Nankhatai is nothing but eggless cookie- Indian style. They are rich, buttery and crispy. But I tried to reduce the butter little bit but you don’t have to compromise with taste. These taste same as bakery product but with less butter. It is usually served as a morning or afternoon snack with a cup of hot tea. But my family usually enjoys these yummy little cookies as it is.
When I was in India, we don’t have oven at home. So mom creates an oven in large pot by putting some sand at the bottom of the pot and heat that sand. So it gives oven effect. She makes nankhatai only on diwali. And sometimes my dad buys then from bakery with different shapes and flavors. But here in USA, I always made them at home. So let’s get started.
Adapted from - “5 Spices, 50 Dishes: Simple Indian Recipes Using Five Common Spices” by Ruta Kahate
Cuisine – Indian
Recipe category – Dessert or Tea time snack
Skill level – easy/beginner
- • All purpose flour – 1 ¼ cups
- • Rice flour – ½ cup
- • Almonds – ¼ cup, ground
- • Cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon
- • Salt – ¼ teaspoon
- • Unsalted butter – ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks), soften to room temperature **Notes
- • Icing sugar – 1 cup **Notes
- Unsalted Butter – If you are using salted butter then do not add salt in recipe. It is important to have butter at room temperature. Keep it on counter top for 30-45 minutes for soft butter. If you are in hurry, microwave stick of butter for 3-4 seconds then turn it and again microwave it for 3-4 seconds then again turn it and so on. Do this process for 4-5 times and you have soft room temperature butter. Microwave time is depends on your type of microwave so set time accordingly.
- Icing sugar – it is also known as Confectioner’s sugar or Powdered Sugar. This is NOT regular sugar and ground to powder form.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degree F or 180 degree C. Prepare cookie sheet. Use of parchment paper is optional. No need to oil or butter the cookie sheet.
- Take all purpose flour, rice flour, ground almonds, salt and cardamom powder in a bowl.
- Mix it till incorporated well.
- Take butter in a bowl.
- Beat it till smooth and creamy. (You can use stand mixer or hand mixer or do by hand with wire whisk.)
- Then add icing sugar.
- And beat it again till it is light and fluffy.
- Then add flour mixture.
- And beat it again till it incorporated well. It will look crumbly.
- Now use your hand and gather the dough and make smooth dough ball. This dough is crumbly and it is perfect.
- Now take tablespoon of dough and make smooth ball using palms of your both hand. Make sure it doesn’t have any cracks.
- Arrange them on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. And flatten them out little bit. Make sure it doesn’t have many cracks. 1 or 2 very small cracks are ok.
- Bake them in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes.
- Remove it from the oven. Let them cool for 5 minutes in cookie sheet. Them remove them on cooling rack and let them cool completely.
- Looks how light brown is the bottom of cookie. If yours are more brown than this then your oven temperature is not set properly or your cookie sheet is too thin.
- Let them cool completely then store in air tight container.
• Taste – Sweet, less buttery, crunchy and nutty from almonds
• Shelf life – baked nankhatai stays fresh up to 3 weeks (if it lasts that long!) at room temperature in air tight container. You can freeze unbaked balls up to a month. Prepare balls and arrange them in cookie sheet. Keep in freezer till they freeze then store in air tight container or zip lock bag and keep frozen. Whenever you want freshly baked nankhatai just follow the same instructions for baking just increase the time to 1-2 minutes.
• Serving suggestions – I like to have them with a cup of tea or coffee. You can have them in morning or afternoon snack with a hot tea. You can have as it is as s sweet. Nankhatais usually served to guests on Diwali festivals