Continuing with my Chinese new year baking adventure 😉 I was invited to a Chinese New Year Cookie Party organized by Vermilion Roots and so I dared myself to make these tapioca cookies or in Indonesian Chinese we call it kue bangkek or in Malay kue bangkit this year. Some Indonesian Chinese population speak dialects like Hokkian, Teochew, Hakka, and Cantonese. But mainly Hokkian, Teochew, and Hakka. Bang (or phang) in Hokkian dialect means aromatic/flavorful. Kek means cakes though some use it interchangeably to translate cookies/biscuits. Kue bangkek is named as such because it is a very flavorful cookie. The coconut milk makes the cookies smell super heavenly.
These tapioca cookies only use few ingredients to make. The secrets of making good tapioca cookies are on the type of coconut milk used, and also cooking the tapioca flour ahead of time and let them sit for weeks before the actual day of cookie-making. The challenge I faced was not being able to find a freshly squeeze thick coconut milk or we call it kepala santan (literally translate to “head of coconut milk”). This is the creamiest and thickest coconut milk (with very minimal water involved). These are widely available in Southeast Asia. I saw people extracting coconut milk all the time at the market when I was a little girl. They can even adjust the thickness to your order, you just need to tell them what you want to use it for, for rendang ? for making cookies/cakes/dessert ? you name them, they know what to do. I only have access to canned coconut milk and canned coconut cream. In this case I, of course, used canned coconut cream. Even the canned coconut cream has 70% of water in it. So, please read the “notes” on my recipe. It is important that you do not shake the can.
I’m happy to report though that despite of the above challenge, the tapioca cookies still turned out really good. The aroma was incredible. My kids and husband love them ! I thought they weren’t really melt in the mouth as much as I wanted them too when I tasted them right after they cooled down, but the next day when I ate them again, they sure taste even better and melt in your mouth. The only complaint I have is the mould I used. I bought it online and I’m sure they overcharged for what it worth. They mould doesn’t give a very distinctive patterns on the cookies. I can’t wait to get the wooden moulds and much more attractive patterns from my mom 🙂 Save them for next year 😉
This is a keeper recipe regardless. Thanks to my sister-in-law again for giving me this recipe. Definitely will make them again next year 😉
Chinese new year tapioca cookies (kue bangkek/bangkit) - about 120 small cookies
- 18 oz cooked tapioca flour + 1/2 cup for dusting 500 grams
- 7.5 fl oz coconut cream 220 ml, read notes
- 3 egg yolks
- 14 oz confectioner sugar 400 grams
- Red coloring optional
2 Weeks before you plan to make the cookies, you need to cook the tapioca flour:
I was told that the reason for cooking them so early in advance so that the cookies keep longer. I would suggest you get about 30 oz of tapioca flour. It will shrink in weight after you cook them. I use a large wok to cook the flour over medium heat for about 45 minutes. The flour will get lighter and lighter as you cook them. Let them cool down and then store in an air-tight container.
When ready to make cookies:
Gently measure out the cooked tapioca flour on the scale to give you 18 oz. Keep the rest for dusting the cookie mould later.
Place the eggs yolks and confectioner sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture is whitish in color
Gradually add in the tapioca flour and coconut milk and continue to mix with wooden spoon or your clean hand. Continue to do so until you've added all the flour and coconut milk. The dough should come together but it's at the dry side
Preheat oven at 350 F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. You need to bake in batches. Dust the cookie mould with the extra cooked tapioca flour you made earlier. Shake off excess flour. Pinch off one dough and press it firmly into the mould. Use a sharp paring knife to trim off excess dough on the top. Flip the mould over and firmly tap the mould to release the shaped dough. You shouldn't have difficulty if the mould is nicely coated with flour. Place them on the baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Repeat with the rest of the dough
If you want, you can dip the tip of toothpick into a red coloring and dot it on top of the cookie. This is totally optional. Place them inside the oven (3rd rack from the top) and bake for 10-15 minutes or longer if you want it to be slightly on the brown side. Some people like to see some cracks on the cookies, just bake them a bit longer to your liking. Remove from the oven and let them cool down for 1 minute and then transfer to cooling rack to cool down completely
Store in an air-tight container and they will last for months
Recipe NotesI used Chaokoh brand coconut cream. Do not shake the can before opening because we want to scoop the cream that rises on top of the can. The water is beneath the cream, so we don't want to get the water. Scoop the cream out with spoon as much as you can and try not to get any of the water
Please check out 15 other talented food bloggers who were also busy baking Chinese new year cookies. You will not be disappointed !!!
Vermilion Roots made Vegan Cornflake Cereal Cookies
The Missing Lokness made Fried Red Bean Puffs
Daily Cooking Quest made Chinese Peanut Cookies
Curious Nut made Chocolate Almond Cookies
Butter and Type made Red Bean & Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies
Wok and Skillet made Pineapple Jam Tarts
Bams Kitchen made Sesame Spiral Pie Cookies
Brunch N Bites made Cherry Blossom Cookies
Miss Hangrypants made Mochi Stuffed Almond Cookies
Foodie Baker made Melt-in-the-Mouth Chinese Gluten-Free Peanut Cookies
Hapanom made Honey Almond Cookies
Omnivore’s cookbook made Quinoa Sesame Brittle
Yummy Workshop made Browned Butter Chinese Walnut Cookies
Thirsty for Tea made Macau Almond Cookies
Created to Cook made The Ultimate Pecan Sandies
Are you baking any Chinese new year cookies or have you ever baked these kue bangkek ? I’d love to hear about it. You can always tag your cookies #ChineseNewYearCookieParty if you share it on social medias like facebook, instagram, and twitter. We will go check them out for sure !!