Prerna Singh with some sweet and savory shortbread cookies, inspired by her mother’s baking.
By Prerna Singh
My mom would make khasta biscuit, sweet and savory shortbread cookies with some whole spices. The ghee in them would make them crumble if held too hard and they would melt in the mouth in seconds.
- 3½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup ghee (clarified butter) *Can substitute it with softened butter
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar (loosely packed)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Zest of two large oranges- almost 2½ tablespoon
- 1½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2-3 tablespoon orange juice ** Can substitute with milk.
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F.
- In a large bowl, sift together salt, all-purpose flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and ghee (or butter if using that) until they are just combined. Add orange zest and cumin seeds. Slowly add the flour and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Add orange juice to make the dough smooth.
- Take the combined dough out of the mixer and knead with your hands over a clean counter top lightly dusted with flour. Divide the dough into two equal parts and roll them into logs. Cover with a plastic wrap. At this stage I just smoothed out the longer sides of the log giving it a square shape. Put it in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to firm.
- Pull the dough out and cut into squares about ¼"- ½" thick. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, an inch apart from each other.
- Bake them for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown in color. Take it out of the oven and cool on a cooling rack before serving with hot milk, coffee or chai.
Prerna is a food writer and photographer who contributes to sites like Menuism and WFAEeats (NPR Charlotte). With a goal of making Indian cuisine approachable, she created Indian Simmer, a blog nominated for 2011 Best Food Blogs by Saveur Magazine.