Wheat flour cookies with Jaggery

I believe that the most common and easily available munching snack is cookies. But have you ever gone through the ingredients printed on the pack? Many people are not even aware of the details of some ingredients – whether they are safe to consume or not. Some cookies/biscuits are sold at such low price that I wonder if this company is able to get back its cost?

Around four years back when my husband’s doctor prohibited him from consuming market bought cookies/biscuits due to his digestion problems, I decided to bake cookies in my microwave which was being used only for heating food for the last 6-7 years. Initial attempts were not bad, and I improved slowly.

But till now I was baking with white flour (maida) only. Once I became confident, I tried with wheat flour. Our taste buds are so used to white flour that it is difficult to develop a liking for wheat flour based snacks.

But I was determined to use wheat flour for cookies, so with some failed experiments, I was finally successful to get best results in wheat flour based cookies!! My wheat flour cookies became so popular that they are now my best seller cookies. Parents buy them for their kids’ school snack box as they are done with ghee (clarified butter) or branded butter (Amul, Nandini, Nilgiri) and without any preservatives.

This success further encouraged me to eliminate white sugar in cookies and I started using jaggery. Personally also, I have a liking for jaggery based sweets, snacks and even tea – so I loved these cookies a lot.

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This recipe is not at all difficult to follow and it is done with just one cup flour. So, in my opinion you should definitely give it a try. With jaggery, cinnamon and nutmeg flavors compliment each other very well. But if you are not comfortable using cinnamon and nutmeg powder, simply avoid them and go ahead with the rest of the recipe.

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Here I have used jaggery powder which is easily available nowadays in shops and supermarkets. But this jaggery powder also has small granuals. I ground those granuals to make a fine powder. Now this fine jaggery powder was very easy to mix with butter.

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There are certain common doubts which people face during baking cookies. I have posted a separate post regarding those queries Basics of baking – Cookies (Tips and tricks on how to bake cookies)                          .

Ingredients :

Wheat flour 140 gm (1 cup)
Jaggery powder 85 gm (1/2 cup +2 tbsp)
Rava 22 gm (2 tbsp)
Baking soda 1/4 tsp
Baking powder 1 /4 tsp
Cinnamon powder 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder 1/8 tsp
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
Butter 50-55 gm (1/4 cup)
Milk,        if required

All ingredients should be on room temperature.

Process :

In a bowl take wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, rava, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and cardamom powder. Mix them well and keep the bowl separately.

In another bowl take butter and cream it with a spatula.

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Add jaggery powder in the butter and mix it nicely till it is creamy.

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Add rest of the dry ingredients and mix them nicely to prepare dough. If dough is little bit dry, add 1-2 tbsp of milk.

As jaggery based dough would be little bit sticky, apply some butter on your palms while preparing dough.

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Roll this dough in between two sheets of butter paper. Rolling between two sheets of butter paper gives smooth, crack free cookies and it’s easy to roll sticky dough.

Now keep this sheet of rolled dough in the fridge along with butter paper.

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In between, spread parchment paper on your baking tray and keep it ready. If you don’t have parchment paper, simply grease baking tray with oil/butter.

After 40-50 minutes rolled dough would be firm in the fridge. Take it out and with the help of cookie cutter cut the cookies in desired shapes. If you don’t have cookie cutter, use any sharp edged steel glass or bowl. Cold and firm rolled dough helps in getting neat cookies.

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Finish the rest of the dough in the same way and place them in your baking tray. Keep some gap between cookies.

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Bake them in a preheated oven at 170/175 degrees for 15-20 minutes or till the edges of the cookies start turning brown. If your cookies are too thin, reduce the time and temperature. Cookies will be very soft after baking time is over, so carefully shift them on cooling rack.

Remember that when we shifted cookies on the cooling rack they were very hot – so this heat might turn cookies into dark brown in colour. Cookies will become firm once they cool down completely.

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You are definitely going to love these healthy, flavoured beautifully with spices, jaggery based cookies and I bet you can’t stop yourself with just one cookie only…!!!

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Nankhatai (Cookies with clarified butter)

In India, baking was not part of our daily cooking, though in Punjab people used to prepare roti in clay-made oven called ‘Tandoor’ which is still very popular. Other than tandoor there used to be a slightly different kind of oven, built with bricks and clay named ‘Bhatti’ and it was used to roast grains like jowar, chana etc. When Britishers came here, they brought cake, biscuits and bread. Cake was an occasional thing, but biscuits and breads became popular with common people. Overall, baking was more prevalent in South India .

During partition, when thousands of people belonging to Sindhi community came to India from Pakistan, they started baking for employment. I remember my mother and her neighbourhood friends used to take all raw ingredients to one shop and within an hour they used to give soft, warm, melt-in-mouth nankhatai. Slowly, in few years the younger generation of these small shop owner families turned their old fashioned shops into modern style bakery.

Since then nankhatai is my favorite cookie. Generally, it is done with maida only, but I always like slight crunch of rava/semolina in cookies, so I have added that along with wheat flour. If you are not interested into using rava and wheat flour, eliminate both of  them and add white flour in the same quantity.

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Ingredients :

White flour (maida) 3/4 cup
Wheat flour 2 tbsp
Semolina (rava) 2 tbsp
Granulated sugar 1/2 cup (later, powder it)
Ghee (clarified butter) 1/2 cup minus 1-2 tbsp
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
Baking soda 1/4 tsp
Baking powder 1/8

All ingredients should be on room temperature.

Process:

Measure and collect all dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix them well.

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Add melted ghee. Remember that ghee should be melted but not warm.

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Gently mix everything and collect it together in the shape of dough. In case you have added more ghee and dough is loose, just wrap it in cling-wrap and keep it in the fridge until it becomes firm to roll nankhatai conveniently.

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Prepare balls of same size from the dough and with your finger make an indent in nankhatai. Keep all of these in ready baking tray.

Keep your baking tray ready by either greasing it with butter/ghee or by rolling parchment paper over it.

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Bake these nankhatai in a preheated oven at 165/170 degrees for 15/20 minutes.

If your oven has hotspots, turn the tray in between for even baking.

Generally nankhatai doesn’t change much colour after baking. These wouldn’t become brown like other cookies, so after 15 minutes, if nankhatai are firm, take them out.

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Taste them warm – they are sinfully delicious 😋 😋.

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Nankhatai are best as gift option during festivals. To make them more attractive, sprinkle some chopped dry fruits just before packing.

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