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Are you craving sweet treats, yet nothing seems to be satisfying? These classic cookies might be the right answer for you. Go down the memory lane of celebrations while getting your sugar intake with these four recipes of traditional Malaysian cookies.
The first question you might ask would be: is it from London? Well… nope. A popular belief says that the cookie got the word London just because it rhymes with Almond. Almond, London. That’s it!
Apart from its fun name, Almond London is a classic cookie that’s never absent on special holidays. It has a pretty simple concept: almonds, covered in cookie dough, coated with melted chocolate, topped with more (crushed) almonds. Making this cookie can be a fun activity for the whole family. Here’s how to make it.
100 g whole almond
180 g plain flour
20 g corn flour
20 g milk powder
160 g butter
80 g sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
250 g dark chocolate
100 g nibbed almond
Preheat the oven to 170° C and toast the whole almonds for 10 minutes. Skip this step if you got pre-toasted almonds from the store.
Sift plain flour, corn flour, and milk powder into a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until even, and add vanilla essence. Mix both mixtures to form a soft dough.
Scoop one teaspoon of dough, pinch it on your greased hand, and wrap up each almond with the dough until it’s fully covered.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180° C until lightly browned, then set aside to cool.
Melt dark chocolate and dip the cookies in. Put each one in a paper cup, then arrange it in a container to let the chocolate cool down in the fridge.
Kuih Bangkit is a popular delicacy among Malay and Nyonya families, predominantly enjoyed during festivities. The name ‘bangkit’ comes from the risen cookie dough that doubles its size while baking. This traditional cookie has a light and airy texture of tapioca and coconut cream combination. The scent of pandan leaves that were pan-fried with flour gives Kuih Bangkit a distinctive, flavorful aroma.
While it might seem easy to make, Kuih Bangkit’s unique texture is pretty challenging to recreate. You need to get the right texture and consistency of the tapioca flour, egg and sugar mixture, as well as coconut cream. Achieving the perfect moisture of the dough can also be tricky. But don’t worry, we’ve prepared the recipe for you to try at home.
300 g tapioca flour
100 g powdered sugar
½ tsp baking powder
1 egg yolk
3 pandan leaves
130 coconut cream
Dry fry tapioca flour with pandan leaves in a wok. If you want to dry the flour in an oven, bake along with pandan leaves at 150° C for 1.5 hours. Once done, remove the leaves and set them aside to cool down. Then add baking powder to the flour.
In a separate large bowl, add eggs and egg yolk, then sift powdered sugar into the bowl. Mix them until they become light yellow in color and have a fluffy texture.
Add coconut cream into the egg-sugar mixture. Then gradually put in the flour until it reaches a dough consistency.
Flour your clean countertop and knead the dough on the surface. Knead it until it’s even, smooth, and moist enough. If it’s too dry, add some more coconut cream, and add flour if it’s too wet.
Roll out the dough to 1 cm thickness. If you have the mold for Kuih Bangkit, pinch a small piece of the dough and press it into the mold. If you don’t have it, cut it with a small cookie cutter.
Prepare the baking tray with parchment paper. Line up the molded cookie dough on the tray. Then bake it around 170° C oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the bottom is lightly browned.
Remove cookies from the oven and set aside to cool. You can add a little red dot on each cookie with food colouring if you wish. Store in an airtight container.
This one goes by a few different names such as Biskut Semperit, Kuih Bunga Dahlia, Biskut Ceri, and Nyonya butter/custard cookies. No matter what you call it, this cookie will still be a flavor blast that melts in your mouth. Its origin is debatable, yet it’s commonly found in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Kuih Semperit is a staple of celebrations, especially during Eid.
The buttery dough is formed into flower-shaped cookies, hence the name Kuih Bunga Dahlia. It’s then baked into crispy and slightly sweet perfection. Want to learn how to make these for the upcoming Hari Raya, or just to quench your craving? Here’s the recipe for you.
170 g unsalted butter
100 g castor/icing sugar
1 egg yolk
65 g custard powder
120 g plain flour
50 g corn flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
Glazed red cherries (for toppings, optional)
Cut butter into small cubes into a large bowl. Let it adapt to room temperature for a while, but don’t let it melt.
Add sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla essence. Mix them at medium speed to a breadcrumb-like texture.
Prepare another bowl and combine corn flour, plain flour, and custard powder. Sift the flour mix into the previous bowl. Mix gradually until it forms into a non-sticky dough.
Insert the dough into a piping bag, cut a bit of the edge and attach the Semperit piping tip to the piping bag. Gently press them out on the baking tray from a straight angle while creating a flower-like shape. Put the tiny red cherry pieces on top.
Put the tray in a preheated oven at 180° C and bake for around 20 minutes until lightly browned.
The main star of Tart Nenas or Pineapple Tarts is—yup, you guessed it—pineapple jam. A combination of the sweet, homemade pineapple jam and light, the buttery cookie is just going to leave you wanting more. The shape varies; there’s the rolled version with the pineapple jam inside, and there’s also the flower-shaped version with the jam being in the center.
Of course, it’s easy to pick up a jar of these from the store. But really, do you want to miss out on the fun of making these sweet treats at home? Bake as many as you want, so you won’t feel guilty cleaning out the entire jar yourself. Check out this Tart Nenas recipe we’ve prepared for you.
Pineapple jam filling:
1 kg grated pineapples
200 g sugar
¼ tsp salt
3 cm cinnamon stick
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
220 g butter
400 g plain flour
10 g corn flour
50 g icing/powdered sugar, sifted
1 egg yolk
¼ tsp salt
Prepare the jam:
Get a non-stick pan and combine the filling ingredients. Heat over the cooktop on low heat until it reaches a thick, glossy consistency. This takes around half an hour.
Adjust the sugar according to your preference.
Remove from the stove and let cool.
Once cooled down, make small balls of jam for the cookies later.
Make the dough:
Mix butter, salt, and sugar with a mixer. Then throw in the egg and the egg yolk.
Gradually sift corn flour and plain flour into the mixture.
When it’s well combined, take out the dough and cover it up with cling wrap. Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Take out the dough ball and roll it out to a 0.75 cm thickness.
Get your tart cutter/mold and cut out each cookie dough.
Place the pineapple jam bowl in the center of the cookie dough.
Brush the tart with egg wash.
Preheat your oven beforehand at 180° C, then bake the tarts for 15-20 minutes until they’re light brown.
Set aside to cool and store in an airtight container.
There are still many more Malaysian traditional cookies recipes that we don’t cover in this article. But these are a good starting point for you to try making them. Happy baking, fellas!