Saturday, 5 December 2015

Puffed Millet Cookies

Update: A friend has told me that he sprinkled some coarse sea salt over these cookies prior to baking, and then pressed the grains into the cookie mix. I can well imagine that this would be delicious as one would end up wiath a salted caramel taste especially if Panela sugar is used! I plan to try it with my next batch!

I wanted to make a biscuit (sometimes called a cookie in other countries) using puffed millet, and Piloncillo. Most of the recipes I found for this were in the form of "no-bake" bars, and was not what I wanted. Piloncillo is a type of raw sugar that is common throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a mixture of sugar crystals and molasses, formed at the stage of sugar processing where the two have not yet separated. Different countries have different names for it. The name piloncillo refers to the traditional cone shape in which the sugar is produced (see photo)
. It is also known as panela and panocha. There are actually two varieties of piloncillo produced one is lighter (blanco) and one darker (oscuro). In Jamaica, we call the very dark "wet" variety, "New Sugar" or "Wet Sugar. This is softer, more liquid than Piloncillo, and we would eat it "as is" or use it to preserve Tamarinds. I could not find that here in the US so Piloncillo or its Indian cousin "Jaggery" would have to do! I put the lump of Piloncillo or Panela in a plastic ziploc bag, the wrap the bag in a clean kitchen towel. I use a wooden mortar or a hammer to hit it through the towel so that it breaks into smaller pieces. The result is a soft center coated with a caramel outside. I use it to sweeten my coffee as the taste is far more flavorful than just dark brown sugar.

Piloncillo is very hard compared to the brown sugar you purchase in a box in mainstream American supermarkets. I like the dark, Colombian variety called Panela that comes in a flattened shape.
If you cannot find Piloncillo in your neighborhood Latino market, you can substitute dark brown sugar in this recipe but you will not end up with the same taste. The recipe yielded 30 cookies, and using one of the nutrition calculators online (Calorie Count) it said that each cookie had approximately 7 grams sugar and 14 grams carbohydrate. I cannot verify that with any accuracy. Are these cookies healthy? I have no idea. Are these cookies delicious.....Hell, yes! They are crisp, crunchy with a hint of caramel that goes great with a cup of coffee. You will not be able to eat only one!

  • ½ cup self raising flour+1/2 cup durum atta flour
  • 3/4 cup Piloncillo
  • 1 cup flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 cup Scottish oatmeal
  • 1 cup puffed millet
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 75g butter+50 grams coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 6 tbsp boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Place flours, oatmeal, puffed millet, sesame seeds, salt, and flax meal in a bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre.
2. Place butter, Piloncillo, coconut oil, and golden syrup in a saucepan to melt, heat over low heat until bubbly and smells like caramel. Dissolve baking soda in the boiling water. It will foam when added. Add melted ingredients and dissolved baking soda to dry ingredients and mix to combine.
3. Using both hands, shape 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture to form balls ( see photo)
and press onto prepared baking trays, lined with parchment paper, using the bottom of a drinking glass. I oil the bottom of the glass, and press lightly until the ball is flattened to about 1/2 inch thickness (see photo above). Allow space for biscuits to spread while cooking.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until firm and golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes.
5. Lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake for another 45 minutes to one hour. It is this drying out phase that makes the biscuits crisp and longer lasting. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack. Store in an air tight container.


No comments:

Post a Comment