I am now slowly reeling over the indulgent and gluttony-behaviour inducing Christmas celebrations. It has been a good year. When I look back, I am thankful for all the blessings. Crossed many milestones, traveled, made new friends. This year has been close to my heart. I will treasure the memories forever.
I did miss celebrating Christmas back home and with family. But Dubai has given me a new home, new family. And because the year has been so kind, I wanted to make Christmas special and culminate the year on a sweet note. We decided to make all the Christmas sweets at home. Just like the way we do it back in India.
For me it was the first time I made the sweets by myself, with the man being sous chef 😉 And in my attempt to make these treats, I stumbled upon a lot of tricks and techniques. More on that, I will share with you later.
For this Christmas, I (or rather we) made and shared goodie boxes with all home-made sweets. We made a mix of modern and traditional christmas sweets. We made Christmas Cake, Marzipan, Tandlache ladoo (red rice ladoos), Date rolls, Shankarpala (or Tukdey), Kaliyo, Gingerbread cookies. And a special fusion item – Sweet Coconuty hand-pies.
I actually wanted to make the traditional Nevries, but like some magical influence, I was drawn towards baking. Well, it was no magic, I just didn’t want to deep-fry the cresent shaped treats and preferred baking instead. Et Voila!
Sweet Coconuty Hand-pies
Makes approx 8 medium hand-pies that serve well as dessert or snack for high tea.
For the filling:
- Jaggery grated 2-3 tbsps
- Fresh Coconut (grated) 1/2 cup
- Almonds, powdered 1 tbsp
- Semolina/ Rava 1 tbsp
- Nigella seeds/ Kalonji 1/2 tbsp
- Sesame seeds/ Til 1tbsp
- In a pan, dry roast the sesame seeds, nigella seeds, semolina, almond powder till fragrant and keep it aside.
- In the same pan, dry roast the grated coconut till fragrant and the oil is released a bit. While this is still hot, add the above mix to it. Add the grated jaggery. Use a spoon to stir and ensure the jaggery has melted and combined well with the rest of the mix.
- Keep aside to cool.
For the hand-pie dough:
- Plain flour/ Maida 200 gms
- Butter 100 gms, cold and cut into cubes
- Icing sugar 2 tbsps
- Egg yolk 1
- Ice cold water (a few tbsps)
- Take the flour and sugar in a bowl, add the cold butter and using your fingers keep cutting through the butter and flour, till the entire flour resembles grainy sand like texture.
- Add the yolk and combine. Add a tbsp of cold water at a time, to bring the dough together. Stop, just till the dough comes together. You don’t need a well kneaded smooth dough, just need a lump come together.
- Refrigerate it for 30 mins. This will help the butter to remain intact and not melt away while rolling.
- After 30 mins, take it out and start rolling it between parchment sheets.
- Cut into rectangular shapes and add little bit of the filling ( a tsp maybe).
- To seal the edges, dip your finger in water and run through the edges. Fold the hand-pies and using a fork, crinkle them.
- Poke a few holes on the top with a fork.
- Bake at 175 degrees C for 10-12 mins.
- Take it out of the oven and brush with egg wash for a golden hue on top.
- Bake again with only top side heat for 5 mins.