Saturday, 26 March 2011

Butterless Ragi Peanut Cookies

Butterless Ragi Peanut Cookies

This is the 175th recipe on my blog and to me it is a nice milestone. My baking skills were not very great not that long ago and I was not quite experimenting typically baked items. However I am now proud to have come out of that shell to a stage where I have made abiscuit without any butter. The main ingredient in this recipe is peanut butter. Some may wonder that peanut butter is still fat in another form so there is no merit. I got some nutritional information from here so it becomes easy to understand relative merits of peanut butter over dairy butter. A cup of peanut butter is said to have total fat of 130g of which 27g is saturated fat and zero cholesterol. It also contains about 65g protein and 15g dietary fibre in addition to plenty of calcium and iron. On the other hand a cup of butter contains 184g fat of which 117g is saturated fat. It also contains 488mg of cholesterol, no dietary fibre and 2g of protein. It contains some calcium and Vitamin A. I am not an anti-butter person, infact I love it but I think the fat is worrying and where possible I would avoid it. I have added little milk in this recipe but am guessing it will be ok to add water instead. First time I made this, I used very little baking powder (about 3 pinches) and texture came out like store bought biscuits, very crisp. The second time I made it I added ¼ teaspoon baking powder and it came like cookie with a crisp outer and ever so slightly soft centre. Depending on your preference, you could vary baking powder quantity. I used crunchy peanut butter and I loved to bite into the nut. You can choose smooth version if you prefer. Either case the quantity of milk is only indicative as it depends how much moisture is there in the peanut butter. With all that build-up, here is the recipe...

¼ cup ragi, finger millet flour (replace with wheat or all purpose flour if not available)
¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup all purpose flour
4-5 heaped tablespoons of peanut butter
¼ cup sugar
3 pinches or ¼ teaspoon baking powder depending on preferred texture
Few tablespoons of milk

Mix the flours, sugar and baking powder and add the peanut butter and mix well until well combined. You could use an electric mixer or your hand for the whole process

Add about four tablespoons milk and keep mixing so you make a soft dough. You may need more milk but add only one spoon at a time to avoid a runny dough. It should hold ots shape when you make a ball.

Roll the dough into a disc about 4-5 mm thick and cut to desired shape using cookie cutter. You may have to divide the dough into portions depending on how big your work surface is. Alternately, you can take small balls of dough and press between your palms to get a disc shaped cookie.

Place them in a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake in preheated oven at 150degC for 12 minutes or until edges brown.

(the hand shaped biscuits did not become round, this is another batch I made yesterday just shaping by hand)

Cool and serve!

I noticed that the version with just pinches of baking powder remained crisp for longer than one with more baking powder.