Tham Jiak means in some way "love to eat" in Hokkien. I am a Malaysian Hokkien and truly love to eat.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

IMBB/SHF: Cookie Swap

This month, Alberto’s IMBB and Jennifer’s SHF are having a joint event this month which is the virtual Cookie Swap! This is indeed a rare event for the union and coincidently it is my first time joining in both of these sensational events. Lucky me, as this would be an easier entry for me to handle both events in one!

After reading about this cookie swap, it just struck me to share to the world something traditional and truly Malaysian. I believe no other cookie fit into this description more than the famous Pineapple Tarts (or rather pineapple cookies).

These cookies are a must in most festive seasons in Malaysia especially Chinese New Year, which is a celebration of a new year according to the Chinese calendar. There are many ways shapes these Pineapple Tarts are made, either open tart shape (the one I made), roll up shape, ball shape, pineapple fruit shape or even most recent creative ones with cartoon icons. These cookies are usually served during CNY because in Chinese Hokkien dialect, the word pineapple (Wong Lai) has the same meaning as the ‘coming of prosperity’. Therefore they are considered auspicious cookies.

This had indeed been my all time favourite cookie during CNY celebration, and I can never keep my hands off them. I have heard various comments on how tough it is to make it but also how it these homemade ones can never ever be replace by those commercial ones. Therefore, I roll up my sleeves and brace the challenge for the world to share in this local joy of mine. Enjoy.

Pineapple Tarts

Making these cookies prove to be no easy feat as it needs extra attention and long hours at the kitchen. After making these, I now know why it cost a bomb to purchase it outside. I first made the fillings, where in the original recipe it calls for stirring continuously for 2 hours at the stove! I found it a crazy feat. So I decided to use my non-stick pan and just stir it occasionally while I prepare the dough. Do not worry if the pineapple fillings seem dry at first for it will sweat once you add in the sugar.

I love the kind of melt-in-the-mouth cookies to go with these but had failed to achieve it. This I suspect was due to over baking, where my first batch was slightly over browned in my naughty mini oven (the ever so famous) because I was busy making another batch with the cookie cutter and failed to monitor it. While another huge batch, I tried it with my gas oven (a huge oven of mine which is attached to the stove and uses the gas as heating element) which even after long time of baking, the cookies are still pale looking which ended up drying the pineapple filling instead. Next time, I should just stick to my mini oven and diligently watch over it. I found the baking time and heat a little too much from the recipe, therefore I changed it in the following recipe. I also find that, while cutting out your cookies, chill the remaining dough in the refrigerator for easy handling. Do not roll out the dough too thin else it would not stick to the cutter making it impossible to remove it nicely.

Pineapple filling:
2 med size pineapples, grated & drain off juices, retaining a bit of moisture
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
Sugar to taste (bout 100g)

1. Remove skin and black eyes from pineapple
2. Grate pineapple and squeeze out the juice.
3. Put pineapple into a non stick pan and cook.
4. Stir occasionally for about an hour.
5. Gradually, add sugar and cloves.
6. Cook for another 30 minutes or until it is dry and sticky.

Pastry Ingredients:
283g cookie flour (red rose flour)
28g sugar
184g butter
1 egg
Pinch of salt

1. Sieve flour, add salt and sugar and mix together
2. Rub butter into flour (use your fingers)
3. Beat egg lightly and add to the flour
4. Knead into a soft and sticky dough and leave it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
5. Roll pastry to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out with cookie cutter.
6. Fill pineapple filling onto the cookie.
7. Bake in oven at 190 C for 15 to 25 minutes till golden brown.

Makes bout 75 auspicious cookies (if you can resist popping it into your mouth)

Check out first half of result at Domestic Goddess
Don't miss out the second half over at Il Forno


boo_licious said...

Yums! Pineapple tarts are my absolute fav. I also made something with pineapple jam for the cookie swap.

Liz said...

Ohhhh...I *love* these. Pineapples are hard to come by in the UK at this time of year; I wonder whether you can used canned?

rokh said...

boo, how coincident! pineapple are yummy right?

squeezeweasel, oh yes you can use canned ones, but make sure its drained thoroughly or it would be hard to cook till dry plus remember to reduce the amount of sugar added as canned pineapples are sweetened.

sailu said...

am trying out your cookies this weekend..sounds very yummy esp with the clove flavour..:):)

rokh said...

sailu, you must. it's guaranteed to be good!

Tazz said...

Pineapple tarts are my favourite during CNY. But, lazzy Tazz will never attempt such a tedious recipe. :P

rokh said...

its alright tazz, i totally understand after the hefty cookout. we can always buy homemade ones outside ;)

glutton rabbit said...

Rokh, pineapple tarts? Yummies! I notice you use red rose flour for the pastry. Must be really special... nice entry!

rokh said...

thanks rabbit, the recipe calls for top flour but the shop does not have it and recommended me instead.

babe_kl said...

i simply adore these tarts!!!

rokh said...

babe, me too! ;)

Rorie said...

Wow, these sound yummy!

Jossie said...

I live in the US and have been searching for the Malaysian CNY pineapple tart's recipe .. and can't believe that I find it online today!!! Thanks!

I am going to try it this weekend, and I remember my mom used only egg york without the white, though I don't know why.

rokh said...

jossie, hope your results would be a yummy one! happy trying. i'm not sure bout the yolk thing though, maybe richer in taste?

klyn venus and emily said...

it looks drlicious huh.....

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