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
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup pistachios and cashew nuts
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- 15 black peppercorns
- 12-15 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5-6 cloves
- 2 tbsp. fennel seeds
- 1 tsp anise seeds
- 10 dried roses
- 1 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1¼ cups (284 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon (13 grams) vanilla extract
- 3 cups + 2 tbsp (375 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (70 grams) Thandai Powder
- ½ teaspoon (3 grams) table 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)
- 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.
- 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla.
- 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, Thandai Powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Turn out dough, and divide in half. Shape into disks, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- 3. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- 4. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 2 inch fluted round cutter, cut dough, and place on prepared pans. Put the pans in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- 5. Bake on lower and middle racks of the oven until golden brown, about 16 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Repeat with remaining dough.
- 6. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate morsels and oil. Microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate is melted and smooth (about 2 minutes total). In another small bowl, stir together pistachios and rose petals.
- 7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 8. Dip one-third of each cookie in chocolate mixture, letting excess drip off. Sprinkle pistachio mixture onto chocolate, shaking off excess. Place on the prepared pan. Freeze until chocolate is set, about 5 minutes. If chocolate begins to thicken while dipping cookies, microwave for 10 to 15 seconds to rewarm. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.