Sweet-Sour-Salty, then add Chocolate. This is what these tamarind cookies taste like. Mmmmm..... You know, I'd love to add a dash of chilli powder in these too, but I was torn because I'd wanted to share these cookies with my young, fellow dwellers, and their palates are not yet fully developed! Maybe after a couple of years more of my kitchen experiments, they will develop worldly and 100%-tolerant tastebuds ... we shall see.
Tamarind has a sour, tangy accent and in our home, it's mostly used to flavor savory dishes. Some cultures also use it to make sweets, since it's got that addictive sweet-sour-salty thing going on. Apart from the fruit, tamarind now also comes in several forms - tamarind paste, tamarind powder (normally with added sugar), and tamarind sauce. For these cookies, I decided to use the paste, seeds and all. Well, to be honest, the seeds are a bit troublesome to extract for this purpose, but if you try my "rubbing" method below, you'll do more than alright.
Rub tamarind paste into the flour (left) to remove the seeds (right).
It's always cool to be square!
The texture of these cookies is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, which is the way I like 'em best! You can make them plain or with chocolate, although I must say that the chocolate glaze is a distracting as well as enhancing flavor to the dough. There aren't many people I know on this planet who dislike chocolate (truly), and I for one love it - TONS of it! (On a similar note, but nothing to do with this recipe, you do know that some spas offer a yummy chocolate bath to smoothen the skin? I'd probably dip my face in it as well! If you want to DIY the bath at home... here's a recipe!).
I made both versions, plain and chocolate-glazed, and the former proved a hit as well. Ooops, I did kinda, sorta, white-lie-ishly omit to mention the "tamarind" part, and that's probably why the kiddies gobbled these up fast! No point in putting them off unnecessarily. Right??
Chocolate~Tamarind CookiesMakes 25-30 cookies
125g unsalted butter
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup raw brown sugar
1/4 cup Muscovado sugar (moist brown sugar)
2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
river salt, for sprinkling (optional)
2 tablespoons butter
250g dark chocolate
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with silpat or non-stick baking paper.
2. Sift the flour in a bowl and add the tamarind paste, seeds and all. Rub the paste into the flour, this will help remove the seeds easily. After that add baking soda and salt and stir the mixture evenly with a spatula.
3. Beat the butter and 3 sugars on medium speed in another bowl until mixture is light and creamy (4-5 mins). Add the egg and beat further until combined.
4. Fold in the flour-tamarind mixture gently with a spatula until just combined.
5. Scoop out a tablespoonful of cookie dough and place on tray 2 inches apart. I shaped mine with a square cookie cutter. If you want, sprinkle a dash of salt over the cookies just before they go into the oven.
6. Bake for exactly 12 minute. Cool for 5 minutes before glazing.
7. For the glaze, melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler or on very low heat. Once melted, stir in the tamarind paste (complete with seeds). Stir until the paste softens and dissolves in the chocolate, then remove the seeds. I left the seeds in there and only discarded them when the glaze is almost finished. It’s just easier that way, and you don’t waste much chocolate!
Note: The chocolate glaze won't be smooth because of the tamarind fibres in it. You can always strain the chocolate while it is still hot for a smoother finish.