I’m a bit late for new year wishes, but I hope your year has been off to a great start. Also Happy Valentine’s!
We have just celebrated the Lunar New Year earlier this week, and like Christmas, for me it’s always a joy to catch up with family and friends.
It almost feels too short though, this festive period. With the eve of the Lunar New Year on a Sunday, we only had 2 official days of holidays for visiting. Between baking pineapple tarts, hosting and visiting relatives, I felt like I went through a time warp – suddenly it’s all over and I’m back to work even though I’ve taken 4 days of leave prior to the holidays for the festive baking.
I’m proud to say I’ve made about 100 bottles of pineapple tarts this year though! At a few points during this period, my life revolved around butter, egg yolks, dough and pineapple. And a lot rolling. It was tiring, but I’ll probably do it all over again next year. I’m very thankful for the assistance of my helper Paz, and Stephen, with all the weighing and rolling of dough and pineapple paste.
In preparation for the batch baking during the Lunar New Year, I had some warm-up during Christmas last year with these cookies I’ll be sharing with you today. These are recipes I often fall back on as it uses only a few ingredients that I usually have available at home. They also make great base recipes to jazz up with different flavours and ingredients.
If you’re not familiar with piping basic rosettes, don’t worry! This is also a good recipe to practice with – pipe the dough on a baking sheet, if you’re not happy with how it turns out, use a spatula or knife to scrap off the dough to reuse and try again.
Remember to use good butter and cocoa powder for the recipes, or at least choose one with a flavour that you like. With so few ingredients, they become the main stars of these cookies.
Recipe adapted from Pierre Hermes Viennese Chocolate Sables
- 1 cup (240g) butter, softened
- 3/4 cup (90g) icing sugar, sifted
- 1 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (270g) plain flour, sifted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (250g) butter, softened
- 3/4 cup (100g) icing sugar, sifted
- 3 tbsp Egg white
- 1 cup + 1/2 tbsp (260g) plain flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup (30g) cocoa powder, preferably dutch processed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F, and line your baking sheet with baking paper.
2. Place the softened butter in a separate bowl and beat until smooth. Add in powder sugar and vanilla essence, and continue to whisk until creamy and light in colour.
3. Add flour to the butter mixture, and mix until the dough just comes together.
4. Fit a piping bag with a close star piping tip (I used a 2D Wilton tip) and spoon the batter inside. Pipe the rosettes (Hold your piping bag at a 90 degree angle; start piping from the middle and apply consistent pressure as you squeeze the dough in a outward swirl) on your baking sheet, leaving about baking 3/4 inch between each cookie.
5. Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on wire rack.
1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F, and line your baking sheet with baking paper.
2. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder.
3. Place the softened butter in a separate bowl and beat until smooth. Add in powder sugar and vanilla essence, and continue to whisk until creamy and light in colour.
5. Add in the egg whites and continue to beat until it is the eggs are fully incorporated.
6. Add the sifted cocoa flour mixture, and mix until the dough just comes together.
7. Fit a piping bag with a close star piping tip (I used a 2D Wilton tip) and spoon the batter inside. Pipe rosettes on your baking sheet, leaving about baking 3/4 inch between each cookie.
8. Bake cookies for about 10-12 minutes, or until the cookie feels firm to touch. Remove and leave to cool on wire rack.
Note: Chocolate cookies are always a bit tricker to judge when they're done. I tend to err on the side of caution as the burnt taste tend to be more distinct in chocolate cookies (as compared to butter cookies where it gets a nutty flavour when just slightly overbaked, before it goes to tasting burnt). For chocolate cookies, I usually remove them once they're firm around the edges and test them when it's slightly cool. You can always pop them back into the oven at a lower temperature for about 5-10 minutes if you like a crunchier cookie!)