Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gong Xi Gong Xi + Happy Valentine's Day

This year's Lunar New Year and Valentine's Day falls on the same day!
Which one are you celebrating? Are you visiting relatives or spending time with your love one?

Sorry I wasn't able to post up this recipe until now. I finally manage to dig out this recipe. :)
Recipe updated on 24 Jan 2011.

Cheesy Heart Cookies (original recipe is Cheese Stars)


(A) sifted
360g plain flour
2 tsp chicken bouilion powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp chilli powder (optional)

200g butter/margarine
250g grated cheddar cheese
1/2 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 egg, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt

1. Put sifted flour mixture into a mixing bowl. Rub butter into flour mixture till it resembles bread crumb.
2. Add 3/4 portion of grated cheese and mix well.
3. Add egg and mix it into a stiff dough. Cover and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
4. Roll dough into 3mm thick and cut out cheese hearts using a shaped cookie cutter.
5. Place the cheese hearts onto a greased baking tray. Glaze with beaten egg and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 grated cheese on top of the cheese hearts.
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg C for about 15-20 minutes till golden brown.
7. Remove and leave to cool before storing.

Recipe from: "I Can Bake" by Agnes Chang

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cashew Nut Cookies 2010

I hope you don't get bored after seeing the title of the post. It's my third consecutive year baking these cashew nut cookies. If you are new to my blog or haven't read my previous post before in 2008 and 2009, let me tell you again why it's my favourite cookies during CNY.

It must be nearly 20 years ago, I used to help my mother bake these cashew nut cookies every Chinese New Year. I remember I used to help her grind the cashew nuts using a mortar and pestle, pure hard work. It was difficult to grind them into powdery form, which was not a bad thing because you can taste bits of nuts when you bite into the cookies. These days I'm too lazy to bring the mortar and pestle out. All I need is a blender that can grind them finely in 2 seconds! We didn't have an electric mixer as well. So my mother would do the mixing using a large bowl and a big wooden spoon. I remembered the first time we made, all the cashew nuts didn't stick to the cookies well and came off. We learn from our mistakes and brush a layer of egg white so that they can stick well.

Since we shifted house 10 years ago, we stopped baking as it was a built-in oven and we couldn't bring it to our new house. We didn't buy a new oven either. So for years, when I miss the cookies, I buy them from outside and none of them taste like the homemade ones. 2 years ago, I decided to bake my favourite cookies again. I'm still using the old crescent-shaped copper cookie cutter that was probably 20 years old. The new-found recipe was so good that I'm still using it this year.

So now you know the reason why it's my favourite cookies and I must bake it very year. Because it brings back all the good memories. :)

Refer to my favourite Cashew Nut Cookies recipe here.

Wishing all of you a Lucky and Prosperous Tiger Year!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Golden Pillow Pineapple Tarts

I believe that most people love pineapple tarts. I'm one exceptional case. I don't eat pineapple tarts and even when I walk past bakeries and they try to offer me one, I reject. That is to say, I have actually no idea of what a good pineapple tart taste like and what a bad pineapple tart taste like too!

However I still try baking some last year and this year because people around me loves it. I didn't find time to search for a new recipe so I stick to the old one I used last year. I added in a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Trust me, I have made 3 batches and they all turn out really good (if you take the words from one who doesn't eat pineapple tarts at all, hehe). It's a fail-proof recipe.

Golden Pillow Pineapple Tarts

Ingredients (*Pastry only)
220g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
375g plain flour
2 tbsp corn flour
1/4 tsp salt
50g icing sugar
1 egg yolk, for egg wash
**500g pineapple paste, roll into little balls in advance

1. Sieve plain flour, corn flour, salt and icing sugar into a medium bowl.
2. Beat butter in a mixer until it turns light in color and fluffy. Add in pure vanilla extract, mix well.
3. Add in egg yolks slowly until well combined.
4. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Use your hand to knead it for a few minutes until the dough comes together. Do not over-knead it.
5. Roll the dough into small rounds. Flatten the rounds and use it to cover the prepared filling. Brush the unbaked rolls with egg wash.
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg C for 10 to 15 minutes or till golden brown.

** I use another brand of pineapple paste this year from Lee Bee Enterprise Co (Blk 507 Jurong West St 52 #01-152). Compared to last year's Bake King pineapple paste, Lee Bee's one is more sourish. I would say it's just as good. Just a matter of preference whether you like sweet or sour ones.

Recipe adapted from: Fresh from the Oven (*refer here for pineapple filling recipes too)

You know what, I sold 1 of my batches to my friend. I'm quite surprised that she is willing to order some from me even though she has not tasted my pineapple tarts before. I hope she and her family likes it.