For as long as I can remember, I’ve spent much of my childhood around people who are passionate of food and with stories of the traditional family recipe secrets that have been followed for generations. I’m lucky that I’ve been born in a family of tell all cooks, secret ingredient guardians and simply those that say a little of this and a little of that, should be just fine. (A pinch of both, will suffice as we didn’t measure it all these years.)
From family business bakers to grandmothers who simply stir in magic in their traditional curries, we have them all. For most part of my childhood though I’ve noted that every chance that my Dad took in the kitchen to whip something up quick for the family, magic was definitely created. Coming from a family that believes in food, feeding and feasting, dad needs no recipe book to follow. As typical as most men in the kitchen, he gives orders to the rest of us with assisting him with simple chores, while he stands by the stove taking in the aromas and ensuring every ingredient is blended in with precise perfection. The only thing missing is the chefs hat. Nothing less of a chef, dad has always been particular about presentation too. From his passion for Indian biryanis, to chinese wok specials to meat preparations every dish comes with a signature style no one else can get right.
So some time ago, dad and I got bonding over baking, a line I had not known he would venture into someday. (Probably he had been craving the bicuits we normally keep a stock of at home.) To make things different, dad decided to give a new spin on an old classic by adding a simple ingredient like cocoa. I was being a little skeptical at first as I’m someone who definitely sticks by the books when it comes to baking, but this change was a refreshing. Typically served for the evening tea sessions, these biscuits are delightfully easy to make.
2 cups, all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup, butter at room temparature
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence / orange essence if you like a citric tinch
3 tbsps cocoa powder
1. Seive together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
2. In another mixing bowl, stir butter until smooth and creamy. Add icing sugar and seived flour mixture gradually.
3. Add vanilla essence and continue mixing until a dough is formed and is smooth. Take a portion of the dough aside and add cocoa to it, leaving you with two coloured doughs.
4. Place doughs in cling wrap and keep to rest for about an hour. ( not in the refrigerator )
5. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
6. To form biscuits, take about a tsp of white and a tsp of cocoa flavoured dough and roll on your palm to make a ball. Flatten using your palms roughly and place on a baking tray that is dusted lightly with flour.
7. Place formed biscuits in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until they have turned slightly brown.
Serve after cooling with your favourite cup of tea or coffee.
Have a lovely week ahead and happy baking!
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