My mum’s melting moments are the best! As a career mum, she cooks and bakes on occasional weekends except for the four weeks coming up to Chinese New Year, the kitchen exists solely for the purpose of intense baking. Our kitchen provided enough cookies, sweets and cakes not only for our household, but at the same time for my grandparents, not to mention her in-laws… some of my mum’s friends and office colleagues… and the neighbours… and just enough for my little school friends and I. Needless to say, I was of course present in the kitchen (not with my notepad but hands on!) as mum always needed some form of help; either sieving the flour, shaping the cookies, cookie-watching (while they happily tan in the oven), and when she was confident enough for me to handle the knives, I was allowed to slice the cherries and also use the pastry cutters. But the most important part of the process is, tasting, which I insisted on, otherwise all of them would be tightly sealed in the jar until Chinese New Year. Of course I could not wait that long.
Therefore, when the Kenwood machine starts mixing, I know it is time to wash my hands and wait for instructions. Times when I was no taller than the preparation table, I had to tip toe and grab the edges of the table to pull myself taller, which gave me a sneak preview of the cookies in the making. Once, I think my height extending action caused so much force on the table that everything slid towards me and the mess cost me a frustrated mum. Thankfully, that did not stop her from sharing this wonderful recipe. Mother’s love…
The cookies are not supposed to be green. I thought I had a spare bottle of vanilla essence whilst in the process of baking different types of cookies at the same time. Thus, I contrived a clever plot by using the pandan essence instead. The colour raised a few doubts but the taste and texture is as good as I can remember. Light, airy but has weight when crumbles in mouth. I did not say melt in your mouth because it does not. It requires the chewing action.
This recipe had been tried and tested umpteen times. She changed the measurements until the texture was the perfect cookie crumble. For twenty years of trusted recipe, here I share with you my mummy’s version of melting moments.
150g castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 large egg
200g AP flour, sifted
dessicated coconut – for coating
1.Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2.Add in vanilla essence, continue beating.
3.Slowly add the beaten egg and beat till well combined.
4.Fold in plain flour.
5.When the mixture is well combined, it should have a soft dough like texture. Use a small teaspoon and spoon mixture (I use half a teaspoon but the size vary with preference to the cookie size) into a plate of dessicated coconut.
6.Place the coated mixture onto greased baking sheet.
7.Bake on 180C for 15 – 20 minutes.
I probably should have waited to do justice to my mum’s cookies until I had vanilla essence. I might even put the Cookie Monster off his cookies! But, childhood memories of my mum and I in the kitchen are my favourites. Baking the cookies brought remembrance. Mum, this post is dedicated to you and your cookies! Perhaps we could share the following Chinese New Year together, baking cookies.
Gong Xi Gong Xi everyone, may you be flourished with happiness, health and wealth!