgeous melt in the mouth cookies. The only problem, they’re so melt in the mouth that you do need to hide the cookie tin away !

Wheat shortbread cookies ( Nankhatai) with Cranberry and Pistachio, with just a hint of oranges and saffron!  Lovely!

Wheat shortbread cookies ( Nankhatai) with Cranberry and Pistachios

Wheat shortbread cookies ( Nankhatai) with Cranberry and Pistachios

The amazing bend of flavors works so much in their favor and these are truly met in the mouth. As a big plus, I used soft brown sugar . Now this provided the extra  dimension and some crunch. If you can only taste this, I tell you would be absolutley taken in ! And if you do plan on selling you house this is a great smell to entice your buyers ! Fresh baked cookies.. Can it get better than this?

This is a tweak from my other Nankhatai recipe

Prep time : 15 min  Dough resting time : 30 min

Bake time : 14-16 min  Yield : 20 cookies

Shelf life : Minimal with 3 tykes in the house ( 1 week)

Ingredients :

  • White whole wheat flour : 1/2 Cup
  • All purpose flour : 1/2 Cup
  • Unsalted Butter at room temperature : 1/2 Cup = 1 stick
  • Salt : A tiny pinch ( to enhance the flavor) ( 1/4 tsp.)
  • Baking Soda : 1/2 tsp.
  • Fine soft brown sugar : 1/2 Cup
  • Saffron strands : a generous pinch, slight warmed and crushed well to be mixed
  • Chopped raw Pistachios : 1/8 cup
  • Chopped dried Cranberries ( craisins) : 1/8 cup
  • Pure orange extract : 1 tsp.
  • Zest of orange : 1 tsp. ( optional)

 Garnish: ( Optional)

Raw Pistachios : fine chopped, 2 Tbsp.

Method :

  • Cream the butter and  sugar in a big mixing bowl. Cream it well until the sugar granules are nice and invisible in it. The creaming is essential to get the texture and ensure proper baking too. In the case of brown sugar, you might still see tiny flecks of it.
  • In an another bowl, whisk together sifted whole wheat flour and all purpose flour, baking soda, salt, crushed saffron. Whisk it well to aerate it and to ensure even distribution of the soda and saffron.
  • Add the dry mix into the creamed mixture. Add the chopped nuts and cranberries as well mid way into binding the dough to ensure even distribution.
  • You should be able to form a soft pliable dough. Honestly you should not need any liquids to bind this dough and this will be  a super soft one. ( Yep, it’s loaded with butter)
  • Refrigerate it for say 30 min. ( I believe this would make crisper cookies)
  • Pre heat the oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Pinch out small globes from this and make  nice smooth cookie balls. Indent  with  the flat side of the fork to lend it your touch. Place it about 2 inches apart from each other to ensure good baking and breathing space.
  • Garnish with chopped nuts (Pistachios in my case ).
  • Pop it into oven and bake it for about 14-16 min
  • I baked  mine for 17 min, because we love the crispy-crunchy-melt-in-your mouth kind of cookies. These have a nice caramel color. Careful do not over bake them or burn them !
  • Let it cool on the wire rack .( And if you do not keep an eagle eye, a few of them would be sampled right away)
  • Store in an airtight container

Wheat shortbread cookies ( Nankhatai) with Cranberry and Pistachios

Enjoy!

( Now please excuse me – a cup of Ayurvedic tea  is calling my name!!! )

Chocolate Nut and Berry Clusters

Cleaning up the pantry sometimes yields surprise finds. So take this for instance.. I had a couple of bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Honestly when I did find these , my thought was to fall back into baking a nice banana chocolate bread. But then again, surpriseโ€ฆsurprise .. You  really cannot do the banana bread without bananas.. Ahem! Okay so off they went on the counter while I foraged more. The search yielded cashews, almonds, walnuts and then some dried berries. You see where I am going with this right? Aha.. Not really a tough one is it? Out of the finds of the pantry, I give thee .. Absolutely amazing choco berry nut clusters! Ta-Da!

Measured out choco chips
Measured out choco chips

Decadent melt in the mouth, chocolate nut and berry clusters! All you need is a microwave safe bowl and this is ready in  minutes. 3-4 minutes to melt the chocolate and a few to chop the nuts if desired. Takes about an hour or two for the clusters to set at the room temperature. Now that I think about this , I feel this is a throwback to the Cadbury’s dairy milk fruit and nut – a luxurious treat of the yonder years when I grew up in India. And also incidentally the only kind DH would indulge in. I on the other hand love dark chocolates. I would to love to make this in the dark chocolate combination. But that again is the beauty and versatility of this particular nibble. Your mind is the only recipe book you need to refer to..

You really cannot go wrong with this of course!

Nuts and Berries of your choice
Nuts and Berries of your choice

INGREDIENTS

  1. 2 cups of semi sweet white and dark choco chips mixed.
  2. 2 cups of raw almonds, walnuts, cashews and dried cranberries and blueberries. Measure and chop roughly if desired or you can make it with whole nuts too.
  3. A pinch of salt to bring out the chocolate. Sea salt is better of course. 

METHOD

  1. Take a couple of cookie sheets or baking trays and line it with parchment paper or baking sheet.
  2. In a pyrex glass bowl or any microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and melt it in high for 3 minutes in 1 minute intervals. Stir it in after each 1 minute interval. The end result is a creamy smooth mass of melted chocolate.
  3. Add the chopped nuts and dried berries to the melted chocolate and stir it in. Add the pinch of salt and stir it in. Give it one more stir to ensure there is as much even distribution of the nut berry mix with melted chocolate.
  4. Using a tablespoon, measure out scoops of these on the parchment paper lined trays.
  5. Cool these completely before storing them ( about 1-2 hrs. depending on the room temperature). Need it in a rush? Stick these in the freezer or chiller tray of your fridge.
  6. Serve these with decadent mounds of vanilla ice cream or just eat them plain.
  7. Best stored in the refrigerator.
Pick me!
Pick me!

Nankhatai – Eggless,Crunchy, Buttery, Fragrant Cookies..

” Amma , How come we never can make this at home ?” was the question that stumped my mom , a few years ago. An impish curly-haired moppet of say 7 years , asked my mom  this question. Now make no bones about this , my mom had this uncanny ability to plunge into things  that challenged her whole heartedly .. When she had a mind to it ๐Ÿ™‚ Nothing is / was impossible was the motto! Usually the task of running a business alongside my dad, her passion for gardening, the occasional tuition lessons at home and oh yes, the new-found interest in baking all were worth the effort. In fact the last passion in particular had  a very profound effect at home … Baking sessions of eggless cakes and cookies and more using the pressure cooker and dry sand method. And add to this the multi-talented grandmom of mine, my mother’s mom would have a gazillion inputs and variations and innovations on the way.  It was  a madcap session at home sometimes punctuated by the heat from the kitchen, laughter and excited talks and voices of the ladies gathered at home and I could be looking at new experiments in jams and jellies or pickles or home-made ketchup to grand desserts and more. Now this was the good old days of Chennai ( Madras) in the late 80’s. At that point the heat and humidity of the Madras weather, compounded by the large cooking sessions could have driven any sane person nuts, but we of course were grandly buffered by the tree-lined streets of my hometown. No A/c at that time folks, just good old ceiling fans, stand fans and hand fans and breeze from the courtyard ๐Ÿ™‚

A visit last year to my place of birth though had me cringing of course ! Sigh ! No tree-lined streets , but more and more commercial properties and even more dust .. Why ? Why? must we lose what we have to understand the fragility of all good things in life. Any way I am digressing, the curly-haired moppet, yours truly fast forward a few years down the lane ( Alright, I am being vain, fast forward many years down the lane .. Sigh !!!) with the curly hair being occasionally tamed ๐Ÿ™‚ ) was sort of pleaded by the youngest tyke to make something yummy. Pretty please with a cherry on the top!!!!

This after gorging on lemon cupcakes , which we of course generously shared with visiting cousins.

Now remember the question I had asked my mom? Well the subject of discussion was this crunchy, butter drenched, flattened biscuits (Yes, the British influence, what can I say ,these are called biscuits in India ) or cookies was devoured steadily by the ilk of my cousins and self. The goodies in question were brought in by my aunt from Pune. Amidst the gaggling of kids and cousins, there were faint snatches of discussions and baking method. I have no clue on the outcome of this, but for some reason I was treated to this bit of beautiful memory from yesteryears.

When you troll the internet, you will find a gazillion variations if this cookie/shortbread/biscuit . Whole wheat version, the Besan ( chickpea flour ) version, the Sooji ( semolina ) and Besan version. Everyone and their cousin will have some thing on this and more ๐Ÿ™‚

But harking back to simpler times,  these cookies are made with butter , APF and sugar as the main ingredients. Yes , whole wheat makes it better (I do have a version I use and will post it as well ), but remember these are the snatches of comfort from a bygone era.. Indulgent at the best . And an occasional indulgence never really harmed anyone .. Occasional being the keyword ๐Ÿ™‚

Prep time : 15 min  Bake time : 18-20 min   Yield : 16-20 cookies          

Shelf life : You are joking right ? (Ok if you really want  to, it should stay for about a week and more in an airtight container)

Ingredients :

  • All purpose flour : 1 Cup
  • Unsalted Butter at room temperature : 1 stick = 8 Tbsp.= ยฝ Cup
  • Salt : a tiny pinch ( to enhance the flavor)
  • Baking Soda : ยฝ tsp.
  • Fine Granulated sugar : ยฝ Cup
  • Cardamom pods : 12-14  pounded well to yield a nearly fine powder
  • Saffron strands : a generous pinch, slight warmed and crushed well to be mixed
  • Chopped nuts of your choice : Optional – 2 tsp. for garnish 

Method :

  • Cream the butter and  sugar in a big mixing bowl. Cream it well until the sugar granules are nice and invisible in it. The creaming is essential to get the texture and ensure proper baking too. Powdering the sugar absolutely helps, but remember to add a tad less than the 1/2 cup called for.
  • In an another bowl, whisk together sifted all purpose flour, baking soda, salt, crushed cardamom pods, saffron. Whisk it well to aerate it and to ensure even distribution of the soda and the fragrant spices.
  • Add the dry mix into the creamed mixture and form a soft pliable dough. Honestly you should not need any liquids to bind this dough and  this will be  a super soft one. ( yep, it’s loaded with butter)
  • Refrigerate it for say 20 min. ( I believe this would make crispier cookies)
  • Pre heat the oven to 350 deg F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Pinch out small globes from this and make a nice smooth cookie balls. Indent  with  the flat side of the fork to lend it your touch. Place it about 2 inches apart from each other to ensure good baking and breathing space.
  • Garnish with chopped nuts( pistachios in my case ) ,
  • Pop it into oven and bake it for about 18-20 min.
  • I baked  mine for 20 min, because we love the crispy-crunchy-melt-in-your mouth kind of cookies. These do not change color much – Careful do not over bake them or burn them ! You just might notice a slight browning at the base of the cookies .
  • The fragrance alone can drive your resistance away ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Let it cool on the wire rack(And if you do not keep an eagle eye, a few of them would be sampled and to be just sure again would be sampled again).
  • Store in an airtight container (this happens only when my tykes are away and no one is at home to sample the wares albeit for a short period of time).
  • Enjoy!

( Now please excuse me as a steaming cup of  Ginger Chai is calling my name!!! )

 

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Oats and Almond Butter Choco Cookies – Eggless and delicious!

A mouthful of  a name.. But that’s all right, cause this is one cookie you will fall in love with.  A breakfast cookie, crunchy crumbly cookie, a bite into low sugar decadent piece this is. And thanks to Sonal’s post on her blog and the Epicurean delights group on FB, this recipe beckoned to me. Plus I was on the lookout for a flourless one as well, eggless too. The clincher, this is not one of those overtly sweet cookies.
 
I honestly wanted to follow the recipe to the T, but then again I had a jar of almond butter sitting in the refrigerator. It did need to get used up , so switching things  a bit, I ended up with this cookie.
Also I used unsweetened cocoa powder and used brown sugar entirely.

Ingredients:

  • Almond Butter: 1 cup (I used the creamy one made from roasted almonds)
  • Oats ground : 1 cup(Roasted quick oats are pounded to get this)
  • Brown sugar : 1/2 cup packed.
  • Baking powder : 1 tsp
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder :1/3 cup
  • Milk :1/3 cup (Added in intermittently to help the binding the dough)

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350deg F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Whisk all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add in the almond butter and mix thoroughly. At this point the mix is partly crumbly and part sticky.
  • Add in the 1/3 cup of milk intermittently to get a soft pliable dough. You donโ€™t want a runny mess on your hands, so depending on the brand of oats in use, you might need more or less of the required amount of milk.
  • Drop in spoonful’s of batter  and press gently or roll into small lime sized balls and slightly flatten them on to the cookie sheet. I was actually able to roll it out into small globes because of the almond butter.
  • Bake at 350 deg F for 15-18 min.
  • Enjoy them warm with a glass of milk or just eat them plain!
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