Rebecca from www.displacedhousewife.com and Teresa from now-forager.com are hosting a real life holiday cookie swap, and they were gracious to invite me to join the cookie swap along with a few other very talented food bloggers. We had to make 2 dozen cookies and ship it to one of the fellow bloggers. Rebecca’s son Gavin picked out the names and it was a secret as to whom we would receive the cookies from! Now how fun is that?!
I had to send the cookies to Rebecca – the cookie queen, I mean ofcourse!! She is AMAZING! Have you seen her website/feed on Instagram? And the cookie perfection is just beyond anything! I have personally made a couple of her cookie recipes, and they have ALWAYS turned out perfect to the T! I love her styling, food photography and her amazing recipes, and I hope to try more of her cookie recipes! Anyways, I was so nervous that I had to send the cookies to Rebecca, and was wondering what to make. I did want to put in a touch of my Indian roots, and that meant a ton of spices haha! 😉
I love shortbread cookies, they are my absolute favorite kind of cookies. I grew up with my mom’s family in the UK visiting us every year, when I lived in Mumbai, and they would get a ton of cookies, and chocolates all the time from the UK. Shortbread cookies were one of them. My grandmother as well, makes the most amazing shortbread cookies, and my mom learnt the same recipe too. Hence I decided to make shortbread cookies. I did not want to make plain ones, so I decided on Thandai Shortbread cookies.
Let me explain what THANDAI is! Thandai aka Thand means cold in Hindi. Thandai is a spiced boozy cold milk drink served during the Holi festival in India signifying the onset of Spring. It is made with a ton of nuts and spices steeped in warm milk, and then made cold before serving. My mom would make this drink for us as kids without the booze ofcourse, and it is my absolute favorite drink till date! The powder is made with almonds, cashews, pistachios, spices like star anise, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, poppy seeds, cloves, black pepper. This powder is then steeped in milk for about 10-15 minutes with saffron and sugar. Once steeped, it is left to cool in the fridge, and strained before serving cold to get this luxurious, rich, delicious, spiced milk which is simply amazing!
I decided to make this powder, and then use it in shortbread cookies to make the Thandai Shortbread cookies, then dip them in tempered white chocolate, and add chopped pistachios and a dusting of dried rose petals on the top. I always made excess of the powder, so I can use it later to make my favorite drink ;). The thandai powder recipe makes for about 2 cups of the powder. I used 1/2 + 2 tbsp of the powder to make the cookies.
Kitchenaid recently sent me their new KitchenAid® Artisan® Mini Mixer to try out! I was super excited and could NOT wait to receive it! I love KitchenAid products! I bought my first Stand Mixer about 11 years ago, and just recently after 11 years of faithful running, it finally died a couple of months ago! They have such a good life span! I picked the metallic gray color cause its soo pretty, and modern! I decided to inaugurate my machine with these cookies! The cookie dough was made in this machine! It is the perfect size for small batch cookies when you don’t want to use your normal size Stand Mixer, OR you live in an apartment and you want something small and convenient to store on your kitchen counter that does NOT occupy too much counter space, which is, lets face it – so precious! They have such pretty colors too!! I loved how low it was on noise level as well, super quiet, smooth and very powerful, to be able to handle so much dough with so much motor power! I love it – and so happy to have received it, and to bake loads of amazing goodies with it!
Ok back to the cookies – so once the cookies were cooled, I dipped them in tempered white chocolate, added some chopped pistachios on the top, a dusting of powdered dried rose petals which really gave them a great texture, color and taste to the overall cookie! I was extremely happy with the end product and cannot wait for Rebecca to try it! I will definitely be making these cookies on repeat for my home!
I am excited to be a part of this holiday cookie swap with so many talented food bloggers! I have been seeing the creations on Insta stories for some of the bloggers, and I have been loving all the creations! The cookies are festive and beautiful, and perfect for the holidays. I am grateful to be a part of this amazing community that believes in good food, and sharing their recipes, tips and tricks with the world.
I received the cookies from the very talented Erin of @cloudykitchen ! She made Anzac Biscuits which were made during WWI, by the wives, for the soldiers! These cookies are made with oatmeal, coconut and golden syrup as far as I can tell from the flavors so far! They are chewy, perfectly sweetened, super delicious, and my family loves them with their morning milk and coffee! They are perfect! So happy to have received them from Erin! Thank you Erin! 🙂
I am excited to share this recipe, close to my heart with you and hope you get a chance to try it out! If you do try it out, please do not forget to tag me on Instagram with #thejamlab and/or leave a comment below on the blog.
Here is a complete list of all the participants in this fun Holiday Cookie Exchange Party 2016! What a fun party this is! I thoroughly enjoyed being part of it!! Much love!
Holiday Cookie Exchange 2016
- Thandai powder:
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup pistachios and cashew nuts
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- 15 black peppercorns
- seeds from 7-8 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3-4 cloves
- 2 tbsp. fennel seeds
- 1 tsp anise seeds
- 10 dried roses
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
- Shortbread cookie dough:
- 2 1/2 sticks unsalted room temperature butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp thandai powder
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups good white chocolate chips( I used Ghirardelli)
- 3/4 cup of finely chopped pistachios
- 4 tbsp of powdered dried rose petals. (used a coffee ginder to grind up the rose petals)
- Thandai powder:
- In a small bowl, add in all the ingredients and mix them together roughly. In a coffee grinder, in small batches - roughly 3 batches, add in the mixture and blend well until finely ground.
- For the cookie dough:
- In a medium size bowl, add in the flour, thandai powder, salt and whisk to combine. In a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment, whip the butter for 5 minutes, on medium-high until fluffy. Add in the sugar and mix well, for 2 minutes. Scrap the sides of the bowl. Add in the vanilla extract, blend again. In 3 batches, on low speed, add in the flour and blend, until just combined.
- Remove on a working surface and form into 2 balls. Wrap each ball into cling wrap and form a flat disk, and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get 2 baking sheets ready with parchment paper. Gently flour a working surface, remove one disk and roll out the dough with a rolling pin, to about 1/4 inch thickness. You can use a cutter as big or as small as you like, and start cutting out the shape.
- Start putting all the cut cookie shapes onto the parchment paper. Now place the baking tray on the lower and middle racks, and bake until golden brown till about 15 minutes, rotating the trays half way through the baking. Remove the trays once the cookies are done, and cool them on a cooling rack after about 5-7 minutes. Let cool for about 1/2 hour.
- Repeat the process until all the dough is used up.
- In a small glass bowl, add in the chocolate chips, and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate chips and microwave the chocolate chips again. Repeat the process in total about 4-5 times, OR until the chocolate chips are melted and ready for the cookies to be dipped in.
- Keep the chopped pistachios and dried rose petal mixture ready in another small bowl. Now dip about 1/3 of the cookie into the chocolate mixture. Let the excess drip off, by shaking the cookie to remove any excess chocolate. With your other hand, sprinkle some pistachio + rose petal mixture onto the dipped portion. Dust off excess. Let it set on the parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- Repeat the process until all the cookies are done!
- If the chocolate mixture begins to thicken, microwave for about 10-15 seconds, to warm it again, so it is fluid to be able to spread on the cookie.