Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, is around the corner! I try to bake some homemade new year goodies every year, but haven't managed to do so for the past few years. Last year, I actually bought the ingredients, but never got around to actually baking anything. This year, I was determined to bake *something*! Although I had initially planned to do two types of cookies, I eventually only managed one - Nestum Biscuits.
Nestum All Family Cereal (not the baby cereal), which interestingly seems to be only available in Singapore and Malaysia, is a hot cereal made from wheat, rice and corn (with sugar mixed in). It is super yummy when mixed with Milo. And of course, when made into Nestum Biscuits.
I got this recipe from my Mum (thanks, Mum!) who used to bake this when I was younger. It is a simple recipe, but has huge quantities. I was contemplating halving, or even thirding (yes, I am aware that is not actually a word) it, but in the end, I used it as is. I did not even convert the measurements from thr English to metric because my weighing scale happened to have English measurements on it as well. However, for the benefit of my readers, I'll include the approximate metric measurements as well.
I made these cookies in the middle of the night when the Little Ones were sleeping. Because I was hurrying to finish before they woke to look for me, by the time I remembered to take pictures, I only managed to take one.
1 lb (450 g) butter, softened
1 lb (450 g) fine or caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 lb (900 g) flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz (225 g) Nestum
Glaced cherries, cut into small pieces. (I cut each cherry into 8 pieces)
A little more Nestum for coating. (I did not measure, but it was 25 to 30 g more. You could put it in a shallow plate, but I put mine in a ziploc bag for less mess.)
1) Preheat oven to 180C.
2) Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
3) Meanwhile, sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
4) Add Nestum to the flour and mix well.
5) Add eggs and vanilla extract into butter mixture and beat some more.
6) Add the flour-Nestum mixture into the butter-egg mixture and mix well. I suggest adding the flour-Nestum mixture a little at a time, rather than all at one shot, to prevent flour all over the counter.
7) Roll the mixture into small balls.
8) Put the rolled balls (some at a time, obviously) into the bag of Nestum and shake them around to coat them.
9) Arrange balls onto lined baking sheet.
10) Flatten each ball slightly and place a piece of cut cherry in the middle.
11) Bake till golden brown. Mine took about 20 mins.
This made 168 cookies. Since we really should not be eating all that by ourselves, we'll give some to our parents.
Did you make anything for the upcoming Lunar New Year?
What are some traditional festive baked goods you enjoy?!