January 25, 2009

CNY Baking 收工了!

Last Thursday was the day I officially 收工 for all my CNY bakes! I deliberately took half a day off just to finish up the baking, not forgetting some late night bakings. I had to finish it early cos' I'm still not done with my spring cleaning. My desk, pc and personal belongings were all in a mess and I had to do it up by today, i.e. 除夕夜。Thankfully all were done and thus I had a little time to do some blogging now ;)

These are what I've baked this year.

I had been wanting to make my own pineapple jam for years and this year I finally did it. Haha, the Nike Slogan does make sense. Before I call it off due to my constant hesitation, I already asked my dad to help my buy 4 pineapples. So, I just had to do it anyway since I already bought it.

I would say making pineapple jam wasn't that difficult but you got to have the patience to do it. Some people blend the pineapples in a blender but I choose to grate it.

I must feel ashame cos' I can only bake but when it comes to cooking, things were in total flop. :P Firstly, I need my dad to help me core the pineapples. The way he saw me doing it and he just couldn't help but took over the knife and helped me with it. He was saying" by the time I done it, the leftover pineapples would be so small!" haha! Heh know why, cos' my slicing was really bad that I almost chopped off a whole big slice instead of just slicing away the skin and "eye". Then comes the grating of pineapples. My mum also took over and showed me how to grate it when she saw me doing so "inefficiently". I think if she had not shown me, I would not be able to finish cooking my jam by day break (I did it at night). While cooking the jam. I acted with caution by cooking over "low heat". My mum said this wouldn't be done by day break if I continue doing so. So she adjusted the heat for my and kept stirring it. We had to watch over it more closely to prevent it from getting burnt. The crucial part is during the time the jam is semi-dry. You got to add in the sugar and keep stirring.

I took about 2 hours in total to cook the jam. Actually I wasn't sure if it was the right consistency. It was still quite soft the next day during baking but I was worried it would be too dry after chilling overnight. I think next year if I'm gonna make it again, I would cook a little drier before removing from the heat. Also, I felt that the jam was not pureed fine enough and there were still some tiny chunks of pineapple. :P

Anyway, homemade jam is really so much better than store bought. The sweetness is just right and it's definitely not dry and moist. Only thing is you must have the patience to do it. ;) You can refer to Oilin's blog for more detailed steps to make pineapple jam.
This year, I made the wrapped version as well as the open-style version pineapple tarts. For the wrapped version, I used
Mandy's recipe. This yielded a very soft melt-in-your mouth tarts. The soft crust almost burst into powdery form and melt in your mouth the moment you bite into it in your mouth. My dad felt it was too dry But I think it's good in my opinion. There are just too many preferences for pineapple tarts. :) But I think my wrapping skills is still very unprofessional cos despite feeling that I used the minimum amount of dough I can to wrap the jam, the resulting crust was still too rhick. I guess also probably my homemade jam was too soft, Thus I had more diffuculty wrapping up the jam.

For the open-style version, I used Aunty Yochana's recipe again (same as last year). As hers used a whole egg instead of 2 egg yolks, I reckon it would have a little more "structure" which is what I'm looking for in open-style version. Only thing was this year, I ran out of milk powder thus I replaced with corn flour. Both recipes were equally good and definitely a keeper!

Last year, I wanted to make this green pea cookies but I didn't have the time. I bought from Bangawan Solo but I did not like the too soft and melt-in-your mouth texture. I preferred it to be a little crunchy. Aunty Yochana' had two recipes of this green pea cookies (this and this). I used the first one, and brushed with egg wash (not stated in the recipe) but mine turned out a little hard. Maybe I should add more oil or I might try the other recipe if I'm going to make again.

This year, I also baked a batch of cornflake cookies. I love the crunch of these cornflake cookies. But for the first batch (the above photo), I overbaked a little. The second batch was fine. :) But in future, I would drop smaller teaspoons as I prefer the pop-in-your mouth crunch instead of this bigger cookie. My dd recently bought for me the 孟老师的道手功饼干 . This recipe was modified from the book and Amanda' cornflake cookie recipe.
Ok I got to rush to prepare for tonight's 团元饭 reunion dinner! Also wanna DIY manicure and pedicure. ;) Please drop me a comment if you want this cornflake cookie recipe ;)
Oh just to also make a note that I failed for my second batch of Kueh Bangkit :( I MUST remember not to add too much coconut milk and I used 2 egg yolks when I should have used only 1.5. cos' I x1.5 times the recipe. So my kueh bangkit turned out crispy on some parts instead of melt-in-your mouth. :( A kueh bangkit dough must never be too perfect. It must be a little dry. Heh I must remember this so I won't repeat the same mistake again.
I forgot to take pictures of the almond cookies that I'd also made. It's the same recipe as previous year and I'm not gonna switch to other almond cookie recipe again cos' this is really good! (Florence's blog). Do remember to toast the almond nibs. The first tub I did, I forgotten about it and it does make a whole lot of difference to the taste!

Here's wishing everyone a really good year in the Ox Year! Happy Lunar New Year and hope evryone enjoy your CNY break! I'd be going to Malacca/Genting with my family for a short trip on 大年初三. It's been ages we went for a holiday together。:D


cinnamon said...

Oh, this green pea cookies has to be delicious, should give them a try! Thanks for sharing!

MH said...

Hi Aimei,
Wishing you a Happy & Prosperous Lunar New Year! Enjoy your Malacca/Genting trip! :)

Small Small Baker said...

Hi Aimei, wow... you've baked so much cookies. I didn't make the pineapple jam cos I don't think I'm able to grate and cook the pinepples myself. My mum won't help me one lah. Haha!

Hope you have a nice trip to Malaysia. Gong Xi Fa Cai! :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Aimei, my kueh bangkit was a flop, I must have added too much coconut milk ;p Here's wishing you a Happy & Prosperous New Year!

Missy said...

Happy Niu Yr!!

youfei said...

Hi Aimei,

hope you had a good trip to m'sia!

Happy Niu year!


Aimei said...

Dear all

Thanks for your well wishes! I'm back! :D

Happy Mrs Kwok said...

Hello Aimei,

Happy New Year! I know this came late but forgive me alright? Was busy with work and went to Taipei for CNY and was exhausted :(

You are really hardworking to make so many CNY goodies! I am so plain lazy that only pineapple tarts is on my menu :P

I want to try making the Rainbow kueh! Have you done them before?

Aimei said...

Hi Mrs Kwok!

Haha yeah still CNY so not too late to wish me... ;)

You mean Keuh Lapis? I tried once before but I didn't follow the recipe exactly so a bit hard. You can try BakingMum's recipe which I bookmarked a long time but never make. http://bakingmum.blogspot.com/2006/07/steamed-nine-layers-kueh.html

Hey I finally joined facebook liao, haa and saw you. After so long, I finally join and put a face there cos for so long, I just don't bother about it until my friend want me to go join so she can have more friends for her pet or something. LOL...

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hv ur modified version of cornflakes cookies, Cld u share with me pls? thks =)


thks a million

Cookies and cakes said...

The cornflake cookies look so good!
Thank you for sharing!

splurgelicious said...

I'd like to hv ur modified version of cornflakes cookies, Could you share with me please? Thanks!