I believed if you have bought something like the picture below from the famous Bengawan Solo in Singapore, you will like this cookie that is sandy and literally melt in the mouth. ..
If you are Sarawakian and you like Sarawak traditional cookie, Kuih momo (Recipe: Kueh Momo or Kueh Makmur or Ghee Cookies), you will also like this cookie that have a strong buttery flavour. In fact, kuih momo and this sugee cookie have almost the same aroma and texture except sugee cookies are more sandy whereas kuih momo is more floury.
Since this is named as sugee cookies, it is made from semolina flour. Sugee aka suji ak sooji means semolina. Any cookie or cake recipe that did not use of semolina shall not be termed as sugee cookies or sugee cake. As per Wikipedia: “ Semolina is the coarse, purified wheat middling of durum wheat used in making pasta, breakfast cereals, puddings, and couscous. The term semolina is also used to designate coarse middlings from other varieties of wheat, and from other grains, such as rice and maize. In Pakistan and India, semolina (called Suji) is used for such sweets as Halwa and Rava Kesari.” (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semolina). It is this coarse grain that provide the addictive sandy sensation when you took a bite.
Ghee is a must for this cookie and it is the ingredient that provide a distinctive aroma. It is different from butter but much more fragrant. As per Wikipedia: “Ghee is a class of clarified butter that originated in ancient India and is commonly used in South Asian, Iranianand Arabic cuisines, traditional medicine, and religious rituals. Ghee is prepared by simmering butter, which is churned from cream, and removing the liquid residue. Spices can be added for flavour. The texture, colour, and taste of ghee depend on the quality of the butter, source of the milk used in the process and the duration of the boiling. Ghee differs slightly in its production. The process of creating traditional clarified butter is complete once the water is evaporated and the fat (clarified butter) is separated from the milk solids. However, the production of ghee includes simmering the butter, which makes it nutty-tasting and aromatic” (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghee)
Do not asked me for substitution for ghee, you can use butter but i can guarantee that it does not taste the same as what is being sold in the market. If you are concerned that ghee are bad for your health, may be you should read this article : Ghee Benefits Better than Butter? – Dr. Axe or just Google “ghee vs. butter” for a thorough understanding. If you still insist that you can only take butter, then I suggest you try this cashew nut cookies instead that uses normal butter : Cashew Nut Cookies (腰豆酥饼）. As for me, if not because of it’s expensive pricing, I will use ghee for all my cakes. My home always have a tin of ghee and i used it for any savoury dishes that called for butter.
Whether or not to use cashew nuts are up to individual. If my memories do not fail me, there are two products in Bengawan solo, one with cashew nuts and one is original. Cashew nuts definitely blend well with ghee and semolina. You can also modify the recipe using other nuts of your choice such as almond.
Note that this cookie is ultra fragile and when you put in the mouth, it will melt in your mouth without much difficult. Due to this characteristic, you have to handle the cookies with extra care and don’t drop the cookies. If you are allergy to nuts, you can substitute the cashew nuts flour with semolina or self raising flour. Other nuts you can consider are almond or macadamia nuts.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: 20-30 cookies depend on size
- 200 grams of cashew nuts
- 150 grams of semolina flour aka sooji or suji flour
- 100 grams of self raising flour
- 200 grams of clarified butter or ghee (Estimation)
- 135 grams of icing sugar
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Pre-heat the oven to 150 degree Celsius.
- In the oven, bake the cashew nuts and semolina flour at 150 degree Celsius for 15-20 minutes until the cashew nuts are aromatic. Give an occasional stir in between the baking.
- When the cashew nuts cooled completely, transfer the cashew nuts to a food processor and blend until as fine as possible.
- Add the flour, semolina flour and icing sugar, blend until well combined.
- Add the ghee GRADUALLY (important) , as long as you can form a pliable dough, it is considered as done. You may or may not need to use all the ghee. Alternatively is transfer out the flour mixture, add ghee and use hand to knead until it forms a dough as seen in the picture. Adding ghee gradually is important because as you blend, cashew nuts can excrete cashew nuts oil and hence you dough may be too wet. (traditional recipe also request one to use judgement in the usage of the ghee)
- If you dough is too soft or watery, you can add in a bit more flour. If it cannot be shape or difficult to shape, put in the chiller until the dough hardens.
- Transfer your dough out to a lightly flour surface and roll until 1.5 cm thick. Use your favourite cutter to cut into your desired shape and bake in the pre-heated oven of 150 degree Celsius for 12-15 minutes. It is always advisable that you test bake few cookies before proceeding to shape and bake the remaining dough. If your cookies deform, your dough are too oily and hence you may need to add more flour to salvage the batch. In addition, every oven is different and you may need to adjust the temperature.
- Once it is out of the oven, let it sit at the baking tray until completely cooled. HANDLE WITH CARE as the cookies are very fragile. Store in an air tight container.
This cookie is extremely fragile and that is the characteristic. If you over baked the cookies, it can turn harder which do not provide you the sandy sensation when you eat the cookies. Therefore, please handle with care after it is out of the oven and you have to take this into consideration when you do your packaging. I am emphasizing this because not many cookies have this type of texture that need extra care in handling.
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