Saturday, March 5, 2011

Arusuvai : The Friendship Chain

I started my blog as a way to store my recipes. At that time, three years ago, I had no idea I was entering a close knit community of food bloggers. One of the first comments on my blog was from Srivalli. She asked me if I was blogging from India and if yes, whether I wanted to become a part of Arusuvai Friendship Chain. Of course I did! Who wouldn't like receiving a secret ingredient from another blogger and spend a happy afternoon guessing what it was. From there on, you cook something with that ingredient, post the recipe and send something to another blogger. And so goes the chain. Except they stopped it before it was my turn.

Looks like I wasn't the only one who thought it was a great idea. Sayantani restarted the Arusuvai chain in November. Four months later, the chain has reached Bombay Foodie. My link to the chain is Shalini. With her secret ingredient came a lovely hand written note and a cook book. Curious to know what Shalini sent?

It was dried ginger root. I was excited because I almost never cook with ginger and although I bookmark these recipes all the time, I've not managed to bake with ginger even once. The first thing that came to my mind was gingersnaps. Sugar encrusted, spicy sweet cookies - gingersnaps it is!



The recipe originally came from joy of baking. But I've managed to change it beyond recognition. First, I didn't have any molasses. I went through the options (maple syrup, corn syrup, honey) but then made my own molasses by stirring 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar into an equal quantity of warm water. And I did away with eggs, entirely! This is also 1/4th of the original recipe, in case the measurements all sound a little weird.

So what you do is let 40 grams of salted butter soften at room temperature. Add 1/4 cup or 55 grams of sugar - the recipe calls for half white, half dark but I used all white caster sugar. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add 2 tbsp of molasses and beat well to mix it in. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup flour, 1/8th tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger and a pinch of ground cloves. Add to the butter mixture, mix well and chill for half an hour.

In the meantime, heat your oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with parchment. Take a one inch ball of dough, dip it in caster sugar and place on the baking sheet. Flatten slightly. Place next cookie at some distance as they expand quite a lot. I think I might have made bigger cookies too as I got eight out of this dough rather than an even dozen.

I baked these for around 18 minutes, but the recipe calls for 12-15 minutes so just go by how they look. You want the top of the cookies to be firm when you take them out, and you should bake them a little longer if you like these to be crisp like I do.

Thanks Shalini for a great treat! My secret ingredients will soon make their way to Santosh and Nithya. And so the friendship chain continues!

8 comments:

Nithya said...

Wow.. the cookies look so interesting :)

And I am extremely happy to get introduced to a sweet blogger like you :)

Eagerly waiting to receive your secret ingredient :)

Linhy said...

cook looks really good!!!

Curry Leaf said...

Love the gingersnaps Simran.Nice that you made them eggless.These are comforting cookies for me.

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

That friendship chain sounds awesome. Love gingersnaps, I tried them recently and totally love them now. I have a HUGE bottle of molasses, I'd totally give you some if I knew. But great substittution anyway :)

Sanctified Spaces said...

Hey Simran,

With dry ginger I could not think beyond Turmeric milk.Im so glad you made gingersnaps.How cool is that.I will give at a shot "whenever" I start baking.So glad to see this post.

Srivalli said...

Wonderful Simmi, trust you to change something into an entirely delightful dish!..so glad you enjoyed..

notyet100 said...

gingersnap looks so yum,...

chocolatesanddreams said...

Oh! These look amazing. Tell me how to join this chain. I have been trying for like ever.