Fruit Biscuits- Hyderabad Karachi Bakery Style

A few years back, my husband returning from a business trip brought back a box of these cookies which he said were the famous Karachi biscuits from Hyderabad.
Fruit biscuits, the box read. Having never had tutti frutti studded biscuits before, I bit into one gingerly and mmmm…it was lovely! Soft and crumbly with candied fruit.

I was very keen to recreate the texture and flavour of these famed biscuits. I tried, I failed, I tried again. I asked friends, I looked at various recipes and kept baking small batches. And finally when I baked the most recent batch, I smelt success!
No leaving agent is to be used- that’s the key! No baking powder, no baking soda.
The buttery crumbly softness and the mild crunch of the candied fruit- yeah…I am almost there 🙂
Here is how I made them
(This recipe gives 25 medium sized cookies)

150 grams (1 cup and 1 Tbsp) All purpose flour/Maida

110 grams butter (1/2 cup), softened but not melted

100 grams ( 1/2 cup ) Sugar. Weigh the sugar and then powder it in the mixer. I added only 1/3 cup as we like our cookies mildly sweet and the tutti frutti also adds to the sweetness)
½ cup candied fruit/tutti frutti/dry fruit ( You may use chopped dry nuts like almonds and cashews in place of tutti frutti or just raisins)
½  tsp cardamom/ilaichi powder

½ tsp rose extract ( May use almond/vanilla extract if rose not available. Rose water won’t give the required flavour)

Sift the flour. Leave the butter out on the counter till it is soft. Do not melt it. We need the butter soft, but not melted. Be very careful if softening in the microwave.
Beat the butter and powdered sugar till light and creamy.
1Add the cardamom powder, rose extract and candied fruit and mix well.
2Slowly add the flour in three lots mixing with your fingers. Incorporate the butter into the flour. The mixture begins to look like bread crumbs.
Gently bring the dough together. Do not knead!
Shape the dough into a log and cling film it. I put the cookie dough roll in a long cardboard box and tied it up to ensure it keeps the square shape.

46Refrigerate the dough for an hour.
Preheat the oven at 180C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (Check the end of the post for detailed baking instructions and the microwave baking option)
Remove the log from the refrigerator and cut slices about half an inch thick.
8Lay the cookies on the sheet at least 2 inches apart as they expand when they bake.
9Bake for 13-15 minutes. When the bottom of the cookies begins to brown, they are done. They will be soft in the middle, but will firm up on cooling.
10Cool in the baking tray for five minutes and then transfer to the then wire rack to cool completely. 11The cookies stay good for two weeks when stored in an air tight container.
Enjoy with a glass of milk or hot chai or coffee.
IMG_8151IMG_8154 The first recipe I tried was from here. Working on the basic idea, I made several changes to get mine.
Oven and baking specifications
I have a 45 Litre Oven (with a fan) and baked these at 180C . I placed the baking tray on the middle shelf, with both the upper and lower elements on. However, each oven behaves differently, so please adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly. Basically, as soon as the bottoms of the biscuits begin to change colour, the baking tray needs to be pulled out. It may take longer than the 14 odd minutes it took me. So watch those bottoms! And do not Over Bake!! That will totally kill the biscuits. Slightly browned bottom and a soft top, that’s what we are looking for 😀

Want to bake them in the microwave? Here is some wonderful explanation on how to go about it at ‘Cakes and More’.

I am taking these soft crumbly delights to Fiesta Friday 70!  Thanks Dini and Mollie for hosting the party this time 😀

Eggless Wholewheat Oatmeal Pistachio Rose Cookies

IMG_6440Because I am on a cookie baking spree,
And we loved the Rose Pistachio Cookies
And they vanished within three days of making, I decided to bake them again! 😀
A lot of my friends wanted an egg free recipe and I wanted a Maida (APF) free one. So I tried making them tweaking my Whole-wheat Oats Biscuits recipe. And it worked like a charm. The new oven seems to like me 😛
This recipe gives about 12 cookies.  I also made some thin and dainty wafer like cookies. They were amazing! I need to work more in that direction 😀
You need
100 gms (a little less than one cup) whole wheat flour
100 gms (a little less than one cup) Oat meal
90 gms butter, soft at room temperature (but not melted)

80 gms sugar, brown preferably, else white
½ tsp Baking Soda
2-4 Tbsp milk, at room temperature
1 tsp cardamom powder
2 Tbsp dried rose petals, crushed
3 Tbsp pistachios, crushed
2-3 drops of pure rose extract or ¼ tsp rose water

Measure out 100 gms of oats and grind them in the mixer to get oatmeal. Do not grind too fine.
Whisk together whole wheat flour, oatmeal, sugar and baking soda so that they are well mixed.
1Add the butter to the flour mixture and mix it into the flour rubbing with fingers to get a bread crumb like texture.
4Add the rose extract, rose petals and crushed pistachios and mix well.
3Very gradually, one tbsp at a time add the milk and get the dough together. Do not knead at all! Just keep adding the milk slowly to get in together.
7Cover in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
8Pre heat the oven at 170C for ten minutes and line a baking tray. Mine is non stick so I simply greased it lightly with butter.
Divide the dough into two.
On a clean plastic sheet, roll out the dough to about 1 cm thickness. I cover the dough with the plastic sheet while rolling out. It makes is easy to roll out.
9Spread some pistachios all over the rolled dough and roll lightly to press them in.
Cut cookies with a cookie cutter or with an inverted steel glass or bowl.
10Bake for 14-15 minutes
11Let rest in the baking tray for 3-4 minutes.
Remove to wire rack to cool completely and store in an air tight container. They stay good for about two weeks.
These are the wafer thins. We loved them the most! So light and crunchy 😀
You may use any other nut like cashews or walnuts  and replace the rose extract with vanilla or any other extract to get flavours of your choice.
Enjoy these delicious and healthy cookies with your morning or evening cuppa!