At times I love accidents. The sort where you set out to do something but land up at something absolutely unexpected. The other day I was blog hopping, looking for some cookies to make with chocolate – it is one ingredient for which as many recipes as you have seem less! And I landed at the Ghirardelli site, a treasure trove for chocolate-based cookies, cakes and the like.
In fact, I’ve been trying to lay my hands at chocolate chips/nibs but haven’t managed to get it anywhere. So, I just chop up my dark cooking chocolate into chunks and use that in place of the nibs. I found this Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that looked like just the thing I wanted to try.
I have these moods when baking – large, flat think cookies or small mound-like bite sized ones – and I normally stick to one for a month. If you go through my cookie archives, you’ll see three or four flat large ones followed by a similar number of small ones and back to the large ones again. So, the whole of February and early March, I was baking tiny cookies and with this Ghirardelli recipe, I thought I my large ones could make a good comeback.
And as I usually do, I try baking cookies or cakes before I’m expecting guests. It is interesting to offer these fresh baked goodies to people and tell them they’re home-made after they appreciate them! And I wanted to get these cookies out of the oven and cool in time so I could serve these with the evening tea to my uncle who’s visiting us now and had stepped out for shopping at the nearby shopping mall. In my hurry to get it done quickly, I forgot the chocolate chunks altogether. But I really didn’t mind. Neither my uncle, nor did others at home mind. The absence of chocolate ensured the flavor of honey and jaggery stood out. The cookies are very light and airy and crisp!
The original recipe calls for corn syrup and fine brown sugar. I only have demerara sugar, which is crystallized unpolished cane sugar, which turns nearly white on powdering. I did some online search for substitution and found regular white sugar powdered with molasses (or jaggery) would work in place of brown sugar. And I also found honey is a good substitute for corn syrup. Read here for more on baking substitutions and some great stuff to bake. And now, moving on to the task at hand…the Honey Crackers!
All Purpose Flour – 1 ½ cups
Unsalted butter (melted) – ½ cup
Light brown sugar – 1/3 cup (I powdered 1/3 cup demerara sugar with 1 tbsp of jaggery)
Sugar (powdered) – 1/8 cup
Granulated sugar – 1/8 cup
Honey – 2 ½ tbsp
Milk – 2 tbsp
Vanilla – 1 tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Salt – ¼ tsp
Chopped nuts – 1/8 cup
Mix flour, baking soda, salt and chopped nuts in a bowl
Mix butter, milk and vanilla essence
Add all sugars to the liquid mix
Beat with a whisk for a minute
Add the flour mix a little at a time and mix well
The dough will be very soft and pliable
Preheat oven to 160 deg C
Roll it out in a nice big disk and cut into desired shapes
Or roll into ½ tbsp sized balls and pat into large disks (around 2-3 inch in dia)
Place cookie cutouts well spaced on a baking tray and bake for around 15 mins till golden brown in colour. The cookies will be very soft so lift off the baking tray carefully with a spatula and lay out to cool. They turn crisp as they cool
You could place cookie cutouts on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. This is will it easy to just slide the foil off the tray for cooling
Don’t be tempted to bake for longer if cookies seem soft to the touch. They’ll turn dark brown and burn plus become hard as they cool
These cookies tend to spread and rise too. So pat them flatter than you want the end result to be