My brother is away at hostel in Manipal (a town in southern Indian). He’s studying to be an engineer. His roommate (who happens to be my hubby’s nephew!) was in town recently for an inter-collegiate event and I wanted to check if my brother wanted something.
“Hey, since Siddhu (his roommate) is here, do you want me to send you something?” I’d ask.
“What about some Badam halwa (his favourite sweet)?”
“last time you sent it, my friends finished it all.”
“Ok, I’ll send you something else you like. Lots. You can share it with your friends too.”
“Oh didi. Why do you persist? I get great food at the hostel. And my schedule is quite tight. I hardly feel to need to nibble on anything else.”
This is the typical conversation that ensues between the two of us whenever Siddhu’s in town and I ask if he needs something. There is nothing my brother ever requests me or my parents to send to him (except money of course!). Siddhu, on the other hand, always calls up his mom in advance and tells her what he wants. It was thenguzhal and badusha last time, ribbon pakoda for Diwali and dry fruit halwa that his mom makes (similar to the Dry Fruit Roll I make) another time.
Since he always refuses, I normally don’t send him anything. I always wonder though how he never misses anything fom home. I decided it must be because he is a boy of few words and probably doesn’t want to bother me or mom. So, this time I decide I won’t ask him. I was wondering what sort of cookies I could send to him. He is usually not too appreciative of my brand of cookies. While lots of people love the typical salted jeera biscuits I make (or used to make) often, he eats a couple of them and simply nods if I ask him if he likes it. The one time he actually came up to me and say the cookies were great was when I made the Honey Crackers last year just before his public exams. But I did not have honey at home last week.
I thought I’d try and make some sort of cheese crackers for him. These would have qualified for the ‘Back to Hostel Food’ theme hosted last month for BM, but would work well for the Occassion theme for the 1st week of April’s month-long marathon. The cheesy niblets turned out quite good. Very good, in fact. I’d probably add some chili flakes and chopped sundried tomatoes to these next time. When they’re baking, it smells like there’s pizza in the oven.
And they’d be wonderful to serve as munchies for any sort of party. I can imagine these being carried around on a tray along with some tomato ketchup to dip into at a bonfire party. I know my imagination’s running riot, but I’d urge you to run into the kitchen and put these together for your kids. It took just 15 minutes of preparation time and about 22 minutes in the oven. They’re very addictive and are crisp and fun to eat.
(makes enough to fill one LARGE bowl)
APF/Maida – 100 gm
Butter (softened) – 30 gm
Cream cheese – 1 tbsp
Greated mozzarella cheese – 2 tbsp
Milk – 1 tbsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
A few sprinklings of dried Oregano flakes
Red chili powder/dried red chilli flakes – to taste (I used 1/4 tsp of powder and wanted more)
Sundried tomatoes (chopped) – 1 tbsp
Mix APF, baking powder, red chili powder (or dried chili flakes), organo flakes, chopped sundried tomatoes (if using) and salt
Add butter, cream cheese, grated mozzarella and mix well to form a soft dough. You can add 1 tbsp of oil (and more milk, butter or oil if you’re not able) to make a soft dough
Pinch out golf-sized balls and roll them out into circles about 1/4 of an inch thick.
Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. You could also roll them out into thin long ropes. I shaped some into regular 1-inch cookies but they looks somewhat boring so I shaped the rest into flat little fingers
Bake in a preheated oven at 200 deg C for 22 mins or till crunchy