Adi’s Cookies

26 Oct

Inspirational!Today was a lovely chilled day, reconnecting with the KL I love so much … seeing friends, being inspired and challenged by strong women. My beloved friend, Adi, gave me a beautiful gift – an astonishingly lovely vanilla bean paste that she brought back from holidays in Bali … and this paste was truly magical. It was a mix of vanilla bean, cacao nibs and chili! What a taste combination … and what a scent. When I opened the jar this deep spicy dark chocolatey vanilla musk wafted out and assailed me with its deliciousness.

I couldnt wait to cook with it … and it set me to thinking. Pastes are such a lovely conglomeration of tastes – this one in particular has a balance of dark deep flavours, invigorated by a faint sting of chili. Beautiful! I decided I was going to make refrigerator cookies with the paste, and I also dreamed up a whole variety of other pastes I could make inspired by this one.

If you cant put your hands on a vanilla, cacao nib, chili paste (and unless youre in Bali, and visiting the Puri Ganesha Villas where it was concocted, I doubt you can!), you can make your own paste from any number of wonderful combinations.

Just pound together a few ingredients that inspire you – a mortar and pestle would do well by you here – and bake some cookies or make a cake with the paste as your flavouring inspiration.

Here are a few that come to mind:

  • Crystallised ginger, cranberries and cinnamon
  • Grated lemon and orange peel, hazelnuts and raisins
  • Mint, cacao nibs, and pineapple
  • Dried blueberries, saffron, and almonds
  • Macadamias, a touch of honey, and nutmeg

Once you have a paste that you love, you can add it to so many things – to cakes and glazes. You could stir some into a pudding or ice cream. Use it to perfume a cupcake or frosting. Rub it onto an apple before baking, or stir it into a fruit crumble… you will have a haunting, unique flavour that will intrigue and delight.

Or you could make these cookies. I love refrigerator cookies. Basically, you make a simple cookie dough, lushly rich with creamed butter and sugar, and flavoured with the paste of your choice, and refrigerate the dough, rolled into logs, for at least a few hours. This allows the butter to firm up, and then you just slice the cookies and bake for a few minutes. Any left overs, you can freeze for up to six months, so you always have fresh cookies to hand. What a pleasure and a luxury! And once you have a paste that you love, the entire process takes literally 20 minutes to put together!

Enjoy this recipe, and be comforted. And thank you to Adi for inspiring me in so many ways!

Makes about 48 cookies / 2 logs

  • 2 sticks (16 tbsp) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp sour cream (or you could use cream cheese – or even leave this out – I just love the slight tang this provides)
  • 2 – 4 tsp vanilla, cacao nib and chili paste (or one that you make up!)
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached organic cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt (I used 1/2 tsp because I wanted to bring out the spice note of the chili – use less if your flavour combinations are softer)
  • 1 tbsp milk or buttermilk

In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat paddle, or a electric hand beater, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This takes a few minutes, so be patient. Its not just mixed together, but actually starts to fluff up…

Add the egg and sour cream and mix well. Add 2 teaspoons of the vanilla paste and taste – adjust if needed.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Add to the butter mixture in three batches, adding a touch of milk in between each batch to keep the dough soft and pliable. Mix in the flour very briefly, just until the dough comes together, then add a bit of milk, mix again, etc.

Once all the flour has been incorporated, turn the dough out onto a long strip of waxed paper. Divide the dough into half, and roll out into a thick log. Wrap tightly in separate pieces of waxed paper, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or freeze until you are ready to use.

When you are ready to bake some cookies (and I have to ask myself, when am I not?!), preheat the oven to 200C (400F)

Line a cookie tin with greaseproof paper, and take out a log of cookie dough. Cut slices about 1/8th inch thick from the log, and arrange on baking sheet. They wont spread very far, so they dont need to be very far apart.

Bake for 6 – 10 minutes, until the edges are just starting to brown, and the cookies are firm to the touch. Cool on racks for a few minutes before devouring.

Enjoy and be inspired!

PS – forgive the blurry photograph, am still sorting through my luggage looking for my camera!

4 Responses to “Adi’s Cookies”

  1. goddessmoments October 27, 2010 at 12:31 am #

    Ahhhh sounds divine… btw I’m breakfasting on English Brekkie tea and a sculptural chunk of Pia’s Olive Oil Bundt Cake. Oops! All gone. Off to get another chunk 🙂 X

    • delectableblog October 27, 2010 at 3:45 am #

      LoL youre too sweet. How did the cake survive the night?

  2. adi October 27, 2010 at 2:40 am #

    i knew if anyone could make something that sounds so exotic & mysterious into something delicious and devourable, it would be you. i’m oooh-inh & aaah-ing at your ‘off the cuff’ pastes!!! WowowowowoW!!!
    bundt cake? how come goddess gets bundt cake 😕
    ❤ x

    • delectableblog October 27, 2010 at 3:47 am #

      Because I was investigating the possibility of an olive oil bundt cake. Wasnt too thrilled with the results, but Goddess seemed to like it so she and Hubby took some home… I might make another one today and post it if it comes out well. And bring you some tomorrow if I see you 😛 xxx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: