Friday, January 29, 2010

Jade: Bitemycoconut

It is 2 weeks to my favourite holiday of all time..and here I am, far away from fire crackers, noisy reunions and psychedelic layer cakes. I know come new year's day, I will be up at 2 in the morning in my flowery robe, dutifully sitting in front of my laptop, webcam on, waiting for the first gaggle of relatives to arrive and crowd around the home PC. There, I will listen, as cousins regale me with descriptions of food I obviously can't have; watch, as the littler nieces and nephews show off their new clothes; and nod, as uncles tell me to study hard...everyone holding a different cookie or cake in their hand, of course. Call me sensitive, but after 5 years of this, I am convinced it's deliberate.

So I am on a bring a little bit of Chinese New Year cheer to grey, dreary Southampton. Garish red lanterns (that my mum is unfortunately so partial to) and the word 'spring' stuck upside down aside, it's just not 'xin nian' without a dazzling display of cookies and cakes :)

Coconut crisps

100g all purpose flour
100g lightly salted butter
70g castor sugar
50g dessicated coconut
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp pandan paste/ extract
few drops green colouring (optional)
some chopped up red maraschino cherries and extra coconut for decoration

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2. Cream butter and sugar
3. Add egg yolk, salt, colouring and pandan
4. Fold in flour and coconut gently until just combined-- you'll get a very soft dough
5. Pop mixture in the fridge while you wash up. No. 1 chef rule--keep your station clean
6. Take teaspoonfuls of dough, shape into nice little circles, the littler the better: a) because you get more cookies, b) because little cookies are so much cuter
7. Press a cherry bit on top or scatter some coconut over the cookies
8. Bake for 10-12 minutes..keep an eye on them, they do brown quite quickly. I say the minute they start to colour, stick a piece of foil over them and let them finish baking.
9. Now take a cookie..savour the comforting aroma of toasted coconut...and feel the feather-like confection melt on your tongue...Careful is rather difficult to stop at one ;)

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