Hen’s Teeth

16 Apr

Yesterday was a rare day.

In case it hasn’t been reported in your neck of the woods, it rained here in New York City. A lot. I mean, a lot a lot. Like the most in 100 years a lot. Like subways stopped running a lot. Like the only sane way to pass the day was inside a lot.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

We had provisioned well on Saturday at the Greenmarket. It was such a lovely day. Warm, sunny, springy. It didn’t seem possible the meteorologists could be right.

But they were.

So the boy and I did a rare thing for a Sunday, we kept it close to home, only venturing out for some Mexican food and a few forgotten provisions. He kept himself busy with a book and the crossword (it was a tough one yesterday) and I spent the day puttering in the kitchen.


The main object of my puttering was to master a new loaf from my new book (a gift from the boy). I had my heart set on the Pugliese loaf featured on the cover, but my brain decided that sleeping in was far more important than starting a poolish, so I had to make due with a different bread (more on that later).

But the secondary focus of my puttering is the main focus of today’s entry, because it too was a very rare activity.

I baked a batch of cookies. And not just any cookies. These are the Aishwaraya Rai of cookies.

Bollywood Cookies

And why is baking cookies a rare event? Because it’s an activity I haven’t indulged in since high school. No lie.

The genesis of these cookies is a real he-said/she-said merry go round of blogginess.

She said, “I don’t keep garam masala around.”

He said, “But you should, it lends grand flavor to cookies.”

She said, to paraphrase, “Pshaw! Now these I must try!”

He said, “Then dear lady, I shall give you cookies. Here are your cookies and your recipe, try them at will!”

But, being me, and being a bad baker, my cookies are, of course, different from TerryB‘s.

Bollywood Cookies

I had no vanilla, and there was no way I was going back out there to get some (I had just come back from the brown sugar mission that had soaked me to the core).

I also had no regular sugar (see above for why I had to make do). I had a wee bit of turbinado leftover from a long ago apple pie project, and about a dozen packets of Sugar In The Raw which had to stand in.

Oh and I don’t have an electric mixer, so I had to beat the butter by hand, no easy task, I can assure you of that.

But I also had a wee bag of crystalized ginger my mom had given me in my Easter basket, (yes I still get one, don’t you?) that I chopped up fine and tossed into the mix.

Oh and my batch only yielded 16 cookies because I only own one baking sheet and decided to make each one really big so I didn’t have to make two batches. Lazy ain’t I?

Bollywood Cookies

All changes aside, these are some ridiculously good cookies. Smoldering, exotic, a little hot, very sweet, crunchy and impossibly good.

I can’t wait to take them into work.

I never get to be that person, the one that plies her co-workers with sweets to ensure their undying love and eternal respect.

Bollywood Cookies

Oh, you mean, that’s not normal?

I’m just supposed to bring them in to make people happy?

Where’s the fun in that?

Head below the jump for Ann’s Bollywood Cookies.

Ann’s Bollywood Cookies

prep time: 30 minutes with no electric mixer ~ baking time: 15-17 minutes ~ yield: 16 big cookies or probably 2 dozen smaller cookies

  • 1 1/2 c. Quick Cook Oats
  • 1 1/2 c. AP Flour
  • 1 tsp. Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 c.) Butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. Turbinado Sugar
  • 1/2 c. Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 c. Golden Raisins
  • 2 tsbsp. finely chopped Crystallized Ginger (or to taste)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl mix the oats, flour, Garam Masala, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a larger bowl beat the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy. Start with a fork and move onto a whisk. Add the eggs one at a time whisking to incorporate both times.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet slowly, about 1/3 of the mixture at a time. Stir until well incorporated. Add the raisins and ginger. Stir to incorporate.

Grease one or two sheet pans. If using one, spoon large cookies out onto the pan, if using two, spoon small cookies out onto the two pans.

Place in the oven. The smaller cookies will take probably 12 or so minutes to cook, the larger cookies about 17, but then again, it depends on how you like your cookies, chewy or crunchy. I like mine crunchy. But then again, it depends on your oven, so just pull them out when they’re done.

Allow them to cool on a rack, then devour at will.

This recipe is adapted from Blue Kitchen‘s Garam Masala Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, which in turn were adapted from a lesson learned at The Chopping Block in Chicago.


12 Responses to “Hen’s Teeth”

  1. lobstersquad April 16, 2007 at 9:57 am #

    not sure about garam masala in cookies. I´m sure you´re right, but…never mind. This was just to say, cool interview in Culinate. you´ve finally convinced me not to try the Bittman bread. I´m very scared of my oven

  2. Yvo April 16, 2007 at 3:36 pm #

    Mmm, cookies. I don’t bake really… but those sound yummy nonetheless. (Got my boy to bake brownies from a mix last night, but that was a big to-do with him asking me questions every 2 minutes… haha.)

  3. renata April 16, 2007 at 4:52 pm #

    Not since high school? I can’t imagine how that’s possible…

    I noticed this in the comments before, glad you tried it. Next time I remember to buy oats I’ll have to check this out, since I love oatmeal cookies, and my garam masala is embarrassingly unopened.

  4. Terry B April 16, 2007 at 4:53 pm #

    Ann—I absolutely love this about cooking. Treating recipes as a basic melody and then doing a jazz improvisation on them. Your take on the original sounds quite wonderful. Ridiculously good, in fact, as you said. If this doesn’t score points at work, your colleagues are 100% taste bud-free. And yes, that is indeed why we bring treats to work.

    Thanks for the fabulous story too. Glad you weathered the weather. I didn’t even think of the subways not running. Wow.

  5. ann April 16, 2007 at 5:33 pm #

    Thanks LS! It was fun to do and I love what they’re doing, so its win-win all around!

    Yvo — HA! That’s pretty damn funny.

    Renata — I’m just not a cookie person… It’s just something that never springs to mind. If I’m craving a cookie, I’d rather go on a long walk with a cookie treat as the reward. Just call me crazy I guess ;-)

    Terry B — My co-workers loved them, so thanks much. And that’s what I love about cooking too. I always swore that the lack of “riffing” was the reason I preferred culinary to pastry, but now that I’m getting into the floury side of things I’m learning there’s room for interpretation there too. Good times!

  6. gülenay April 17, 2007 at 7:25 am #

    very nice

  7. Rebecca April 17, 2007 at 7:48 pm #

    Mmmm, these look fantastic! I would never have thought of putting curry spices in my cookies, but I have put chopped candied ginger in baked goods and it’s a short step away from that. Spicy and sweet, what a great combination!

  8. Glenna April 18, 2007 at 7:17 am #

    Those look absolutely divine! And love the whole don’t have this, went to the store for this, substituted this….you’d think it was me cooking, LOL! Don’t you HATE it when you go to the store for something and then get home to find that there was something else you forgot? That makes me have a temper tantrum of the worst kind. LOL!

  9. ann April 18, 2007 at 7:38 am #

    gulenay — thanks for stopping by! I wish I could read your blog, it looks wonderful.

    Rebecca — Leave it to those crafty Chicagoans to think outside the box! The ginger in this is amazing, it reminds me of my favorite cookie from when I was a kid that was made with ground ginger and molasses. Divine!

    Glenna — Yep. Hate it! I used to work in record shops in high school & college and we’d always laugh about how people would walk into the store knowing full well what they wanted to buy, but the minute they were confronted with all the choices, if they hadn’t made a list, they were screwed. Happens to me now in the grocery store. I guess that means I’m more of a foodie now than an indie rocker ;-)

  10. hungrygirl April 18, 2007 at 8:20 am #

    I love the photo of rain through a screen window. really captures the rainy day mood.

  11. s'kat April 18, 2007 at 11:46 am #

    You certainly picked a perfect day to stay in and bake! What a scent they must have made!

  12. ann April 21, 2007 at 9:20 am #

    Hungrygirl — thanks. It was such a bleak, gray day. The cookies made all the difference

    S’kat — the scent was one that I wish I could have a master perfumer make for me. Twas delightful!

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