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.

Ingredients:
  • 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
Method:
  •  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.

Notes:
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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