Karanji Cookies? I bet that sounds odd to you. That seems to be the best name for them based on how I came up with this recipe. This is a family favorite, and this year, it is made with Sugar Free Natura instead of sugar so that everyone could eat it without worrying about sugar.
Karanji is a kind of sweet empanada made with dry coconut or fresh coconut. It is a delicacy in Maharashtrian cuisine and a must have item for Diwali. So like every year, we made karanjis this year too. And almost like every year, we ended up with way more stuffing than we needed.
Generally, this is used up making another batch of karanjis a few weeks after Diwali,or used up in innovative ways such as this cookie.
One big difference from other years was that I used the granular Sugar Free Natura, which is an artificial sweetener. So everyone at home had been able to indulge. Another frying session seemed daunting, and the cookie jar was empty. The thought of scarfing down cookies with Sunday afternoon tea was very appealing, so I made these karanji cookies today.
As regular readers know, I am not big on baking. Even when I bake, I end up not following a recipe and then leave it to luck. Something similar happened today. Instead of adding a splash of milk, I added a lot, and so I kept adding solid stuff until a cookie dough formed. Luckily, it worked out just fine.
The main ingredient here is the Karanji ‘saaran’ or stuffing. This is a traditional karanji stuffing and you would not find these ingredients in a typical cookie, I am sure. The resulting cookie is crispy and chewy and very sweet.
I hope you try out these karanji cookies some time. They are different but they will satisfy your sweet tooth without adding extra calories from sugar.
Karanji Cookies – Sugar Free Coconut Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup dry coconut unsweetened
- ½ cup khuskhus or white poppy seeds
- ½ cup semolina
- ½ cup cashews
- 1 cup Sugar Free Natura Granulated
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 tsp ghee
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour
- 2-3 cups Karanji stuffing (from above)
- 2 Tbsp ghee
- ¼ cup milk
- Pinch of baking powder
- Lightly roast coconut, semolina, khus khus and cashews one by one in a little ghee and set aside to cool completely.
- Powder all of the above roasted stuff in a dry grinder. Mix in the Sugar Free Natura granular powder with this.
- This is the ‘karanji stuffing’ that is used for making karanjis or Indian style coconut empanadas.
- Mix all cookie ingredients to make cookie dough. Use just enough milk to get a thick chapati type dough.
- Refrigerate for some time until the dough hardens a bit.
- Roll out a log and cut equal sized coins, or just make small balls and place them on a sheet pan.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375F or 190C for 15 minutes or until the tops are slightly golden.
- Karanji Cookies are ready to serve.
- Note - You can use unsweetened butter instead of ghee
You may have used sugar pellets for your tea many times, but the granular version of Sugar Free Natura is great for baking or making Indian sweets. I like that it is made with sucralose, so the taste is very much like sugar.
Try these out and let me know how they worked for you.
* I am sending this recipe to the Sugar Free Dessert Challenge 🙂