10 November 2011

Oatmeal Prune Cookies spiced with Chai Masala

Hello! The line "I'm finally back after a long break" seems to be my opening line for every post in the last few months. A new kitchen, a big oven, nurturing my own little vegetable patch and still I am looking for the inspiration to be blogging regularly.

Last month, Aparna was in Bangalore and some of the Bangalore food bloggers met up over a scrumptious buffet lunch. Much fun was had. Lots of pictures taken. And of course the food critic role played.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

For our first Diwali in the new house, I made the 7 cup cake, a shortcut mixture and Bakerella's sweet potato cupcakes with chocolate ganache. My version of shortcut mixture was puffed rice (pori) crisped up with tempering of chillies, curry leaves, asafoetida, mustard seeds, peanuts and fried gram dal. To this I added store bought shankarpala, khara boondi and omapodi (sev). This is the best I could manage when my mildly over-inquisitive son didn't even have the school to keep him engaged.

Last weekend, I cooked for a crowd of 9 people (umm okay, not crowd but group). While I was toying between a Mexican and a Lebanese menu, the friends 'demanded' Tambrahm food, politely put as 'food you cook regularly' or 'food you cook well'! So I set aside all my hopes of winning compliments as a truly world-class vegetarian chef and sat down to draw out a Tambrahm menu, as many items as I can possibly make all by myself with a 3 year old hanging around me dangerously!

The menu finally turned out to be :

Kosumalli / Kosumbari (with grated carrot, cucumber, gooseberry)
Crispy Bhindi Raita (crisped in the oven, no deep frying)
Arachuvitta sambar with small onions & carrots
Baby Potato roast Chettinad style flavoured with fresh dill
Yennai Kathrikkai - stuffed baby eggplants ( Google docs link to a friend's recipe notes) 
Store bought Banana Chips
Mini chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache - Adapted from Dan Lepard's Easy chocolate cake recipe

Now that I'm done updating you, here's what today's blogpost is about. My friend Preethi sent me a few baking trays that included this beautiful cookie mould tray in which one can bake x-massy snowflake imprint cookies. I couldn't wait to try baking cookies in this one. The recipe is adapted from the cover of on of the Wilton cookie trays. These imprint cookies will be better with all purpose flour or whole wheat flour rather than chewy oatmeal cookies, so by all means you can bake these cookies on a plain cookie tray dropping spoonfuls of dough or flattening balls of dough on your palm and baking them until golden. The addition of oats makes these chewy and somewhat soft, perfect for your teething babies or aged parents who can't bite very hard biscuits. If you want these crisper, you can pat them thinner and bake for a few minutes more.

The addition of chai masala is my own twist to a traditional American recipe for the only way I eat cookies is with my chai, and this way they will complement each other beautifully. You could substitute ground cardamom, ground cinnamon or a mix of your favourite spices.

Printable version of recipe

Oatmeal Prune cookies spiced with Chai Masala
Makes 12-14 cookies
Time taken Under 30 minutes

3/4 cup oats
1 cup all purpose flour + a few tbsp on the side in case required to bind dough
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp Chai Masala ( Everest or any other brand)
1 tsp instant coffee powder (optional)

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
3 tbsp finely chopped prunes or use raisins
Handful of finely chopped walnuts (optional)
2 tbsp milk

Preheat oven at 180C.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla extract and egg. Beat some more.
Run the oats for a few seconds in the small jar of your mixer until coarsely powdered.
Add the oats, flour, salt, baking powder and chai masala.
Stir well it all the dry ingredients are incorporated into wet ingredients. Add the nuts and prunes in the final stage of mixing.

Line a cookie sheet with grease proof paper.
Divide dough into 12-14 balls adding some of the reserved flour to the dough if too sticky and tough to handle.
Flatten using fingers dipped in milk and place on cookie sheet leaving adequate space in between cookies as they will expand while baking.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Store in airtight container once cooled.

I used a cookie sheet with moulds, so I pressed the dough balls into each of the shape-moulds to get pretty snowflake imprints on them.

Thank you Preethi for this sweetest housewarming gift. Check out her food blog here

If you like reading my blog and you are on Facebook, please show some love to my blog page there : http://www.facebook.com/SaffronTrail

It will be nice to meet up the Bangalore Foodbloggers, over food (what else?!) and discuss food (no surprises there) this Saturday once again as we have our first ever Mega Bangalore Food Bloggers' meet up. We have a group on Facebook, so if you are a foodblogger who blogs from Bangalore and you aren't  a part of the group yet, please leave a note in the comments, so we can send you an invite.


Khaugiri said...

Wow cookies with chai masala sounds gr8!!!

DEESHA said...

Yummy cookies .. Loved the addition of chai masala .. Looking fwd to meeting you on sat :-)

Scarlett O'Hara said...

Aww... What better use than them getting to be used by you. :)
Am glad you could use them.

Prathibha said...

loved the various shapes of cookies..looks very tempting

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