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Chinese New Year cookies

Food

Chinese New Year Cookies: Kuih Kapit aka Love Letter

As you may or may not know, this year sis and I are extremely ‘rajin’ (hardworking). We bake our own Chinese New Year cookies!!! We’ve made 4 in total. Not bad eh?

Well there’s pineapple tarts, oatmeal crispies, margarine cookies and the 4th one which I’m going to share with you is Kuih Kapit aka Love Letter.

It was 3 years ago in 2006 that we last make them. At that time grandma helped us with everything. When I read back my kuih kapit post I was quite lost. At that time things were too messy and I didn’t have time to write a proper recipe.

This time I purposely asked grandma not to come to our house. One is because I know she will definitely help out and we don’t want that. Second is because we want to learn making kuih kapit by ourselves from scratch.

Kuih Kapit

I started making my batter at 8.15am. Phoned grandma a couple of times asking her some crazy questions although I already had the recipe on hand and had discussed with her the previous day. I would say that my recipe note has incomplete methods (rather than an incomplete list of ingredients).

I’m sharing with you guys my grandma’s kuih kapit recipe and method IN DETAILS so that I will not forget them and you guys can try making them next CNY.

NB. Not many photos to offer here as our volunteer (Mr Dad) decided to stay in the house. Not even a decent photo of the finished kuih kapit!!!! HOW? HOW? I’ll show them on CNY la. Quite a lengthy post. Just look at the photo unless you’re interested to follow this recipe.

So here goes…

Ingredients:
1 kati flour
1 kati sugar
1/2 cup rice flour
3 grated old coconut
12 eggs
room temperature water

Note: 1 kati = 600g

Directions for Love Letter Batter:
1. Prepare 2 empty containers. Place the grated old coconut (bought mine from an Indian sundry shop) into one of the containers. Begin by adding 1 cup of water. Press the old coconut for say 2-3 minutes with your hand. If it’s too dry add another 1/2 cup of water or more. When you notice there’s coconut milk coming out from your hand during pressing, then it’s time to prepare the first batch of coconut milk/juice. In Malaysia we called them santan. Reason for pressing the coconut is to draw out the juices.

Kuih Kapit

2. Place some grated coconut into the cloth strainer. Squeeze ’em clean to collect the juices in the 2nd container. Repeat until you’ve squeeze all the remaining grated coconut. Now you have your first batch of coconut milk. Place them aside.

Kuih Kapit

3. Now add 2 cups of water into the freshly squeeze grated coconut. Repeat step 1. You need to press the coconut and so on. Then repeat step 2. Bring out another new container and gather this 2nd batch of juices. Place your 2nd batch of coconut milk aside.

Kuih Kapit

4. Repeat the above with 4 cups of water. Remember to add extra water if it’s too dry. Press, squeeze and now you have your 3rd batch of juices. Put them aside as well. Remember which juice is from the 1st batch and so on ya.

5. Next, in a bowl sieve the flour, rice flour & sugar. Put them aside as well.

Kuih Kapit

6. Whisk 8 eggs + 4 eggs yolk (you can keep the egg white for other cooking) in a bowl until well blended. Sieve the whisked eggs as we don’t want any particle in the batter.

Kuih Kapit

7. Now it’s time to MIX ‘EM ALL UP.

8. We will need the dry ingredient (flour, rice flour, sugar) bowl as the base. Now take the 1st batch of coconut milk and pour all into the dry ingredient. Slowly using your hand (old-fashioned way ma) stir the batter for awhile. Then add the whisked egg little by little. You don’t want to pour all as it can be difficult to stir the dry and liquid nicely. I guess you can use an electronic beater. I have never try it so I don’t know how the end result will look like.

9. Finally after you’ve poured all the whisked egg into the batter and the batter is well blended, it’s time to bring out your 2nd batch of coconut milk.

10. Now this is the difficult part. You have to judge yourself whether this batter is thick. If yes, pour some of the 2nd batch coconut milk and stir again. If you judge the batter is okay, then put the batter through the sieve.

Let’s go light up the charcoal after that!!! My grandma said the batter should look like the waffle batter that I made the other day. Hehe so agak-agak lo. You’ll find out later whether your batter is thick when you’re doing the baking process. No harm just add coconut milk. That’s why we need 3 batch of coconut milk (for emergency case).

By the time I finished all the above it was like 11am already. Fret not. I dilly dally around… that explained the huge preparing time.

We bake our kuih kapit with charcoal. Have you seen an electric kuih kapit maker? I’ve not but I heard they EXIST!!! Hahaha… Of course it’s simpler to use an electric maker but hey where’s the fun ya?

Things to Prepare for Baking Kuih Kapit Using Charcoal, Che-Cheh’s way

Kuih Kapit

1. Kuih Kapit Molds
– Oil the molds & handles (sort of like cleaning ’em) before starting.
– We use 4 molds. All depends how a person/how many person can control ’em.
– Buy nice designed molds so that your kuih kapit will turned out beautiful. Hehe

2. 3 dinner knives/small knives
– 2 of ’em for folding the kuih kapit
– 1 of ’em for scraping the ‘extra skin’ from the kuih kapit mold + peeling

3. Some oil in a cup + a chopstick wrapped with cloth at one end
– In case the kuih kapit is sticking to the mold during baking, you need to oil them after that.

4. A heavy duty plate/bowl whatever
– To weight down the kuih kapit after folding

5. An empty tin box with some brown/tracing/baking paper to line the side
– To store your kuih kapit!!!
– Normally we prefer to keep kuih kapit in tin as oppose to plastic because tin is more air-tight.

6. 1 bag of charcoal
– Make it 2 bags for backup haha

7. Plenty of newspaper (so that you won’t have to scrub the floor after a tiring day)
– There will be oily floor I assured you
– With newspaper, we just clean ’em with water.

8. BBQ stove

9. Stool
– Choose a soft stool ya or your butt will…. OUCH OUCH OUCH

10. A small table
– For folding action!

11. Plenty of helper
– We only have 2 people working on this. One in charge of baking while the other in charge of folding and storing.
– Of course the one in charge of baking has more fun! ๐Ÿ˜›

12. Drinking water
– You’ll get dehydrated very quickly

13. Fan
– Oh it’s hot man!

14. Fire starter
– The most important ingredient!!!!

On Baking Kuih Kapit Using Charcoal

Kuih Kapit

1. The first thing we do before pouring the kuih kapit batter into the mold is to heat the empty kuih kapit molds on the charcoal. When it’s hot enough we oil the 2 sides (mold) and reheat again.

2. After awhile we will pour the kuih kapit into the mold (1 side only), allow the extra batter to drain off and place the mold on the BBQ stove. Remember to ‘lock’ the mold handle.

3. There will be hardened batter surrounding the mold. Now take the knife and scrap them off. Return the mold to the fire.

4. After awhile turn the mold to the other side. From time to time have a peek at the kuih kapit. Remember to keep an eye on it. When it’s golden brown then it’s time to peel off the kuih kapit. Hand it over to your helper.

5. The kuih kapit folder must quickly fold the kuih kapit from round shape into 1/4 circle shape. If you don’t act quickly the biscuit will be hardened.

6. We usually throw away the first kuih kapit. The first one is something like cleaning the mold. Remember the heavy plate? Put it on top of the folded kuih kapit. Leave it for awhile.

7. Now make your second kuih kapit and try to taste it. Is it too hard? If it is then add a little bit of the remaining coconut milk that you pressed earlier into the batter and stir well. I can’t tell you how much to add as this is all estimation and depends on individual liking. If it is too hard of course you must add the coconut milk. If it’s just the right ‘hard’ that you like then okay lo. Some people (like me) like thicker texture. I don’t like those thin texture where you bought outside. The moment I hold it the biscuit will break into pieces.

8. In the later stage, remember to check the batter. After sometime it can become thick. So remember to stir them from time to time and if it’s too hard, add coconut milk.

So there… it’s finished!

In our case, we started lighting the charcoal at around 11.40am. We finished the 1 kati batter at 5.30pm. 6 hours plus of hard and enjoyable work. This recipe yield around 250 pieces (inclusive ~20 pieces in Chester’s stomach, my sis’ stomach, my stomach)

p/s: This is my grandma’s recipe. So the directions of making them is kinda old-fashioned such as using hand to stir, estimation of batter liquidity and so on. Therefore proceed with your own risk. But don’t worry la. My kuih kapit turned out fine without grandma’s help (although they’re a bit thick). ๐Ÿ™‚ But hey I like ’em thick as oppose to those you buy from outside.

Food

Chinese New Year Cookies: Margarine Cookies Part 2

Let’s talk a little bit more about Margarine cookies ya! I just love ’em. They’re small enough for snacks. Small enough for me to gulp down many in few minutes. Hehe

Margarine Cookies

I made 4 more batches of margarine cookies the other day. Reason because I ate half of them already.

Believe me it was no hassle at all making these. Easy as 1, 2, 3. The only thing to worry about is the amount of liquid (vanilla & margarine) I put in. You know… sometimes plus a bit sometimes minus a bit of this & that … say 1g will totally changed things. If the batter is a little liquidy than normal, then the cookies pattern will turn out blurry.

I decorated these cookies with chocolate chip for the first batch. The rest is decorated with poppy seeds. My mom said ewww what’s that?!? I can only laugh.

These are before bake. I love looking at them. After bake? I love eating them. Hahaha

Margarine Cookies

Btw, how’s your CNY preparation? Big problem for my mom. She still hasn’t bought any new clothes. Actually that’s quite a norm situation.

Food

Chinese New Year Cookies: Margarine Cookies (hehehe)

My second CNY cookie is called Margarine Cookies. Its ‘real name’ is Butter Cookies but because I use margarine instead of butter… so the name like that lo hehehe

For this cookie I followed Elyn’s Butter Cookies recipe. I must say I love her blog.

This is the simplest cookies I’ve ever made (after shortbread). It was so simple that I made 4 batch of it. 1 batch yield about 35 pieces. My mom said 4 batches not enough, so I’ll make more later.

margarine cookies ingredients
Ingredients:
75g margarine
25g icing sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla essence
pinch of salt
70g plain flour
20g corn flour

Btw, my sis made pineapple tarts when I was having food poisoning.

Directions:

Cream butter & sugar until well combined.

Add vanilla essence & pinch of salt. Continue to mix well.

Add flour & corn flour & mix again.

This is how my batter look like after adding all the ingredients.

Margarine Cookies

I use this nozzle. Written in the pack for Kuih Semperit.

Margarine Cookies

The directions ask for the use of piping bag. However I just use my hand & press down the batter (this nozzle is very deep). Easier. But need to try a few times before I get the pattern right.

Before bake. The pattern is pretty yeah? Decorated mine with chocolate chips.

Margarine Cookies

Bake at 160 degree C for 15 minutes until lightly brown.

I like mine in darker golden. The pattern is blurry after baking.

Margarine Cookies

I remember I ate these at my neighbors. They’re softer & smell more aromatic. This is still good. I’ve ‘curi-curi’ eaten a few already. YUMMY! Couldn’t seal the container yet since I’m making more.

You should try this if you’re a beginner.

Food

Chinese New Year Cookies: Oatmeal Crispies

May I present the first CNY cookies that I baked for 2009: Oatmeal Crispies!!!

oatmeal crispies

I get to know this recipe at Pioneer Woman’s blog. And I thought why not make this as CNY cookies. The end results are real good! They’re very crispy and yummy. Mine’s darker in color. Will tell you why later.

oatmeal crispies ingredients
Ingredients:
1 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup finely chopped pecan

Btw, I bought a new gadget. A stainless steel measuring cups set. Wohoo!! My current one is plastic & I dislike them. They’re a pain to wash too when smolder with butter. I thought I wanna get one from ebay not until I saw a very reasonable priced steel cups at Bagus. RM13 nia.

Directions:

Cream shortening with brown sugar & sugar in a food processor until combined.

oatmeal crispies

Beat eggs in a separate bowl. And add vanilla essence. Stir until combine. Add to the shortening+sugar mixture.

oatmeal crispies

Stir until combine.

oatmeal crispies

In another bowl, mix flour, salt & baking soda. Add them to the shortening+sugar+egg mixture & mix until combined.

oatmeal crispies

Add quick oats (I use quaker oats) & mix well. Next add chopped pecans & mix… again.

oatmeal crispies

Divide the dough into two. Then placed them on baking paper. Roll them into cylinder (like a log) & wrap tightly with baking paper. You can then freeze or chill it for later or bake them right away by slicing it first. I know my half is not half at all.

Make a few batch and freeze them for weeks. Bake them during ’emergency’. As in when you’re craving for crispy cookies!

oatmeal crispies

Bake them at 180 degree C for 10 minutes. I baked mine for 15 minutes because when I bake them at 10, the middle part is a bit chewy. I think it’s not done yet. That’s why my cookies color is brown & not golden. Yield 80 ‘precious’ pieces!!!

oatmeal crispies

See? this is the first time I wash my measuring cups after use. Hehehe.

new measuring cups

All in all this recipe is a breeze. You can go to Pioneer Woman’s blog for a better look of the methods. Cheers! Gong Xi! Gong Xi!

Food

Chinese New Year Delight: Ribbon Cookies

Okay! This is the last batch of Chinese New Year cookies that I’ve made.

Another favourite of mine: Ribbon cookies!!! I make these using my grandmaโ€™s recipe. Unfortunately, the end result is not up to our expectation. We should have add a little bit more butter because the texture is quite floury. (ran out of Planta so we used butter).

Ribbon Cookies

Ingredients:
600g of plain flour (sifted)
1 egg
8 tablespoons of sugar
7 tablespoons of Planta

Directions:
To make sugar water:
1. Add 8 tablespoons of sugar in a pan and add 1 cup of water.
2. Heat until sugar is dissolve.
3. Leave aside to cool.

To make dough:
1. Combine flour with Planta and egg.
2. Knead dough and add a little bit of sugar water slowly.

To fold dough into ribbon shape:
1. Take a small amount of dough and roll until about 2~3mm thick.

Ribbon Cookies

2. Cut the rolled dough into strips of about 1cm wide. Overlap 2 strips together and cut sideway to about 2cm long. Slice a tiny hole in the middle of the 2 small strips. The reason we use 2 strips to make a piece of ribbon cookie is because we want the ribbon to bloom when we’re cooking it.

Ribbon Cookies

3. Take one end of the strip and fold it inside the sliced hole.

Ribbon Cookies

4. This is the end result.

Ribbon Cookies

5. A sea of ribbon cookies ready for frying.

Ribbon Cookies

6. Fry ribbon cookies in a wok. Notice there are a lot of bubbles? The cookies is done when you see little bubbles left or when it turns golden brown.

Ribbon Cookies

Additional note:
1. Take a pinch of dough and taste. Add some icing sugar if you think the taste is not up to your par.

I can fill this container full with 1 batch of this recipe. Took nearly 5 hours!!! *sweat*

Ribbon Cookies

Enjoy!