Its Christmas time and it’s time to eat cookies and plum cake. No one to ask you why so much stuff is being baked and no one to tell you that it’s enough baking already.
So, we bake.
And we frost.
I adore royal icing cookies. It’s just that I’ve done no frosting these last six months, so my piping skills suck. But not my imagination. Nor my baking skills either. So, the more cookies I frost, the better they will become. Now the only problem I face, is that who will eat these cookies?
I made the traditional gingerbread cookies that have molasses. Because I feel that Christmas deserves masala and ginger. I love the warmth of the garam masala. Also, it’s a readymade spice blend, so makes the sourcing easier. The extra ginger powder-I love that. So, if you’re not a fan of the extra ginger, replace that with maybe cinnamon- or cardamom.
Also, if you do decide to replace the Atta or whole wheat flour with any other flour – apf or All-purpose flour / Maida, needs less moisture. So, omit the extra liquid. Any gluten free flour will need more liquid.
Having said that, I’m still trying to make cookies with a gluten free flour that I can roll out, cut, bake and frost. That too should appear soon.
Until before, I never managed to locate molasses, also the prospect of dealing with something so super messy and sticky was not too inviting. until I found Molasses powder. I’m not promoting any brand, just telling you that it is available in the market.
If you are unable to locate it, just make caramel with sugar and use that. In a sauce pan, place 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tbsp water,allow to caramelise and melt on low heat, till amber colour begins to appear. Don’t stir just move the pan. Add 1/4 cup water and allow it to reduce till you have a honey like syrup. Cool and use. Make enough to bottle, you can add the caramel to cakes too.
The most important thing about these cookies is that they are fragile. obviously because of the use of Atta or whole wheat flour. so gently handle the dough and follow these instructions.
|1. Divide the dough into two balls when you make it.|
|2. Roll out each ball between two sheets of parchment paper to about 3-4 mm thick.|
|3. A large big fat pastry roller is a blessing.|
|4. Chill the dough before handling it. Once it has chilled, dip your cookie cutter in dry flour and then cut out shapes.|
|5. Do not remove the cookie dough yet. Chill the dough once more. after 10-15 minutes, remove the excess dough and lift the cut cookie dough carefully with a spatula and place on parchment paper lined, flat cookie sheets.|
|6. Turn on the oven to preheat at 170C or 350F and then bake.|
|7. Reroll the leftover scraps as many times as you want to between parchment paper. the last cookies will be tough because after all the handling etc, gluten will have formed. But if you frost with royal icing, they will soften.|
Your cookies need not be frosted with intricate designs, just make the frosting, have some cones and sprinkles handy and have fun.
Atta Garam Masala Eggless Cookies with Molasses Baketitude
1 cup or 225 gms butter (I use Amul) at room temperature
1 tsp salt if you’re using unsalted butter
1 cup ground or caster sugar -not icing or confectioners’ sugar
2 tbs black strap molasses powder
2-3 tbsp milk or water
or 2 tbsp dark caramel
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or Atta sifted two times
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp dried ginger powder or 10-15 drops Ossoro Ginger Essence
1/2 tbsp garam masala- I use MDH brand
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
in a sauce pan place the butter, sugar, molasses powder and milk or water and gently heat. Add in the spices and salt. Mix well and allow the sugar to blend in. Don’t allow the butter to come to a boil.
If you’re using molasses, then omit the water. Turn off the heat to allow the mix to cool a bit.
Allow to cool 5 minutes.
In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. If you’re using a stand mixer, pour in the wet ingredients while the dough attachment is running. Else pour the wet into the dry, stir together and then use your hands to form the dough.
Shape into a ball, then roll out each ball between two sheets of parchment paper.
Cut out and chill again.
Place cut outs on a parchment paper lined baking tray and turn on oven to 170C. Bake for approximately 12-13 minutes. The cookies will still be soft. Allow them to cool on tray, before you slide them on to the wire rack.
Cool and frost.
I use an egg based royal icing because that gives you more freedom. A royal icing without egg white will also suffice. Since I am not an expert froster, I’ll just give you the basic recipe .
For the royal icing
1 egg white
1 tsp lemon juice
vanilla/ lemon essence
3-4 cups sifter icing sugar.
Whisk the egg white, lemon juice and essence. Slowly mix in the icing sugar.Colour and use.
For the Eggless royal icing
3-4 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
vanilla/ lemon essence
1-2 tbsp water.
Mix all the ingredients together to get desired consistency and use.
The cookies must be stored in an air tight container and at any time if you feel that they are getting soggy, place them in a warm oven at 100-120C for about 10 minutes.
If you are unable to eat them all, share the calories or crush them up and blend with sugar and butter. Make that a base of a no bake cheese cake in small glass. You have a base for another dessert.
It’s the season to be happy. Share what you bake. It gives more pleasure than the calories sitting on your bottom does. That and the fact that your friends will need to work out more than you do…
Never said that the Grinch has reformed in toto.
Merry Christmas Dear folks.
Bake, photograph, share and be merry!!!
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