Bajra cookie to Nutella stuffed cookie: Move over classic chocolate chip cookies to make these unique variations

04 December,2023 09:15 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Nascimento Pinto

Do you fancy a cookie with your coffee or to simply snack on? Then you are not alone. On International Cookie Day 2023, Indian chefs tell us how to elevate the classic cookie into something totally new with easy recipes

Every year, December 4 is observed as International Cookie Day. Photo Courtesy: The Artlab

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While Indians love their traditional dishes for breakfast and evening snacks, the cookie has become a much-loved bite of goodness with more and more people warming up to it. While Mumbai has its bakeries, the spurt in cafes over the last decade has seen a lot more people get the chance to enjoy that cup of coffee with a delicious cookie. While the traditional chocolate chip cookies are popular, chefs say, the crisp and crumbly baked goods are evolving in more ways than one and the winter is reason enough to enjoy them.

Every year, International Cookie Day is observed on December 4 to celebrate the classic cookie. It would be a lie to say that one can only fall in love with cookies after eating them. The small disc-sized bite of food is a visual delight that gets elevated as soon as you order and eat it. Witnessing the trend around him,Apoorv Agarwal, founder of Bandra-based The Simple Brew,explains, "For a lot of us, cookies were our sweet crunchy snack growing up. What was one of our favourite childhood cheats is now one of the most common accompaniments to our daily coffee in almost every coffee shop. Seldom do we see a cup of coffee sans a little cookie treat along with it - a perfect sweet companion to a tasty, yet bitter beverage."

If you have always wanted to enjoy cookies at home, then Indian chefs tell you to put on your apron and get into the kitchen to bake some delicious cookies. These cookies are not only an innovative take on the classic chocolate chip cookie but also other types of cookies. While some of them are influenced by ragi and millets and other grains like bajra, others are made with the goodness of peanut butter or Nutella, and by even adding strawberries and white chocolate to make it an elaborate affair.

Bajra Cookie
With a lot of focus on health, many chefs are innovative with unique types of cookies that go beyond the classics. One of them is chef Shailendra Kekade from Sante Spa Cuisine in Bandra Kurla Complex who makes bajra cookies at the city restaurant. He shares, "People are getting conditioned to using millets these days and they realised that one area which was unexplored was to make cookies and cakes. We opted for the namakpara using your usual frying technique and ingredients highlighting bajra to cater to people who want to munch on something small but not too sweet."

Nutralite butter 600 gm
Khandsari sugar 160 gm
Olive oil 150 gm
Bajra atta (Pearl millet flour) 1050 gm
Oats atta (Oat flour) 150 gm
Salt 30 gm
Roasted jeera (cumin seeds) 35 gm
Baking powder 1 gm
Baking Soda 1 gm
Almond Powder 120 gm

1. Begin by combining butter and sugar.
2. After thoroughly mixing, gradually add oil to the mixer. Incorporate dry ingredients into the batter and check the consistency of the dough. Add almond milk or soy milk as needed.
3. Roll out the dough using a rolling pin, sprinkle roasted cumin seeds on top, and cut into finger-like shapes.
4. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees Celsius and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Simple Coffee Cookies
If you don't want to explore bajra cookies, but love coffee, then Apoorv Agarwal, founder of The Simple Brew, says you can simply make the Simple Coffee Cookies with the help of a double brew coffee concentrate. He explains, "The thought was simple - take two of the most commonly loved things consumed - together and individually and come up with something that ticks more than one box. The Simple Coffee Cookies is the perfect balance of that sugary goodness combined with that coffee-ish bitterness we all love. It is the best of both worlds."

All-purpose flour 260 gm
Granulated sugar 100 gm
Brown sugar 100 gm
Butter 150 gm
Double brew coffee concentrate 60 ml
Egg 60 ml
Vanilla extract 1 1⁄2 tsp
Baking soda 3⁄4 tsp
Salt 3⁄4 tsp
Chopped chocolate 85 gm
Chocolate chips for topping (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius.
2. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
3. In a handheld/stand mixer bowl beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light in colour and fluffy. Add in the egg, coffee concentrate and vanilla extract
4. Mix until combined.
5. Add in the flour, salt and baking soda and mix just until the last specks of flour disappear.
6. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
7. Make 1.5 tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls and place them on the baking sheet at around 3-4 inches apart.
8. Add more chocolate chips on top if desired.
9. Bake one sheet at a time for 8-11 minutes, until the edges look set and the centre look slightly underdone.
10. If the cookies have puffed up too much, gently but firmly tap the baking sheet against the counter right away after removing them from the oven.
11.Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Mocha & Millet cookies
Move over the classic chocolate chip cookies to indulge in some mocha and millet cookies, says Arun Kumar, who is the executive chef at Araiya Palampur in Uttar Pradesh. He explains, "The winter season presents a great vibe to enjoy coffee with flavoursome cookies. Despite having traditional variations of butter cookies or chocolate chip cookies or nankhatai, the Mocha & Millet cookies best pair with our signature coffee profile."

Araiya coffee profile powder 20gm
Cocoa powder 50gm
Millet flour mix 500 gm
Unsalted butter 300 gm
Brown sugar 375 gm
Baking powder 5 gm
Vanilla essence 2 ml
Chocolate essence 5 ml

1. Sift the gluten-free flour mix, cocoa powder, baking powder with coffee powder for a homogenous mixture. (Tip - repeat the process for 3 times to get the best crisp textures)
2. Table top planetary mixer gives the best creaming of butter and castor sugar to a fluffy texture.
3. Add vanilla and chocolate essences to the mixture and mix evenly.
4. Add sift millet flour mix at once to the creamed mixture of butter and sugar for quick dough making. Rest in the freezer for 15 minutes.
5. Roll the short-crust dough of millet and cut into desired shapes, bake in a preheated oven for 13 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.
6. Pair well with tea and coffee.

Gluten-free Eggless Rouge Berry Biggie
If you want to make the most of the winter season, then add strawberries to your cookie, along with some white chocolate. Chef Kiran Ahire at ArtLab wants you to elevate your regular cookie to make a grand Gluten-free Eggless Rouge Berry Biggie. The cookie is made up of macadamia white chocolate cookie, strawberry ganache and some mousse.

Macadamia white chocolate cookie

Almond flour 180 gm
Jaggery 40 gm
Almond butter 35 gm
Almond milk 40 gm
Baking powder 1/4 tsp
Baking soda 1/4 tsp
Vanilla 1/2 tbsp
Macadamia nuts 10 gm
Vegan white chocolate chips 20 gm

1. In a bowl, add all wet ingredients (almond butter and almond milk).
2. Combine all dry ingredients (almond flour, jaggery, baking powder and soda, macadamia nuts and chocolate chips) to this mix.
3. Bake at 160 degrees for 20 minutes.

Strawberry ganache

Vegan dark chocolate 105 g
Non-dairy cream 10 gm
Strawberry puree 62 gm

1. In a pan, heat cream and puree.
2. Pour hot mixture over chocolate and whisk till combined.

White chocolate mousse

Vegan white chocolate 90 gm
Non-dairy cream 30 gm
Non-dairy whipping cream 60 gm

1. In a pan, heat non-dairy cream and pour over chocolate.
2. Whip non-dairy whipping cream and fold in ganache.
3. Top with fresh strawberries and macadamia nuts.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Who doesn't love peanut butter? Chef Kunal Kapur, says you can take this love for peanut butter and oats to make Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies. He explains, "The innovation with peanut butter and honey oatmeal cookies was a natural step for me - especially considering the growing number of health-conscious individuals with a sweet tooth. The combination of crunchy and creamy peanut butter mixed with the natural sweetness of honey and oats adds an extra depth of flavour and richness to the cookies."

Unsalted butter softened 1/2 cup
Brown sugar 3/4 cup
Peanut butter 1 tbsp
Egg, large 1 no
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
All-purpose flour 3/4 cup
Baking soda 3/4 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Rolled oats 1/4 tsp

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius or 170 degrees Celsius). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and peanut butter together until creamy. Ensure there are no lumps.
3. Mix the egg and vanilla extract in a separate bowl first and then add to the peanut butter and brown sugar mixture.
4. Add the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt to the mixture.
5. Add the rolled oats and start kneading to make the cookie dough.
6. Scoop out tablespoon-sized portions of dough and roll them into balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, leaving some space between each.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 9-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remember that the cookies will continue to firm up as they cool.
8. Remove from the oven. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to any other container.
9. Once the cookies are cooled, enjoy the crunch.

Ragi Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you still love your chocolate chip cookies but want to innovate with it, then Vishnu VP, junior pastry sous chef at DoubleTree by Hilton Goa Panaji in north Goa, encourages you to make a small innovation. He explains, "With its exceptional nutritional benefits, the earthy richness of ragi pairs seamlessly with the indulgent allure of chocolate chips, creating a symphony of flavours that not only gratifies the sweet tooth but also nourishes the body. In every bite, these cookies showcase health-conscious choices with the pleasure of savouring a reinvented classic treat."

Ragi flour 1.5 kilos
Butter 1 kilo
Brown sugar 1 kilo
Egg 10 nos
Oats 200 gm
Choco chip 1 kilo
Walnuts 1 kilo
Vanilla essence 25 ml
Baking Soda 20 gm
Salt 1/2 tsp

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl mix ragi flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
4. Cream together butter and brown sugar until combined.
5. Beat in eggs and vanilla until light (about 1 minute).
6. Mix in the dry ingredients until combined.
7. Add chocolate chips, oats and walnuts to the mixture and mix well.
8. Roll 2-3 tablespoons (depending on how large you like your cookies) of dough at a time into balls and place them on your prepared cookie sheets making sure they are evenly spaced.
9. Sprinkle some crushed & lightly roasted ragi on the top of cookies.
10. Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 15-20 minutes. Take them out when they are just barely starting to turn brown.
11. Let them sit on the baking pan for 2 minutes before removing to the cooling rack.

Nutella Stuffed Cookies
If you love Nutella, then chef Parmi Shreeram from The Tamara Coorg believes you should feed that craving by making deliciously gooey Nutella Stuffed Cookies. This gives you the opportunity to not only enjoy the brittle cookies but also the sweetness of Nutella inside it. He shares, "Everybody loves Nutella and these cookies have some right in the centre. A delightful treat for all ages."

Nutella 50 gm
Unsalted butter115 gm
Light brown sugar 175 gm
Egg 1 no
Flour 275 gm
Vanilla essence 1/2 tsp
Soda bicarbonate 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Chocolate, finely chopped 200 gm

1. Scoop heaped teaspoons of Nutella onto a lined tray and freeze until solid. This usually takes 30-60 minutes.
2. Once the Nutella has frozen, make the cookie dough.
3. Preheat your oven to 190 degree Celsius/ 170 Celsius Fahrenheit.
4. Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy, and then add in vanilla and egg and beat again until smooth.
5. Whisk together flour, salt, soda bicarbonate. Add to the butter and egg mix.
6. Add in the finely chopped chocolate and mix until combined.
7. Use a cookie scoop to make portions of the dough.
8. As you scoop each cookie, flatten the dough slightly into a disc shape, and place a frozen lump of Nutella in the middle. Wrap the cookie dough around the frozen Nutella to cover it completely. The cookies will be ball-shaped.
9. Line 2-3 large baking trays with parchment paper. Place 6 cookies on each tray.
10. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes.

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