There are so many reasons why I could not post during the last few months. I went on my annual trek to Himachal Pradesh, did a lot of cleaning around the house, got transferred to a new place at work, but mostly, I remained absent because I got addicted to some TV shows. It was one show actually – Supernatural! I cannot recall being this frenzied for a long time, or ever since the Harry Potter books released. I did not give up cooking or baking this time however, but I did not style, or photograph any of the goodies I made. The break wasn’t entirely wasted. I am rejuvenated, and have lots to share with you. Towards the end of the hiatus, I realized that I missed the joy of sharing my experience with you all. Boy, am I glad to get out of hibernation, with this;
Oh, before I forget, do look up the ‘media’ page. TT received some good press and it is all because of your visits. Thank you for the love.
On my fb page, I had asked a couple of months ago whether you would like to see only healthy recipes, or the process of development of a ‘healthy’ version, from a regular recipe. The responses indicated that many were interested in the latter, and so I am starting my new innings with a very simple vegan cookie recipe, made with refined flour.
In future posts, I will be making more healthy versions of this recipe. This recipe is fool proof. I tried it several times before posting it. I passed it on to unsuspecting individuals, some of who thought it was store bought. Some told me I should add more salt. Now, that is a subjective matter. I am not fond of foods that scream out the tastes. A hint of sugar or salt works perfect for me. Do experiment with flavours. I used chives. Coriander or even dill in right proportions can be replaced for chives. I recommend the use of extra virgin olive oil rather than coconut oil or any other vegetable oil. Olive oil holds the dough better, imparts a wonderful flavor and pairs well with any herb. Also replacing olive oil with sunflower oil in the same proportion will not work. I am not sure but I think it has something to do with the viscosity of the two oils. I have made this using home made cashew based pesto. I have added less salt because the cashew pesto already contains salt, and a fair bit of olive oil.
If you have just started baking, there is nothing better than starting with cookies. Especially when the ingredients are easily available, and the recipe works. This one does.
Recipe: Savoury herb cookies with chives
Yield: 24 one inch cookies
Plain white flour / Maida – 147g | 1 cup
Baking powder – 3g | ¾ tsp.
Salt – A generous pinch
Caster sugar – ¼ tsp.
Vegan cashew spread or vegan pesto – 20g | 1 tbsp.
Dry chives – 1 tbsp. [can be substituted with your favourite herb]
Extra virgin olive oil [you may use regular olive oil too] – 42g | ¼ cup
Soy milk / Any other vegan milk – 20g | 1/8 cup
Sieve flour into a mixing bowl. Add baking powder, sugar, salt and cashew spread or pesto, and blend well for a minute.
Empty into the mixing bowl, add the chopped chives, and mix well.
Blend olive oil and soy milk till it forms a creamy blend. Use this liquid and form a soft dough with the flour mixture. Do not knead the dough.
Pat the dough into a thick disc, wrap with cling film and refrigerate till needed, or at least for half an hour. I recommend preparing the dough at night and refrigerating overnight.
When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 180 deg. Celsius without the baking pan. Line a baking pan with foil or parchment.
Dust a baking sheet lightly and place the disc on this when ready to roll out the cookies. Place another baking sheet over the dough, and roll to a thickness of 3-4mm. Stamp out rounds with a one inch cookie cutter to form 24 cookies or with a cutter of your choice.
Place the cookies an inch apart on the sheet. They will not spread but try not to let them stick together.
Bake for 12-15 minutes till the cookies are golden in colour and slightly brown in the periphery.
Remove and cool on wire racks till the cookies come to room temperature. Store in an air tight container. It should stay good for a week ideally but it does not last more than a day or two.
Check after 5 minutes for hot spots, and rotate tray if needed. Check after 10 minutes to see whether the cookies are done.
If you are a fan of cashew spread like me, maybe you should dab a little on top of that crisp base and gobble a bite. They do make tasty mini bites with tea or even wine!