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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Chinese New Year cookies -- Sugee

The ingredients seem straightforward enough; I thought these would turn out like shortbread. But just a few tweaks and butter, flour, and sugar turn into something exotic.  Lower in salt than standard shortbread, and with an entirely different texture.  (Actually, I didn't get the texture quite right throughout, but I blame my oven and its bottom-only heat.) 

The dough is made with ghee (clarified butter). I cooked mine too long, so it became more of a browned butter, but that doesn't hurt anything -- just gave them a little more color, and a slight carmel taste.

The dough is quite soft ...

and is scooped in little balls onto the cookie sheet...

then baked until small cracks form.

The recipe includes semolina (sugee), but I don't know exactly how that changes the outcome.  Although semolina is coarser than regular flour, the cookies had a very fine crumb.  They were almost powdery, and very crumbly.

I don't think they were supposed to have those air pockets, or the crunchy bottom crust.  (That's where the bottom heating comes in.)  But they came out tasting like something I might have purchased from an international bakery, so I consider that a success!


Conclusion:  These were a fun diversion -- something a little different.   They weren't interesting enough to make for everyday, but I would definitely bring them to a Chinese New Year event.

Recipe:  Sugee cookies via Basic Bakes

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