Overflowing Cookie Jars .....

and a child unwilling to eat any :(

I had always had this visual image of a pleasant kitchen with a small dining table; A pretty looking cookie jar on the table.

I forgot to visualise my son grabbing the cookies; Now, I beg him to try 1 cookie, promising him a red juicy apple or a bunch of grapes in return!

I have slightly better luck with my younger nephew; My older one is just as fussy. This time, when my in-laws returned home to Erode I deceided to bake 2 different batches of cookies, one aimed at tempting the older one and the other one a proven success with the younger one.

My version of Amaretti (Italian Almond Cookies):
  1. 1 Cup Almonds
  2. 1/2 Cup Chiroli
  3. 3/4 Cup Melon Seeds
  4. 1/2 Cup Sugar
  5. 1/4 Spoon salt
  6. 8 - 10 peppercorn
  7. 2 tbsp Maida (All-Purpose flour)
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  9. 4 egg whites beaten
  10. 1 yolk (optional - mine was a mistake but tasted fabulous)

  • Roast items 1,2,3 in a 100 deg Celsius oven for 8 to 10 minutes; Take care not to burn.
  • Pre-heat oven to 175 deg Celsius, line cookie sheet with aluminium foil, butter the foil.
  • Blend items 1 to 7 in a food processor / blender until fairly smooth.
  • Beat the egg whites, add the yolk beat, add the essence mix.
  • Pour the blended mixture to the wet mixture and stir.
  • Drop by spoonfuls on the foil lined pan.
  • Bake for 8 - 10 minutes.
  • Move the foil to a wire rack after it has cooled a bit.
  • Remove cookies from foil only when completely cool.

  • The foil lining (or Parchment lining) and cooling on wire racks are essential steps to ensure a somewhat crisp cookies especially in humid Chennai. Air needs to flow all around the cookie to make it uniformly crisp. Also cool for a few minutes directly on the wire rack.
  • The original Amaretti is made only with almonds, rather expensive here in India.
  • You can also add a teaspoon of almond essence for a more pronounced almond flavour.
  • Tastes fabulous with Raw sugar (instead of white sugar), available at the Econut store and Nilgiris, both in Besantnagar.
  • This made about 60 cookies.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies adapted from The Greystone Bakery Cookbook

  1. 2 Cups well-packed brown sugar (naatu chakkarai)
  2. 2 Cups butter at room temperature
  3. 1 eggs lightly beaten
  4. 3 yolks lightly beaten (leftover from the amaretti, substitute another egg)
  5. 2 tbsp water
  6. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 2 tsp ground cardamom
  8. 1 tsp baking powder
  9. 1 cup all-purpose flour (Maida)
  10. 1 cup whole wheat flour, shifted
  11. 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (the long cooking kind)
  12. 2 - 3 cups popped Amaranth (substitute another 2 - 3 cups oats)
  13. 1 cup raisin
  14. 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  15. 1/2 cup melon seeds

  • Preheat oven to 175 degree celcius
  • Cream together butter and sugar
  • Add eggs and/or yolk, water and vanilla. Mix well.
  • Add cardamom, baking powder and flour. Stir by hand
  • Fold in oats and/or amaranth, raisins and nuts. Blend thoroughly to distribute evenly.
  • Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on lightly buttered baking sheets (or pick with fingers and shape into dollar size circles)
  • Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until lightly tan.

  • The popped amaranth is high in iron, folic acid, etc... and readily available at the Econut store in Besantnagar. The original recipe only calls for rolled oats.
  • I left the quantity of oats at 2 - 3 cups because incorporating the entire 3 cups is a very tough job.
  • The quick - cooking oats can be used in a crunch but doesn't result in a crunchy cookie
  • Cinnamon is a good substitute for the cardamom. It is not the preferred flavour in my house.
  • This made about 9 dozen cookies, enough for 3 households :)
How time changes! Before Gautham, I used to bake a lot. Mostly cheesecakes, brownies and flan for my husband. Now the only man I try to please is my little master.

One thing hasn't changed though; When my father is around, he is the only man whose palate I try to please , with moderately healthy foods.
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