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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pineapple Tarts, Love Letters and Kuih Bangkit

It's still Chinese New Year until the 15th of the Chinese Lunar calendar which falls on February 6th. Until then, celebration goes on with lot of eating and visiting to do.  Every house you visit will have all types of traditional and modern cookies.

I've promised my blogger friend, Veronica from Veronica's Kitchen, to post some Chinese New Year cookies either homemade or bought.  Do visit her blog as she has very fine collection of recipes and goodies.

So, here are 3 types of a typical Peranakan traditional cookies which I bought.  These are Pineapple Tarts, Kuih Bangkit and Love Letters.


There are many versions to the making of the Pineapple Tarts.  This particular version is the Peranakan version and I love the texture of the pastry which is similar but not quite like the 'short crust' pastry.  It's not too soft that it can break easily but soft enough to just crumble in the mouth.  With a generous filling of the pineapple jam, this is absolutely, I tell you, just absolutely delicious.  This is one of my favorite cookie/tart.  It just feels less Chinese New Year-like if you don't have this to serve during this auspicious celebration.  Well, at least, it's a 'must-have' for me.  However, the work involve in making this tart is really time consuming.  You will need to prepare the pineapple jam by blending the pineapple and cook it with sugar for hours until it becomes thick and jam-like.  The pastry is made by kneading flour, eggs, warm salted water and margarine (not butter.  Only use butter for pineapple rolls) and use the pineapple tart mould to get the 'plate' or in Peranakan, we call it 'piring' and then fill them up with the pineapple jam.  Then glaze with egg wash on the pastry, and bake.  The aroma while baking is just fantastic and brings in the festive mood!

Okay, next is the Kuih Bangkit.  It's kind of like the local version from the western cookie Melting Moments  in terms of the texture whereby it literally melts in the mouth.  When you eat this, don't attempt to open your mouth to speak as it will fill your mouth with this wonderful soft smooth texture melting when in contact with your saliva.  In Peranakan homes, this cookie will be decorated with a tiny red dot in the center.  However, not many can bake this cookie to perfection. If you have the measurement and method wrong, then it will turn out as hard as a rock.  I tried making this some years ago but it didn't turn out the way I want it although they were not hard.  I just didn't get the 'melt-in-the-mouth' effect that it supposed to have.  I shall try doing this again..soon..hopefully!  Basically, this is made by frying the tapioca flour without oil until it starts to have the 'crunchy' texture when you stir. Then mix in with coconut milk and sugar.  Use  the Kuih Bangkit mould to shape the cookie and knock it out from the mould and leave the cookie to dry before baking as the dough will be slightly moist.  Wooden mould is a better option than the plastic ones.


 Last but definitely not least from the long list of Peranakan delicacies, this the Love Letters.  It's so light and crispy that one would keep on eating and eating and not realize how much one has consumed especially when you are engrossed watching TV and you just keep on going and going just like popcorn.  the batter is runny and uses special kind of rounded metal mould with long handles and placed on a wire rack over hot coals to 'bake' this.  Care should be given with the coals.  If fire is too strong, it will burn.  That's the traditional way of making this but now there's electric mould which looks like waffle maker and is easier to use.

My sisters and I used to help my mom when we were little in making all these 3 types of cookies and many more.  I love making them and the time spent with my mom.  It was so much fun and I'm glad my mom thought us how cos at least, when I speak about these cookies, I know what I'm talking about..lol.  Those memories of her I shall forever treasure till the end of my days.

Hope you enjoyed my ramblings on these delicacies...these really are simply wonderful little treats!

23 comments:

  1. Dear Jen, I am so excited to have come across your site! These cookies sound wonderful, and make beautiful and festive treats. Happy New Year! Thank you for sharing! Blessings, your friend, Catherine xo

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  2. dear Jen. I absolutely must traslate this recipe. Please put a translator for me!!!!
    Good evening. elly

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  3. The cookies sound delicious. I wouldn't have known about them save for your post. Now I'll have to see if our local Asian market carries them for the holiday. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  4. Thank you for your visite on my blog! Pasta with cheese is really delicious! This cookies looks amazing!

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  5. These are my childhood fav too! I used to make all these with my grandma and I missed eating all of them.

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  6. wow ...these tarts look just fabulous !

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  7. wspaniałe i ciekawie wyglądają. Pozdrawiam serdecznie

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  8. These pineapple tarts are made to perfection. They look like art. Blessings, Ctherine xo

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  9. Those tarts looks lovely! Would love to have some.

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  10. All these are right up my alley! The picture is making me drool... Have a great weekend...
    http://cosmopolitancurrymania.blogspot.com

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  11. awesome..and tempting recipe..i love ur clicks

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  12. These looks so beautiful! I just found your blog and I loved it! Am a happy follower now! Visit me at:
    my-greek-cooking.blogspot.com
    Hope to c u around!

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  13. Hi, thanks for following me. I am following you as well! Lovely blog!!
    http://cosmopolitancurrymania.blogspot.com

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  14. VERY VERY NICE!!!!
    http://nostimessyntagesthsgwgws.blogspot.com/

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  15. Thank you for dropping by, my friends! It's so good to receive such encouraging and wonderful comments from you guys! A great day to all.

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  16. All these look fabulous, really irresistible.

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