Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cardamom – Safflower – Jaggery – Walnut Cookies

I had a strange incident. Several months ago I was in the bank and the teller asked me to write some data. Instinctively I looked around in a search for the keyboard, but instead she handed me a pen. I know it was something completely normal but apparently I've become so used to my laptop that I feel the keyboard as an extension of my hands. I remember those first days when I was writing articles on my paper notebook, then I've been rewriting them on the PC in order to send them to the editors of various magazines with the hope they would get published.(At that time I was writing mainly about aromatherapy, natural cosmetic products and the ways one could make them at home, but apparently nobody was interested on those matters since they were not yet popular enough.) When they finally started to publish my materials (although on completely different subjects) I had to get rid of the writing by hand habit for timesaving reasons. Soon there were no more pens and paper sheets here and there, no notebooks, just cables, memory cards and my new and beloved best friend – my laptop. Even as a journalist, when I take interviews or make reviews, I rarely take notes just because I always have my portable recorder at hand. Apparently my life has become really dependent on the high-tech appliances. Or maybe it's just the time we live in.

I thought I was an old fashioned girl and in my heart I really am. Then why the computer plays such an important role in my life?

I took a decision to commence writing by hand more often. There is no need to systematize every tiny note or thought on the computer. Firstly, I felt odd, mainly because there was no spelling corrector, but now I'm enjoying it, a lot (no matter how stupid this may sound).

I made these cookies several months ago, while I was planning our trip to Paris. This is why I used as a background of the photos my Paris plans notebook. The notebook was a present from my sister, from her last travel to India, and I reckoned it was in unison with the ingredients and flavour of the cookies.

Tea: Massala chai goes really well with these cookies as well as ginger flavoured black tea.

Cardamom – Safflower – Jaggery – Walnut Cookies Recipe:

  • 185 gr all purpose flour;
  • 7 gr safflower;
  • 10 cardamom pods;
  • 75 gr walnuts;
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract;
  • 75 gr confectionner's sugar;
  • 85 gr jaggery, melted;
  • 120 gr butter, cut into 1cm cubes;
  • 1 large egg.
Take the tiny black seeds out of the cardamom pods(discard the outer shell), place them in a mortar, add the safflower and grind them to a powder.

Place flour, sugar, walnuts, cardamom and safflower powder in a food processor (equipped with the metal blade) and pulse till walnuts are ground to a fine meal. Add in butter and pulse till crumbles form, then pulse in the melted jaggery and the egg.

Gather the dough - it should be crumbly and sandy but it should hold together when pressed with hands. Touch the dough just to gather it, do not overwork it. Form the dough into a log (4 cm in diameter). Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a baking pan with paper or silpat. Slice the log into 0,5 cm thick rounds, arrange them on the baking sheet leaving 2 cm space between them and bake until golden brown.

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