Since Diwali is just around the corner, I thought of sharing these delectable cookies. Diwali is a Hindu festival of lights. It is India’s biggest and most important festival of the year. The festival gets its name from the row of clay lamps that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from the spiritual darkness. This festival is important to Hindus as Christmas is for Christians. When growing up, we longed for Diwali sweets shared by Indian neighbors. This would not be your typical Diwali sweet for sharing with neighbors, but it is the closest I could come to an Indian cookie. I’d say this is more of an Indian shortbread, so also great to serve on special occasions.
I learned that badam is the Hindi word for almonds and pista is the short form for pistachios which are the nuts that give these cookies a flavorful crunch. (See above). The cardamom and nutmeg powders and the rosewater essence give the cookies the most tantalizing aroma when being baked. I saw this recipe on my blogger buddy’s blog. Freda posts some wonderful recipes on Aromatic Essence. Click on her link to take you there, there are other Indian sweets that she has posted for Diwali too.
I think I’ll double the recipe the next time 🙂 These are so moreish, you will keep reaching over and helping yourself as one will not satisfy your sweet tooth.
Look at those cookies, aren’t they just melt-in-your-mouth gorgeous! Light and delicate, they are sure to be your family’s favorite after the first crunchy bite.
Ahhhh, and they go so well with a cup of tea. They are sure to be added to my Christmas cookie exchange. They are pretty fast to whip up too.
Eggless Badam Pista Cookies
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 2 tbsp vanilla flavored custard powder or cornflour
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup + 1 to 2 tsp chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup + 1 to 2 tsp chopped pistachios
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- a pinch of nutmeg powder
- 1/2 tsp rosewater essence
- Sift the flour and custard powder or cornflour in a sufficiently large mixing bowl.
- Place butter in the bowl of your stand mixer (you can also use a hand mixer or a whisk too), sift in powdered sugar, beat on low initially, until the powdered sugar is mixed with the butter, then increase the speed to medium and beat till light and creamy.
- Add cardamom powder, a pinch of nutmeg powder, rosewater essence, chopped almonds and pistachios. Mix well.
- Now switch to the lowest speed and add the flour in 3 parts incorporating the butter into the flour. Gently bring the dough together. Do not knead. If the dough is dry, sprinkle a few teaspoons of milk at a time, do not add too much. The dough should be soft.
- Shape the dough into a log and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the log from the refrigerator and cut slices about a quarter inch thick.
- Lay the cookies on the sheet at least 2 inches apart as they expand when they bake. Sprinkle the remaining 1 to 2 tsp of chopped almonds and pistachios, press it in lightly.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes. When the bottom of the cookies begin to brown, they are done. They will be soft in the middle, but will firm up upon cooling. Cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes and then transfer to the wire rack to cool completely. The cookies stay good for two weeks when stored in an airtight container.
Happy Diwali to all!