350g/13 oz. tapioca flour
5 pieces pandan/screwpine leaves
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. custard powder
2 large egg yolks
140g/5 oz. fine granulated sugar* (see notes)
150 ml thick coconut milk* (see notes)
1 tbsp. butter
Red food coloring
It would make a lot of difference if you can get fresh coconut milk. A medium-sized coconut yields 150 – 200 ml milk. However, coconut milk in cartons is acceptable. Make sure you get "thick" coconut milk.
Fine granulated sugar is called caster sugar in the UK and in some other countries, and is called Baker's sugar or superfine sugar in the United States.
1. Wash the pandan leaves. Wipe them dry and cut into 2-inch pieces.
2. Fry the tapioca flour in a wok together with the pandan leaves till it is very light and fluffy. Make sure the wok is big so that the flour will not splatter out as you fry it. The "lightening" will take around 15 minutes for this amount of flour. Leave to cool.
3. Sift flour gently (it's so light it will fly) together with salt and custard powder.
4. Fill a cloth bag with some tapioca flour. This will be used to dust the moulds. The moulds should be washed in warm soapy water, rinsed and left to dry thoroughly before use. Prepare this a day or two in advance.
5. Whisk egg yolks and sugar till pale and fluffy. Add butter.
6. Alternately add flour mixture and coconut milk. The last addition of flour should be done bit by bit to get a good firm dough. Dough should not be too wet or too dry.
7. Dust moulds well. Pinch a small ball of dough and firmly press into mould. However, do not use too much pressure or the dough will have difficulty coming out. Slice off excess with a knife, and press excess together with the rest of the dough in a bowl covered with a damp cloth. Hold the moulds at 45 degree angle and give a firm knock on the working surface. As soon as the cookie comes out of the mould, pick it up and arrange in a parchment-lined pan. You may place the cookies as close as 1/2 an inch away as there is not much expansion.
8. If the moulds are not dusted evenly, you may get some dough stuck in the crevices. Use a pointed toothpick to gently get the dough out – not too hard or the carvings might get distorted.
9. Fill a small dipping bowl with red food coloring and using a toothpick make a dot on each cookie.
10. Bake in preheated 170 degree C (340 F) oven for 10 to 15 minutes. The cookies should just begin to have some color. However, some people like to have the fragrance of "browner" cookies, in which case, you can leave it in the oven for a few more minutes. Cool.
11. Soak moulds in warm soapy water for 5 minutes and clean with a soft brush. Dry.
Makes approximately 100 cookies.
Photograph taken by Choo Teck Poh ©2005
Source: Mom's tweaked recipe
Submitted By: Choo Teck Poh
Date: February 3, 2005