AT the end of the Ramadan season, family and friends will often gather at Raya open houses to celebrate. One of the highlights of these Raya open houses, other than catching up with friends and family, is the array of Raya cookies offered.
Rather than settling on store-bought Raya cookies, try baking them yourself – don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as you think it is.
Chef Debbie Teoh shares 8 Raya cookies recipes that you can serve to your guests, give them as gifts to your neighbours or savour them with your family members.
1. Kuih Ros.
Made with a rosette brass mould, this sweet, rice flour-based biscuit is deep fried rather than baked. Variations are made by adding sesame seeds to the batter or flavouring it with rose or vanilla essence. Savoury and spiced versions are also possible. Kuih ros is also made to celebrate Chinese New Year and Dwivali. This recipe is a variation with rose essence and pink colouring. Other names for this biscuit: Kuih Loyang, Kueh Lobang, Honeycomb Biscuit, Beehive Cookie, a possible variation of Kerala’s Achappam (Indian).
2. Almond London.
Also made during the Chinese New Year period, this seems to be a relatively new addition to the Raya baked spread with the quirky name still a mystery but the general consensus is that it is not from London since its popularity seem to remain grounded in Malaysia.
3. Kuih Koyah.
A traditional and earthy biscuit made from compacted mung bean flour (used to be made by grinding cleaned and dried mung bean using a foot-operated pestle) and sugar mixture. They are shaped by wooden moulds and sun dried or baked at low temperatures. Also known as: Kuih Koya, Green Bean Cookie, Mung Bean Biscuit, Luk Tau Paeng (Cantonese), Kue Satru Kacang Hijau (Indonesian).
4. Biskut Dam.
Also a popular Czech cookies (sachovnice) for Christmas. Other name: Checkerboard Cookie.
5. Biskut Makmur.
Filled with dates or peanut, this crumbly and oval-shaped biscuit has a Middle Eastern origin. A variation without the filling is biskut arab, sometimes also called biskut suji. Other name: Ma’amoul Cookies (Arabic).
6. Tart Nenas.
This hugely popular festive cookie is believed to have originated from the Nonya community, but is made for all festivals. There are several variants of the cookie made in different shapes and can be open-faced or covered. Different moulds are also available but the traditional way is to pinch the edges with a jabit. Also known as Kue Nastar (Indonesian), Pineapple Tarts, Pineapple Pastry, Pineapple Cakes.
7. Biskut Lidah Kucing.
It is named so because it resembled a cat’s tongue (or a flat version of lady finder spong) and is an international favourite with variations from France to Spain with one thing in common – it is crispy and long-ish. Can be eaten on its own or served with any hot beverage, fruit compote or ice cream. This is a variation with cheese. Other names: Cat’s Tongue Cookie, Langues de Chat (French), Lingue di Gatto (Italian).
8. Kuih Bahulu.
Three versions of these sponge cakes available – the most commong being bahulu cermai (star-shaped) and the more elusive bahulu gulung (shaped like rolls) and bahulu lapis (layered). Bahulu may also be the corruption of the Kristang (Portugese-Eurasian people) word, bolu which means cake. Traditionally baked using brass moulds placed on hot sand, when it becomes a bit dry, it is delicious dunked in hot coffee. The little cakes are also favoured by the Chinese to celebrate the Lunar New Year. This recipe makes a version favoured by the Malays. Also known as Kuih Baulu, Kuih Bolu.
These recipes were first published in Flavours magazine.
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