With the onset of Diwali , certain rooms in our home, were invaded by towers of Diwali hampers and boxes with sweets and nuts . We would only be allowed an arms distance from them , since most were repacked and were on their way to another relatives' or friends' home . Long lists were prepared to keep a record of who sent 'what' . Be it weddings or festivals, this is very important procedure of gifting among Indians which later serves as a great topic of conversations within families. Yes , this was also an annual course for us in systematic swapping and record keeping. Of course some sweets were distributed to us , we ,who kept peering at the stack now and then as small bribes to keep us away .
This Diwali , I wanted to gift my family and very close friends a taste of tradition , with a slight twist , home made , handmade ...something imperfect for this perfect occasion . So that , this season the corner of your home would house a box of sweets made with love and thought and hopefully would be shared among all in the family.
The Rolling Pin Diwali box ..Tradition with a Twist
Rasmalai laced Oat Cookies :
150 gms unsalted butter
2 cups oats flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup organic maple syrup
1/3 cup rice flour
1 1/2 cup pecan nuts
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder
1. Place the butter at room temperature till it becomes soft . Mix it with 1 cup oats flour , salt and maple syrup gently with your hands or a whisk.
2. Crush the pecan nuts in a mixer .Then add the remaining cup oats flour, rice flour, pecan nuts and the spices to the mixture and whisk again . See that it is mixed very well .
3. Place it in a box in the refrigerator preferably overnight . If you are in a hurry can be placed for 5-6 hours too but see that it is not too soft .
4. Heat the oven at 325 deg F OR 185 deg C .Roll the dough with a rolling pin or the palm of your hand and with your choice of cookie cutters.
5. Prepare baking sheets . You don't need to grease them. Place the cookies and bake for 15 -20 minutes.
6. Keep to cool .
For the Rasmalai glaze :
1 cup Rasmalai milk
2 tblsp fine Sugar / sryup
1 tsp Vanilla essence
Slivers of Pistachio
1. When cooled , dip half the cookies in the glaze . Garnish with pistachios and keep in fridge .
Tip: without the glaze , great cookie for kids !
Semolina and Coconut Cake
1 cup semolina
11/4 cup raw sugar
1 cup organic grated coconut (dried or fresh)
1 cup oil , eg. olive
1 cup yoghurt , can be Greek yoghurt
1 cup oats flour
1 cup milk
1 tblsp baking powder
1 tblsp vanilla essence
1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F OR 185 deg C . Mix all the above ingredients and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
2. Pour the mixture in a greased baking pan. Bake for 35-40 min.
3. Sprinkle grated coconut or icing sugar on top and serve .
Organic Dark Chocolate coated Gramflour or Besan ladoos
Ingredients: Makes 15 -16 ladoos
2 cups Gram flour
1/2 cup Ghee , clarified butter
1 tsp Cardamom powder
1 cup fine organic Confectioners sugar
1 bar Organic dark chocolate
A little milk
A few strands of saffron
1. In a kadai or heavy bottomed pan , roast the gram flour . You should get the nutty aroma but don't let the gram flour turn dark brown.This takes 15 minutes .
2. Then add the ghee and mix very well. Keep cooking for a further 5 minutes .
3. Take it off the fire and let it cool.
4. Once completely cooled , add the sugar and cardamom. See there are no lumps .
5. Mix well and let the mixture become cool to handle . Roll into small balls .
6. Heat the chocolate on a double boiler and let it completely melt. Add a little mix to make it a bit thin so that it coats the ladoos well.
7. Dip the ladoos in the chocolate and garnish with a few strands of saffron.
8. Store in the refrigerator till it sets.
The small pouch contains assorted nuts . You may wish to add a Diya or any other Diwali gift instead . The box and the pouch was made by Escapades , firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing you and your family a very Happy Diwali ...full of good health , luck and happiness.