Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Garam Masala extravaganza

I love baking first thing in the morning. The measuring and the movements help your brain wake up slowly, and then your cold apartment, lit by morning sun, slowly fills with warmth and good smells. But beware: if you don't eat breakfast, you might end up snacking on a lot of cookie dough and getting a stomachache.

But what could this:
. . . possibly have in common with this?

Well, I'm still trying to use up the garam masala I made a few months ago (scroll down for garam masala recipe).

Afer baking gingerbread muffins this weekend (using the typical cloves, cinnamon, etc), I made some chana masala, a northern Indian chickpea curry (I’ve been following the recipe from The Asian Vegan Kitchen to the [ridiculously complicated but AMAZING] letter, so I won’t reproduce the recipe here). This dish uses a garam masala that contains coriander, cumin, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, roasted and ground.

Anyway, I got to thinking about how my friend Arhia puts cardamom in a lot of her baked goods. If she can do that (with great results), I mused, then surely it can't be much more of a stretch to include the other spices in garam masala in a cookie?

So this cookie is something of a South Asian spin on the oatmeal raisin cookie. There are no raisins, and the oatmeal remains. It's a hearty-textured, spiced cookie that uses coconut, oatmeal, and garam masala. Cumin-and-coriander cookies, mustard cookies...what's left?

I'm really happy with the results. The cookies are crispy on the outside but slightly soft on the inside. They're pretty rich, but the oatmeal and coconut balance out the fattiness. In the future, I might try using even more garam masala.

Oatmeal Coconut Spice Cookies

2 TB *ground* flaxseed
6 TB water
scant 1 c vegan butter
1 1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c white flour
1 c wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 TB garam masala (or more)
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1 1/2 c finely shredded, unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350*. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a food processor or blender, whip flaxseed and water until creamy. Make sure flaxseed is ground before you add the water!
In main bowl, cream butter, sugar, vanilla, and flaxseed mixture.
In second bowl, mix flour, soda, powder, salt, and spices.
Add dry to wet. Stir in oats and coconut, and mix well.
Form into balls of 1 1/2 in diameter, place on cookie sheet, and flatten slightly. Cookies will not expand very much.
Bake for 17-18 minutes or until bottoms begin to brown. After removing from oven, allow to sit on cookie sheet several minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
Makes 5 dozen small cookies.

Garam Masala
(adapted from The Asian Vegan Kitchen)

1 1/2 TB coriander seeds
1 TB cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 small stick of cinnamon
3 green cardamom pods
8 cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Toast spices in a toaster oven or on the stove for a few minutes until fragrant and browning. Cool. Grind. Store in airtight container. Makes about 3 tablespoons.  NOTE TO SELF: make a double batch.

1 comment:

rockandrollcannibal said...

ooh. I think I'll have to try that. I may use regular ol' cow butter though.