Perfection is a hard thing to chase in 35 degree temperatures with 90% humidity. And a hot oven at 175 degrees. Very, very hard. But when you need a cookie, you need a cookie.
When I made these barley cookies the first time, they tasted great, but were too thin, which made photography difficult. It was also a cloudy morning, not helping!
So I set out to improve upon them. I particularly like calling dessert improvements version ‘2.0’, as you can see here. I faced problems this time too, but learnt a few lessons along the way! The result? A batch of wholesome, truly delicious cookies for breakfast this morning 🙂
Ready for a cookie lecture?
This time around, I wanted lighter (in colour), thicker cookies. So I omitted the brown sugar and chilled the dough overnight. Yes, night-time baking has become a thing with me 🙂
Any whole flour though, like barley, produces darker baked goods that regular, refined flour. Baking for 10 minutes, versus 15, produces lighter cookies. The other advantage of omitting the brown sugar and only using caster sugar, was no crunchy bits in the cookies.
Chilling the dough overnight was the best decision. I woke up this morning to a firm, cold dough. But in Mumbai’s summer, the dough started to soften even while making the dough balls to bake! Lesson learnt: chill even the rolled dough balls before baking!
These three turned out thick and perfect, with no spreading because I baked them in the end and chilled them up till the last minute. I pressed some extra chocolate chips into them as soon as they got out of the oven. There’s no such thing as too many chips!
As far as photography goes, this time was also a struggle! A cloud that couldn’t make up it’s mind kept sending intermittent rays of sunlight on to the cookies. See the light/shadow combinations on most?
For the first time since I started this blog, I was forced to edit a photo! This one, in fact.
On a brighter note, these super fun plates are from Freedom Tree. Discovered it by accident one day while looking for cool plates and bowls I could use for the blog. They have an amazing collection!
I used Bob’s Red Mill barley flour that a friend gave me. It has the most yummy nutty flavour, better than any variety I’ve ever tried. Wholesome and rich, in spite of being healthy. I no longer sift barley flour, my Mom tried it unsifted and said it works great 🙂
The cookies do break a bit, same as last time. Barley doesn’t retain its structure very well, and over-baking produces strong, but crunchy cookies. Not a good thing if you’re looking for chewy. If you do make these, be prepared for about 4 of your 12 cookies to fall apart!
I’m now done with my lecture. Hope you’re still up. Cookie?
What you’ll need:
1 cup barley flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
A bit less than 1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/3 cup chocolate chips and a few more to press on top just before baking
What to do:
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl till soft and fluffy.
2. To this, add the egg and vanilla essence and beat till combined.
3. Add the flour, baking soda and salt (if using) mixture to the above and stir till combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
4. Make sure all the flour is mixed in and then cover the bowl with clingfilm and chill the dough overnight.
5. The next morning, preheat the oven to 175 C and lightly grease a baking tray.
6. Roll out medium-sized balls of the cold dough and place them on the tray about 2 inches apart. Press a few more chocolate chips on top of them if you like.
7. Bake for 10 minutes till the edges should be golden-brown.
8. Let the cookies cool on the tray and firm up. Avoid lifting them up before this, they’ll definitely break.
Happy almost healthy eating!