Indian bakery style crispy cashew cookies…
I had a little bit of a struggle trying to finalize the third cookie after the Skillet Cookies and the Brookies for the theme “Kid’s Delight – Cookies” for this week’s Blogging Marathon #123. My initial plan was to make shortbread cookies. I still don’t have a recipe on the blog for these simple cookies. However, I was in a dilemma of wanting to include a cookie with Indian flavors. Our own cuisine has a lot of different type of cookies, whether it is traditional or fusion cookies like the Karachi bakery ones that are so famous. I wasn’t sure which one to make till I was reminded about the big box of cashew nuts in my pantry. So cashew cookies it is!
One of my ex-colleagues was from Bombay with a sibling in Hydrebad. When he would travel, he would ask what I wanted. Apart from asking him for the kulfi moulds, another thing I would ask were the Karachi bakery cookies. Though the tutti frutti ones are more famous, I love their nut cookies, with the kaju and/or the pista. They have a very crumbly texture and then that particular after taste and aroma that comes from the use of kewra essence is something that just cannot be missed. Since the cookies are slightly on the sweeter side, I love them with a cup of black tea without sugar…
I then had to bake these cookies. Instead of butter, I used ghee to make these cookies. After all, ghee is the most Indian thing when compared to butter, isn’t it? 😉 These cookies are basically log cookies, which means that the dough will be shaped into logs, refrigerated for sometime before slicing and baking them. I personally love such cookies, mainly because they are easier to get done. Yes, yes, I have said a hundred times, I love the easy way out. 😉
What makes this cookie more favorable to Indian conditions is that it is eggless, and hence stays good for a longer period of time. The cookies have a crunch of the cashewnuts in each bite, plus I have added a half moon as decoration to each cookie. I flavored them with cardamom and kewra essence, but if you don’t have kewra essence, you can very well replace it with rosewater. Kewra is a very strong essence and hence a little goes a long way, whether it is the aroma, or the flavor, or the after taste it leaves if it goes a little overboard. Overall, these cookies are really easy to make, crunchy and crumbly, and a favorite among children and adults alike. Off to this recipe…
Kaju Cookies | Eggless Cashew Cookies
- 1/2 cup ghee soft
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/4 tsp kewra essence
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup custard powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup crushed cashew nuts
- 1-2 tbsp milk use only if necessary
- More cashewnuts for topping
- In a bowl, whisk the ghee and sugar till nice and fluffy.
- Add the cardamom and kewra essence and whisk well.
- Add in the flour, custard powder, baking soda, salt and crushed cashewnuts and fold using a spatula till it forms a dough. Add a tablespoon of milk if finding it difficult to shape.
- Plop the dough onto cling film and shape into a log. Roll tight and refrigerate to set for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Take out the roll and remove the cling film. Slice into 1/2 inch thick cookies and layer on the tray with some spacing in between. Gently press down a half of a cashewnut on each of the cookie.
- Bake for around 12-15 minutes till just golden brown. Take out and cool on a rack. The cookies harden as they cool.