Friday, December 4, 2009

Curry in your Cookies?

Friday, December 4, 2009
So I've never been involved in a cookie exchange before, but right off the top I must say registering for a baking class would be a pretty cool way to get your cookie exchange baking done should you be involved in one during the holidays.

I signed myself up for the $60 "Merry Masala Christmas" class at Nella Cucina and brought Mark along to sample some food and take photos while I participated in the baking.

I can't say I've ever thought about throwing curry powder in my cookie dough, but the result was pretty pleasant!

We were using the Arvinda's range of spice blends mostly to jazz up traditional cookie recipes - everything from gingerbread to sugar cookies. Arvinda's son and daughter actually helped run the class.

Here's what was on the menu that night for us to bake:
  • Crunchy Pistachio Cranberry Chocolate Chai Biscotti
  • Holiday Chai Spice Ladoos
  • Garam Masala Gingerbread Squares
  • Citrus Chai Spice Sugar Cookies
  • Mango Curry Snow Crescents
We also had the pleasure of A) baking with Suresh and Jenny from Spotlight Toronto and B) trying a hot chocolate with garam masala in it, which was quite tasty. The spice really brought another layer of flavour over top of the traditional hot chocolate, and it wasn't at all "too spicy" or in opposition to the original flavour - it was more of a complement to it.

My favourites cookie was DEFINITELY the mango curry snow crescent, but I also really loved a glaze we made with orange juice, orange zest, icing sugar, and garam masala. It was sweet and the citrus-y taste was especially well-suited to be atop the sugar cookies.

We walked away with a few dozen cookies handily boxed up (which could be frozen if desired, you know, for that cookie exchange I was talking about if yours is still a week or two away), a recipe booklet with recipes for the items above and a tin of Arvinda’s Artisinal Spice Garam Masala. I think I'll probably use mine to make that glaze again for some sugar cookies - yum!

Many thanks to Mary Luz Mejia for giving us the heads-up on the event!

Click here for more photos: Indian spiced baking


Carol Egbert said...

Great post. I've like the punch that a big pinch of cayenne pepper adds to in most cookies. I usually double the amount of ginger and always use freshly ground nutmeg.

Tasting Toronto said...

Hi Carol - Mmm that sounds good, I've not tried cayenne pepper in cookies - I'm going to have to try that, thanks!

I put a TON of ginger in these soft chewy ginger cookies I make, because come on, it's not a ginger cookie if it's not GINGERY! :) So I'm totally with you on that and the fresh nutmeg. Yum!

Happy baking (and cookie eating) - cheers Carol!

Suresh said...

Had so much fun at that event, because we had such a fun team.
Thanks Stacey and Mark

Anonymous said...

Hey there Stacey & Mark!

Thanks for coming out to Arvinda's Merry Masala Cookie Exchange. Nice to meet you and hope to see you out in another masala-filled evening again!

Best wishes,
Preena Chauhan

Tasting Toronto said...

SURESH! We definitely had the funnest team :) I'm sure I'll see you again soon right baking buddy?! That PEC train trip you were talking about sounds interesting - send me deets when you have 'em.

Tasting Toronto said...

Hi Preena,
Thanks so much for having us, we had a blast as I'm sure you can tell!

Melanie Ching said...

Lovely, on first glance it seems like a crazy proposition to put "spices" in cookies...but as has been discussed, what would the lowly ginger cookie be without ginger! I adore when we use what we'd think of as "sweet" spice flavours (like cinnamon) in savoury applications, so it's not surprising that I find sweet applications of "savoury" spice flavours an attractive one!

Tasting Toronto said...

Mel! You're right - what WOULD the ginger cookie be without delicious ginger?!?! I'm a fan of doing a pinch of savoury in a normally sweet treat. *Hi five from across the room*

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