This recipe is my take on Indian karachi biscuits, beloved shortbread cookies studded with tutti frutti, that are usually served as an accompaniment to chai.

In India, tutti frutti — a confection made of candied papaya or watermelon rind dyed red, green, orange or yellow — is used for as a filling in paan (betelnut leaf mouth refresher) and as an ice cream topping, cake decoration and more. It’s also used in desserts in Italy, England and all over the world.

Since it’s candied, I find tutti frutti to be super sweet, so for these cookies I add orange zest to cut the sweetness slightly. My Orange Tutti Frutti Cookies smell amazing and, with their gem-like bits of tutti frutti, they look even prettier.

Recipe notes: The shaped cookie dough can be stored in the freezer for up to a month until you’re ready to bake.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Tutti frutti, a colored dried fruit blend, can be found online or at Indian markets. You can swap in candied orange peel, or any standard candied fruit mix.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (20 grams) almond meal/flour
  • 4 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, from 1 large orange
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick/113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (70 grams) tutti frutti (mixed colors; may substitute candied orange peel)
  • 1/2 cup (105 grams) demerara sugar or sparkling sugar, for rolling (optional)

Step 1

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond meal or flour, cornstarch and salt.


Step 2

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or large bowl that can accommodate a hand mixer, combine the granulated sugar and orange zest, using your fingers to rub the orange zest into the sugar until the sugar is pale orange. Using the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or the hand mixer, beat together the butter and granulated sugar together on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the tutti frutti, still on low.


Step 3

Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and roll until the dough is a log 2 inches wide. Flatten the sides of the roll into a rectangle shape by gently pressing the plastic-wrapped dough against the table and turning it; it should be 1 inch tall and 10 inches long. Spread the demerara sugar or sparkling sugar, if using, onto a baking sheet. Unwrap the dough and gently press the sides of the cookie dough in the sugar so that the log is completely coated. Re-wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze it for 20 to 30 minutes.


Step 4

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.


Step 5

Slice the cookie dough into 1/2-inch-thick slices using a sharp knife. Place the sliced cookies on the baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges just start to brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.


Nutrition Information

Calories: 112; Total Fat: 5 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 12 mg; Sodium: 31 mg; Carbohydrates: 16 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugar: 9 g; Protein: 1 g.


Adapted from food blogger Hetal Vasavada of Milk and Cardamom and author of “Milk & Cardamom” (Page Street Publishing, 2019).

Tested by Jim Webster; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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