A unique and pretty twist on traditional Indian shortbread cookies, these Christmas nankhatai cookies are colorful, festive, and fun to make. Read on to discover the step by step process.
Nankhatai are traditional Indian shortbread cookies made with flour, sugar and butter and are completely eggless. They are spiced with cardamom and nutmeg and are a popular tea time treat. Although more often made during Diwali, why not share the goodness by bringing these to your Christmas cookie platter? I’ve turned my nankhatai into an Indian Christmas cookie by taking red, green and plain dough rolled together to make a fun pinwheel cookie. Sprinkle them with some gold sugar and you have yourself a gorgeous Christmas cookie!
Here are some tips for making these Christmas nankhatai cookies as well as any type of pinwheel cookie!
Roll cookie dough colors separately between two sheets of parchment. This keeps the dough from sticking to your rolling pin! Then, remove the top parchment off of one color and flip it on top of the other one. Repeat with third dough. Peel away the top parchment and trim one of the long edges to create a straight edge.
Start rolling the dough as tight as you can from the straight edge. Go slowly and use your parchment paper to help you push it nice and tight! Trim it again to create a straight seam. Wrap it tightly and chill it for at least an hour. This is important to getting nice round cookies when you slice it.
Slice your log with a large sharp chef’s knife. If it’s not holding shape, you need to chill it longer. If it’s just a little misshapen, you can adjust it on your baking sheet with your hands.
Make these Christmas nankhatai cookies extra festive by adding sugar sprinkles before you bake. All you have to do is brush the area you want the sprinkles to stick to with some corn syrup and dip your sugar cookie in the sprinkles.
Bake them off as instructed below and enjoy your beautiful Christmas nankhatai cookies! For another twist on traditional nankhatai cookies, you may also want to check out my chocolate nankhatai cookies.
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More Winter Holiday Cookies
- Cardamom Cookies
- Gingersnap Cookies
- White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
This recipe was originally published for The Hindustan Times 12/22/2011 Delhi city supplement. You can read more about it in my post here.
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, (atta)
- 1/4 cup semolina flour, (fine sooji)
- 3 tsp cardamom
- 2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder, (double acting)
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup ghee
- 1 3/8 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Red and green food gel dye
- Decorative sugar
- In a large bowl, sift together the three flours, cardamom, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder. In an electric mixer, beat the butter, ghee, and sugar until white and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla.
- On low speed, add the dry mixture and mix until just combined. Divide the dough evenly by weight and stir in two-three drops of red dye to one batch and 2-3 drops of green to another.
- Roll out each dough separately between two sheets of parchment or wax paper to about 1/8-1/4 inch thickness. Transfer the plain dough on top of the green dough by flipping it on top. Roll over it again and carefully peel away the parchment. Repeat the process by placing the red dough over the green dough.
- Trim one of the long edges into a straight line. Slowly roll the layers together on the long edge into a tight log.
- Roll it with the parchment paper tightening the log as you go but do not roll the paper into the log. Trim when you get to the end. Rewrap with the paper to seal the edge and tighten the log. Chill the entire paper wrapped log for at least an hour.
- Slice the log into 1/4 inch pieces. Reshape as needed and lay them on a baking sheet with at least two inches between cookies. All cookies should be chilled after shaping and prior to baking for at least an hour. Set the oven to 275°F.
- Brush the part you wish to decorate with sugar lightly with some corn syrup, dip into sugar, and shake off excess. Bake the cookies for 30 minutes or until barely golden. Cool completely.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 40 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 123 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 19mg Sodium: 28mg Carbohydrates: 14g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 7g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g