Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Badam Puri | Flourless Almond Cookies

One of the popular sweet for Diwali; Badam Puri is super addictive and amazing to try at home! 



In a wink Diwali will be here! The festivities have begun and we are ready to celebrate. This festival of lights is celebrated in a great way back in India. We try our best to do everything similar here in US. From fireworks and rangoli to diya and sweets; we have it all! 

While a lot of sweets that we enjoyed back there are available here; there are a few that I have not eaten for YEARS! Badam Puri is one of them. For those who know the sweet, they would have connected to it instantly. For the others; these are rounds made from almond, stacked and packed in yellow cellophane paper. 


Available generally during Diwali in all stores; this sweet is addictive. Full of almond powder/meal, these sometimes come studded with almonds and cardamom seeds. I have missed these the MOST for Diwali each year. So this year I decided to make some at home. After a couple of fails; I managed a PERFECT batch that I shot and it is here! 


How to get it RIGHT?

The ingredients in this recipe are fairly easy to get; almond meal, sugar and ghee being the most important. Everything else can be used as per preference and availability. Once you have the ingredients right; it is important to have them measured correctly. 

The most important steps here are cooking the dough to the right consistency and broiling for the right time. Mess up either of these steps and the cookies are bound to fail. 

First the consistency of the dough. If the water is too much for the dough, it needs to be cooked for a longer time to dry it up. However if it is too dry, the dough will crumble on cooling. I have listed test to find the right consistency and would strongly recommend that instead of eyeballing the results.

The next is broiling. The total broil time for the cookies is 4-5 minutes. So even an extra 30 seconds can ruin them (I have burnt them a couple of times)! The steps below call for cooling the cookies before broiling them again. This is required as the cookies will fall apart of flipped when just out of the oven.


Variations

I made these using store bought almond meal. However, blanched almonds can be used to make the meal too. Using almonds with peel will not result in a smooth dough and not give the right result. 

Cashews can be used in the recipe too. Raw cashews can be crushed fine to obtain cashew meal. That can be either combined with almond meal or used by itself.

I added some slivered nuts and saffron along with cardamom to the cookies. However, only cardamom also gives a distinct flavor that is amazing. Also, the saffron strands give a light yellow color. If you want a deep yellow like the ones from the store, add a drop of yellow color to the mixture. 


Love cookies? Try one of these:

Ingredients

Almond Meal 1 cup (store bought or home-made)
Confectioner' Sugar 3/4 cup
Ghee/ Unsalted Butter 2 tbsp
Cardamom seed powder 1 tsp
Saffron threads a few
Slivered pistachios and almonds 1/3 cup
Water 2-3 tbsp


Method

In a pan heat 1 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter. Once it starts to melt; add almond meal, 2 tbsp water and sugar. Mix together and let it cook till the sugar starts to melt. 

Add in the cardamon seed powder and a few strands of saffron. Cook on medium flame for about 5 minutes in all; stirring frequently. 

Once the mixture becomes pasty and the sugar melts, reduce flame to low. Continue to cook till the mixture becomes opaque and starts to leave the sides of the pan. 

While the mixture cooks, keep the slivered nuts ready and line the back of a steel plate with some ghee or lay a parchment paper. 

Once the mixture leaves the side, test with a small portion of the mixture if it is done. Remove 1 tsp of the mixture and spread it on the ghee lined plate. If it can be spread and then breaks clean into two parts, it is done.

At this point add the remaining ghee to the mixture, mix well and transfer it to the plate. Once it cools down a little and can be handled with hands; start kneading the dough and roll it into a round of about 1/4 inch thickness. I could make about 12 full cookies and had some leftover dough.

Spread the nuts on top, roll it once to make sure they stick and use a cookie cutter to make small rounds. I used a 2 inch cookie cutter to make this.

Arrange the cookies in a baking tray. Set the oven to 'Broil' and Low. Place the tray in the oven and broil for 1-2 minutes; till the brown spots appear on them. It only takes a couple of seconds to burn so keep an eye.  

Remove from oven, cool for 5-6 minutes and flip them over. Broil for another 2-3 minutes and remove. Transfer to an airtight container and enjoy for up to 10 days. 



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