According to the chinese lunar calendar, this is the year of the dragon. The dragon is the only legendary animal represented in the chinese zodiac. I was born in the year of the tiger. Actually, because I was born between the cow and tiger years, my chinese zodiac is really a mutant – head of the tiger and butt of the cow. Don’t ask. I do not know what it all means and what significance there is with regards to the chinese zodiac. All I ever knew as a kid, was that chinese new year is a time for visiting relatives, eating non-stop and red packets (little red envelopes filled with cash bestowed on the kids as a blessing of prosperity from our elders). Now that I am a married adult living far away from Singapore, none of these festivities mean much anymore.
I do however miss the wonderful array of chinese new year goodies – pineapple tarts, kueh bangkit, love letters, kueh lapis, mini spicy spring rolls, bbq pork jerky (bak kua) and more. So much more! On a few occasions when major cravings kick in, I attempted to make some of these snacks at home, some with great success, some were a little ‘meh’.
My kueh bangkit attempt was one of the ‘meh’ ones. Kueh Bangkit is a traditional tapioca and coconut cookie. It’s actually a rather strange cookie because when you first pop it in your mouth, it starts off being dry and chalky but soon enough it will melt in the mouth and it becomes fragrant, sweet and delicious. The making process seems simple enough but there’s a certain trick to the kneading of the dough that determines the melting quality of the cookie. I haven’t quite got that. My cookie’s chalky to melty time took too long for my liking. Will I attempt it again? Maybe. For now, I think I’ll just stick to making the hubby’s favourite pineapple tarts.
If any of you are game to give it a go, there are many youtube videos out there showing the kueh bangkit making technique. Good luck!!
Recipe from Lily Wai Sek Hong
225g tapioca flour
3 pandan leaves cut into small pieces
65g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
75ml – 90ml coconut milk
a pinch of salt
1. Line a large microwave safe bowl with greaseproof paper, microwave the flour and pandan leaves on high 1 min at a time for 5 times, stirring every minute.
2. Set aside, cool completely before using.
3. Cream margarine with sugar and yolk till sugar dissolves.
4. Add in 75ml coconut milk and mix well.
5. Add flour to mix till a non-sticky dough is formed. If dough is too dry, add more coconut milk but add 1 tsp at a time, otherwise, dough may be too sticky. Leave dough to rest covered with a damp cloth.
6. Take a quarter of the dough and roll on a floured table (about 2cm thick) use cookie cutters to cut into shapes.
7. Line baking tray with greaseproof paper. Spread cookies on an even layer. Bake in preheated oven at 160C for 15 mins. Cookies should not brown.