As a follow up to the Pineapple Tarts recipe, another Chinese New Year favourite is the Kueh Bangkit or also known by some as the Tapioca Flour or Coconut cookie. This little crunchy melt-in-the-mouth morsel can be quite challenging as it is as temperamental as Melbourne’s weather. I’ve tried to make it a couple of times and have probably succeeded in making a batch or two that was edible.
The main ingredients are tapioca flour/starch and thick coconut milk. The method to this madness of producing the best cookie lies in the ability to stop the dough from drying out whilst moulding and at the same time ensuring that it isn’t so moist that you are unable to unmould it.
When I was searching online for better recipes or methods, I couldn’t believe the amount of hardship this little white cookie has caused so many people. Most recipes tell you to put aside an amount of flour for later or to use thick coconut milk, but they don’t explain how much flour or how thick is thick?? Some also tell you to add corn flour or pandan leaves and to whisk up the eggs first so that it is frothy. Whatever the case, here’s my version of this “dreaded” recipe and should you attempt it, I hope it causes you less grief.
Recipe (Kueh Bangkit) Makes roughly 80 bite sized cookies
- 500g Tapioca flour
- 200g Coconut cream (not coconut milk, it needs to be thick)
- 150g Icing sugar (works better than caster sugar)
- 1 egg yolk
- Measure out tapioca flour. Gently fry tapioca flour over low heat to remove all moisture and till it becomes fragrant. Leave to cool, preferably overnight. Note: Some people microwave their flour to remove moisture, this can be done, but in small batches to ensure it doesn’t burn.
- Preheat oven to 150°C.
- Heat the coconut cream in a pot over low heat for about 5 minutes. Stir and allow it to cool.
- Sift icing sugar to aerate and it also ensures no lumps. Measure out 120ml of cooled coconut cream, add icing sugar, followed by egg yolk. Mix to combine and ensure it is smooth.
- Sift the cooled tapioca flour and add about 350g to the coconut mixture and knead to form a soft and pliable dough. Note: Do not add all the tapioca flour all at once.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper. Sprinkle some tapioca flour on a clean surface as well as your rolling pin. The dough should be soft and pliable and should not look “shiny” or “wet”. Should it feel wet, add more tapioca flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it feels dry enough.
- Roll the dough to a thickness of 0.3cm, dust the cookie cutter with tapioca flour before cutting into shapes. You can also use a kueh bangkit mould, ensure that you also dust with flour before pressing the dough into it. If using the mould, slightly tap on the bench to unmould.
- Use a scraper to help transfer the cut out dough onto the baking tray. Use a crimper to make patterns on the cut out dough. You can also leave it plain.
- Bake for about 15 mins (depending on the thickness of your cookie). A thicker cookie would require a longer time to bake and vice versa.
- As the remaining dough may turn hard, add 1 tablespoon of coconut cream at a time, until it feels soft and pliable again. Ensure that you always cover your dough with a damp tea towel if you are not using it, as it will dry out very quickly.
- The top of the cookies should not brown, just a slight colour on the underside.
Remember to cool cookies thoroughly before storing to ensure longer shelf life. Storage same as the pineapple tarts, in airtight containers to maintain crispness. The cookies should last for a couple of months as it doesn’t contain perishable items such as the jam.
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