I confess: against conventional wisdom, I make up my own recipes for baked goods (and lots of other things!)
I bake a lot of what we eat as a healthy replacement for frying, but for a long time I did not consider myself a traditional baker of cakes, cookies, etc. You always hear that baking is “a precise art” & I don’t like to follow rules when I cook.
Now I’m past all that — I do it my way. How do I manage something unconventional like Mango Power Cookies? Here are a few guidelines:
- Start with basic recipes — then change things around.
- Keep in mind at all times — how is this going to taste?
- Look for healthier alternatives such as baking without eggs, reducing butter, or natural color for decoration.
With these in mind I have realized nothing needs to be a certain way, even in baking. What I call Mango Power Cookies are an example of my method in action.
I love mangoes and I’ve eaten them in many different forms, but I thought why is it almost nobody puts them in cookies? So, I took a basic butter cookie recipe I had seen on FoodTV and powered it up! with mango, hazelnuts, and orange zest! I make them without eggs, but you can used eggs if you like.
For Mango Power Cookies, I used:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tspn salt
- 1 tspn orange flower water by A. Monteux
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- equivalent of 1 egg replaced with Ener-G Egg Replacer
- a handful of finely chopped Holmquist hazelnuts
- pulp from 1 ripe champagne mango
- zest of 1 orange
For their glaze, I used:
- 3-4 tbsns of orange juice (without pulp, just the stuff you drink – even better use mango juice!)
- 1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar
- 1 or 2 hazelnuts, microplaned
Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Beat butter, sugar, orange flower water, mango pulp, & salt till all fluffed up. Beat in the egg.Mix chopped hazelnuts and orange zest with flour. Add the flour mix to the wet ingredients until the dough forms.Refrigerate the dough for about 3 hours until nice & cold.
When it’s cold, roll the dough out into about a 1/8 inch thick sheet. Use any cookie cutter to cut into shapes.
Put them about an inch apart on a cookie sheet, & let them bake until they are pale golden brown around the edges and the bottom — about 12 minutes.
After baking, let the cookies sit till they cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, take confectioner’s sugar and beat in the orange juice until it’s a nice smooth glaze, no lumps!Take the cooled cookies & dip the tops in the glaze. While the glaze is still wet, shave hazelnuts with a microplane right onto the cookies!Let the glaze dry completely before storing the cookies, but not until you try one or a few ;)
Once I had these handy, they were a great mango snack when I didn’t have time to slice a mango. They taste & smell like mango with a hint of orange. The hazelnut grounded the flavor, making them less buttery tasting than plain butter cookies.
We ate them with the Original MarketSpice Tea, which has a strong cinnamon and orange flavor.