Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Chestnut-Almond Cookies

For Indian recipes, I can’t and won’t break the tradition and I will always follow the elder’s footsteps in preparing food. I believe the ingredients they use for a particular recipe have been chosen for a reason, and the steps they followed to make a recipe work are methodic, implicitly giving a perfect taste and nutritional boost.

But when it comes to western food, since I ‘m not used to making these traditionally, I feel very free to experiment. Also I believe most of ‘traditional’ recipes that I see in magazines and TV shows are the stuff that they makeup as they go, to promote some food ingredients or products following the corporate orders. When food ingredients have their own associations and mega budgets to promote and influence peoples opinion in their favor with advertisement blitzes, I am not sure how traditional most of these recipes are, though they proclaim otherwise.

Chestnut cookies first posted by Mine of Teatime then submitted to cookie swap event by Ulrike of Kuchenlatein, captivated me mainly because they sounded real authentic, traditional and old world. When I saw the beautiful photographs, I so wanted to try these cookies. I changed few things here and there, going all the way to make them rustic pure. Use of molasses in place of powdered sugar, turned the cookies golden brown instead of creamy white. I tried decorating cookies differently, but it didn’t come out as I expected. Except for that one gaffe, the cookies turned out to be mouthfuls of wholesome goodness. Thanks Mine and Ulrike for sharing this wonderful, traditional recipe.

Molasses, All purpose flour, Almonds, Roasted Chestnuts, Clove, Cardamom, Cinnamon

Recipe:

2 cups of almonds, soaked in water overnight, then skins removed
15 chestnuts, roasted, then shells removed
1 cup of all purpose flour
11/2 cups of molasses
(Molasses is an acquired taste, difficult to like. Sugar/honey works fine too)
2 egg whites
1 inch cinnamon, 1 clove, and seeds from 1 cardamom pod - finely powdered together

Powdering Almonds and Chestnuts in a Food Processor Almond-Chestnut cookies all ready to go into oven
Powdering Almonds and Chestnuts in a Food Processor…Almond-Chestnut cookie dough, ready to be baked

Preparation:

Powder the almonds and roasted chestnuts in a food processor to a smooth powder. Make it easy on the motor and do it in batches. In a vessel, take egg whites and beat them until they turn to foamy white. To these egg whites, add molasses and cardamom-cinnamon-clove powder. Mix and stir in all purpose flour and almond-chestnut powder. Mix them thoroughly. Shape the dough into a log, wrap it in a wax paper and store it in the freezer, until the cookie dough firms up. I had to keep it overnight in the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Remove the hardened cookie dough from the freezer, cut it into 1 to 2 inch rounds crosswise. Place them neatly in rows on a greased or parchment paper lined baking tray. I egg washed the tops and sprinkled some brown sugar on top of each cookie, my idea of decoration, not so successful, I have to say.:) Place the baking tray in preheated oven and bake them at 350°F for about 20 minutes.

Believe it or not, they tasted like, do you know the South Indian sweet “Ariselu“, exactly like that. Roasted chestnuts and molasses gave a special and characteristic taste to these cookies, a first for us and we liked them very much.

chestnut cookies
Chestnut-Almond Cookies

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Almonds, Molasses, Chestnuts (Marrons) (Tuesday December 13, 2005 at 7:16 pm- permalink)

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12 comments for Chestnut-Almond Cookies »

  1. Indira your cookies looks yum. What is molasses?? Are these available in stores?? Your cookies are mouthwatering.

    Comment by Priya — December 13, 2005 @ 8:52 pm

  2. I just added a link to Molasses, Priya. Check it out for more information. It is basically thickened sugarcane juice, like liquid jaggery and is avialble in almost all US grocery shops. Hope this helps.

    Comment by Indira — December 13, 2005 @ 9:13 pm

  3. Ariselu laaga unnaya,Indira?Color kudaa ariselu laagay unnayi..thanks for sharing this recipe..:)

    Comment by Sailaja — December 13, 2005 @ 11:25 pm

  4. Sailaja… ariselaku pindi oka roju naana pedathaamu kada, chaala ruchiga untundi. Aaa pacchhi pindi laaga unnayi.Angati lo cookie laage kaakunda, ivi chaala tedaga, ruchiga unnayi.

    Comment by Indira — December 14, 2005 @ 8:48 am

  5. Cute.

    Comment by VK Narayanan — December 16, 2005 @ 1:48 pm

  6. They look wonderful, must try them.

    Indira says…
    They taste great too, kitchen hand. More nutty than sweet. Do let me know how they turn out.
    Thank you!

    Comment by kitchen hand — December 18, 2005 @ 9:41 pm

  7. Glad you like them ;-)

    Indira says…
    Thank you Ulrike for sharing these beautiful and traditional cookies with us. I changed the recipe little bit, next time I am going to follow your instructions and make them just like you did, with cocoa decoration and everything. We both loved the taste of the cookies. Thank you somuch for sharing!

    Comment by Ulrike aka Ostwestwind — December 20, 2005 @ 5:10 am

  8. The cookies look delicious, but slightly undercooked in the centre or are they supposed to be that way?

    Comment by pinky — February 23, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

  9. Good job.

    Comment by Cas — August 7, 2006 @ 10:46 pm

  10. These are the worst cookies ever. I had to thow the whole batch out. I even ruined my mixie while doing this. It took me forever to do these too.I am super duper dissapointed. Please don’t try these.

    Hello Sal,
    Sorry to hear your bad experience. It pains me to read your anger. What went wrong? Did you not like the taste? or something wrong with the ingredient combination or quantity? Please do write few words.
    - Indira

    Comment by sal — January 5, 2008 @ 5:06 pm

  11. I guess i did not like the texture, it did not taste like arisulu at all and the taste was really bad. taste varies by person..but I was really excited to try it after reading all the coments about tasting just like arisilu and they tasted really bad.

    Comment by sal — January 8, 2008 @ 6:14 pm

  12. These were good. Next time i would add powdered ginger to either the dough or an icing. As an aside, I feel that experimentation in the kitchen is tradition in many western cultures, especially in the kitchen of my central European grandmothers. It wasn’t so much a reaction to what was being advertised or pushed in the commercial food world, as much as it was making something yummy loosely based off one of your standard recipes using ingredients that were available. To this day that’s how they cook, despite the fact they have an abundance of ingredients available to them at the grocery store.

    Comment by lemonbar — November 23, 2009 @ 7:43 pm

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