Cookie baking has caught me in it’s vice grip. The last two months has seen me bake cookies at least once every other week, if not weekly. I’ve tried my hands at Peanut butter chocolate cookies, Jeera biscuits and Spicy wafers, among others.
I’ve had a big packet of salted pistachios lying untouched since Diwali. Strange, isn’t it? While the packets of cashewnuts and almonds that came with it are all over and have been replaced since, this one lies untouched thanks to the multifarious use of cashews and almonds in Indian (esp south-Indian) sweets and snacks.
If you walk through any marketplace during Diwali time in the north, you’ll find shop shelves stacked high with the quintessential dry fruit box that is a mandatory gift item when you go visiting people. My parents happened to visit us for Diwali last year and they got me one real large box of Delhi’s most famous Diwali gift item – the dry fruit dabba.
As a kid I remember popping one or more of these nuts each time I went past the dining table where these boxes lay. All those years of gorging on high calorie nuts found their way into various nooks and crannies of fat deposits all over me. Thanks to all that, salted nuts aren’t really high on my essential pop-into-your-mouth-while-passing-by list anymore. Which is why this big box of pistachios lay orphaned in the kitchen cupboard for the last three months.
That was till I pulled them out determined to find a way to use up these lovely green nuts. I did a mix and match of a couple of cookie-biscuit recipes to come up with these salty pistachio mounds.
On the calorie front, I did a rough calculation and compared the sugar and fat percentage in these biscuits with the same in Britannia NutriChoice Hi Fibre Digestive Biscuits (nutrition info given on its wrapper). I found that the homemade version did not fare too badly when you keep in mind that they were up against one of the so-called ‘healthy’ biscuits available in the market.
Nutrition Information per 100 gm**
|Britannia NutriChoice High Fibre Digestive||19.6g||15g|
|Homemade pistachio mounds||25g||6.66|
** Info for Britannia biscuits taken from the wrapper and for the homemade biscuits calculated in an amateurish manner based on amount of sugar and fat (oil+butter) used excluding sugars and fats present in the maida and pista (wicken wink!).
Now for the recipe.
Salty Teatime Pistachio Cookies
Maida/all purpose flour – 1¼ cup (about 150 gm)
Butter – 25 gm
Oil – 50 ml
Salt – ¼ tsp (omit if using salted butter)
Powdered sugar – 20 gm
Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
Pistachio/pista – 1/8 cup (chopped)
Mix maida/all purpose flour, salt, powdered sugar and baking powder
Melt butter, add it to the flour and mix well
Add oil a little and a time and stop when the flour starts to come together (the dough will not be like your usual roti/bread dough. If it holds shape when formed it into small balls, you’re done)
Preheat oven to 175 deg C for 15-20 mins
Form dough into 1/2 or 1 tbsp size balls (I rolled them roughly into 1/2 tbsp size mounds and it yielded me 30 pieces). You can pat them down to cookie shape if you want.
Place on baking tray and bake for 18 mins
Cool, nibble on some and store the rest in an airtight container
Bake for 15-16 mins if you like moist cookies and for 18-20 mins if you like crisp ones
You could replace pistachios with any other nuts of your choice. Toasted almonds and cashew nuts would be great