There are these friends, whom you instantly contact for help...be it anything! And Aparna was one among them.I must also mention that I wouldn't trouble her for anything other than things related to food!We met in Goa in September and she helped me in my search for some fresh cream too :) And Oh yes! how could I forget that...she packed some of her homemade cookies for me! She is a FAB baker and a perfect vegetarian cook! And now, while I am trying to settle in this new country, she is helping me 'feed my blog' :) Thank you so much A! :)
Over to Aparna...
When Ria requested me for a guest post for her blog how could I refuse? I first met Ria and got to know her in the “virtual fellow food blogger” kind of way and then met her “for real” when she came down for a visit to Goa a few months back.
A few months back she told me she was getting married, and asked if I could do a guest post (and I quote Ria here) “to feed my hungry blog” during the time she would be busy with wedding related stuff. Well, a friend in need is supposed to be a friend indeed!
She got married 2 weeks back and since I couldn’t make it to the wedding, the least I could do was bake her some virtual goodies. Now, I know that some insanely rich and decadent cake or confection would be more fitting as a wedding present.
But if I know anything at all about weddings in India and the days that follow, it is that Ria would be extremely happy to see some very simple uncomplicated food. Perhaps some crunchy cookies to go with her cup of tea?
Its funny how when I started blogging, I had very few cookbooks and used to feel very limited by the lack of variety of recipes to cook/ bake. Now I have many cookbooks, I seem to have so many recipes that I don’t even remember which book contains what anymore!
Late last year, Ria had sent me a bunch of vanilla beans (think she’s a vanilla bean bearer to lots of us foodies!) and also a copy of The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits (that’s cookies to some of us). True to nature, I flipped through the pages, admired the book, put it on the shelf and then somewhere along the line forgot all about it!
When I suddenly realized that I had promised Ria a post, I remembered her book and it seemed a good idea to bake something from it. I really like Australian Women’s Weekly books because they contain simple recipes with short ingredient lists, and have always worked very well for me.
And my daughter likes cookies, which her friends like even better!
So here are some Crunchy Peanut Hearts, very slightly adapted from the original.
These cookies have quite a few pluses in my opinion. They’re made from an AWW recipe, they don’t need butter or oil, they have fibre (oats), they contain no eggs and are very good, I didn’t need to go shopping for any of the ingredients, and here’s the best part of all. I just dumped everything in my food processor and voila, the dough was ready!
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats, coarsely powdered
1/3 cup dessicated coconut
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
2 to 3 tbsps water
Sift the flour, baking soda and cinnamon into a bowl. Add the sugar, rolled oats, dessicated coconut and lemon rind and mix well. (I did all this in my food processor bowl)
Rub the peanut butter into the dry ingredients (I did this on the food processor but using the plastic dough making blade) until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Now add the honey and water, a little at a time, stirring till a soft dough forms.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, knead lightly till smooth, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Take the dough from the fridge and divide into two portions. Roll out each portion into 1/4" thickness, dusting lightly with flour if necessary. Cut out cookies with a 2 1/2" fluted cutter or cutter of desired shape.
Place on lightly greased baking trays and bake at 180C for about 10 to 12 minutes, or till golden brown. Allow the biscuits (cookies) to cool on the trays for about 5 minutes and then cool completely on a rack.
This recipe makes about 30 biscuits (cookies) but I got 40 since my biscuit cutter was a bit smaller.