Happy Monday everyone! Pardon the long silence, there were just too many things going on at the Skewer House. In fact, I was almost going to write off today’s Malaysian Monday post until inspiration struck.
To be honest, I struggle a bit to come up with food to feed these posts because many Malaysian dishes either take a long time to prepare or won’t be eaten by the rest of the family. Often, only MC Senior will be game enough to taste the meals, and most times, I end up being the person who has to eat it all. Great for the taste buds, not so great for the health and waistline!
Luckily, today’s treat was very well received and I won’t be bearing the brunt of all the rich ghee (clarified butter) myself :)
I’m not entirely sure whether these biscuits actually originated in Malaysia but since Mum made these almost every year during the Christmas festivities, I’m claiming them as part of the Malaysian Monday repertoire.
The handwritten recipe gave rather alarming quantities of ghee, sugar and flour (2 pounds each of the ghee and sugar, and 11 ‘tins’ of wheat flour), so I had to recalculate to make a more acceptable quantity. Also, I worked on the assumption that a tin had roughly 330ml volume,based on a condensed milk tin which was often used to measure dry ingredients. Using a conversion website, I roughly worked out that the ratios of ghee/sugar to flour was about 1 to 2. After baking, I think I could have reduced the flour a tiny bit, but overall, the taste and texture reminded me of the ghee biscuits of yore.
My mum would sometime decorate these with glace cherries or raisins, or tuck a whole almond in the middle. I kept things simple and just made balls, but added a few cloves for decoration.
The biscuits are actually incredibly simple to throw together and require no special tools, just a bowl and a spoon (or a rubber spatula if preferred). Oh, and a set of scales of course, unless you prefer to use the empty tin method ;).
Thanks for joining me today, may your week be smooth sailing and don’t forget to send any Muhibbah Malaysian Monday entries to sureshchong(at)yahoo(dot)com. Suresh, from 3 Hungry Tummies, will be hosting the next round-up.
(these are rough measurements, you may need to tweak a little to obtain the correct texture).
100g caster sugar
pinch of salt
about 200g plain flour
Preheat the oven to about 180˚C. No temperatures were given in the original recipe but I opt for 180 whenever I’m in doubt. Seems to have worked so far.
Line a baking tray/ cookie sheet with baking paper.
Mix the ghee and sugar together until smooth, I just used a metal spoon for this.
Add half the flour and stir well to incorporate, then add the rest in a few batches until you get a sandy sort of dough. May not need to use all the flour. Try not the work the dough too much, I found it handy to use a rubber spatula at this point.
Pinch off bits of dough and roll into balls. Arrange on the tray, spacing the balls evenly. Decorate with glace cherries, raisins or cloves if desired. Bake for about 10 minutes or so until lightly golden.
Cool on the tray then gently remove and store in an airtight container. The texture of the biscuit will be quite fragile, which is part of its charm.