My first post for this year, if you have dropped by and noticed the absence, my apologies on that. No excuse, plain laziness it was :) I am becoming an awful blogger with my inconsistencies in updates and inability to keep abreast with updates from blogger friends. I truly appreciate blogger friends who still drop by and leave a word or two, girls you are the best!
Chinese New Year is around the corner, 2 weeks to be precise. Seeing lots of CNY goodies being served in the blogsphere gets one into the mood and drooling to say the least!
You would have most probably than not come across these 2 at some other places, but don't go away yet...according to Chinese believe these 2 are suppose to bring one fortunes. So technically the more you eat (oops see it is actually) them, the more fortunes will come by, i hope!
What better way to welcome prosperity than to eat some pineapple rolls. I must have them without fail, not so much for prosperity bit, it's just that they taste too good to miss them out. For non Chinese, the believe stems from the the Chinese word for Pineapple (aka Ong Lai) which sounds like arrival of prosperity. This is the second year I am using this recipe and I shall stick to it as I find myself loving it more this year! Last year I used the Nastar pump and I found it was no easy task, so this year I decided to hand roll it and draw some lines with the back of a fork. Much easier and voila I have some truly handmade tarts on the pretext of laziness :) I love how they turned out, like little gold bars?? Chinese, i am!
This other one is the Cashew Nut cookies. They say it's the cashew that looks like the gold ingot from the olden days that puts the prosperity into this cookie :) I remember being attracted to the ones that I saw at Small Small Baker's last year and so here's mine a year later! I like her idea of dainty shaped ones with the cashew on top covering the entire cookie, well almost if not. And I had this little crescent shaped cookie cutter that fits the bill. Cute little morsels, aren't they? And yellow bowl and flowers for more gold?
Hopefully there will be enough time for me to make (and post) another prosperity themed cookie, this time a savoury one :)
The recipe here is more for my own reference. If you need a more detail explanation and minus the variations that I made please hop over to the source of the recipe.
Source : Food 4 Tots and reference to Life is Great-Pickyin
- 250g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 50g icing sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 360g plain flour mixed with 2 tbsp corn flour (sifted)
- ¼ tsp salt
- Pineapple filing (Take 6g or ½ tsp heapful of filling and shape into a small elongated roll).
- Egg wash – 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk
- Cream butter and icing sugar until light.
- Beat in egg yolks, one at a time.
- Add in salt and beat until fluffy.
- Fold in sifted ingredients (divided into 2-3 times) and mix into a firm dough.
- Leave aside for 30 minutes.
- Take around 8g of pastry and roll it into a long strip (length should be just enough to cover the filling by rolling up pastry around filling) on your palm. Then flatten the strip into a rectangular shape (width should be around width of filling).
- Place pineapple filing at one end of pastry and roll up to cover filling leaving the ends exposed. Do not overlap the pastry.
- Press each roll with the back of a fork.
- Brush with egg wash.
- Bake in preheated oven at 170C for 15 minutes and turn the baking tray and continue baking for 2 minutes (for an even color) or until golden brown.
- Leave to cool before storing.
- I set my oven to 170C instead of the 160C recommended, it really depends on your oven temperature.
- Please hop over to source of recipe if you would like to know how to use a pump to make the rolls.
- I only weighed the first few fillings and pastries, it was more of gauging from the size of the weighed ones from then on.
- 2 half-ripe pineapples, grated
- 200g granulated sugar (adjust according to preference)
- 4 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick (5 cm long)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Grate the skinned pineapple using the special pineapple grater until it reaches the core (the tough centre). Discard the core.
- Drain the grated pineapples using a large sieve. Use a ladle to press the juice out until it is 90% dried up. Retain the pineapple juice for cooking later.
- Use a wooden spoon, cook the grated and drained pineapples, putting in half portion of the sugar, cloves, cinnamon sticks and lemon juice in a large pot under moderate heat until it begins to boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally.
- From time to time, add the pineapple juice bit by bit when the juice in the mixture is almost evaporated. Repeat this step until all the juice is completely used up.
- Add the remaining sugar bit by bit until the desired sweetness is achieved. This step can be done close to the end of the cooking.
- When all the juices are used up and the mixture has started to look dry and caramelized, reduce the heat to low. Keep stirring until the mixture is almost dry and sticky with a golden-hue. It will take about 1-1½ hours.
- Remove cloves and cinnamon stick. Set aside to cool and store in an air-tight container.
Cashew Nut Cookies
Source : Small Small Baker
- 110g butter
- 70g castor sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 egg (about 25g)
- 40g grounded cashew nuts*
- 180g plain flour
- 20g cornflour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
* Bake cashew nuts lightly at 150 deg C for around 10-15 minutes till fragrance is released before grinding
1 egg, separated
136 halved cashew nuts
- Cream butter and sugar till pale and creamy.
- Add in pure vanilla extract. Add in egg slowly, Beat until well-mixed.
- Fold in grounded cashew nuts. Fold in sifted flours and baking powder gradually. Knead to form dough.
- Roll the dough to 4 cm thickness. Cut the dough using your favorite cookie cutter and place them on the baking tray. Brush a layer of egg white on the cookies and top each cookie with one halved cashew nut. (Brushing egg white helps the cashew nut to stick to the cookie well.) Brush a layer of egg yolk on top of the cashew nuts for a nice golden brown colour.
- Bake at 180C for about 15 minutes till light golden brown.
These are the changes I will make for my next batch.
- Add 1/2 tsp of salt because I used unsalted butter most of the time.
- Double the amount of grounded cashew nuts for a more nutty taste.
- Add 5g of sugar.