September 8, 2009

Chocolate Drizzled Pineapple and Ginger Paneer/ Ricotta Cookies (Eggless)




I'm sure most of you have heard about Paper Chef. Organised by Ilva , this month's Paper Chef is being hosted and judged by Deeba. Every month, 4 random ingredients are chosen and the challenge is to cook up something with that in one week's time.
I have been following this for a while, but sometimes one or more of the ingredients would be something not available where I live. Those months when I could lay my hands on all the 4 ingredients, I would invariably not have the time!

This month's ingredients happen to be chocolate, ginger, ricotta and a fall (autumn) fruit. Chocolate sounded great. Ginger was even better, because it is the season for very tender, new ginger right now. Ricotta was a problem because it is not available here, and with the deadline for PaperChef midnight today, I didn't have the time to make it either. Ricotta is pretty much like paneer (an Indian soft unsalted cheese), so I used that.
Fall/ autumn is something that doesn't visit us in south India, so with Deeba's go ahead, I decided to use a fruit that's available here this month.



I remembered reading about an Italian Ricotta Cookie somewhere and searched around a bit. Finally, I decided to adapt a Giada de Laurentiis recipe for Lemon Ricotta Cookies I found on the Food Network.
Before I go further, I must mention these cookies are very unlike most cookies as we know them. They are really soft because of the paneer/ ricotta and almost cake-like in texture. The baked cookies apparently freeze well (so I'm trying that since I have so many).
These cookies are traditionally glazed with a lemon sugar glaze which would be perfect flavour pairing. I chose to drizzle them with semi-sweet chocolate instead, for obvious reasons.




I also realized that I had run out of eggs (That's for another project some of us food bloggers are doing, so watch this space around the 15th of this month), so decided to make these cookies eggless too. I replaced the 1 egg (which you can use if you prefer) with powdered flax seed.
I replaced the lemon in these cookies with pineapple as this is what I chose to use as my fruit for this month.


Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp salt

100gm butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp powdered flax seed + 2 tbsp warm water

200gm (just under 1 cup) crumbled paneer/ ricotta

1 to 1 1/2 tsp fresh finely grated ginger

3 tbsp fresh or packaged pineapple juice

1/2 tsp pineapple extract


melted semi-sweet chocolate to drizzle on cookies


Method:

Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another cup or small bowl, beta together the flax seed powder and the warm water for a couple of minutes, with a fork, and set aside.
In the large bowl, using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
Add the flax mixture and beat till incorporated. Add the paneer/ ricotta cheese, grated ginger, pineapple juice, and extract. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, or lightly grease them (I don't get parchment paper here). Spoon the dough (about 1 tbsp for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake at 190C for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes, before moving them.

This recipe makes between 30 and 36 cookies.

I found these cookies a bit on the sweeter side so you might want to reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup if you don't have a sweet tooth.

Updated (10th Sept., 2009): I found that refrigeration (not freezing) actually improves the taste and texture of these cookies.

These cookies are off to participate in this month's Paper Chef.




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25 comments:

Vani said...

Wow, paneer in a cookie! And came out looking so gorgeous too! Great job!

Parita said...

Event sounds lot of fun! cookies have come out beautiful!

Happy cook said...

Cookies look beautiful and i love that lavish drizzle on top

Divya Kudua said...

Cookies look lovely Aparna..with the chocolate drizzle..yummm.Paneer in a cookie is something very creative and new:).

Looking fwd to the egg-based recipe..do I know what it is..;)??:):)

Pari said...

The cookies look great and a very innovative work indeed.

Lakshmi Venkatesh said...

Paneer in a cookie. Very nice. Looks very very tempting.

BTW : Is Paneer and Ricotta the same. Or different.

Try to participate in Think Spice - Think Red chillies event going on in my blog.
http://delightsofcooking.blogspot.com/2009/09/chillies-some-like-it-hot.html

♥♥♥Ria♥♥♥ said...

Paneer in a cookie?!? WOW! thats absolutely creative!

Cham said...

Like the choco drizzle and paneer i imagine the taste of these cookies!

sra said...

Sounds like a great combination, exotic! I can well imagine the texture.

Raaga said...

Lovely cookies! I'd love to try. I think I have a tub of ricotta too!

Nags said...

love the drizzling on the cookies!

arundati said...

they look lovely.... on another note... you can use butter paper / tracing paper which you can get from any stationary store... its used on the drawing board...so a place near a college would be a good bet.

jayasree said...

Cookies looks gorgeous with the chocolate drizzled on them.

Curry Leaf said...

GREAT GREAT & GREAT .Love the entire recipe Aparna.Too awesome.

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

looks awesome...

pigpigscorner said...

Wow, very interesting cookie recipe!

Elra said...

What a creative recipe you have here. Looks scrumptious!

Herrad said...

Hi Aparna,

Please go to my blog and pick up your award.
Love,
Herrad

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

Thank you for the beautiful entry Aparna. Look ever so good. Am thrilled to see sweet stuff & cookies slowly setting foot on your blog. YUM YUM!!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

These cookies look so good! And amazingly different! I wish I had some :P

Palidor said...

That's a mouthful of a title! The cookies look fantastic! What a creative way to use the four ingredients.

Markus said...

Wow, paneer cookies! I've never thought of paneer and ricotta as similar, but now that you mention it, I guess they're not that different!

anna said...

Ricotta cookies are awesome! Some of the best cookies I ever made were ricotta thumbprints (with fig jam!) These look great.

Mikey said...

This is such a different recipe! I love it!!!!

Aparna said...

Ricotta cookies are well known Italian cookies. I used paneer as a substitute as its just like ricotta.

Lakshmi, they are not really the same but since we don't get it here paneer makes a good substitute.
I will participate if I can. :)

Ria, the idea isn't mine, just an adapttaion. :)

Raaga, you can find ricotta there? Wow!

Thanks Arundati for that suggestion. I shall get it from the stationery shop in town.

Thank you very much, Herrad. I shall.:)

Deeba, have always made cookies and sweet stuff. :) I think my archives will show most of my posts in these categories. ;-)

Anna, you make thumbprints with ricotta? Must look into that.