Happy New Year! Today is the 7th day of the Lunar New Year, which is known as 人日 symbolising everyone's birthday. Happy birthday to all!
This year, I didn't manage to bake any new year goodies except for these Bak Kwa Cookies. Since dear son's birthday was 1 week before the Lunar New Year, I already had my hands full with his birthday cake and cupcakes for celebration with family and at his childcare centre. Plus, I had an order fulfillment of 3 tubs of salted chocolate chip cookies. So after a week of intense baking and celebrations, I simply couldn't muster the energy to bake more stuff.
Nevertheless, when I came across Jane's recipe on Bak Kwa Cookies, I was completely sold! I mean, it was brilliant, combining the richness and crunchiness of butter cookies with sweet, oily, gooey, chewy, fragrant bak kwa. How would the taste be like? The thought kept lingering in my mind. So the moment I got hold of a packet of bak kwa, I got down to work.
The recipe was actually quite easy and straightforward. Cutting up the bak kwa into mini dices was pretty tedious though, but an essential step to ensure that the bite-size pieces of cookies were not overwhelmed by too much bak kwa.
I made 2 batches of cookies, one batch using Bee Cheng Hiang bak kwa and the other Lim Chee Guan. Also made very minor changes to the recipe, like reducing the amount of icing sugar by 20g and brushing the dough with some egg yolk to give it a glossy finish. For the first batch, I weighed each cookie to be about 8 to 8.5g and yielded 107 cookies. For the second batch, I made half the recipe, and weighed part of the dough to about 7 - 7.5g. I think I managed to get more than 60 cookies.
Taste-wise, the cookie was buttery, almost melt-in-the-mouth, yet with bits of chewy bak kwa. Very unique indeed. I think it's perfect for people who like the best of both worlds, or for those who find eating bak kwa neat too jiat lat (overwhelming). And like what Jane said, it's very addictive! I found myself popping one after another, as it was not oily nor too sweet. Hubby claimed that the ones made using Lim Chee Guan bak kwa tasted better (well he's very biased coz he only likes LCG bak kwa). I think there's just a very subtle difference, the ones made using Bee Cheng Hiang bak kwa were a tad dryer, as in the bak kwa bits inside the cookie were drier. Anyways, both batches were equally nice.
The ones brushed with egg yolk looked more like the typical CNY snacks.
I think from the next CNY onwards, I'm going to make this bak kwa cookie my regular bake! Or after CNY, if you have leftover bak kwa, this is the perfect solution! Tempted yet? Hop over to Jane's blog for the recipe :)
- I found cutting the bak kwa into tiny bits very tedius and time-consuming so I used a handheld blender (Braun Mulitquick) to blend the bak kwa (till the bak kwa is fine but with some coarse bits). The cookies turned out even better, with a stronger bak kwa fragrance.
- 7.5g per cookie dough yields 120 cookies.