Thursday, 26 May 2011

Journey down the baking trail: Cookies

I am moving an inch at a time on my baking trail. I have not been baking much for the past few weeks...was busy catching up with things that I have left behind...like watching tv drama and keeping up with the household chores.



I have been wanting to make these melt-in-the-mouth German cookies when I first saw it at my baking pal, Sherlyn's blog. I bought the bag of potato starch weeks ago, but it was on a spurt of the moment that I decided to bake them...even though I was recovering from a fever. My younger son as usual, was always keen and eager to help me with baking, and lately he is into cooking. I have to thank him for being a very caring child. Besides gladly playing nurse, he was very spontaneous in helping out with simple chores when I was sick.

It was a hot and humid evening when we went about whisking the butter and the sugar. After adding the flour mixture, we couldn't really form a dough...the mixture was still batter-like instead of doughy. I was certain that I didn't get the measurement wrong. The only thing I could pin-point was the additional one teaspoon of vanilla extract I added in. It could also be due to the weather, the room temperature was 31.5 degC...the butter was already very soft to the extend of appearing greasy when I was done with the mise en place...and there was nothing much to prepare since there were only 4 ingredients!

I decided to let the dough chill in the fridge and it was a good thing I did. We could finally form the mixture into cookie doughs. Due to the extreme heat, the dough started to soften as we continued to work them into small rounds. I was expecting the cookies to spread upon baking but all of them turn out well. The cookies were nicely baked...slightly pale on top but the bottoms were lightly browned. These delicate cookies certainly live up to the name...the buttery crumbs simply melts away in your mouth! My boys found them so addictive that they couldn't help popping one after another into their mouths.


Since there are so many recipes on my to-do list, I usually do not go back to the same recipe again too soon. These cookies are so good and so simple to prepare, I was addicted to baking them. I made another batch again two days later, but this time I mixed in 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder to half of the dough,


and 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to the other half. I made the doughs much smaller so that my boys could easily pop them into their mouth without leaving crumbs all over. The dough was easier to shape due to the 'drying effect' of the matcha powder and the chocolate dough was also quite dry as I have added too much cocoa powder.


As suspected, the chocolate cookies tasted bitter...would have to cut down the cocoa powder or use more icing sugar if I were to make these again. I paired them with a cup of slightly bitter coffee, and they didn't taste that bad...what to do, no one wants to eat these chocolate ones :'(


These matcha morsels are pretty nice with just a hint of matcha flavour lingering on the background. Nevertheless, my boys still prefer the plain, vanilla ones.


I packed some for my cake friend, and carried it with the greatest amount of care during the journey. However, just before I gave it away, I dropped the whole bag and the cookies were all crusted. I was so devastated and there was no one to blame but myself! Anyway, I was feeling very thick-skinned that day and went ahead to give it away. I couldn't imagine how my friend picked up the bits and pieces of cookie crumbs, lol! Fortunately, I learned later that she has actually made these cookies before, otherwise I would not have done justice to these delicious cookies.



Melt-in-mouth German Cookies 德式酥饼

Ingredients
(makes 60 pieces)

125g butter, soften at room temperature
40g icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
125g potato starch
80g cake flour

Method
  1. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and icing sugar till light and fluffy. Add in vanilla extract (if using) and mix well.
  2. Sift in potato starch and cake flour. With a spatula, mix to form a soft dough. Note: if the mixture appears too soft and wet to shape, leave the dough to chill in the fridge for about 10-15mins .
  3. Roll dough into small balls (about 2cm in diameter), arrange on lined baking pan and press lightly with a fork (dip the fork in water after each press to prevent cookie dough from sticking to the fork).
  4. Bake in preheated oven at 170 deg C for 15 mins, upper rack (need not bake till cookies turn brown).
Recipe source: adapted from Small Small Baker

103 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to read that you had a fever =(
    Hope you get well soon!
    The cookies look yummy-licious.

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  2. I think that it's ironic that you posted this a week after I tried making these myself. Lol. Makes me feel like making them again.

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  3. I hope I can make the green tea one too! and the chocolate one, and the marble effect one (seen it in one of the popular blog that we both visits) ...
    but now I am gog to bring my gal to see doc. She fever since yday morning.. so I catch up with you when I come back.

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  4. Hi,i like ur cookies picture^^
    can i change the cake flour to superfine flour?

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  5. i've been procrastinating since cny. and you've reminded me to bake this lovely cookies. you made it so nice and yummy! (:

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  6. Hi HHB,

    These cookies look so cute and easy & simple to make. I am so trying to bake them soon :)

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  7. What a pretty collection of cookies ! I like your clear plastic gift pack - very elegant packaging.

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  8. Ah, I think I will like to try the chocolate or marbled chocolate version. :)

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  9. Thank u for sharing such a nice recipe !!
    Indeed a nice article written...
    Glad ur cake friend liked them.. the taste matters to the dear ones.. so dont u worry even it was broken...

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  10. Lipsmacking recipe, should try it.It is already 41 here in chennai.Can you please tell me where you got that beautiful looking plastic bag. (pls dont get annoyed).I am plannin a trip to singapore next month)

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  11. I understand how you feel when u the pack of cookies dropped onto the floor!!
    I will bake for my students and I always take extra care while traveling around. So i can definitely feel the "pain" in your heart!
    Anyway the cookies are really yummmyyyyy~!!

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  12. 我喜欢绿色的....有够漂亮:)

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  13. Ur cookies look so nice in few cols..must bookmark this recipe. thks

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  14. PiggyMummy, thanks for you concern, I have fully recovered :)

    miomio, yes you can use superfine flour.

    happybowl, the cookie bag was given to me by a friend who bought it in HK. However, there are many lovely cookie bags at this store DAISO, just google and you will be able to get the store location, there are a few outlets here. Happy shopping in Singapore :)

    Coraine, I felt like kicking myself, lolz!

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  15. Hi may i know where can i get the matcha powder? Thanks :)

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  16. Hi! May I know if you used salted or unsalted butter? Thank you! (:

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  17. This is definitely interesting-cookies baked with potato flour... You've made them so well, neat and even sized.

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  18. hi HHB, hope u're getting ok!
    i like the cookies color - so pretty and soothing
    and look so yummy! :P

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  19. Green tea... green tea... next time I want to try the green tea version ^_^

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  20. Hi Anonymous, I am using this brand: Ujinotsuyu Matcha Hagoromo
    (http://www.amazon.com/Ujinotsuyu-Matcha-Hagoromo-Green-Powder/dp/B002PSQ9PA/ref=pd_sim_gro_2)
    You can get it from Isetan Scotts supermart or the fairprice outlet at Junction 8.

    eileen, I have tried with unsalted and salted butter, not much difference, so you can use either one.

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  21. I think it's the thought that counts ;p And your packaging looks so lovely, with the trio of colored cookies that I'm sure your friend enjoyed it despite trying it before!

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  22. Is an electric beater needed?

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  23. These cookies looks so cute :)

    Cheers

    Oscar
    http://sushiikøbenhavn.dk/

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  24. Hey:) i am german and i made these cookies some time ago. they really melt in your mouth and are soo good!

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  25. So thrilled to have found your beautiful site. Look forward to more recipe inspiration!

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  26. Hi Anonymous, it is not necessary to use a beater, I didn't use it either. You can use either a wooden spoon or a manual balloon whisk. You may cut the butter into small cubes before beating, it will be easier to beat.

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  27. Yummy varieties taste of cookies and great packaging too!

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  28. Love those colorful cookies. The recipe look simple and that suits me:D

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  29. Tried this recipe today and love how easy it is, and the cookies are truly melt-in-the-mouth! Loved them! I added milo powder to half my batter, because I didn't have cocoa - it tasted pretty nice, although taste not strong enough. Can't wait to buy some matcha powder so I can try the green version! :) Thanks for sharing this.

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  30. Hi this cookies is very nice.really I am going to try this.but I want to search for potato starch.

    I have self rising flour.pls tell me recipe with self rising flour...

    thankyou
    deva

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  31. Hot Chocolate3/6/11 9:56 pm

    Hi, love your recipes! I want to try these cookies next week. However, can I use sweet potato flour in place of potato flour?

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  32. Hi deva, you will need to use potato starch in order to get the melt-in-the-mouth texture.

    hi Hot Chocolate, there is difference between the two, it is best to follow the recipe and use potato starch instead.

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  33. Such cute and colorful cookies!

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  34. Gorgeous cookies. It does remind me of melting moments. Love the pattern look on each cookie!

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  35. Jacqueline15/6/11 5:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, I've tried at home and it taste great:) My mommy can't stop eating and my boyfriend loves it a lot.

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  36. hi HHB, i am awestruck by the clockwork precision of things in singapore, having a nice time, visited DAISO, bought a lot of things except this bag, may be they are out of stock.

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  37. Hi HHB,
    I've tried this cookies (http://ovenkecil.blogspot.com/2011/06/melt-in-mouth-german-cookies.html). My kids cannot stop popping one after another. Need to double up the quantity next time. Just finish in one day.. Thanks for sharring the recipe..

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  38. Can i replace potato starch with corn starch?

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  39. Hi, no I dont think so as they are different. It is best to use potato starch.

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  40. This one is a hot fav among bloggers. Pretty packing.

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  41. Hi, is there any place you would recommend to buy cheap mocha powder?

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  42. Hi, I got my green tea powder from ntuc bishan outlet.

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  43. hi happy homebaker!
    this is the first recipe i've tried from your blog.. i was attracted to it since i saw that it melts in your mouth :D i finally had a chance to bake them today and brought to a gathering.. and everyone loved it! and it's great that it's so easy as well.. definitely going into my recipe collection. thanks for sharing, have a great weekend ahead! (:

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  44. Hey, can I use plain flour to replace cake flour?

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  45. Hi, may i ask do i need to reduce the temp by 25degrees if i am using electric table convection oven? Thanks

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  46. Hi Veronica, I am not sure whether it is necessary to lower by so much? What about your usual bakes? If you usually reduce by 25degC for most of your bakes, then you may want to do the same.

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  47. Hi HHB,

    I just baked this deliciousness and they turned out wonderful! Btw,for me, it was very easy to shape into ball, I did not have to refrigerate mixture. The only modification i did was omitting the vanilla extract.

    I have one question though, my cookies turned out delicate and crisp, sort of like kuih bangkit texture. Whereas you mentioned the texture of these morsels should be 'melt-in-mouth'?

    Do you mean 'melt-in-mouth' texture cookies as in those CNY peaut cookies you posted on Feb 16th 2007?

    Nevertheless, my bf and I really enjoy these delicate cookies. thanks for sharing :)

    May Ng

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  48. Hi May Ng, thanks for sharing your baking experience :) Yes, the texture is melt-in-mouth, and crumbly...ie it will dissolve in your mouth, and will crumble easily even when holding it. I suspect maybe you have over baked them a bit...the surface may be still pale when the baking time is up, did you extend the baking time?

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  49. Hi HHB,

    Yes, I have extended the baking time by 5 min. Haha because the surface didn't brown at all, so I baked it a little longer. Only a baking expert like you can spot my error =p

    Actually I made two batches. First batch was the original flavor, while for the 2nd batch I put in 3 TBS of milo powder. I couldn't really taste the milo powder, it was very faint.

    Guess I will put in some choc chip in my 3rd attempt!

    May Ng

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  50. Hi May, I am no expert, just someone who has made enough mistakes to know what went wrong ;p
    Next time you can bake them at a higher rack position, ie closer to the heating coil if it is located on the top of your oven.

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  51. Thanks for the lovely recipe! I just tried it out this afternoon, and they turned out really good!

    I just had one problem: I can't get my cookies to stay in shape. I froze the dough in the freezer for about 15 mins because it was too soft to roll into rounds, but the dough would become soft within minutes of leaving the freezer. And when I bake them, they would expand, so they don't turn out looking very pretty like yours do. Any advice?

    Anna

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  52. Hi Anna, not sure what happens to yours...could be some error in the ingredients amount? either too much butter or not enough flour? if not, maybe you could have over beaten the butter and sugar mixture?

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  53. these cookies look so drooling and yummy, gonna try this out and thanks for the recipe :)

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  54. hi Anna, these looks so cute! i wanna make some sometime soon, do you think i can substitute potato starch with corn starch?

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  55. Hi Terrie, I'm not Anna. I doubt you can replace it with corn starch, the texture will likely be affected.

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  56. Hi HHB, thanks for sharing this great recipe. It does melt in the mouth as claimed, so addictive! :) I have one question thou, why does my cookies cracked?

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  57. Paige, maybe your oven temperature is too high?

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  58. Hi HHB,
    I baked the cookies yesterday night..it turn out nice and yes it does melt in the mouth..But I do have some queries hoping you can advise..

    When I mix the flour (potato starch,cake)to the beaten butter and sugar, I found the texture very soft, i cannot knead it at all. I just make sure the mixture is well mixed. (what do u mean by Knead). So per your advise in the blog i put it in the fridge for about 10 min, but still the dough is soft, so what I do is rub my hand with flour and roll it.
    Am I doing it correctly? How long do u beat the butter and icing sugar? Is the cookies suppose to be sweet? Mine is not, but I like it...
    Apprecicate your advise and hope to hear from you soon :)think i will make a second batch this evening.
    Thanking you in advance :p
    Emily

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  59. Hi Emily, I am not sure whether you have followed recipe elsewhere as I didnt state in the instruction to knead the dough? The dough is too wet and sticky, so it is impossible to knead it. Just mix with a spatula will do. You can leave the dough to chill longer or alternatively, divide the dough into two portions, work with one portion at a time. Yes, the cookies are not sweet. Hope this helps.

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  60. Thanks!HHB..at least now I know I am on the right track. I love these cookies, it is so easy to make.
    At times I do see your boy Chinese Writings(shu fa) in your post, where does he attend the class at? My youngest girl is very interested in Shu Fa and wanted to take up classes.

    GONG XI FA CAI! WISHING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY GREAT YEAR AHEAD.

    Cheers!
    Emily

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  61. Hi Emily, I made these cookies last evening, this time round I added some mini chocolate chips, it really enhance the taste :)
    My boys have been learning Chinese calligraphy since K2/P1. It's the 8th year for my elder child. They attend lessons at the chinese calligraphy society.

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  62. hi HHB,

    gonna try out this coookie this weekend, may i know where to buy the packaging?wanna bake it as a gift.hehe.. Also, do you turn on both the top and bottom heat?i've tried baking cookies several times, but they always turn brown(chao ta) much faster than the time stated in the recipe(even though i already lowered the temp). I've always used both top and bottom heat. i've attempted to bake melting moments but failed,it doesnt melt in my mouth. :(

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  63. hi blue_sky, my friend sent me the cookie bags from Hong Kong, don't think it is available here.

    For baking on two trays, I used both top and bottom heat plus the fan mode for even heating. I don't have problem with over browning. Maybe your oven is on the 'hot' side, do you use an oven thermometer to check? Besides oven temperature, it could also due to the type of baking tray you use. If you are using those non-stick, black ones, they will absorb heat faster and your cookies will brown faster. You can try lower the temperature and cut down on the baking time. I suspect you could have over baked the melting moments...

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  64. hi hhb,

    Thanks for your advise. my oven doesnt have the fan function.yea,i'm using the non-stick black tray which comes with the oven.ok,i shall use other kind of tray then.i'm only using one tray,so should i use both top and bottom too?No,i didnt use thermometer to check,as i'm new to baking.By the way,does using parchment paper help?

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  65. hi blue_sky, as every oven works differently, I am not sure whether u should use both top and bottom heat, but for general baking purpose, it will be good to use both for even heating. Parchment paper will probably help prevent the bottom from getting browned too fast.

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  66. I did this cookies today, very easy to make, but contrary to others my batter was so dry, it looked like piece-meal(similar to pie dough before adding water). So, in order to gather up the dough I added a little water. It worked like a charm. I divided the dough in 3. 1/3 was just vanilla, in 1/3 I added 1/4 tsp Matcha powder, and in the last 1/3, I added 1 tsp cocoa, and 2 tsp sugar.
    The cookies were slightly bigger, as I ended up with 36 cookies.
    The result is quite crumbly, it sort of melts in your mouth, but first it feels like a clogged mouth, because they are somehow too floury.
    Maybe my flours were too dry...
    I measured everything, respecting the recipe!

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  67. Hi Sabrina, maybe it is due to the type of potato starch you use. I use this brand: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_jAsjsMeirhU/TTFKNJULrzI/AAAAAAAABJw/pq7wYyyUXfQ/s1600/P1101971.JPG
    as shown in Small Small Baker's blog post. Did you manage to get similar type of potato starch/flour?

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  68. I can't buy the same brands of flours/starch as I live in Toronto...
    I also did the roses cookies, but those were a hit. Even there, I had no pb with the dough, meaning it was not sticky, and I didn't need to put it in the fridge. I have no idea, why it gets so different. It could be the clime difference, and of course the type/brands of flours.

    Thank you!
    Sabrina

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  69. Hi Sabrina, it could be due to the climate difference too...over here it is warm (room temp is about 29degC) and very humid. If you like cookies, I will like to recommend that you try this cranberries walnuts oatmeal cookies (see recipe here: http://happyhomebaking.blogspot.com/2010/08/blog-post.html)
    it is my all time favourite :) You can replace the cranberries with chocolate chips.

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  70. WOW! We barely reached 20 degrees Celsius today, but we had 10 degrees overnight. Humidity right now is 25%, but generally it's more humid during summer, sometimes it's really soggy (I live close to lake Ontario...)
    These cookies were better after 3 days. Anyway I was the only one eating them. In the end they were quite good. The cocoa ones were very crumbly, but delicious (the dryer dough).
    Thank you for my introduction to matcha powder! I managed to buy it in a health food store. I had no idea about it, though I knew the green tea. The taste is similar but much stronger. I like it! I couldn't replicate the Japanese art, but my Matcha latte was a hit!
    Arigato!

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  71. this looks so mouthwatering... i feel like having a bite yummmmm!

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  72. Hi,

    Such cookie bags can be bought from Phoon Huat. However, the base is a plain gold cardboard rather than one with words as shown in the above picture. They come in bags of 100s. There're 2 sizes.

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  73. Hi, thanks so much for the info on where to get such cookies bags :)

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  74. hi, when do i add the cocoa or green tea powder?

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  75. Can I use microwave to bake the above? My microwave does not show the temperature, only high, medium and low heat.

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  76. hi candydreamland, unless your microwave comes with a baking function.

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  77. Hi hhb, after reading through the whole page including comments I finally try to bake this cookie to test if I can bake for cny. I replaced the potato starch with wheat starch as that's what I have at home and also after searching high low if either Starch is replaceable. Well I made and my husband had the first piece he said "ok la" but can tell what cookie... I had one and it doesn't really ping me... Then I gave some to someone else to try they say good I'm wondering if they say it out of courtesy or is it really GoOD. I'm wondering does the potato starch give the cookie any flavour that my wheat starch does not? As when I eat it to me its just like a baked dough.... Still in search for easy to bake cookies for cny giveaway :(

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  78. Hi Mae Cheah, I am afraid I can't answer your question as I have not used wheat starch. I think wheat starch will give a very different texture.
    Maybe you can buy a pack of potato starch to try again? These cookies will melt in the mouth with a nice buttery flavour. I use Lurpak butter and I use the same brand of potato starch as fellow blogger, as shown here:
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_jAsjsMeirhU/TTFKNJULrzI/AAAAAAAABJw/pq7wYyyUXfQ/s1600/P1101971.JPG

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  79. this is nice and really melts. i tried last nite with my lousy microwave convection oven, and turns out gd still. my dough was soft and i follow ur instruction of chilling it.
    i did the marble effect i saw from another blogger, but with ur recipe. thks!

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  80. haha forget to add on but my shape(size) is horrible! big and small hehe ,cos i dint expect it to 'grow' much bigger. so 2nd batch i made smaller.

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  81. hihi i just got the green tea powder u mention.haha just asking 1 stupid question cos first time buying.these powder i can jus add hot water for drinking rite? its nt jus for use in baking rite?

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  82. hihi if i feel my cookie result is a bit dry , what should i do?

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  83. Hi, for the green tea powder, I used it mainly for baking, have not tried drinking it.

    Hi, I am not sure why your cookies are dry? did you ensure the ingredient amount is correct? was the dough dry? the dough texture should feel very soft.

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  84. only the green tea one lik abit dry, maybe i put too much? haha anyway i did make and drink.the dough was soft i did chill

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  85. hihi i forgot to add on although mainly the green tea one was dry but the others also not that melt in mouth texture.. is it also due to overbaking? but im using microwave convectional oven, i already reduce the temp and baking time. maybe i should shorten the timing again...?

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  86. Hi, yes, green tea powder tends to absorb moisture. You could have over bake the cookies, maybe you can reduce the temp further?

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  87. noted maybe i try to reduce to 10-12mins. i was using 13mins with 160 temp.my microwave convection oven really CMI.
    thanks alot

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  88. yee noted will reduce the temp too.thks

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  89. Hi,
    may I know the estimated shelf life of the cookies?
    Can it last for around 2 weeks if I keep it in the fridge after baking?

    Thanks,
    Jen

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  90. Hi Jen, I didn't keep in fridge, I stored the cookies in air tight container under room temp for about 2 weeks. If the cookies turn soft u can heat up in the oven and they should turn crisp. Hope this helps!

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  91. I made these cookies & cut them into small stars on Friday. Didn't measure the matcha & cocoa powder cos I ♥ strong flavor. Turned out really yummy! Though the last batch becoming too soft. I couldn't have enough of these cookies. & Tks for the photos, they caught my attention to baking them. Hee hee...:p

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  92. Oh well, baking these cookies again, x2 the recipe & added coffee flavor. Finishing real fast. ≧﹏≦

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  93. Hi HHB, i really hope that i can jump into the kitchen right now to bake these cookies.. they look tempting!i am going to bake them tonight right after my work!=)
    anyway, do you think we can add chocolate baking bar instead of cocoa powder?

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  94. Hi jamie, I have not tried with chocolate bar so I am not able to comment on this.

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  95. Hi HHB, i tried this last week, it was awesome!!!!
    I love them so much!
    Next time i will try using the chocolate bar.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

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  96. Hi,

    Can I replace icing sugar with castor sugar? TIA!

    Yvonne

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  97. Hi Yvonne I dont think you can replace it with caster sugar. The texture could be affected.

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  98. Are there any tips on how to make them the same size and shape? Mine turned out all uneven

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  99. Hi Beloved Chloe, you can measure each piece of dough to ensure the same size.

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  100. have you tried using the rubbing in method for this recipe? was wondering if its the same effect as creaming method?

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  101. Hi, these are done with the creaming method, the texture would be different and I suspect the rub in method may cause the cookies to have texture similar to tart crust??

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