Pistachio and Rose Cookies

IMG_6334This May I’ve taken the plunge, decided to get brave and work on my cookie and cake baking skills. Too melodramatic, was it 😛
But honestly, I went and got myself a larger oven ( hopefully free of hot spots like the previous tiny one) and have decided to bake on a weekly basis.
So I saw these gorgeous Pistachio Almond Milk Cookies on Simi’s lovely blog ‘Turmeric N Spice’ and just had to bake them!
I made them with lots of pistachios and rose petals ( Maybe I am still hung-over with the flavours of the Middle East from last month :D). The aroma from the roses and rose water filled the kitchen as the cookies baked….it was heavenly!
We loved the flavours so much that I baked an egg-free Wholegrain and Oatmeal version of these. More on that in the next post.
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You need
1 cup All Purpose Flour /Maida
1 cup whole wheat flour/aata
115 gms of butter, chilled and cubed
3/4 cup sugar, powdered
1 large egg ,cold
1/2 tsp rose extract or rose water
1/4 cup + 1tbsp milk powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup crushed pistachios, crushed
2 Tbsp dried rose petals, crushed
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Beat the sugar with butter till creamy. I used my hand mixer. It took about 3 minutes.
Edited3Edited4Add egg and rose extract and mix.
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In another bowl whisk together the flours, milk powder, salt and baking soda. Add half of this flour mixture to the egg-butter mixture and fold in to get together to make a dough.
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To the other half of the flour mixture, add the pistachios and rose petals and incorporate into the dough.
Edited6Shape the dough into a log , or two logs depending on the size of cookies desired. Cover in cling film and refrigerate for 4 hours.
IMG_6329Edited10Preheat the oven to 180C
Cut the cookies about 1 cm thick and arrange them on a lined baking tray, placing them an inch apart.
Edited12Bake for 12-13 minutes. Let rest on the tray for 5 minutes. Then remove to the cooling rack.
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Enjoy with coffee, tea or a glass of chilled milk, like I did 😀
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Digestive Biscuits- Wholewheat and oats

Food, memories, nostalgia…I say that a lot. I feel that a lot. So biscuits with chai, most of us like them. My most favourite biscuits ever are those that came out of a peepa aka tin when I was ten. We would visit our Naani’s (maternal grandmother) and she gave us kids a glass of milk and a bowlful of biscuits from her fabled peepa. I later learnt, she would send aata(whole wheat flour) , ghee (clarified butter) cardamom and sugar to the local baker and he would send back a big tin full of these crunchy and aromatic  ilaichi biscuits.
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I have been trying to find a perfect recipe to bake some of those peepe waale biscuit forever and tried quite a few but didn’t get ‘that naani waala’ taste! Then I found this recipe here at Steve’s Kitchen, made some adjustments and Man! Was I happy!

I carried two big boxes when I went to visit my hometown last week and Mom said mine were better than the peepe waale biscuit!! Joy!

This is what you need to make them
(This measure gives 10-12 bicuits  when cut with a 3 inch cookie cutter)

100 gms or (about a tbsp less than 1 cup) of aata /whole wheat flour
100 gms or  (2 tsp less than 1 cup) of oatmeal
80 gms home made butter at room temperature (you could use Amul or any other)
A pinch of salt (skip if using salted butter)
75 gms or 3/4 cup granulated  white or brown sugar ( powder it before use. Can use brown sugar or even desi shakkar to get a nice brown colour)
1 tsp cardamom/ilaichi, powdered fine
1 tbsp sesame seeds roasted and ground coarse (optional)
2 Tsp desiccated coconut (Optional)
2-3 Tbsp of milk at room temperature
Half tsp baking soda

Take regular cooking oats  and grind  them coarse in the grinder. It should look like this.
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Roast the sesame seeds and grind them coarse too.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, oatmeal, salt, powdered sugar, sesame, desiccated coconut, cardamom powder and baking soda. Mix well with fingers.
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Now work the butter into the mixture. The mixture looks like bread crumbs.
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Very gradually, one tablespoon at a time, add milk and bring the mixture together as a dough. It does not need to be kneaded too much. It should be reasonably firm.
Our biscuit dough is ready. Cling film it and refrigerate for an hour.
The dough can be rolled on a floured surface.
What I do is, lay the portion to be rolled on a plastic sheet and cover it with another. This makes it very easy to roll without any mess and the biscuits come off the plastic sheets easily.
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The dough will be a little crumbly. Keep sealing the tears in the edges and bringing them together as you roll.
Pre-heat the oven at 150C for ten minutes.
Take portions of the dough and roll out as thin or thick as you like- about 1/4th of an inch for regular biscuits or thinner if you want dainty and very crisp biscuits. Cut the biscuits with a cookie cutter into desired shapes.
I made some thin and dainty flower shaped ones and the others round and regular thickness.
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Lay the biscuits on a well greased baking sheet and bake for about ten minutes till golden brown. Watch closely and remove them as soon as they get golden brown. They burn easily!
They will be very soft when you transfer them to a cooling rack so handle them very carefully. I use this flat spatula to transfer them to the cooling rack.
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Let them cool and enjoy!
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Full of the goodness of wholewheat, oats and home made butter, these are a healthy treat and so filling! Two with tea and breakfast sorted 😀
They can be stored in an airtight box when they cool completely. They stay good easily for a fortnight.

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Crunchy Sesame Thins

Kids love Sesame Street and I love sesame seeds, in sweet goodies as well as savouries! Ma makes these wicked sesame crackers/mathris (fried little monster discs). I have been craving them some time now. Guess the rains are to blame. A huge cuppa with those ‘Til waali mathris’ on my balcony, dream like!
This Saturday morning, I decided on a no deprivation and no guilt policy and baked these mildly sweet cardamom and sesame thins. Crunchy crackers and coffee are a marriage made in heaven!
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So here goes

Crunchy Sesame Crackers

Ingredients

Whole wheat flour- 1 cup
APF/Maida- 1 cup
Toasted Sesame/Til- ½ cup
Ghee/Butter- ½ cup
Sugar Syrup- 1 cup ( a cup of water boiled with 1/3 cup of sugar)
Powdered cardamom/Ilaichi- 1 tsp
Baking Powder- a pinch

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Boil the water and add in the sugar. Boil for a few minutes till the sugar dissolves well. Add the cardamom powder. Set aside to cool.
Toast the sesame on a griddle till the colour changes. It will let out a lovely nutty aroma. Be careful not to burn.
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Mix the flours and baking powder and add the sesame. Add the ghee/melted butter and mix well with fingers.
Slowly add the sugar syrup to knead soft dough. Add only as much syrup as required to get a medium firm dough. You might not need to use up all the syrup.
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Roll out thin and cut rectangles, squares or circles.
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Pierce with a fork all over the crackers.
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Preheat the oven for ten minutes and place them on a lightly greased baking tray and bake on 180C till they are going from blonde to brown. It takes me about ten minutes.
Watch like a hawk while they bake!! As soon as they go from blonde to brown take them out. Cool and enjoy the crunch!
IMG_20140719_131406_wm Yum!
Store in an air-tight jar and enjoy many morning cuppas!

Give them a traditional look and make these til waali meethi mathri. Increase the sugar content if you like them sweeter 🙂

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