Corner Café

January 22, 2009

Dragon Cookies / Loong Paeng 龍餅

Filed under: Biscuits & Slices — SeaDragon @ 12:00 am
Tags: , , ,
loong_paeng03

The first time I made these cookies a couple of years ago, it was not a success. The shapes of the cookies turned out well, but the tastes were awful. It was like eating a mouthful of uncooked cornflour, with a lingering feel of tartness in your mouth for hours after eating them.
After that experience, this time I was smarter, I cooked the cornflour first like you would do for the tapioca starch when making Kuih Bangkit. I had come across at least 5-6 recipes for the Dragon Cookies, and none of them told you to cook the cornflour first before using it. So I am not sure if they would all taste like what I experienced the first time… Or maybe I should use the real cornstarch instead of the wheaten cornflour… But I think real cornstarch also has the same tartness feel if not cooked properly…
This time the cookies turned out much much better, almost a 98% improvement, it had just the least, slightest hint of tartness which I assumed was from the custard powder which I included this time and which I did not cooked beforehand. As custard powder is made from cornflour with colour and vanilla added, I should have remembered that and cooked it with the cornflour before using, will have to remember that for next time. But never mind, the cookies still smelled and tasted delicious, they are light, crispy and with a delicate crunch!
You might be wondering why in the recipe below I have some softened butter and some melted butter included? The reason is that originally the melted butter was not included in the recipe, but after mixing the dough, I found the mixture was still crumbly, so I melted some extra butter and added it in to the mixture to clump the dough together. I discovered later after baking that I’d miscalculated the quantity for the custard powder, it should have been about 35g (1.25 oz) instead of the 55g I used, no wonder the dough was crumbly and I had to add more butter and the second half of the egg – was originally calculated to use only half an egg for this recipe. Anyway, it does not matter now since the cookies turned out very well, I think the warm melted butter also helped in softening the dough slightly for piping.
Speaking of piping, you really need to have Popeye muscle to make these cookies, as the dough is quite stiff (maybe it would be softer in hot weather but it was hard at about the low 20°C weather here when I made them) and you really need to press very hard to get the dough out of the piping bag! So use a good quality sturdy piping bag! And also since the dough is so stiff after mixing, I’m now thinking if it is necessary to cream the butter at all, maybe I can just melt the whole lot and mix it in to the other ingredients for next time… If you have a cookie press with a star tube attachment, it might be easier to use it to press out the cookies. And please don’t ask me why I didn’t use my cookie press, well, laziness mainly, and also it was easier and more water-wise to just wash a piping bag (the consequence of water restriction here due to the drought, now very conscious of water use!) than the different parts of a cookie press, hahaha!

Makes approx. 40 biscuits

[Ingredients]
115g (4 oz) wheaten cornflour (wheat starch)
55g (2 oz) custard powder
10g (1 tablespoon) milk powder
12g (1 tablespoon) cake flour, or plain flour
55g (2 oz) butter, softened
55g (2 oz) caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
30g (1 oz) butter, melted

few drops of red (cochineal) food colouring
1 toothpick
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[Preparation]
1. Put cornflour on a piece of kitchen paper and put into the microwave. Cook on HIGH for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and transfer the cornflour onto a new piece of kitchen paper. Put back into microwave and cook on HIGH for another minute. Remove the cornflour and sift it into a mixing bowl.
2. In the meantime, cream softened butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg.
3. Sift the custard powder, milk powder and cake flour; add to the creamed mixture. Add the sifted hot cornflour. Mix until crumbly.
4. Pour melted butter into the crumbly mixture and knead lightly into a stiff dough.
5. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line baking sheets with baking paper.
6. Transfer the dough to a good quality, sturdy piping bag (or use a cookie press) fitted with a 1cm star nozzle. Pipe out small ‘S’ shaped dough pieces to represent Chinese dragons. I find the best way to do this is to hold the piping bag high and press out about 5cm long dough (be careful not to let the dough breaks off) before you lower the piping bag and let the dough rest onto the paper-lined baking sheet. Then finish piping out the dough to make a ‘S’ shape. If the shape is crooked, you can quickly adjust and neaten the shape using your fingers.
7. Let the piped out dough pieces rest for 20 minutes before baking; put them into the refrigerator in hot weather. (Last time I made them, I dot the eyes straight after piping and they bled, so the resting help to dry the surface to prevent bleeding.)
8. Dip one end of the toothpick into the red food colouring and dot two red spots at one end of each ‘S’ dough to represent the eyes of the dragon.

loong_paeng01

9. Bake for about 10 minutes; the cookies should remain pale in colour. Let cool and store in airtight containers.

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Taste: Delicately light, crispy biscuits with a light crunch and melt-in-the-mouth texture
Consume: Best within 1-2 weeks
Storage: Store in airtight containers
Recipe Reference: ‘龍餅’ recipe by HOHHUANNSHAN

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18 Comments »

  1. sd

    i too did not have successes with these cookies, it’s either too brittle or does not melt in the mouth. strangely, i have a recipe in hand and was about to make it. will give you a feedback on the recipe i have.

    Comment by lily ng — January 22, 2009 @ 7:16 am | Reply

  2. hihi seadragon
    long time didnt read you after i lost your website address
    i am YY(or yoyo),the sarawakian who live in Japan

    i made kuih makmur yesterday,by using japanese made Ghee,but not as good as our malaysia Ghee
    will want to make sarawak lapis soon

    nice to see you still so rajin making cakes and cookies

    Comment by yy — January 23, 2009 @ 11:08 am | Reply

    • yy,
      It’s been really a few years now, haha… I also lost a lot of links a couple of years back when my computer crashed. Happy New Year and hope it brings you joy, prosperity, and good health.

      Comment by SeaDragon — January 25, 2009 @ 9:25 am | Reply

  3. sd

    made these cookies and nearly surrendered but i did turn them into dragons though they looked more like worms.

    i found that this dough cannot be kept, it has to be piped as soon as it is well mixed. Resting creats gluten.

    These cookies have to be made smaller, meaning shorter lengths, the longer ones break too easily. I noticed that i get better results with a small star and piped the dough with the star resting on the baking sheet and in a straight line of the desired lengths, then shape the dragon with your fingers.

    What do you think of my feedback?

    Any other readers who have made these cookies, please pass your knowledge

    Comment by lily ng — January 25, 2009 @ 12:54 am | Reply

    • Lily,
      I think Dragon Cookies are as finicky to make as Kuih Bangkit. Mine also are very delicate, breaking easily – I broke quite a few just transferring them from the tray to the container. I think next time I will make the head and tail stick to the middle part of the ‘dragon’ so they don’t break as easily. Yes, piping out first then shaping with fingers are easier than trying to pipe and shape at the same time.

      I agreed on having to pipe it all out as soon as possible, I only rest the piped out dough. I don’t think gluten played a big part here since the bulk of it is cornflour, and resting the dough usually relax the gluten rather than strengthen it. Could it be the butter in the dough hardened in cold weather and making the dough hard?

      Comment by SeaDragon — January 25, 2009 @ 9:44 am | Reply

  4. heya! thanks for sharing this recipe! I have two question though…

    1. wouldn’t the custard powder make the dough yellowish? would it be the same if I just replace the custard powder with corn flour?

    2. how to make the cookies retain their shape while baking? I have tried making these cookies a few years back and each time I sent them into oven, the dough expanded and the cookies lost its lines.

    thanks!

    Comment by lily — February 1, 2009 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

    • lily,
      Yes, the custard powder will make the cookies yellowish (I prefer to call it golden, haha… so they are golden dragons) which I find much more pleasing to the eyes than pale-coloured cookies. You can subs with cornflour, no problems.

      The dough must be quite stiff to prevent the mis-shaping of the cookies after baking. If the dough is soft, they would lost the shapes since there’re not much gluten (esp. in some other recipes, no plain flour is used at all) to hold up the cookies. HTH.

      Comment by SeaDragon — February 1, 2009 @ 8:15 pm | Reply

  5. Ha Ha !
    No matter how I look at your dragon cookie, they still look like snake to me!
    But, they are all so cute.

    Comment by XIUYING — February 6, 2009 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

  6. XIUYING,
    Haha, you’re not the only one. I tell people to squint their eyes to see the tiny scales…

    Comment by SeaDragon — February 6, 2009 @ 9:26 pm | Reply

  7. look doesn’t matter, most importantly is the taste… i’m going to bake it now… hopefully it works!

    Comment by anne — February 2, 2010 @ 4:11 pm | Reply

  8. May i know whr can i buy this Dragon Biscuit in Kuching??? Do u make for sale??? :3 Or do u know any place in Kuching i can get this Dragon Biscuit? Will be glad to have the information how to get this biscuit in kuching because it was very IMPORTANT for me and thanks a lot! :D

    Comment by Ahwei — April 9, 2012 @ 6:24 pm | Reply

  9. May i know whr can i buy ur Dragon Biscuit in Kuching??? Do u make for sale??? :3 Or do u know any place in Kuching i can get this Dragon Biscuit? Will be glad to have the information how to get this biscuit in kuching and thanks a lot! :D

    Comment by Ahwei — April 9, 2012 @ 6:25 pm | Reply

    • Sorry, I’ve no idea where you can buy these biscuits in Kuching as I am in Australia! Hopefully readers from Kuching can help.

      Comment by SeaDragon — April 11, 2012 @ 8:50 am | Reply

  10. i’m a fan of this cookie long time and failed to get the real supposedly taste of it. i definitely gonna try your recipe for this raya soon . thank you

    Comment by arby — August 13, 2012 @ 8:18 pm | Reply

    • No worries, hope the recipe works for you :)

      Comment by SeaDragon — August 16, 2012 @ 9:37 pm | Reply

  11. I followed your recipe and something not right. My cookies kinda melted in the gas oven. I did not tice that my dough was very clucky after I added the melted the butter. Do you think because the temperature today is very hot that cause this to happen? When I beat my mixture, I think that the mixture splitted slightly.

    Comment by Nicholas chan — January 17, 2013 @ 6:17 pm | Reply

    • Did you add the butter gradually until you just managed to get a dough that is similar to stiff clay texture? It is always difficult with different weather conditions and I think the hot weather might have caused the problem, you may not need all the butter specified on a hot day. This is also a very temperamental recipe, you need to make sure the dough is just clumped together and quite stiff, no less and no more. Too soft (too much butter/egg) and the shape will melt like yours and too hard you will have problem piping them. Next time, adjust the amount of butter depending on the day and hopefully they will be better. Good luck.

      Comment by SeaDragon — January 17, 2013 @ 9:11 pm | Reply


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