Festival of Light

No, it's not Hannukah, it's Diwali the Indian festival of light. The origins of the festival are nested in myth, but the meaning remains the same - the triumph of good over evil, signified by the lighting of small oil lamps called diyas to chase the darkness out of our lives and the baking of many traditional sweets to sweeten the mouths of friends and family.

It's a pretty cool festival all in all.

Being not as traditional as the usual celebrators, I decided to fiddle with a traditional recipe and make it a little more modern. There is a version of a butter cookie that is made throughout India called nankhatai. It is essentially butter, flour, semolina, spices and sugar. Sometimes you add nuts to the dough, like pistachio or almonds.

I decided to forgo the semolina and make a simple butter cookie with some added, err, pizazz.

Orange-Cardamom Butter Cookies with Chocolate Glaze


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp orange zest

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

1/2 tsp orange blossom water (optional)

Chocolate Glaze

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon corn syrup


Preheat oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit. Grease two cookie sheets.

Using a hand beater or your stand mixer, beat together the butter and confectioner's sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and cardamom. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the butter/sugar mixture and beat together on low speed until well incorporated. Add zest and orange blossom water and mix well.

Using a small spoon, scoop out spoonfuls of the dough and form into a flattened ball and place on cookie sheet. (Mine were oblong) Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden in color.

Make glaze by melting together the butter, chocolate, and syrup in a double boiler. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave, and then blend in the other ingredients.

Let cookies cool completely before dipping half the cookie in the cooled glaze. Let cookies rest before devouring.

Happy Belated Diwali Everyone!
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