Friday, 2 May 2014

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies With Pistachios And Rose

                             Some time during the 90’s, whistling a happy tune and fiddling in the kitchen, I caught the attention of my father who was working in the garden to peep through the window, only to be surprised to see his teenage daughter whistle like a boy. Music on the background, whistling along, has always been my happy quotient and a sure indicator that I am completely enjoying what I do. Especially If I happen to be cooking, my good mood reflects in the food prepared. Blessed are those people who create music, as they are truly gifted. I may not be gifted, but love the sound of music resonating around me and whistling happens to be my comfort level of expressing, even though it may not follow any of the rules laid down by the Music Grammar!

                        Recently Chennai was blessed with musical showers by not one, but two orchestras. One, by The BBC scottish Symphony Orchestra and the other by Yaani. I was fortunate enough to attend both and witness the musical extravaganza that rocked Chennai for the first time. It was a lively atmosphere at Yaani’s performance, as the crowd cheered for every single movement by yaani and every word he spoke. His exuberance was so contagious, that the crowd never sulked even for a moment, but rather the smitten fans demanded for more. While you could not hear nothing more than a loud applause at the BBC SSO, from the so called elegant crowd, who even responded only feebly when they were wished Good Evening, it was totally a contrasting scenario. Living in the land of Ilayaraja whose music reigns and the home town of an oscar winner, it would be a sin not to love music and aptly chennaites have proved it all right by appreciating the beauty of music in both these orchestras.

                  My recent obsession has been listening to ABBA’s chiquitita and I am totally driving everybody crazy playing it over and over again! Well, who can resist Classics! Vanessa Mae and Estos Tonne ( His "Between Fire and Water " , "The Golden Dragon" and "Cuban Dance and Rhapsody" will surely make you fall for this Jesus look alike guy) are two other musicians whose live performance I wish to watch in the future, if I am lucky. Anything can happen anytime in Chennai!

Flour                        200 g
Oil                           6 Tbsp
Light brown Sugar     1/2 cup ( packed )
Pistachios                   1/2 cup ( chopped )
Rose Essence              1/2 tsp
Earl Grey Tea bags     2
Baking Powder           1 tsp
Milk                         1/3 cup ( 5 1/2 tbsp)

Grind the light brown sugar to a fine powder.
Empty the contents of two tea bags into a bowl and to this add flour, powdered sugar, baking powder and mix well.
Add the oil and rub into the mixture using hands, until well mixed and resembles wet sand.
Add chopped pistachios and the rose essence and give a stir.
Add the milk and gather everything to form a soft dough. Do not knead.
Place the dough in between two plastic sheets and roll into a thin sheet of 1/4 inch thickness or desired thickness and cut out shapes.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper and spray oil or grease it with butter or oil.
Arrange the cut out cookie dough on the prepared baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 180Âșc for about 15 minutes.
Let it rest in the oven for another 5 minutes before removing from the oven and cooling it.
The cookies will become crispier as it cools down.

Can use butter ( 80 g) instead of oil for a rich buttery taste. ( I have tried )
These cookies can be made without the tea also and using various other combinations.( I have made them)
Like, pistachios and rose can be skipped and instead orange zest can be added along with the earl grey for a lovely citrusy shortbread.
The cookies can be made much thinner than the ones shown here but adjust the cooking time as it will take less time to cook.
The pistachios can also be coarsely powdered and added to the flour and made into thin crisp cookies which also tastes delicious. ( I have made them)
You can use rose water  if available instead of rose essence. ( Rose water is available in ‘NutsnSpices' shop)
You can use French Earl Grey Tea which is rose flavoured, in which case skip using rose essence or rose water.

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Hiya all,
Finally on this day of october the 1st, 2012, I have decided to include the comment form, after a long gap of two years. But, I am going to be a bit selfish here and keep all those nice and lovely things that is said for me and only me to cherish and will be sharing any queries that requires clarifications and your experience about the food if you have tried my recipes. So, drop in a word if you have anything to say and thanks a lot for stopping by.
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