Its the season of eating again and its right after a festive fattening Christmas! Whilst X'mas was about log cakes, butter cookies, grilled meats and sauces, Chinese New Year is about steamboats, ferrero rochers, bak kwa and baked cookies. Speaking of cookies, there are all sorts of them, with the most popular probably being pineapple tarts. That's an annual event for my family for the last 21 years and counting, baking and bottling hundreds of them for each family member's enjoyment.
This tart baking session is led by my aunt and since we get a good and delicious supply for every CNY, I try to do a couple of other baked goodies. My next personal favourite cookie is green pea cookies, and I've had the best from a chinese pastry shop in Midvalley, KL when I was working there. Back for the last 2 years, I've always been on the search again, for those that melt in your mouth, has a nice crunch from the pea bits and has just the right level of saltiness. So far, it's been elusive. I tried making my own last way but it fell way short of being perfect. It was at best, passable.
So, as 2014 CNY rolls around, I tried again! This time, I used my cornflake cookie base since that has been a hot favourite amongst my bakes and do have a crunchy top with a melt in the mouth cookie base. Instead of rolling the dough balls in cornflakes, I added 140g of crushed pea bits into the mixture and bake the rounds that's pressed down lightly with a fork.
The cookies did turn out with a crunch however, not as melt in the mouth as the usual cornflake cookie. I'm guessing that it's due to the addition of the crushes peas which absorbed some mixture. In my next bake, I would add a little more egg and perhaps a wee bit more butter. I like the speckles of green and the extra hard crunch from the not-so-crushed parts of the green peas. However, the flavour of the green peas did not shine through, it was a rather subdued taste. I'm wondering if its because I should have used green pea powder instead of grinding the coated peas or perhaps its this particular brand of peas that did not taste very strong which is also what I felt when I tried the peas on their own. Overall, it's still a yummy bake, just need a couple more tweaks to enhance the recipe.
Ingredients (Makes around 40 cookies)
113g unsalted butter (softened, remove from fridge and cut into large cubes 20 minutes before using)
80g fine grained sugar
30g egg (around 1/2 a large egg)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
113g self-raising flour
140g green peas, crushed to a mix of fine and coarse bits using the blender or food processor
1. Cream butter and sugar together until light in colour and creamy in texture.
2. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for another minute.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flours together.
4. Add flour and crushed peas to butter-egg mixture and fold in until incorporated. (Do not use mixer to beat it in)
5. Shape into balls and lightly press down with a fork
6. Bake in pre-heated oven 190C (Top-bottom mode) or if baking 2 trays at 1 time, use 170C (Top-Bottom Fan mode), for 14 minutes. Turn the pan around at 7 min (half way mark) to ensure even baking.
7. Remove from oven when top is browned and still slightly soft to the touch. It will become crispy when it cools.