Friday, May 25, 2012

Gluten Free Nankhatai (Gluten, Egg, Corn free with dairy free option) and Crazy Good Spiced Tea (Refined Sugar, Dairy Free)

Sorry for the lack of posts the last couple of days.  I've been neck deep in paperwork trying to get pre-approved financially for the house we have been pining to buy (we didn't make that cut unless the buyer will take about 30,000 dollars less than they want for a purchase price right now *sigh*) and trying to get paperwork filled out for my son to get a grant for some therapeutic equipment.  Results are clenching jaw due to stress and when you're doing that on a broken tooth you can then write your own book on stress induced migraines.

So, last night, after a "fun filled day of paperwork adventure" I decided it was time to do something necessary, something that had been cooking in my brain all day after seeing Megan's new awesome looking cookies on The MAID in Alaska Facebook Page.  It was time to bake me some cookies, put together one of my favorite drinks I make and sit on my behind on the couch and watch Muppets with my kids.

I decided it was a Nankhatai type of evening.

One of my favorite cookies of all time, ironically, before going gluten free was made with primarily whole wheat flour.  Nankhatai (it's an Indian dessert) is ALMOST a savory cookie.  It's two main flavors are cardamom and whole wheat flavor and then they are garnished with, of all things, pistachios (which believe me if you can, try it, as they add a wonderful flavor to the cookie and give you a salty little tid-bit in the middle to enjoy).  Unfortunately the "whole wheat" thing is out, of course, now that I've gone gluten free (not that I'd miss the stomach upset I used to have after eating their yumminess anyway :), so I've been working on trying to at least come CLOSE to re-creating this cookie gluten free.

And I've come close.  I had to add more binders to the recipe and increase the fat to make the cookies...well be cookie-like instead of just crumble as the original cookies are held together with just out and out gluten from whole wheat flour and a little bit of fat.  Yeah, that wasn't going to work here.  So, after a couple of tries, I came up with this recipe and with the tea they are DIVINE!

Just a note.  If you like buckwheat at all, try to use it (I've added where you'd put it in as a option).  It lends a really nice nutty tone to the cookie.  Since buckwheat can overpower recipes, though, I opted for the straight sorghum flour as the main option for secondary flours lends to a slightly sweeter cookie and is more of a "traditional" type of cookie.

How good are these things?  My SON took one out of my hand while we were watching the movie and kept biting off hunks on it.  He'd wipe the crumbs off his tongue (texture issues), but he kept coming back for more to taste it.  I tried not to cheer as it's SO rare my son explores food.  So, yeah, I think these got the autistic seal of approval too :).

They're aren't your traditional Nankhatai, but they are close enough for me and trust me if you can pair it with the tea.  The Crazy Good Spiced Tea is wonderful hot right off the stove, but if you let it cool it makes a wonderful iced savory tea drink and if you let it cool and throw it in with some crushed ice you have an awesome tasting smoothie!  You can also redo the recipe for coffee too.  Just take out the water and tea bags in the recipe and instead add 1 1/2 cups of coffee to it instead to give you a savory spiced coffee for an after dinner treat.

Gluten Free Nankhatai (Gluten, Egg, Corn free with dairy free option)

  • 1/2 Cup Teff Flour (use Brown Rice if you don't have teff)
  • 1/2 Cup Sorghum Flour (for a richer, nuttier type of flavor use 1/4 cup sorghum and 1/4 cup buckwheat flour)
  • 1/4 Cup Tapioca Starch
  • 1 Tsp Guar Gum or Xanthum Gum
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder (I use Hain Featherweight)
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 7 TBS butter (softened) or coconut oil (not melted)
  • 1 TBS flax meal
  • 3 TBS boiling water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or palm sugar
  • Halved Pistacios or blanched almonds for garnish (I like pistacios myself)

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

2.  Make flax/chia egg by combining flax/chia meal and water together in small bowl.  Let sit until gummy and egg-like in texture.

3.  In a medium mixing bowl combine flours, starch, gum, baking powder and cardamom.  Stir well with hands to combine.

4.  In another bowl cream together sugar and butter/coconut oil.  Add sugar and butter/coconut oil mixture to the dry ingredients, add flax egg and mix well to combine.

5.  Taking your (clean) hands shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Press balls down slightly and press a pistachio or 1/2 of a blanched almond into the middle of each cookie.

6.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the bottoms are slightly brown.  Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheet.

Let cool completely before consuming.  Serve with Crazy Good Spiced Tea (recipe below).

Crazy Good Spiced Tea (dairy free, refined sugar free)

  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 3 teaspoons loose black tea or 3 tea bags black tea (I use Stash Super Irish Breakfast Tea)
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 3/4 tsp. almond extract (be sure to use pure with no added colorings for the sake of corn allergies)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, approx. 3 inches
  • 3 whole cloves

Combine all ingredients in a pan and heat to JUST a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Strain out spices and tea/tea bags and serve.

Makes approximately 5 servings hot.  Sweeten to taste with honey or palm sugar.  Can also be cooled and served over ice, or combine with approximately 1/2 cup crushed ice to make a very awesome smoothie.

No comments: