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If you grew in India in the late 80′s or early 90′s, the concept of modular kitchens with full-fledged kitchen ranges and microwave ovens was just starting to creep in.Appliances like food processors and hand blenders were unheard of.The basic appliances in the kitchen were a refrigerator [that too not necessarily frost-free], a blender[still called as "mixi"] and you were considered modern if your kitchen had a OTG.
At my granny house we had a round electric oven made of a thin aluminium sheet,about 15″ in diameter with bottom and lid separable.Inside, on the bottom part was a small spiral coil ..sort of solenoid; to put the baking dish.It had a cheap temperature control & I m sure that its calibration was doubtful.There was a thick black wire with a two-way plug at one end [that means there was no earth pin] and a socket at another to fit into the oven.The oven was portable, you could keep it on your dining table in winters and snuggle up in the warmth from its body.And also burn your hand if u touched it while serving food.In short, the oven defied all possible norms of safety and was straight from the ancient age.Sorry guys for such a vivid description, sometimes the engineer in me is hard to control when it comes to describing the appliances
My granny used to wrap it in a white sheet and keep it in the store room.I never saw it lined up in kitchen with other appliances.It was taken out occasionally when something had to be baked.If I count, I would say that the oven would not have seen daylight more than 4 times a year.Each use was preceeded by at least an hour session with the electrician who used to tighten the screws and change the wiring.My granny had a strange attachment to it, I think it was gifted by to her by some of the forefathers.The only use I ever saw of that oven was to bake nankhatis [indian semolina cookies].She had a thumb rule for the proportions of flour, butter and sugar.Her cookies came out perfect without even a sprinkle of baking soda or powder.
Baking at home has not been very popular in my family.That is why though I was always interested in cooking, baking could never get better of me.Another reason for this lack of interest was that baking ingredients and equipment are not as easily available in India as in the western countries.Sometime, fetching a muffin pan can become an ordeal. It can be really overwhelming to follow a recipe to core.When my mom bought her first microwave oven,I went over the recipe booklet that came along with it again and again, trying to search an easy cake recipe to try out.Walnut banana cake was the recipe I tried out first, and I can’t even tell you the mess I created.The mess was followed by a couple of trials before I got completely disinterested in baking.
After shifting to the apartment out here, I did not even look at the oven for 6 months.I used it for storing my groceries I started occasional baking when P’s colleague gifted us sort of baking kit with lots of pans,pastry bags& tips, cutters, mixing bowls etc on our first wedding anniversary, putting it to use my stint with baking again.
These cookies are adapted from sources mentioned below.The filling is my brainchild.I used cream cheese,butter & blueberry paste to make the filling.Do you like the lilac color? I loved it so much that I have baked 3 batches in last week.The filling color is completely natural, I have not added a single drop of color or edible dye to it.They are really addictive.Below goes the recipe.
For the Lime Sugar Cookies [Makes 15 cookie sandwiches of the size shown]
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
For the blueberry cream cheese filling :
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1.5 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tbsp blueberry paste [recipe below]
For the Blueberry Paste:
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 2 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
Lime Sugar Cookies
- In a medium bowl, sift flour,baking soda & powder, salt.Set aside
- In a larger bowl,cream the butter & sugar thoroughly untill fluffy.To this add the lime juice & vanilla and beat until combined.
- To the butter sugar mix, add the flour mix and gently combine with a spatula to bring together into a dough.You might need to add a tbsp or more of milk at this stage if required to make a soft dough.
- Divide the dough into 2 small balls.Take a piece of plastic cling film, put the dough balls on it and flatten with palm to make a disc.Wrap the discs with plastic cling film.Repeat the same with 2nd dough ball.Chill both discs for about 30 minutes.
- Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.Avoid using aluminium foil as the extreme heating up will burn the cookies from bottom.
- After chilling, take one disc out, unwrap it and place it between two sheets of parchment paper. Initially, you may find it little difficult to roll because of the chilled dough.It will soften as you go along.
- Roll the disc using a floured rolling-pin into a sheet about 1/4″ thk.
- Using a floured cookie cutter cut the cookies from the rolled dough.
- Using a floured thin spatula, transfer the cookies to the lined cookie sheet.Note: Picking up the cookies with fingers will deshape them.
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Chill the cut cookies again for 15 minutes.
- Once chilled, bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the sides start turning brown.
- Cool completely on a cooling rack.
Tip in the blueberries, water and sugar to a small sauce pan.Cook it on low heat until the blueberries are soft and mushy.Transfer to a blender.Blend on high to form a puree.Dissolve cornstarch into lemon juice.Transfer the puree to sauce pan again and add cornstarch mix.Cook on very low heat for about 5-8 minutes until you get a thick paste.Cool completely before adding to the cream.
Blueberry Cream Filling:
Make the filling by beating the cream cheese & butter with an electric mixer. Mix in powdered sugar until smooth.Add 2 tbsp of the cooled blueberry paste above to make a smooth mix.
Pipe or spread 1-2 tablespoons of blueberry filling in the center of a cookie. Top with a second cookie and press together until the filling reaches the edges of the cookies.Store in an air tight box for up to 3 days.
- Use any kind of berries or fruits to make the filling.The recipe remains the same.
- I have mentioned the baking times on my oven.Since all ovens are different, please adjust the times as per your appliance.
- You will need to adjust lime juice if your berries are really tart.
Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by!
Sending this to Hearth n Soul #43