This is my 1,000 post in six years – that’s right – 1,000 ! Since it is the holiday season I decided a new cookie would be a great way to remember this special occasion.
Something different from my gingerbread men, spritz cookies (there are 7 versions) or Mom’s sugar cookies that appear on my Holiday Cookie Table. My Honey Orange Madeleine Santas are pretty cute too as well as my Christmas Oreo Cookies.
I have to admit that a “shrimps” recipe is waiting to be posted and it was a difficult decision as to which one would get the honor of being 1,000. A Chinese shrimp stir-fry is one of my favorite meals but because of the holiday I decided to go for a cookie – an Indian flavored cookie.
First, Thandai, or sardai, is a sweet and cold Indian drink made from a milk base and traditionally served during the festival of Holi. The author, Amisha Gurbani, has used it in the form of these shortbread cookies instead of in a beverage. Her version is influenced by her Mumbai roots and is made up of 3 nuts; almonds, pistachios and cashews, many fragrant spices such as cardamom, star anise and then rose petals.
I subscribe to the Bake From Scratch Magazine and love all the baked goods and stories that appear in each issue. They have special editions such as this Holiday Cookies issue. One look and I knew I would find a special cookie, the problem would be deciding on which one. If you’re looking for new and creative ideas for cookies this holiday season get yourself a copy, or better yet make this recipe!
The cookies I usually make are mainly some of America’s favorite holiday cookies. When I bought this magazine I was drawn to this one because I do love shortbread, they are dipped in chocolate and then sprinkled with a rose/pistachio mixture. I also was very interested in making the Thandai powder which provides the Indian twist to these cookies. Just look at the ingredients below and you will understand how heavenly this mix is.
Thandai Shortbread Cookies Dipped in White Chocolate with Pistachios and Rose Petals, Adapted
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- 1/4 cup dried culinary rose petals
- 20 black peppercorns
- seeds from 8 cardamom pods, or you can use the seeds from a jar (see comment)
- 1 cinnamon stick, crushed
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 tbsp. fennel seeds
- 2 star anise
- 1/2 tsp. ground fresh nutmeg
Stir together all the ingredients and working in batches, add the mixture to a coffee grinder. Blend until finely ground. As there were some pieces of nuts that did not grind totally I ran them through the grinder again. If need be I removed any as I did not want any “big” pieces in my cookies.
The nuts have oils and could become rancid so I chose to refrigerate the powder in a covered jar. The author did not give any suggestions. You can make 2 batches of these cookies with this powder recipe.
- 1-1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 2-1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. Thandai Powder (from above)
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Using your stand mixer beat the butter and sugar until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes; beat in vanilla.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, Thandai Powder and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until combined. Turn out dough and divide in half. Shape into 2 disks and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 2 hours. This is an excellent soft dough to work with. You can either refrigerate the dough for up to 1 week or 1 month in the freezer if desired.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll half of the dough to 1/4-inch thickness (no thinner) on a lightly floured surface. Use a 2-1/2-inch fluted round cutter, cut out your cookies and place on baking sheets.
Bake on the lower and middle racks of the oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cool for 5 minutes. Remove and cool completely on wire racks.
I used only half of the dough and froze the rest so I used just the middle rack to bake my cookies. It only took 6 minutes in my oven, then I turned the pans and baked an additional 6 minutes. So 12 minutes for me – just be watchful as to how they are baking as you just want them to brown lightly around the edges.
- 2 cups high-quality white chocolate morsels (I used Ghiradelli)
- 2 tsp. coconut oil
I microwaved half of the recipe at a time as it was easier to work with a smaller amount. Microwave 1 cup chips plus 1 tsp. coconut oil at 30 second intervals. It took about a minute, then I stirred it well to get a smooth texture. Then when that was gone I made another cup.
Pistachios and Rose Petals:
- 3/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped (I put it through my nut chopper twice)
- 1 tbsp. powdered dried rose petals (bought from Scents of Earth)
- crushed rose petals with your fingers or a mortar and pestle
I changed this part of the recipe due to some confusion with an ingredient. First of all this recipe makes a lot, you could certainly cut the recipe in half and make more if you need it. Combine the pistachios and powdered dried rose petals. Crush some dried rose petals with your fingers or use a mortar and pestle and set them aside.
Place a rack on a parchment lined baking sheet. I prefer to drizzle the chocolate over the bottom 1/3 with a spoon versus dipping, letting any excess drip off. Sprinkle the pistachio/rose powder mixture onto the chocolate, then add some dried, crushed rose petals. Shake off the excess and place on prepared pan. Freeze until chocolate is set, about 5 minutes. If chocolate begins to thicken while dipping cookies, microwave for 10 to 15 seconds to rewarm (that’s why I only make 1/2 the recipe at a time).
The best thing (besides being delicious) is these cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. These will be a rather elegant addition to my holiday table. Roses and white chocolate will probably not surprise many people who know me.
Comment: The size of cardamom seeds can vary; whether from a jar or fresh from the pods. Adjust to your taste. I found there are about 12 seeds per pod and 10 pods = 1-1/2 tsp. ground cardamom. The seeds from a jar were twice as big as seeds from cardamom pods. See picture above… I happen to love cardamom so just adjust this spice to your taste – use more or less cardamom seeds.
Recipe by cookingwithauntjuju.com
Linking to Fiesta Friday #200.
The shortbread dough ingredients and my workhorse Kitchen-Aid:
Cookies cut out and ready for baking:
The bare cookies:
The chopped pistachios (left picture) and 1 tbsp. rose petal powder added (right picture):
Picture taken inside:
Pictures taken outside: