i have always heard of this biscuit but I never try it before I blog this cookies. This Chinese New Year, it seems that it is a common Chinese New Year goodies in Chinese Facebook Groups. I also saw the biscuits being sold in Singapore supermarket . Out of my curiosity, I tried it today. When I took the first bite, I knew I have eaten this biscuit before as it is such a familiar taste but definitely not in this shape or texture.
Well I will not be surprised at all.. Food history are all intertwining. This is a very aromatic biscuit and I think it taste like a Foochow square moon cake biscuits that I liked to eat when young. The shape and texture are totally different but the aroma is the same. The aroma comprises fragrance of garlic, five spice powder and fermented bean curd ..
Apparently, this biscuit is a famous hand gift from the town of Kampar in Perak. The shape is round and very thin as shown in the picture above. However, if you Google Chinese website of chicken biscuits or 鸡仔饼, another different type of biscuits will appear. Most of the ingredients are the same but the China version have added peanuts and also pork belly meat as the fillings. It is thicker and is considered as a type of moon cake. The original shape of the biscuit is in the shape of chicken and hence it was called “chicken biscuit”.
Though the one sold in China and in Malaysia may look different. I honestly believed that are strong linkages between the two biscuits because of the same ingredients. Looking at the ingredients as stated in the Chinese website, the flavour should be very close to the Malaysia version. As to why the shape is totally different, I do not think I am in a capacity to answer this question. Per Baike
广州名饼鸡仔饼，原名“小凤饼”，据说是清咸丰年间广州西关姓伍的富家有一名叫小凤的女工所创制，其成为名饼却在半个世纪之后，广州河南成珠茶楼因中秋月饼滞销，制饼师傅急中生智，把制月饼的原料按小凤饼的方法制作，并大胆地用搓烂的月饼和猪肉、菜心混合为馅料，再调以南乳、蒜茸、胡椒粉、五香粉和盐，制作出甜中带咸、甘香酥脆的新品种“成珠小凤饼”来，因其异味香脆而受到顾客青睐。 小凤饼形状像雏鸡，故又称鸡仔饼。(Source: http://www.baike.com/wiki/%E9%B8%A1%E4%BB%94%E9%A5%BC)
Preparation of this biscuit is not difficult. The only challenges are the assembling of the material, the stickiness of the dough and how to shape the dough in a nice round shape. I will share two methods of shaping the dough, one is to make a ball and press down . The disadvantages is that it is not as thin as the second method. Secondly, the shape can look rather irregular. However, it may look more like what is sold.
The second method is easier and more suitable if you wanted to prepare this biscuit as gift to your loved ones. This involves the rolling into a big flat and thin pieces, baked for a few minutes and use a cutter to cut the biscuit into round shape. Well you may think that there are some wastages. As far as I am concerned, there are no wastages.
All the trimmings will be collected and subsequently eaten by my family members as snacks. The nice beautiful round piece of biscuits will be packed as Chinese New Year gifts. Nobody in the family will object as they can pick the size they like and pop into their mouth . In addition, for Chinese New Year purpose, you can make it into your prefer shape and size using the cutters you have.
Most of the recipe in the net is the same may be with slight alterations. I cannot remember exactly the source of this recipe as I have compiled from many Chinese and English websites. The outcome of this recipe is very satisfactory, it is extremely crispy and aromatic.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: Prepare about 50 pieces of chicken biscuits depend on size
Blending Ingredients (A)
120 grams of castor sugar
120 grams of lard or cooking oil
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
1.5 tablespoons of maltose
2 teaspoons of five spice powder
1 teaspoon of white pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Blending Ingredients (B)
160 grams of candied winter melon
3 – 4 pieces of fermented bean curd
50 grams of minced garlic or garlic
350 grams of plain flour
50 grams of white sesame seeds
50 grams of black sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon of ammonia bicarbonate (optional but substitute with baking soda)
1 teaspoon of baking powder
STEPS OF PREPARATION
Pre-heat the oven to 160 degree Celsius and line the baking tray with GREASEPROOF baking paper.
Put all the blending ingredients (A) and (B) in a blender, blend until as fine as possible. Set aside.
Sift plain flour, baking powder and ammonia bicarbonate in a mixing bowl, add the black and white sesame seeds. Stir until well mixed, make a well in the centre. Add the blended ingredients above gradually. Use a tablespoon to mix until it forms a sticky dough .
Method 1 – take a teaspoon full of dough, shape it round and use a leveller to press it until 1-2 mm thickness. If it is very sticky, you have to grease the leveller with some cooking oil before pressing. If you do not have the leveller, just use your palm to press down. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 160 degree Celsius for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Note that when cooled, the biscuit will harden. If the biscuit cannot be taken up easily from the baking paper, it means that it is still not ready yet. Baked for another 2-3 minutes. Timing is for reference and it will very much depends on individual oven and the thickness of your dough.
Method 2 – Put some dough to the baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Put another piece of greaseproof paper on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to 1-2 mm thickness. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 160 degree for 10 minutes. Take the semi baked dough out, use a cutter to cut into round shape. Send back to the oven again and bake for additional 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Once cooled, use the cutter to cut again the crispy biscuit. Cool completely before storing in an air tight container. Collect all the trimmings if preferred.
i saw this being sold in Sheng Shiong Supermarket, Singapore but I am unsure about the price and taste. Since it was imported into Singapore, I believed this recipe will suit the taste buds of the Singaporean readers. Personally, I like the thin crispy biscuit very much. It is not oily and salty. Lastly, ammonia bicarbonate is a common cooking ingredients in traditional Chinese recipes. I bought a bottle and can use for years. Don’t be frightened by this ingredients, you add very little to get a fantastic result and you may not know that the You Tiao sold now may have this ingredient to help to improve the fluffiness. In addition, Dim Sum restaurant’s smiling Char siu bao also use this ingredient for the smiling effect. Most Chinese walnut cookies have this to make it crispier… and many more.. If you are interested, you should be able to get it easily from bakery shop..
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