- Food and Cooking
Fast and Easy Cookies
A Little History
These cookies I am about to introduce you to have their origins in the Hare Krishna movement.
The Hare Krishna "movement" as it was known in the 1960s and '70s in America and throughout the Western world actually originates in a very ancient tradition in India, Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Those people who are devotees of Krishna are called "vaishnavas", and "Gaudiya" refers to the region of Gauda within Bengal, where Lord Sri Caitanya, the most recent incarnation of Lord Krishna, appeared.
This Gaudiya Vaishnavism was brought from India by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, called "Prabhupada" by his disciples. Prabhupada propagated the teachings of ancient Hindu scripture in order to help people find their innate love for God. According to him, "Krishna" was just another name for God, meaning "all attractive." As instructed by his spiritual teacher, Prabhupada wrote and printed many books on the subject of Krishna and Krishna Consciousness. Many, many young men and women of America, Europe, and other countries came to be his disciples, and thus he founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON.
Today, the Hare Krishna movement is still going strong, with many of Prabhupada's disciples and godbrothers actively spreading the teachings of scriptures such as the Srimad-Bhagavatam and the Bhagavad Gita.
But back to my topic: Cookies! I do not know who originally made this recipe, all I know is that it was made by a Prabhupada disciple and that she shared this recipe and it became a phenomenon across the movement. These cookies were given the name "Prabhupada cookies" because he would hand them out to his disciples and their children. After the cookies were made, he would have these cookies offered to the deity of Krishna upon the altar, as custom, before handing them out. These cookies were legitimate "prasadam", or food that has been purified by being offered to the Lord. The literal translation of "prasadam" is, MERCY!
These cookies are very simple and easy to make. They are quite tasty. The recipe I have only made about 6 cookies, so I am going to double the amount of each ingredient. You may triple it if you like. Here we go!
A Thank You
I would like to give credit to Manmohini dasi, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada and friend of my mother's. She gave us the ingredients list and amounts. I am doubling them so that you can turn out with more cookies than I did when I made these last week!
Manmo's picture is on the right. "Manmo" is her nickname amongst friends.
- 1. Combine 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of flour, and 2/3 cups of sugar in a bowl until smooth.
- 2. Take your cookie batter and form circular cookies, placing onto an non-greased cookie tray or pan.
- 3. Bake for 10+ minutes until golden or browned on the edges at a 350 degrees heat setting.
Ingredients and Amounts
1 cup of butter
2 cups of flour (do NOT use all-purpose, and do NOT use whole wheat!)
2/3 cups of sugar
The Long Version
Mix Your Ingredients and Shape Your Batter
Mix all your ingredients together, so that they are smooth. That means no chunks, and no bits of butter unmixed. By "smooth" I do not mean "creamy", but you want a solid mixture of flour, sugar, and butter. Then you are ready for the next step.
Form your cookies into the shape(s) you desire on the cooking pan or tray. This tray does not have to be pre-buttered or greased. Your cookies can be as large or small as you want; they can be circular, triangular, heart-shaped, anything. Space them evenly on your tray.
Last but NOT Least...
Bake Your Cookies and Enjoy!
Put your cookie tray in the oven. Set it for 350 degrees. Watch those cookies! When my mother watched them (I was rolling rotis, an Indian flatbread, so I couldn't) she said she watched for eight minutes, then ten, and they still weren't done. So I would keep those cookies in the oven for at least ten minutes. However, the size, shape, etc. of your cookies may make them different than mine. Watch them until they are brown around the edges. Then you will know your cookies are ready!
Just a hint: these cookies end up looking somewhat similar to sugar cookies. They have a more golden/brown color to them, though.
In the tradition of Prabhupada Cookies, which these originally are, it would be fabulous if you'd send up a little thanks to God before you eat them. But I understand people may have a problem with that. So all I'm going to say is - enjoy! I hope yours turn out as delicious as the ones I made.