As much as baking is a stress-buster for me, it’s also a hobby that needs an audience. I hardly eat anything I bake, the process overwhelms me and I feel sated even as the smell of freshly baked goodies fills my home. Let me put this out there, I bake for others - family, friends and foes. If I didn’t have anyone to dig into my baked goodies, I would be the crazy cat lady who bakes goodies, admires them and then throws them into the trash can.
A curious case of nostalgia for the Bombay of his childhood and I was all set to pull off a surprise on K: Nothing better than a Friday evening fading away and inspiration to work sapping away to pull out the oven mitts and get baking. I had quite a bit of saffron lying about and soon it would lose its potency and K had already sung enough paeans to Naan Khatais. And that’s how the Saffron Naan Khatai came to be.
Saffron Naan Khatai Cookies
(Original Recipe here)
- 1½ cups Maida/All Purpose Flour
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar (Add another ¼ cup if you’d like it sweeter)
- ½ cup + 1tbsp Ghee (or use melted unsalted Butter)
- 6 Green Cardamoms, powdered
- ¼ inch Cinnamon, powdered
- ¼ tsp Saffron soaked in 1 tbsp warm Milk
- 1/8 tsp Baking Soda
- Small pinch of Salt
- Almonds for topping (Optional)
Here’s what I did:
- Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C.
- Mix sugar and ghee in a bowl till well blended. Add the saffron soaked in milk and mix till it’s all yellow
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, powdered cinnamon and cardamom and salt.
- Add this flour to the sugar+ghee+saffron milk mixture till you can form a dough. If the dough is crumbly, add in a tsp of milk and knead till you can form a dough that holds itself together.
- Make small lime sized balls, lightly flatten into cookie shapes (or better still use a cookie cutter if you have one handy) and lightly press the almonds on top.
- Place on baking sheet with enough gaps between each cookie and bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Once baked, place them on a cooling rack. The cookies will be a little soft when they’re just out of the oven but will harden when cooled.
Best served with a cup of masala chai, an Alexander McCall Smith novel and Ulrich Schnauss playing in the background.