One of the worst things about being away from home is missing out on the various celebrations we have in Malaysia. Chinese New Year, Hari Raya (Eid), Deepavali… sigh. I even miss the cheesy music!
Unsurprisingly, food is one of the highlights of any celebration in Malaysia (we love our food!) – which meant that the only way I could feel a little festive was to bake/cook something Raya-related. But of course!
I decided on these “Almond London cookies” for several reasons: 1) I’d never made them before; 2) I like eating them; 2) I liked how it had the word “London” in it. I have no idea how the name came about, because I am fairly certain it did not originate in London – if anyone knows the origins behind the name of this cookie, please do share as I’d love to know.
The biscuit is made up of 3 main parts – a whole toasted almond, covered in a crispy biscuit, and coated with chocolate. They’re usually topped with chopped almonds, but other toppings that are commonly use include sprinkles (any type!) or white chocolate.
The recipe is actually very simple, with minimal ingredients needed. I did slightly underestimate how tedious it was going to be though – individually wrapping the dough around each almond took a lot longer than I’d imagined! I always say that you never truly appreciate how much work goes into Malaysian celebration cookies, and I think these are a good example. Having said that, these were easier to make than pinapple nastar tarts!
Nevertheless, I still enjoyed making these, and now I have a small stash in my fridge for times of need/greed. Plus it feels a little like home!
Almond London cookies / Biskut Almond London
Adapted from this recipe by Amy Beh
Makes approximately 80 cookies
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 75g icing sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 200g plain flour
- 25g rice flour
- 300 toasted whole almonds (toasting is optional!)
- 100g chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts as I had some to hand. You may also use sprinkles or melted white chocolate to decorate the biscuits if you prefer.)
- 400g dark/milk chocolate
1. Sift the plain flour and rice flour into a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
2. Place butter and icing sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer (or use a hand-held mixer). Cream the butter/sugar mixture at medium speed (I use the K beater) until it turns pale and fluffy.
3. Add the egg yolk, and mix until just combined.
4. Add the sifted flour mixture in two parts, mixing well after each addition. You should now have a cohesive dough.
5. Take a small piece of dough (approximately the size of a marble (~1.5cm diameter)) and flatten it slightly. Wrap the dough around the almond, then form it into a cylinder. Alternatively, you may prefer to form it into a round ball.
6. Place the wrapped almond on a baking tray lined with baking paper/a Silpat.
7. Repeat with the remaining dough and almonds, until all the dough is used up. You may end up with some extra almonds, you can either snack on these or chop them up to use as a topping.
8. Bake in a 175′C preheated oven for 20 minutes, until slightly golden. I would advise only preheating your oven when you’re halfway through wrapping the almonds in the dough, to save on electricity. Cool the baked cookies on a wire rack.
9. Once cooled, place each cookie in a small paper case.
10. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (I use a Pyrex bowl over a pot of simmering water). Take care to ensure that the chocolate does not come into contact with any water, as this will cause the chocolate to seize.
11. Using a teaspoon, spoon the melted chocolate over each cookie. Try to ensure the chocolate goes up to the edges of the paper cases, as it makes for a prettier cookie.
12. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with chopped nuts/sprinkles/melted white chocolate.
13. Once the chocolate has set – eat! You may prefer to place the cookies in the refrigerator to speed up the setting process if you’re impatient like me/if you live in hot climates.
Happy Eid/Selamat Hari Raya everyone!