February 5, 2008

Finally...my oven gets some rest

After my massive CNY baking, I finally get to give myself and my oven a break. In terms of variety, I actually didn't get to bake more than last year. New goodies that I tried out this year was cashew nut cookies. Sadly I didnt get to bake others in my list such as kueh bangkit, green pea cookies and cornflake cookies.

Nevertheless I'm happy that this year I did something I'd never thought I would do...Yes, I did a little bit of 'venture'....I sold my bakes! :D

Well...this decision came about when I brought over some cookies during x'mas last year as little gifts for the kids. My aunties suggested that I made some cookies during chinese new year and they would support me. Since there were only five orders that time, I decided to go ahead with it. My intention was not so much of earning extra income, but more of gaining some 'experience'. My buddies knew about it and supported me too! I decided on almond cookies since I had success with it last year. I did a trial batch before the actual baking to calculate the amount of ingredients needed.

Woo..I must say this was indeed an experience for me. Even though the method itself is pretty easy, but having to bake huge batches is not! Imagine mixing 1 kg of flour with the almonds, melted butter and oil at one go is no easy task for me. The mixing bowl was full to the brim and I had to mix for a long time before getting all the ingredients mixed to form a dough; not to mention using the cookie cutter to cut out the shapes one by one. I finished in 2 days, half day each. I was really exhausted after that; my neck was stiff after having to bend my head to mould out each cook with the cookie cutter.

Well...I'm still glad that I had done it cos' all the hard work was worth it. My friends and aunties commented that the cookies were nice! I guess probably it's due to the generous amount of almonds used. :)

I used the recipe from Florence's blog. I followed the exact recipe except that I omitted the almond powder which I guess will impart the almond flavour, which I do not like. I used 2 tbsp of ground almond instead, but not sure whether that would make any difference to the taste and texture, probably more powdery. I also increased the amount of oil. This recipe is very good and I would say it's one of the nicest almond cookies that I've tried. Heehee...Of course I know there are good ones around sold outside, but taste wise, I prefer mine. :)

Do take note you may need to add more oil in order to the dough. For me, I used the same amount of melted butter and 8 tbsp canola oil based on the recipe. You should follow the recipe and then add bit by bit (teaspoonful) until you can get a dough that is not too dry. The dough is rather crumbly so prepare a bit of oil and when dough gets too dry, you may add a little more.

Next in my list are the pineapple tarts. I made two types, the open-tart version and the pillow-style version. For the open tart version, I used the recipe from Aunty Yochana's lattice pineapple tarts. The pastry was soft and buttery and I liked it.

For the pillow-style version, recipe was adapted from here. This yielded a melt-in-your mouth tart that's not too sweet. Overall, I'm pleased with both recipes. I didn't make my own pineapple jam though as I have too little time. Hopefully next time, I would try to make the jam myself.

More new year goodies coming up...;)


belinda said...

Hi! I came across your post in the midst of searching for almond cookie recipes. Your cookies looks spectacular, love the look!

Coincidentally I used Florence's recipe too. I ended up using >8 tbsp of oil (maybe 13-15 tbps!?) as the dough just felt so terribly crumbly.

The cookies spread out drastically in the oven! And turned quite brown >.<

Looking at your photo (dough with flower cutter), I realise your dough looks pretty crumbly too! Is that your experience?

1) Is it okie to roll it out & stamp cut it even with a crumbly dough? Won't the cut dough piece just fall apart?

2) Size of almond nibs - does the size matter? I had thought the dough was crumbly because of the almond nibs. I used the pre-chopped nibs from Phoon Huat. Should I pulse it slightly finer in the food processor?

The distinct texture of the almond nibs was nice though. So if the size of nibs isn't the culprit, I would prefer to keep it unchanged.

3) did my batch spread due to wayyyy too much oil?

4) the brown coloration of my cookies, was it because I overbaked the cookies or was it due to the excess oil?

Please help my almond cookie disaster!!

I would be so really grateful thank you:)

Aimei said...

Hi Belinda

I am sorry that I only reply you now, as I dont update my blog now. Guess it is too late to reply you as CNY is over already. Nevertheless to answer your qn, yes the dough is very crumbly. After cutting out the shape, I have to use my hands to shape it again to make sure it wont fall apart, and carefully transfer to ovwn tray for baking. Once baked, its shape forms nicely and will not fall apart so easily. I think I used more then 8 tbsp oil too. Cant rem how much.

I'm not sure is it the oil or not but following the recip, should not be any problem. I used Phoon Huat;s almond nips too.

Acutlly i realised all these cny cookies are crumbly.. even those from bakeries. So i guess its normal. :)