Can you hear me?.......I am whispering in a low pitched voice since the kids are napping. I want them to continue to nap for another hour as I have gathered the ingredients to bake this melt in the mouth Indian cookie - nan khatai. It is a quite Sunday afternoon in my house since the kids have gone down for a nap. Oh guess what? their dad nodded off while patting them to sleep. The ingredients on the kitchen counter are ready to take a leap into the mixing bowl, rest in the refrigerator and bake up in the oven. Oh boy, I should admit I enjoy occasional solitude when I can measure and mix with composure.
I was introduced to this cookie by my friend whom we meet regularly for play dates. I saw my little girl gorge quite a few cookies in her house that evening. With so much excitement being shown towards this sweet treat by my little girl I obtained the recipe from my friend, but never attempted to bake it until today. I prefer to stay away from the oven when my little darlings are around knowing them for their mischievous moves. Today I am baking nan khatai for the first time with a few tweaks of my own. The Sunday evening tea will be accompanied with mouth watering nan khatai and jubilant faces. I cannot wait for my little girl to taste these cookies and say "Um mm Um mm Um mm deeeeeelishun".
Nan khatai is a popular tea time snack originally from Surat, Gujarat. It is an egg less cookie using ghee (clarified butter) instead of butter to give a rich texture and flavor. It gets a big thumbs up from lacto vegetarians since they consume diary products but refrain from eggs. This cookie is very versatile as it accommodates any nuts and toppings. In this recipe I have used cocoa powder to make chocolate nan khatai and it is taking an entry into Kitchen Corners December cook off - Giving Cookie. A few of these cookies are boxed for a sweet friend while the rest are to be relished by my family.
- 1 cup all purpose flour/maida
- 1/2 cup fine sugar
- 1/4 cup melted ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup milk
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- Sieve all purpose flour/maida, baking power, baking soda and salt into the mixing bowl.
- Add sugar and milk.
- While adding the ghee little at a time, start kneading the ingredients into a smooth pliable dough without any cracks.
- Remove 1/4 portion of the dough and knead in cocoa powder.
- Cover both the doughs with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degree F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide both the doughs into 10 equal portions.
- Roll each portion into tubes with 1:3 proportion (chocolate to unflavored) of same lengths.The chocolate tube will be thinner than the unflavored tube.
- Roughly braid the tubes and roll the dough in your hands until the doughs swirl. Flatten them between palms, the center being slightly thicker than the edges.
- Bake them in the preheated oven for about 13 to 15 minutes.
- When they are out of the oven, arrange them on a cooling rack to bring it to room temperature.
- Store it in an air tight container for several days.
As soon as the kids and their dad woke up, the aroma of freshly baked cookies brought them straight to the kitchen. We all devoured the cookies right from the cooling rack. Just a few leftover cookies to box for a weekday evening snack while the already boxed ones are reaching my friend in a day or two.
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