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Fragrant Cashew Sugee Cookies that Melt in the Mouth

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
500g Raw Cashews 100g set aside
300g Semolina Flour aka Rava
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Soda
200g All Purpose Flour
200g Ghee Estimated, add bit by bit till enough.
135g Icing sugar

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Fragrant Cashew Sugee Cookies that Melt in the Mouth

Crumble in the mouth, aromatic cashew sugee cookies that are simply nutty!

  • 1h20m
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Ingredients

Directions

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With Chinese New Year round the corner, I am also itching to try my hands at baking some CNY cookies. I have a few CNY cookies that I love. Pineapple tarts, kueh bangkit and cashew sugee cookies. Sometimes I can eat loads of egg rolls too. Depends.

In the past, I have baked pineapple tarts but the man is not a fan of pineapple tarts and well, it is really too much work to bake something only I will enjoy as I like to make my tarts from scratch including the jam. Furthermore, I am usually given pineapple tarts from Indonesia which tastes great, so no point slogging for it. And it is back breaking.

I have been baking vanilla sugee cookies and lemon curd sugee cookies on normal days but never got round to nut ones despite loving them. So I thought, why not try this CNY? Actually, my original idea was to bake cashew sugee cookies shaped like little chicks for the year of rooster, inspired by the many adorable chick shaped German cookies and pineapple tarts I see online.

Alas, I am a lazy ass. I cannot be bothered to make a trip to Phoon Huat to buy the candy heart shaped flakes needed to form the crown, beak and claws of the chick. I kept thinking I will go. But it never happened. So I had to bake regular looking cashew sugee cookies. But the tastes makes up for the lack of cuteness. LOL…

Initially I followed an established blogger’s recipe. But it was ridiculously sweet! I thought maybe it is just us since we don’t really have a sweet tooth. So I let my mum try a piece and mummy who has a sweeter tooth also said it was way too sweet. So I looked at the 1.5 boxes of cashew sugee cookies and wondered what the hell to do with them. I don’t want to give these to anyone as it will reflect badly on me. But I don’t want to waste the raw materials too! After asking one of the cooking FB groups, I was assured it is ok to mash up the cookies and re-bake. So this is what I did and ended up with just a little over 4 boxes, enough for me to give out to my family.

Being a sugee cookie, this is a crumbly cookie that crumbles moment it is in your mouth. Unlike Kueh Bangkit, this does not melt as semolina flour is more grainy. Plus the blended nuts adds a grainy texture too. I love this cookie for the crumbly texture and fragrant nutty aroma. Cashew nuts are so aromatic when roasted!

The recipe is fairly simple with just cashew nuts, semolina flour, plain flour, baking soda, ghee and icing sugar. I always thought semolina flour is commonly used in making pasta and maybe sugee cookies only. I have no idea that Indians actually use it a lot for not just cookies but also for dosai, ladoo, vadi and rave cakes, etc. I only know because I could not find semolina in my mini mart downstairs but saw many packets of what looks like semolina labelled as Rava and asked a neighbour if those are semolina.

Semolina

Semolina is basically coarsely ground middling of durum wheat (or just wheat). It has higher gluten content (gluten is not necessarily a bad thing) and higher protein content. Since we are on the topic of gluten, I just want to add a note that gluten is not a bad thing, just that some people cannot process it well so they are gluten intolerant. Not too different from those who are allergic to peanuts or sesame seeds. It does not mean that peanuts or sesame seeds or eggs are bad. Yes, gluten intolerance is not the same as allergy, but it is similar in the sense that their bodies are not able to process something well thus leading to side effects. For people who do not have these issues, please enjoy this privilege.

Ghee

Another often misunderstood ingredient in the list is ghee. Ghee is actually clarified butter and there are really a lot of health benefits to ghee. But having said that, all fats consumed in excessive amounts is bad for health. Ghee is known to balance your cholesterol levels and protect your gastrointestinal system as well as preventing inflammation in joints and eliminating some allergic concerns. Fat is an essential part of our diet as it is a solvent for many vitamins and minerals and is basically essential for our entire system to function. When choosing your fats, go natural and do some research on the fats and oils to use and most importantly, moderation is the key.

When adding the ghee, be careful as you may not need to add as much. Add 1/2 the amount first and then another 1/4 after blending. Original recipe calls for an estimation of 400g of ghee. I used only 250g. Actually, for my first batch, I was supposed to use up to 200g. I only had 150g and I thought it was safe to throw it all in. I was soon wrong. The resulting dough was way too wet so I added a lot of flour. Like an extra 200g of flour (when originally, I only had to use 100g.) So… just add prudently yeah? Too much ghee and your dough will basically be too limp and sticky and they will flatten when baked. So just enough ghee to make the dough pliable and come together smoothly.

Sugar

For sugar, I have reduced the sugar in this recipe drastically but you can always taste the batter and decide if you want to add more. Something that I did not do on my first attempt as I trusted the recipe.

Cashews

I used raw cashews and any grade will do. If you want to place cashews on top of the cookie, then get at least mostly wholes. If you don’t intend to, you can get broken ones at a cheaper price. I got mine from Hock Hua. I added half a cashew on top of each cookie to give it an additional cashew crunch and to give it a more obvious identity. I split the cashews with my bare hands and it is really not too difficult. I broke maybe 10 cashews in the process and so long as there is still 3/4 of the crescent left, I used it anyway.

Shaping

Another thing to note also is that the cookie will expand a little. So leave some space between each cookie and shape them a little smaller than your final intended size. I used a round cookie cutter from Daiso and the first time I left the cookies just in the flat round shape which is an option. But I personally preferred to roll them into a ball. I still used the cookie cutter to portion the cookies, but actually you may be better off just rolling the dough into a tube and cutting it to size. To be more precise, you can weigh each dough. But I am not a perfectionist. This is all for own consumption anyway. Furthermore, it gives a more home made feel. =) If you added too much ghee by mistake (despite my many warnings), then add more flour to make it firmer. If the dough is too dry, add more ghee.

If the dough is still too hard to work with thanks to too much ghee, you can try letting it harden more in the fridge for half and hour or so.

Storing

The cookies will be super soft when fresh out of oven. Allow them to cool before touching them, lest you have them crumbling with your touch! My heart nearly popped when I greedily wanted to pop a hot cookie into my mouth and basically crumbled half the cookie even before I could lift it off the mat.

After cooling, store these fragile cashew sugee cookies gently in an air tight container and pack it as tightly as possible to prevent them from moving around and risk crumbling too. I stored them in those plastic take-away bowls with lids that I have collected and this fills 4.5 of those. I did not use the thicker plastic jars with red caps as those will end up in the bins because I will have to buy them and I know my family will not have any use of them when done with the cookies. I did not want to buy glass containers or other reusable food containers as I know my siblings have enough and do not need more. I simply cut some old red packets and pasted on the lid to decorate the containers. We all play our parts in protecting the environment. =)

Recycled food container with a recycled ang pao paper cutting on top.
The cookies are packed in the container. Not very neat due to the curved tops and irregular sizes, but good enough not to crumble.

Have fun and enjoy the fruits of your labour! If you enjoyed this post, please do like our FB page and post plus follow us and feel free to explore our blog for other delicious recipes.

Steps

1
Done

Preheat oven to 150C

Set rack in middle of oven and preheat to 150C.

2
Done
15m

Roast cashews and semolina

Spread 400g of cashews and all the semolina on a large baking tray lined with baking sheet or baking mat and bake till cashews are golden brown. Stir or toss every 5 minutes especially if your oven does not heat evenly.

Set aside and cool.

3
Done

Split cashews

While waiting for the roasted cashews to cool, split about 50-60g of the remaining cashews and leave the rest to split only when you need them. (How many cashews you need depends on your splitting skills and the size of your cookies. More cookies, more cashews.)

4
Done

Blend cashews and sugee

In a blender or food processor, blend the cashews and sugee together till the cashews are as fine as the sugee.

5
Done
5m

Add flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and part of ghee

Add slightly less than half of ghee with flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Blend till well mixed. If necessary, add more ghee bit by bit till firm and smooth dough it formed.

If your blender is too small, you can stir the mixture with a spatula and knead by hand on a lightly floured table top.

6
Done

Roll out dough, portion and shape

There are many ways to do this. Take some dough and flatten it with your palm on the lightly floured table top to about 1cm thick. Using a scraper or cookie cutter, portion out equally to desired size. Then place each portion on your palm and roll into a ball. Place on a lined baking tray in neat rows with about 0.5cm spacing in between. Add half a cashew on top of each cookie, pressing in gently. You may add an egg wash if desired. Simply mix 1 egg yolk with 1 tbsp of milk and brush on cookie. But I did not do this as I don’t think it is necessary.

7
Done

Bake cookies

Bake each batch of cookies at 150C for 15 minutes and up the temperature to 170C for another 3-5 minutes. Please bear in mind that size of oven differs thus, the final roasting time will differ slightly. Do a test batch to ensure this is the desired texture before proceeding with the rest.

8
Done

Cool and store

Cool thoroughly before storing the cookies in air tight containers, taking care that there will be no space for the cookies to bump around and crumble.

BluRain

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