Happy Diwali 2015!
Wherever you are, whoever you are with, may you have a peaceful start to the new year … filled with joy, love and LOADS of good food always!! 🙂
Diwali always makes me feel slightly homesick… I miss the festive lights everywhere, the buzz and excitement ini the stores, the smell of the kitchen… mine smells pretty good right about now, and I’m so happy that I’ve taken on the tradition of making my own sweet treats to gift to friends and family… it was really difficult for me to do that inititally, I was always daunted by the idea behind hours of painstaking stove top work.. but now it’s such a joy and there are no HOURS involved… only minutes, and with careful prep and planning, it’s dead easy to put simple, yet sweet delightful things together…
These light tiny star shaped, or flowers, sugar cookies have a hint of cardamom in them, just enough to give you the idea that they’re “indianized”!.. my little one had one and she said “mama, they taste like tea!”…. that’s the idea!
These little balls of chickpea flour, honey and orange zest are the typical “laddus” we make every year… you can make them with coconut and milk powder too and there are loads of versions of these out there… this one is pretty straight forward and easy… and finished with splashes of ganache, I think it’s a winner… that chocolate-orange combination is a classic..
SO these are ideal little gifts as they are small bites and not too heavy. Okay so that Laddus are slightly more moorish… but 1 or 2 won’t hurt… and I wouldn’t just make these 2 sweets for Diwali… they’re great for all kinds of occasions, especially the sugar cookies as you can switch up the tastes by substituting the cardamom for vanilla bean, lemon or even almond extract…. make a variety, you get so much quantity out of these… I honestly didnt count!!
Whatever you decide to make this year, make it fun, and have a safe and super Diwali celebration!!!
- For the Laddus:
- 1/2 cup (100 gr) unsalted butter
- 2 cups chickpea flour (you may see this called garbanzo flour or besan flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder)
- finely grated zest of one large orange
- 1 tablespoon powdered milk
- 1/4 cup honey
- For the Cardamom sugar cookies:
- 3/4 cup plain all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 100 gm (1/2 cup) butter
- 2 tbsp milk (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
- For the chocolate ganache:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Laddus:
- Melt the butter in a small heavy bottomed saucepan on medium-low heat.
- Add the chickpea flour and mix well to make sure there are no lumps.
- Roast for 10 minutes, mixing regularly to prevent burning.
- Mix in the cardamom and nutmeg.
- Roast for another five minutes. You should see the colour slightly changing to a light golden… keep it moving as you will burn the bottom if you don’t.
- Remove from the stove and mix in the orange zest, powdered milk, and honey.Pour out onto a baking sheet or parchment paper.
- As soon as it is cool enough for you to touch, roll the laddu into balls.Press them together as you roll them and set them aside.
- For the Cardamom Sugar cookies:
- Sift the flour and the cornflour together into a bowl. Add a pinch of salt at this point.
- In another bowl whisk in the butter and the sugar with a hand blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add the flour mixture and cardamom and mix until smooth and there are no lumps. Add a little milk only if the dough is stiff. I added around 1 tablespoon only which was enough for me
- Pre heat the oven to 170 degrees c.
- Put the entire mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe into stars on a lightly greased baking tin or a tin lined with baking parchment. You can also make longer ones like Viennese style biscuits.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies turn golden brown at the edges.
- For the ganache:
- Melt the butter.
- Mix all of the ingredients.
- Drizzle ganache over laddu
- Dip the biscuits, once they are cooled, into the ganache to cover half the biscuits and set them on a wire rack to set.