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Friday, January 28, 2011

Baking Frenzy

This CNY, I baked the usual, choc chop walnut, peanut cookie and pineapple tarts. I wanted to do sugar cookies, big plans.. but preparing for the cookies below was so tiring and time consuming, I abandoned the idea. I still have 2 more days if I want to but nah.. the kitchen's closed and oven's sealed.

This is the easiest cookie to bake - choc chip walnut. On a good day and with proper planning, I can churn at least 2 dozen jars but since I'm not taking any orders except from a regular friend or two, I fulfilled the orders and with just 4 jars extra for family

Peanut cookie is by far, the worst cookie to make. No fun at all from roasting or frying to removing the skins and moudling the globs one by one. If you think you're done.. there's the packing. Oh the packing !! Slow and steady hands or else, the globs crumble. Very sensitive to touch, this cookie. I don't know what got over me as I bought 5kg of groundnuts from the market lady. She said the peanuts were limited and high quality, I was sold.. ... stupidly of course.. and ended up with whatever she has on the shelf. Took me one night to roast the nuts the another full day to remove the skin, grind and start baking. I was seeing balls by end of day, knackered, tired and grouchy BUT.... I had plenty for family, the in laws and friends:D

It always happens with peanut cookies, whenever I bake, I'll start off with full enthusiasm when frying the nuts, wafting peanut aroma in my kitchen. Lovely. The enthusiasm wanes off when I start de-skinning the nuts and have to pick them one by one. I get so frustrated and tired out (especially without a maid) and swear never to bake again the following year.. but I always will. :D  Can't help it coz peanut cookies are my family's favourites, the hub's and Amber's too ! She can't take the peanut cookies as she's allergic to the cooking oil but I've made another batch for her.

Pineapple tarts. What's CNY without tarts. The family loves tarts, including the in laws. Without fail, we'll be testing tarts from different bakers a day or 2 before CNY. We like rolled tarts best ! I enjoy baking tarts very much as the rolled up pastries are very pretty and I have to be careful not to flatten the imprints when slathering the egg wash.
The most daunting part of pineapple tarts is the paste. I truly dislike the either chewy or mushy store bought paste.Sweet and nothing else.  I only choose Josapines for it's aroma and texture and I hand grated the pineapples. I like mine a bit sourish and heavy with aroma of cloves and slight hint of cinnamon.
My tarts are limited this year as I accidentally grated my right thumb and I had it bandaged for 2 weeks !

Next year, I'll try some open face tarts or the pineapple shaped ones.

I did bake some almond crisps with flaked almond and bienetta flour. This is an easy one with almond flakes and bienetta flour. Quick, easy and always a favourite.