Recipe: Pineapple Tarts

January 19, 2012 | Recipe

With Chinese New Year almost upon us, I thought I’d attempt to bake a CNY favourite… Pineapple Tarts! I found the recipe over on The Little Teochew blog, and even though I’ve never made or even eaten one before, I can only guess that they turned our pretty well! I can’t stop eating them if that’s any indication :) I didn’t have the special cutter needed so just used a mini-flower cutter I had at home, which ended up giving a really cute effect I thought!

Recipe (from here, adapted from here):
– 400g plain flour
– 50g corn flour
– 1/4 (heaped) tsp salt
– 280g cold, unsalted butter (do not allow it to soften)
– 3 egg yolks, beaten
– 3 tbsp cold water (or iced water)
– 6 tbsp icing sugar (or 4tsp castor sugar)
– 1/2 tsp cognac or pure vanilla extract
– For glaze, mix 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water
– Pineapple Jam (different kinds of jam might work instead of Pineapple, but will be runnier.. still tasty though!)

Step 1: Sift the flours, icing sugar and salt into a bowl. Mix well to combine.

Step 2: Using the pointed ends of a fork, rub the butter into the flour until it looks like fine bread crumbs. If necessary, use fingertips to continue rubbing lightly the bigger pieces into finer pieces. Basically, just scrape / flake the butter with your forks. You essentially want to coat the butter crumbs in flour. Using forks prevents the cold butter from melting since there is no contact with heat. If you want to rub the butter into the flour using your hands, make sure you use only your fingertips.

Step 3: Beat together egg yolks, cold water and cognac (or vanilla extract). Add it into the butter-flour mixture. Using your finger tips, gently coax all the crumbs into one large dough ball. Do not knead. As long as all the crumbs come together, stop. Chill in the fridge for about 10mins, covered.

Step 4: Roll out to desired thickness (about 8mm thick). Cut out dough using cutter. Arrange neatly onto baking tray. It’s best to roll them out in batches, keeping the rest in the fridge until you need it.

Step 5: Because I didn’t have the right cutter, I used the back of a small spoon to make an indent in each biscuit for the jam to sit in. Glaze them (the entire surface, not just the rims).

Step 6: Place the pre-rolled pineapple jam balls onto the centre of each tart shell (or you could try spooning other jam into the indent – but be careful not to get jam on the edges because it could burn).

Step 7: Bake at 160°C for 20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through baking.

Step 8: Try not to eat them all in one sitting. Because I made mine bite-size, it’s all too easy to eat 10 too many in one go… oops!

Recipe: Spiced Brown Sugar Cookies

December 5, 2011 | Recipe

I got into a bit of a baking mood while I was at home last week, and decided to make the most of my parent’s beautiful big kitchen by making some Spiced Brown Sugar Cookies. The recipe is by Donna Hay and can be found here.. they’re delicious!

You’ll need:

185g butter, chopped
1 cup (175g) brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
2 1/2 cups (375g) plain flour
2 eggs, one separated
1 tablespoon water
raw sugar to coat (I used Demerara sugar)

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the butter, brown sugar, and spices into a food processor.
2. Process until smooth. Add the flour, whole egg, egg yolk, and water and process again to form a smooth dough.
3. Once the dough is formed, take it out and knead lightly.
4. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Roll out the dough between two sheets of non-stick baking paper until it’s 5mm thick. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Place onto trays lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

6. Once cooled, brush the cookies with egg white and press into the Demerara (or brown) sugar. Return them to the baking trays and bake for a further 10 minutes to set the sugar.

7. Wait for them to cool a little, then stuff your face! YUM