Wheat Orange and Oat cookies
What is are Cookies?
Cookies or biscuits are baked flat food made from a combination of flour, sugar and fat. To the basic dough nuts, dried fruits, fresh fruits, fruit purees, chocolate, spices, etc are added to make them more flavorful. Cookies can be soft and buttery, crunchy or chewy. On the other hand savory cookies will contain very little or no sugar, like Khara Biscuits which have green chilis, ginger, curry leaves, coriander and spices.
- In order to make perfect cookies its important to follow the recipe. You cannot eyeball the ratio of flour, sugar and fat. I once made the mistake of miscalculating the amount of butter required and the cookies turned out rock hard.
- For that nice crunchy and soft texture, most cookie recipes require that the fat and sugar are first whipped till the mixture is fluffy, light and creamy. Then the liquid like juice, milk, yogurt, puree, eggs are added. Lastly the flour is added and the dough is mixed gently as over kneading will make the cookies hard.
- The texture of the dough will vary from very soft to a dry dough. Depending on the consistency cookies can be rolled, dropped, sliced or rolled and then cut into desired shapes.
- In addition, the correct temperature is important.Usually cookies require moderate or cool temperature depending on the type of cookies. However, cookies do not require hot or very hot temperatures for baking.
- If you’re baking cookies for the first time I recommend you bake shortbread cookies like the Custard Powder Cookies.
Baking and Me
Incidentally, I love baking breads, cakes, muffins and cookies. For festivals like Diwali and Christmas I prefer to gift baked goodies. Usually cookies are my preference as they have a longer shelf life and are easier to carry. During the first week of December 2012, my kitchen was like a bakery as I had to bake cookies for my nephew’s wedding. As some you may know, Indian Weddings run it not days and the number of guests are mostly not a handful. Therefore baking enough cookies to last for the 4 pre wedding days was a task that sister in law delegated to me. Usually for occasions like these I prefer to make rolled cookies where its so easy to take a piece of the dough roll it into a ball and bake, like wholewheat almond cookies or date and nut cookies. Besides the wheat orange and oat cookies I baked Pistachio and Cranberry Cookies.
Often, I get requests for Gluten Free and Vegan Cookies. While, I have not put up any vegan cookie posts on my blog, I replace the butter with vegan margarine. I’ve yet to try baking with coconut oil. In the meantime you can check out my friend Renu’s Chocolate Coconut Flour Cookies. Just make sure you don’t use honey.
Some Gluten free Cookies
They may not taste like wheat or all purpose flour cookies, but some of the gluten free cookies I’ve baked taste awesome with an earthy taste. Check them out:
My friend Sujata bakes often with gluten free flours. For instance you may want to check out her Oats Almond Cranberry Cornmeal Cookies.
Wheat Orange and Oat Cookies
These cookies are a burst of flavors with fresh orange juice and orange zest added to the dough. However, if you don’t have fresh orange juice then replace it with some good quality ready made juice. Likewise, you can replace the brown sugar with caster sugar or coconut sugar. Depending on the occasion, I roll the dough balls in oats, leave them plain or dip them in chocolate. Replacing chocolate chips with chopped dried fruits is doable.Lets get down to the recipe on how to make these scrumptious cookies. By the way, did I mention that the chocolate dipped ones taste so much like the Chocolate HobNobs available in UK… one of my favorite cookies.
WHEAT ORANGE OAT COOKIES
Approx. 50 medium cookies
250 g butter
2 cups of wholewheat flour (atta)
½ cup chopped mixed nuts
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup chocolate chips
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup orange juice
1 cup brown or white sugar
1 tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp grated orange rind
extra 2 cups of oatmeal for rolling (optional)
100g dark or milk chocolate (will coat 12 cookies) (optional)
- Sieve the flour with the baking powder and soda bicarbonate into a big bowl.
- Add the chopped nuts, coconut and oatmeal to the flour and mix well.
- Cream butter and sugar very well till it is soft, creamy and fluffy.
- Add the orange juice and rind and mix it well.
- Add the flour mixture and using your hands make it into a dough.
- Initially it will be very sticky. Rest the dough for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime preheat the oven to 180°C and grease the baking tray lightly with butter.
- Put 2 cups of oatmeal in a plate.
- Take tablespoonful of the batter and roll it into balls. Roll them in the oatmeal. Avoid this step for non coated cookies.
- Place them on the greased tray about an inch apart and gently press them with a glass tumbler or a small steel bowl.
- Bake the cookies for 12 to15 minutes till they are golden brown.
- Remove the tray from the oven and leave the cookies on the tray for 5 minutes.
- Remove the cookies from the tray and let them cool down completely on a wire rack.
- If you want to make chocolate dipped cookies, melt dark or milk chocolate in the microwave oven or over hot water (Bain Marie method). Dip the cookie in the melted chocolate and leave it on a parchment paper for the chocolate to set.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Roll out the cookies as soon as the dough is ready otherwise it will become dry as the oats will soak up the liquid.
- Replace the chocolate chips with dried fruits or using a combination of all three.
- The centre of the cookies may feel soft in the middle as soon as they come out of the oven, but on cooling on the tray they will become crunchy.
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