Friday, 29 July 2011

Happy Birthday, Singapore! - Part I

Today I am very excited to have WaiFong from "Fong's Kitchen Journal" to share with us her National Day Special Cookies as her guest post. I get to know Wai Fong about a year ago through a giveaway event from my blog and since then I always pop-by her blog, drooling over her delicious "Fong's 三菜一汤 - 3-plus-1" that she whipped up for her family. On top of that, she is also one of our regular supporters for the monthly "S$20 Budget Meal" event. So let's put our hands together and welcome WaiFong to share with us her icing cookie recipe as well as thoughts on coming National Day. Enjoy!


Happy Birthday, Singapore!

This is a very special post for me. First, as you can see, I have made some National Day Cookies here as a pre-National Day celebration. Tomorrow, I will be going down to Marina Bay to watch the NDP preview. And I am equally thrilled to be sharing this post with one of my favorite food bloggers, Ellena, at Cuisine Paradise.

With about a week more to our National Day, I decided to make these cookies for my little girl and her pre-school classmates. I zoom in on two colours - red and white, the colours of our National Flag. And, what's better way to pack these cookies than having them in this NDP Fun Box! For those who have attended last year's NDP ("National Day Parade") celebration, you might remember having this Fun Box inside the goodies bag.

I thought this is also a great time for me, as a Singaporean and a young parent, to engage our little ones in some National Education. I design a simple quiz of 20 questions on Singapore, from "what is our National Anthem", " What does the crescent moon on our flag represents" to "Name 5 MRT stations on the East West Line". These questions are printed and glued on small little tags and taped behind each cookie pack. I hope while the children are enjoying the cookies, they will also get to learn something about Singapore.

I used the same cookie recipe as my earlier Valentine's Day cookies. This cookie recipe yields very crispy cookies, but is extremely sticky to work with. If you prefer more manageable cookies, you may want to add a little more flour to it or cut down the butter to 200g.

Ingredients For Cookie dough: (makes about 28 to 30 cookies)
220g butter
100g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla essence
300g plain flour
60g corn flour

Royal icing:
4 tsp meringue powder
4 tbsp water
300g icing sugar
4 tsp lemon juice
Red, black colour gel

Method:
1) Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy (pale white).

2) Add egg yolk and vanilla essence, beat for another minute or two.

3) Sift plain flour and corn flour together. Add into butter mixture and mix well to form a dough

4) Divide dough to 2 portions, cover with clingwrap and rest dough in fridge for an hour.

5) Roll each dough between baking paper and clingwrap to about 2 to 3mm thick.

6) Rest the dough sheet back in fridge for 30 minutes (or 10 minutes in the freezer).

7) Stamp the cookies using cookie cutter and transfer them to a baking tray lined with baking paper.

8) Bake in preheated oven at 175C for 15 to 20 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely on rack before decorating.


Decorating the cookies:

1) Whisk meringue powder and water till foamy.

2) Add icing sugar gradually and continue to whisk till stiff and fluffy.

3) Add lemon juice and whisk for another 2 minutes. Add a little water (1/4 tsp each time) if the icing is too stiff and dry.

4) Divide into portions and mix in desired coloured gel.

5) For each icing colour, save a portion for piping the outlines (i.e. stiff icing); and then add more water (1/4 tsp each time) to get thinner icing consistency for flooding the cookies.




NOTES:


1) Working with red and black colours are the most tricky, as the red and black coloured gels will turn "pink" and "grey" when mixed together with the white icing. You could try preparing the icing a day ahead, as icing color will darken slightly with time (whisk it slightly before using). If you're preparing your icing ahead, do not make it too thin as it tends to be a little diluted the next day. Alternatively, some websites suggested adding a little cocoa powder to darken the shades. I have not tried this method.

2) Transfer the royal icing to piping bag(s) and use immediately. Else, cover the royal icing with cling wrap to prevent it from drying out.

3) I used a piping tip #2 for piping the lines. For flooding, I just cut a small tip off the disposable piping bag.

4) Click here for a detailed explanation on getting the right icing consistency.

5) Let the icing fully set and dry before transferring them to cookie bag. I left them in a air-con room for about 5 hours to set. Some websites recommend leaving them overnight, but I am concern that the cookies might turn soft.


To know more about WaiFong and her blog, you can cross over to this link HERE to find out more about her cooking and baking recipes. Till then have a great weekend and stay tune for PART 2 of our National Day Special post which is done by me.


Happy Birthday, Singapore!

2 comments:

  1. Mochachocolata Rita29/7/11 10:12 am

    wow they are gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dubravkabelogrlic29/7/11 1:29 pm

    Happy birthday Singapore from me too;) I can see how much love you have put in thsoe cookies:)

    ReplyDelete

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