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Usher in The Year of Tiger!

Seven more sleeps till the Lunar New Year, as you probably would have noticed that there is no slacking off in the ATFT’s kitchen and I’ve been churning up lots of my favourite festive cookies. A fellow Malaysian lady found my pineapple tarts post and she decided to order them from me! I had no intentions of making money by selling them as it is all just for fun and I made them simply  to share with friends. But who am I kidding? Too many hands in a jar means my own supply is almost all gone, and there will be none left by end of the week. So I will be making some more for the Chinese New Year dinner party this weekend, and since I am going to get my hands dirty, I have decided to accept the order and make a whole lot more… 200 pineapple tarts to be exact. (‘What was I thinking?’)

Pineapple tarts and peanut cookies are not the only cookies I’ve prepared for the new year. I almost forgot that I actually brought some traditional Chinese cookie moulds back from Malaysia last year. Hence I decided to use this pretty rosette mould and make one of my favourite Chinese New Year’s cookies, the Kuih Loyang. Funny how this cookie has always been known as the Honeycomb biscuit/cracker since I was little kid because of its shape. Kuih Loyang, is also known as Kuih Rose for the obvious reason, the rosette brass mould is what we used to make the pretty cookie with.

Kuih Loyang is a popular snack in Malaysia and widely available throughout the country, especially during Chinese New Year. The cookie is a lot crunchier than love letter, with a sweet aromatic flavour from the coconut cream used in the recipe. If you have never had kuih loyang before, let just say it is highly addictive and I can easily eat a whole container of it in one seating.

Making kuih loyang is not easy. Unless you have a little helper standing next to you ready to fetch the cookie out of the hot oil, if not then you will need full agility with great multi tasking skills to tackle it. Unfortunate, I am the latter, holding the rosette mould in my right hand, and a skewer stick on my left, slaving over a pot of hot oil, working like a well oiled machine in one single movement repetitively, I churned up about 50 kuih loyang cookies over an hour or so.

The recipe I used is from Lily’s Wai Sek Hong blog. However, I found the amount of plain flour used in the recipe are little too much in comparison to the rice flour. Rice flour is what makes the cookie earth shattering crunchy, where as I found the first batch of kuih loyang I made were a little thick and doughy especially in the center. So I revised the recipe a little by adding more water and rice flour into the mixture which resembling a pancake batter. Instantly the batter is a lot easier to work with and just drop out of the mould with a little jiggle on the mould.

Random fact: Do you know Chinese New Year also falls on the same date as Valentine’s Day this year? Instead of giving roses, why not make this beautiful Kuih Loyang cookies for the special one? If you have the rosette mould, that is.

Kuih Loyang / Kuih Rose / Honeycomb Cookies (yield 40-50pcs)

400 ml coconut milk
200 gram all-purpose flour
200 gram rice flour
2 large eggs
170 gram sugar
200ml water
1/2 tsp salt
Oil for deep frying (I used vegetable oil)

1. Add coconut milk, eggs, sugar, water and salt in a mixing bowl and mix until well combined and all sugar are dissolved.

2. Sift and all all-purpose flour and rice flour into the mixture. Whisk until well combined with no lumps. If is too thick, add one tablespoon of water at a time until the mixture resembling of a pancake batter.

3. Heat up oil in a wok/saucepan on medium heat. Tips: dip a wooden chopstick into the hot oil, if the chopstick is bubbling up, it is ready.

4. Preheat brass moulds in the hot oil, about 2-3 minutes. (The moulds have to be hot enough for batter to cling on them)

5. CAUTIOUS: Dip hot mould into batter for 10 seconds. Make sure batter coats only the bottom and sides of mould, never over the top.

6. Slowly lift it up and dip mould back in hot oil. Shake to release from mould and fry until golden brown on both sides.

7. Take it out from hot oil, and let it cool over paper towel to soak up all the oil.

8. Repeat until all batter is used up. Store in air-tight containers.