Cumin and Caraway Tea Biscuits

May 10, 2012

These sweet-savory shortbread cookie-crackers are obviously a lot of things rolled into one.  They’re the best of so many worlds squished together to make the most delightful snack to have with your afternoon tea.  You don’t do that?  Well, it’s delightful any time of day, really.

You know those people that take pictures of their food while at a restaurant?  I’m not one of those.  It’s a timing thing, really – I don’t want to waste any of my time there taking pictures when I can instead use that time to be eating.  The eating part usually makes me so delusionally happy that I become bold and instead just ask for the recipe at the end of my meal.  This is usually the awkward part of our dining experience.

Except when I ate these cookie/cracker things.  The chef was so kind and generous that he gave me the recipe on the spot!  And he didn’t even change anything (which is what I was expecting) – these tasted exactly like the ones I was eating at his cafe.  So enjoy these savory sweet snacks and relish in the fact that you’re making restaurant food at home.

Cumin and Caraway Tea Biscuits (recipe from the Leela Mumbai)

I failed to mention that I had these biscuits in India.  Which isn’t actually a relevant part of the story, except when I note that the original recipe called for ajwain seeds, rather than caraway.  And you probably don’t know what they are because there does not seem to be anything equivalent in the western world.  It seems that oregano, thyme and even parsley are acceptable substitutions, but for this particular recipe, I thought that the caraway paired very nicely.  I tried these both ways, and though they did not taste exactly the same, they both were very good.  But if you find yourself at an Indian store, pick some up, eh?  I could have left all of this out.  You didn’t need to know this.  It’s like the awkward end of the meal all over again.

1.5 cups butter, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2.5 cups all purpose flour

1.5 tsp. salt

1 egg

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. cumin seeds

2 tsp. caraway seeds

Whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, cumin seeds and caraway seeds.  Cream together the butter and sugar until light in color.  Add the egg and mix to incorporate.  Slowly fold in all of the dry ingredients until well mixed.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 Take the dough out and on a lightly floured surface, roll to about 1/4 – 1/8 inch thick.  Using a biscuit cutter, cut out circles and place them on the prepared pan.  Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden on the edges.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.
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