Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Strawberry Blossom Cookies

These Strawberry Blossom Cookies remind me a lot of Chinese New Year, although here in Singapore, Pineapple Tarts remain the 'Queen' of CNY must-have snacks.
The reason why I named these cookies as such is because here I used Strawberry Jam. If you are using Raspberry jam, you can call them Raspberry Blossom Cookies.
To make the lovely shape, you do need a cookie press, available from baking specialist supply stores.

If you don’t have a cookie press, here’s what you can do:
  • Wrap the dough tightly in cling wrap or plastic bag to prevent it from drying out.
  • Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  • Roll the dough on your work surface and use a floral cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Use your finger to make an indentation in the cookie and pipe it with jam.

  • 160g unsalted butter, cut into cubes and softened at room temperature
  • 70g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  •  1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 200g cake flour or hong kong flour
  • 60g full cream or skim milk powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Bakeable strawberry jam (available at Phoon Huat stores), scooped into a piping bag
  •  Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer for about half a minute. If a mixer is unavailable, use a wooden spoon and beat the mixture vigorously.
  • Add vanilla essence, orange zest and yolk to the mixture. Mix well.
  • Pour the flour, milk powder and salt into a bowl and mix well.
  • Sift the flour mixture over the butter mixture. Use a spatula to fold and mix. Knead lightly with hands to form a dough. Do not overmix as this may result in a tough tasting cookie. Add a little more flour if the dough is too soft to be stuffed into a cookie press.
  • Preheat the oven for 10 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Fill a cookie press with the dough. Choose a design that has five slits.
  • Press out the cookie dough onto an ungreased baking tray. Pipe jam into the middle.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Bake slightly longer if you prefer a crunchier cookie. Be careful not to burn the cookies. Let the tarts cool for a while on the tray before transferring them to a cooling rack. If you pick them up while hot, they break apart.
  • After the tarts have cooled completely, store in an airtight container and use greaseproof paper to separate the layers of tarts.

The purpose of using cake flour (low gluten flour) or Hong Kong flour is its low gluten property which gives the cookies in this recipe a melt-in-the-mouth sensation.

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