Tag: christmas cookies

Gingerbread Man Cookies (eggless, no molasses)

Christmas 🎄✨is so close and all I think about is what all I wish to bake for it😋 There’s plenty to be done…I have already finished doing a fair bit in whatever little time I have between so many things…I almost thought I’d have to skip it this year!

The one thing that was on my mind were these gingerbread man cookies!! ☃️☃️ I’ve had these cookie cutters for ages now and i was itching to put them to good use 😂 I mean, I did bake gingread cookies last year too but just regular round ones and hence didn’t even post them on the blog…not to forget, I had baked them for New Years!! Lol!! Well, there’s a good reason being a bit tardy…..will come to that shortly.

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Don’t they look crisp, all nice and crunchy!? Well that’s precisely why I didn’t mind waiting for an entire year to share the perfect recipe for an egg free, molasses free version of these cuties. I had tried a couple of recipes last year (I had more time then I guess to keep experimenting)…anyways I didn’t enjoy them as they had egg and also called for molasses. I found all the ingredients easily but maybe it was the flavour that wasn’t quite right. Or maybe it was me..I did something…I don’t know! Those cookies looked great even as a typical round, flat version but obviously they lacked the snap and crunch in every bite.

After hunting for another version which would be eggless and molasses free, I did stumble upon a great keeper of a recipe!

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

The texture of these gingerbread man cookies is just how it’s supposed to be, crunchy and keeps fresh for upto 2 weeks in an airtight container. They have wonderful snap of them and the aroma…well it’s smells like Holidays in my home 😍 These best part, no electric heater or whisk is needed, no fancy equipments either…just make the dough and roll it out, use a cookie cutter of any shape you like, a star or some Christmas trees or even little mittens if you get hold of them. Bake these and ice them or enjoy them just like that.

Do read the recipe carefully before starting out. Also keep all the ingredients ready on the work surface, it will save you time and you will definitely avoid missing out anything important.

Also note that every oven works differently so please monitor trhe temperature and the baking time as per your oven. 

Yield: 16-18 cookies (I used medium sized cutters and rolled the dough a bit thick)

Equipment: a heavy bottomed saucepan, a wired whisk, measuring cups/ spoons, a large mixing bowl, cling wrap, cookie cutters or knife (if you’re going for simply square or rectangular cookies), baking pan, parchment paper/ baking paper, cooling rack.

Ingredients:

1+1/4 cup all purpose flour (maida)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 cup milk (you may need a bit extra)

2 tbsp corn syrup (use honey if you can’t find corn syrup but I have not tried honey in this recipe so far)

a few golden or silver sprinkles to decorate the gingerbread men cookies (I ran out of icing sugar🙄😑)

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, seive together the flour, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg and the baking soda. Set these aside.

Now, place butter, corn syrup, milk and sugar in the sauce pan and turn on the heat. Let the butter melt and the sugar dissolve completely on a low flame while stirring it continuously with a wired whisk. Once the sugar has melted, turn off the flame. Let the mixture cool for just 5-7 mins but not more as it thickens because of the corn syrup.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Next, add this butter and sugar mixture into the sieved flour and spices. Mix well using the whisk. The dough will come together very easily, if not add just 1/2 teaspoon of milk and bring the dough together. If needed only then add a few more drops of milk. If you add too much milk, the dough will turn out to be extremely gluelike and won’t hold a good shape. 

Now, wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 10-15 mins. Please do not refrigerate the dough for longer as it will become too hard to roll out.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Preheat the oven @ 180’c.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, place it between two sheets of cling wrap, dust it with very little flour and roll it out to a thickness of 4 mm approx (I like them thick, you can roll them to a thickness of 3 mm too). Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut them out.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas bakingimg_6212

Line a baking pan/ tray with parchment paper or baking paper and place these cookies a little apart from each other on it. Push  the sprinkles in place where you want to make the eyes and smile for the gingerbread man. Or else do an icing later. The sprinkles won’t melt while baking or fall off later.

Tip: roll and cut all the dough at once because this dough gets a bit sticky. If you have a small oven and can bake only 10 cookies at a time, keep the remaining cut out cookies on a plate in the refrigerator until you have to bake them. Please do not freeze the dough, it will become rock hard and will not come to a good texture to roll them later.

Bake the cookies @180’c for 13-14 mins using the lower rod for the first 11 mins and the upper and the lower, both rods for the last 2-3 mins to ensure a good colour. (My cookies cracked a bit as some of the sugar wasn’t melted well , but they still turned out crisp and didn’t spread much).

Keep an eye while baking them. Cool them on a cooling rack. Click here to learn how to make and use eggless royal icing to ice and decorate any cookies.

So it’s the corn syrup that replaces molasses and makes these cookies crisp.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Making this is a lot of fun and you can also include your kids while rolling the dough or icing the cookies later 😚

Love,

Shreya😍

Adapted from art of dessert.

Chocolate-Dipped Cinnamon Biscotti

Biscotti is a traditional Italian cookie which requires the dough to be shaped as logs, baked until done, then cooled a bit, sliced and baked again until crispy and crunchy! A perfect companion to your coffee. There’s no other way to describe it except – too good! 

Yes, if I may say so myself…this recipe is a keeper. Don’t hunting for other recipes of biscotti because you won’t need one if you try this recipe☺️ This has become my go to recipe for biscotti for the past year or so…and I bake them often!

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You can obviously make out how crunchy these are, but definitely not in a bad way! They are crunchy and yet very enjoyable. I will point a few basics that I learnt from this recipe after failing with a couple other recipes in the past.

Essentially, eggs are the only wet ingredients that are added to any biscotti recipe but adding butter or oil can make them richer with obviously a much better texture. This recipe called for oil too but I somehow didn’t like the after taste and hence skipped it after the first trial.

Eggs, yes I have used 1 and a 1/2 egg here…don’t be surprised. I always make half of what this original recipe specifies and trust me, the 1/2 egg is very essential (I realised that too with some trial and error) so do not miss that. However, if you’ve decided to half my recipe, I am not sure how the egg factor will work out! Or probably, ping me later and I will definitely come up with a way for you to do that too ☺️ Else, just use a really small egg.

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When I talk about my favourite flavour in a biscotti, I will always say Cinnamon! Else, you can even keep it simple by adding adding just vanilla extract, or if you like nuts, add some sliced pistachios or almonds in the dough. However, if you’re using almonds, do toast them slightly to avoid ending up with soggy nuts. The original recipe calls for brown sugar but I have always used regular castor sugar and I am perfectly happy with the flavour! We, my hubby and I love the flavour of dark chocolate hence, I have dunked these biscottis in some melted chocolate once they had cooled off completely. 😋

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Making biscotti takes time, it’s the baking twice that takes time and not making its dough. Getting the dough together is a quick mixing job, then this dough needs to be shaped into logs of deliciousness and then bakedonce…and another time too!! 😉

I have added a lot of step by step pictures as always …so you’re pretty much sorted! I don’t think you’ll have a difficult time going forward with it 😊

Yield: 12 cookies

Equipment: a rolling pin, cooling rack, baking tray, a large mixing bowl, a large serrated knife, parchment paper, measuring cups/ spoons, weighing scales (I have used it to measure everything to the last gram)

Ingredients:

Biscotti recipe Cinnamon biscotti recipe  Chocolate dipped biscotti recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas cookie ideas Christmas baking

131 gms all purpose flour (maida)

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking powder

100 gms castor sugar

30 gms cold and cubed unsalted butter

2 nos. eggs (follow my tip on this)**

1 tbsp milk (for the egg wash)

30 gms dark chocolate (morde) + 1 tsp butter – for dunking

Method: (I am using step numbers, there’s a reason, so follow the steps carefully)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon powder, salt and sugar.

2. Add cold and cubed butter into the flour and sugar mixture. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the flour mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Set it aside.

Biscotti recipe Cinnamon biscotti recipe Chocolate dipped biscotti recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas cookie ideas Christmas bakingimg_5861img_5862

3. Now in a small bowl, whisk one egg. Now remove half of the whisked into another bowl (Save the half whisked egg for egg wash).

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**Add one whole egg to the second bowl in which you have transferred half of a whisked egg. Now whisk this one and a half egg together. Add vanilla extract to the whisked eggs and whisk again.

4. Now add the whisked mixture of eggs and vanilla extract into the flour and butter. Use a large silicon spatula to mix until everything is well moistened but do not over mix.

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5. Now, sprinkle some flour in a large plate or the working surface. Place the dough on this floured surfaced and knead well for a few minutes. But keep enough loose flour around as this dough is super sticky so you’ll continuously need to dust the surface and your palms too.

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Dont worry about the dough even if it looks too sticky, it will all come together in a few minutes.

In the mean while, preheat the oven at 160’c.

6. Shape the dough as shown below and place it on a parchment lined baking tray. I had dusted the parchment paper with some flour too.

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7. We had set aside 1/2 a whisked egg aside, add 1 tbsp of milk to it and whisk again. Use it to Give an egg wash to the shaped dough.

8. Bake this shaped dough at 160’c for 20-25 minutes using the lower heating element. In the last 5 minutes of the baking time, turn on the upper heating elements to give a good colour to the top of the biscotti.

Leave the oven running at 140’c.

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9. Now, let this cool for about 15 minutes but not completely cold. Using a large serrated knife, cut it into 1.5 inch wide slices. Place them on the parchment lined baking tray as shown below.

Biscotti recipe Cinnamon biscotti recipe  Chocolate dipped biscotti recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas cookie ideas Christmas baking

10. Bake the sliced biscotti on the first side for 7-8 mins. Then flip them over to bake the other side for another 5 mins. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before enjoying these crunchy treats with your favourite cuppa! 🤗

11. If you wish to dip them in chocolate too, melt together 30 gms of dark chocolate with 1 tsp of butter over a double boiler or in a microwave. Once the biscotti has cooled completely, dip one end of each biscotti in the melted chocolate, let them dry and then they are ready to serve! You can dip the entire biscotti in chocolate too, no one will judge you 😁

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These stay crunchy and fresh in an airtight container for about a week or so.

These can be amazing edible gifts this Holiday Season! 🎄🎁☃️

Love,

Shreya💗

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Rose and Pistachio Cookies

It just dawned on me last weekend that Christmas is very close🎅🎄☃️❄️🎁…yeah, overload with the emoticons…but can you blame me…. this is the only time around the year that I can actually use them😂 LoL!! Anyways…so Christmas…what do you guys do for Christmas?! I’d love to know….I mean, in India, there is no snow in most parts of the country and all…but still I love the Christmassy air around me…probably my Convent days remind me of carols and decorations and parties…☺️🎉🎊….I wish I could make a snowman outside my porch and have a beautiful snowfall on Christmas Eve….

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Anyways….that wish will have to wait..won’t it, now?! So the husband was travelling last week…and I obviously had a lot of time on my hands…besides, I knew he’d love coming home to something sweet and delicious…made by yours truly! What better than some exotically flavoured cookies to go with his tea!?

We really love freshly baked shortbread cookies…they are crisp, mildly sweet and the perfect base recipe to experiment with a ton of flavours. And that’s exactly what these Rose and Pistachio Cookies are all about.

Some of my readers wanted to know a little bit about a traditional “shortbread” when I had shared the recipe for my Almond Shortbread Cookies earlier this year….they could be great for your Christmas Cookie box too. They make for an ideal gift as well.

First baked in Scotland in 1736, shortbread is very popular around Christmas, the English refer to it as a biscuit, cookie for the Americans is traditionally made with 3 parts all purpose flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part sugar. Although, modern recipes even call for cornflour which gives a more stable texture to these cookies. However, it is added when you are making an eggless version, cornflour helps in keeping the shape of the cookie.

Shortbread is always baked at a low temperature until it’s very slightly golden around the edges…crumbly when just out of the oven but sets and becomes firmer as it cools down. It can be shaped as one prefers, round or square or simply hand rolled and pressed down with the tines of a fork. I personally like the scallop-edged ones☺️

Rose and Pistachio cookies Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking Christmas cookies Rose and Pistachio shortbread cookie recipe Eggless shortbread cookie recipe

The best part about these cookies is that they have such a mild fragrance of rose, you’ll almost miss it…not at all overpowering and then comes a welcome crunch from the Pistachio slivers….a perfect fusion of Mediterranean flavours with the old world charm of these very English biscuits 😀

Yield: 12 medium biscuits

Equipment: electric whisk, measuring cups/ spoons, baking paper, rolling pin, cookie cutter or knife, mixing bowl, baking tray, cooling rack, cling wrap.

Ingredients:

1+1/4 cup Maida  (APF), plus some extra to dust while rolling the dough

1/2 tbsp cornflour

1/4 cup+1 tbsp castor sugar

5 tbsp unsalted butter

1/4 tsp rose water

2-3 tbsp Pistachio slivers

dried rose petals to garnish (optional)

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until the sugar combines completely with the butter and the mixture turns white and very fluffy, took me about 3-4 mins of whisking on high speed setting.

Next, add the rose water, cornflour and maida (APF) to the sugar-butter mixture and whisk once again until everything is combined well.

Wrap the cookie dough in some cling and refrigerate for 30 mins or put it in the freezer for 20 mins.

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Preheat the oven at 160’c for 10 mins. Line a baking tray with baking paper and dust it with some maida (APF).

Once the dough is set post refrigeration, dust the dough with some maida (APF) and roll it between two sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 3 mm. Sprinkle the pistachio slivers and rolls once again slightly to ensure that the pistachio slivers are embedded into the dough.

Rose and Pistachio cookies Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking Christmas cookies Rose and Pistachio shortbread cookie recipe Eggless shortbread cookie recipe

Now, cut them into any shape of your choice. If using cookie cutters then dip them into some maida (APF) before using them to avoid unevenly cut cookies.

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Place the cut out cookies in the refrigerator for another 20 mins or in the freezer for 10 mins. Then bake @ 160′ c for 12-15 mins or until the edges turn slightly golden. You have to use only the lower baking element for the first 10 mins and then turn on the upper heating elements in the last 5 mins to give a little colour to the top of these cookies. (Note: every oven works differently so please keep an eye while baking these cookies).

Rose and Pistachio cookies Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking Christmas cookies Rose and Pistachio shortbread cookie recipe Eggless shortbread cookie recipe

This how they look fresh out of the oven. They crisp up as they cool. Let them rest on the warm baking tray for 10 mins then transfer to a cooling tray for them to cool completely.

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This is what the base of the cookies looks like post baking and cooling completely. These can now be stored in airtight containers or cookie tins. They remain fresh and crisp for around 3-4 days.

Note: the cookie dough can be frozen in a cling wrap for upto a week. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight, keep in room temperature for 10 mins and then roll, cut and bake them as per the above recipe. This recipe uses cornflour, it is very reliable as it stops the cookie from spreading too much as does the refrigeration. So please, follow all the steps correctly and you will have a perfect cookie☺️

Rose and Pistachio cookies Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking Christmas cookies Rose and Pistachio shortbread cookie recipe Eggless shortbread cookie recipe

My hubby loved these flavours, as did I. You can use this recipe as the base and incorporate any flavour of your choice.

Love,

Shreya💗

Adapted from wallflower kitchen.

Tutti Frutti Cookies/ Karachi Biscuits

 Tutti Frutti Cookies/ Karachi Bakery style Biscuits are the best accompaniment to your tea or to share as edible gifts. Besides, these cookies are very famous in Hyderabad, originally baked in the city’s famous Karachi Bakery. Hence the name Karachi Biscuits. They are absolutely melt in the mouth good and so easy to put together. 

Tutti Frutti Cookies/ Karachi Biscuits

Tutti Frutti Cookies/ Karachi Biscuits are one the most prettiest cookies I’ve ever baked, obviously after the Rose and Pistachio Shortbread cookies. Whenever I bake Tutti Frutti Cookies/ Karachi Biscuits, I think of Christmas 🙂 It’s probably because of the red and green beauties studded in the cookies. These colorful candies fruits make these buttery, crisp cookies even more delectable 🙂

One can choose any colors of candied fruits. I prefer red and green. However, even golden-yellow is just as pretty or add some orange colored ones. The colors do not make any difference to the flavors but they sure look so pretty!

Tutti Frutti Cookies/ Karachi Biscuits

Tutti Frutti Cookies/ Karachi Biscuits are not difficult to make but many of my readers have asked me to share tips on how to bake these cookies to perfection, basically tips and tricks ensure that the cookies do not spread as they bake. In my last 3-4 years experience of baking cookies, I’ve perfected a few important, yet easy tricks that I follow to ensure that the cookies never spread as a rule!

  1. Butter – use a good quality unsalted butter. Do not whip the butter and sugar more than necessary and incorporate unnecessary air into it. We do not want the cookies to rise. Hence, just mix the butter and sugar just enough until they have incorporated with each other.
  2. Sugar – In my learnings, trial and errors, I’ve come to the conclusion that using icing sugar in most recipes that clearly call for powdered sugar works better than regular powdered sugar or superfine casting sugar. The reason is that the superfine sugar melts quickly and that cause the cookies to spread. Thus, I use icing sugar in most recipes.
  3. Baking sheet – Never butter the baking sheet. Line it with greaseproof parchment paper or even silicon sheet. This ensures that the minimum grease because grease causes the cookies to spread quickly.
  4. Chill – Anything that contains butter and stays at room temperature is going to melt and spread around when in contact of heat. It’s always advisable to chill the cookie dough (like bourbon biscuits) or the log (in case of slice and bake cookies) thoroughly before baking. The longer you can chill, the better! Even if they are cut out cookies like sugar cookies, please chill them for 3-4 hours after cutting them out and before baking them.
  5. Temperature – Preheat the oven at a good, high temperature because that high temperature ensures that the cookies sets in the first 5 minutes of the baking time and spreads less while baking. The reason is that, when the oven is set at a lower temperature to preheat and bake, this low temperature gives the butter in the cookies a longer time to melt and spread in the oven.
  6. Measuring the ingredients – This is very crucial. Ingredients must be measured correctly for the best results. One can’t blame a recipe if the ingredients aren’t measured correctly. I use a weighing scale when necessary or standard measuring cups when the recipe specifies ingredients in cups. Keep a set of measuring spoons handy for ingredients like baking powder, soda, etc. which can actually make or break any recipe!

Tutti Frutti Cookies/ Karachi Biscuits

I believe these tips should tide you over as they have helped me too. It is inevitable that in the initials days of baking cookies, they may spread. That mustn’t scare you or put you off. Invest in good quality parchment paper, baking sheets and most importantly – ingredients. Buy quality ingredients as they will disappoint you far fewer times in your attempts to bake.

Let’s get you baking.

Measure and set aside the flour, custard powder and the cardamom powder.

Tutti Frutti Cookies/ Karachi Biscuits
Take butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, cream them together just until they are mixed together.
Do not over beat them to incorporate ant air into these ingredients.

Tutti Frutti Cookies/ Karachi Biscuits
Then add the Tutti Frutti and vanilla extract.
Mix it these well then add the flour.
Mix them well with a light hand and bring them together to make a ball.
Use 1-2 tbsp. of milk only if you are unable to make a round ball.
The dough doesn’t need to be kneaded, just bring it together. The mixture is very soft and pliable.
Now, take the dough on some cling wrap and roll it well to give it the shape of a thick log.

Tutti Frutti Cookies/ Karachi Biscuits
Wrap the log well and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours. I refrigerated the log for about 48 hours.
In the meantime, preheat your oven @165’C for about 10 minutes.
Line your baking tray with some parchment paper.
Remove the chilled log of dough from the refrigerator and cut it in about 1/4th inch slices.
Place them slightly apart on the lined baking tray.

Tutti Frutti Cookies/ Karachi Biscuits

Bake them for 12-15 minutes @165’C using the lower rods.
Remove the tray from the oven & let it cool on the baking tray itself for about 15 minutes, then cool the cookies on a cooling rack until they are completely cooled.
The cookies are soft when you remove them from the oven but they crisp up as they cool down. You can store these in airtight containers for 2-3 days.

Tutti Frutti Cookies/ Karachi Biscuits

Tutti Frutti Cookies/ Karachi Biscuits

Prep Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 15 medium cookies

Karachi Bakery Style fruit biscuits are egg free, crumbly, crisp and absolutely melt in the mouth! The best accompaniment to your tea or coffee that are generously dotted with candied fruits.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Maida/ APF
  • 2 tbsp. custard powder of any flavor (I used vanilla)
  • 1/4 + 2 tbsp. icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted softened butter
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract/ essence
  • 1/2 cup of mixed Tutti Frutti
  • 1-2 tbsp. milk (optional, to be used only to make a smooth dough)

Instructions

  1. Measure and set aside the flour, custard powder and the cardamom powder.
  2. Take butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, cream them together just until they are mixed together.
  3. Do not over beat them to incorporate ant air into these ingredients.
  4. Then add the tutti Frutti and vanilla extract.
  5. Mix it these well then add the flour.
  6. Mix them well with a light hand and bring them together to make a ball.
  7. Use 1-2 tbsp. of milk only if you are unable to make a round ball.
  8. The dough doesn't need to be kneaded, just bring it together. The mixture is very soft and pliable.
  9. Now, take the dough on some cling wrap and roll it well to give it the shape of a thick log.
  10. Wrap the log well and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours. I refrigerated the log for about 48 hours.
  11. In the meantime, preheat your oven @165'C for about 10 minutes.
  12. Line your baking tray with some parchment paper.
  13. Remove the chilled log of dough from the refrigerator and cut it in about 1/4th inch slices.
  14. Place them slightly apart on the lined baking tray. Bake them for 12-15 minutes @165'C using the lower rods.
  15. Remove the tray from the oven & let it cool on the baking tray itself for about 15 minutes, then cool the cookies on a cooling rack until they are completely cooled.
  16. The cookies are soft when you remove them from the oven but they crisp up as they cool down. You can store these in airtight containers for 2-3 days.

Notes

Please note that baking time may vary as every oven is different, so time the oven accordingly. The cookies turn slightly golden around the edges as they are ready, so remove them from the oven as per the color.

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Love,

Shreya💓

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