There’s no better time than Raya to bake some signature festive cookies that make sweet and sincere festive gifts
When one thinks of the Raya season, it can only be summed up in three words: family, festivities and feasting. Malaysians are one lot who eat to live, celebrating special occasions with an abundance of food and fellowship. During Raya, Muslims host open house parties serving a lavish spread of Malay delicacies can be enjoyed throughout the day. One key highlight of these delicacies would undoubtedly be the baked Raya goodies; cookies and sweets that make an appearance once a year. Regardless of race, every Malaysian has their favourite cookie and make it a point to hunt for the best version whether by word of mouth or through constant sampling.
Like every festivity, sweet treats are served to symbolise and heighten the sweetness of celebration. As a multicultural society, Raya cookies feature a touch of influence from different cultures. The best loved Raya cookies would be pineapple tarts, cornflake cookies, butter, chocolate chip cookies, custard cookies, kuih bahalu and peanut cookies.
One thing you can’t deny though would be that the best Raya cookies are often the ones made with love, or made at home. For this reason, many Muslim families go on a baking spree, baking Raya cookies as gifts or or to stock up as open house nibbles. Some families even have heirloom recipes passed down in the family, and chances are that these recipes are the best ever tasted!
Regardless of whether you’re a baker or a newbie, baking is part and parcel of celebrating the Raya season highly recommended to try at least once. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy and enjoyable it is to bake drool-worthy creations, that will no doubt impress your loved ones when you give them out as “buah tangan”. Here are two simple recipes of ‘droolicious’ Raya cookies to try your hand on!
Bake To Health
Cookies, cakes and sweet treats don’t always have to be filled with sugar, white flour and lots of fat. Keep the waistline in check with these healthy recipe blogs written by Malaysian bloggers who inspire with their kitchen adventures and mouthwatering recipes familiar to local tastebuds!
Bee Healthy by Bee Osman
Bee started her blog to document her lifestyle changes to cure a rare chronic illness called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, made through wholesome and healthy eating habits and recipes. Bee proves that healthy doesn’t mean bland and boring food, as shown through her Raya Cookies Series recipes of cornflake cookies and gluten free sun-choco oat cookies.
Writes at beehealthyblog.com
Just As Delish by Shannon Lim-De Rooy
As a Penangite, the love for food is strong in the blood of Shannon Lim and being on a quest for a healthier lifestyle doesn’t stop her from healthifying some signature Malaysian dishes using local ingredients. With her philosophy for wholesome ‘real food’, Shannon creates delicious festive recipes like flourless peanut butter cookies and sweet potato onde-onde.
Writes at justasdelish.com
Homemade Cornflake Cookies By Christine Leong
A writer by profession and a food enthusiast by passion. Based in the San
Francisco Bay Area, Christine loves making Malaysian recipes using local, seasonal ingredients. She calls kuih bangkit her favourite festive cookie of all time, and her pantry staples include Malaysian ingredients like soy sauce, palm sugar and five-spice powder. She writes about her food adventures on VermilionRoots.com.
“I love how easy and quick it is to make cornflake cookies. I’m a fan of breakfast and always stock up on cereals, which means I can make this anytime. Even for breakfast! The great thing about this recipe is you can use your favourite cereal flakes, nuts and dried fruit. Just make sure they are not too chunky so all the ingredients stay together in a cluster.”
A twist on the popular festive cookie, this recipe includes almond flakes and raisins, and uses coconut oil and maple syrup instead of butter and honey to make them vegan. Yields about 2 dozen mini cups.
2 heaping cups cornflakes
1/2 cup almond flakes
1/4 cup small raisins
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 150° C.
- In a large bowl, mix cornflakes, almond flakes and dried raisins.
- In a small bowl, stir melted coconut oil and maple syrup together until combined. You may heat it up slightly in the microwave to help with the mixing.
- Gradually pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and toss until the dry ingredients are fully coated.
- Quickly divide and scoop mixture into mini baking cups, place them on a baking pan, and bake for 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before serving.
Recipe: Kuih semperit By Shantila Lee
The professional beauty editor and weekend baking queen cites her mum and YouTuber chef Cupcake Jemma as her baking inspirations. She calls chinese peanut cookies her absolute festive favourite cookie because of its irresistible melt-in-your mouth texture. Come Christmas, Shantila will be baking up a storm making seasonal classics like fruit cake, mince pies, sticky date pudding and Jamaican ginger cake.
“Bake often and religiously – it’s the only way you’ll learn. Invest in the right tools and equipment, be very anal about specifics and look for mentors like YouTubers or other chefs.”
Kuih Semperit, also known as dahlia custard cookies, is a signature Raya tidbit that’s filled with comforting, flavours and nostalgia. Families bond over making this flower-shaped cookie dotted with a red cherry middle that’s loved for its creamy goodness.
80g icing sugar
80g custard powder
120g plain flour
1 egg yolk
Glazed cherries, chopped finely
- Pre-heat oven to 150° C.
- Dry fry cornflour, plain flour and custard powder in a wok over low fire. When it’s light and doesn’t stick to the sides of wok, leave aside to cool.
- Beat margarine and sugar till creamy.
- Add egg yolk and mix thoroughly.
- Add flour and fold in till well combined.
- Attach a star-shaped nozzle to a piping tube and press out your cookies. It should make about 70 cookies.
- Top with chopped cherries, press down firmly.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden, checking halfway through to prevent from burning.
Article by Jessica Liew