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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Festive Cookies - Kuih Bangkit

Kuih Bangkit otherwise known as tapioca flour cookies is also one of my favorite festive cookie. This melt in the mouth with the creaminess of the coconut milk and a hint of pandan fragrance is truly an indulgence for me.

According to the "Asian Festivals and Customs A Food Exporter's Guide by Grant Vinning and Kaye Crippen Asian Markets Research Rural Industries Research and Development",

"Here is a little history of the Kuih Bangkit (or Kueh Bangkit):

Kueh/Kue Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore (Also called kopiah, koah, koah lau huay)

Kueh, translated from Malaysian or Indonesian into English means "cake", but strickly speaking kuehs are more like biscuits or cookies. While variations are common, the biscuit must be sweet and have an auspicious color. Kuehs appear to have been adopted in Southeast Asia from China. In Southeast Asia, most have assumed the popular Malay name.

They are generally small and fragile. Some are reminiscent of Christmas cakes. Small scale producers have been key in keeping these traditional cakes alive. Many women have developed good small scale businesses from producing these seasonal treats. This is especially true in areas where most women work outside the home and do not have either the time or perhaps the interest in making them.

Kueh Bangkit are made from rice flour or tapioca flour. These were originally used for alter offerings for the ancestors. Then they were made in the shape of currency. Today they are made in various animal or floral shapes with their own symbolic meaning such as goldfish, peonies and chrysanthemums. They can be sprinkled with sesame seeds to symbolize fertility. Tan (1991) stated that kueh bangkit are typical of the evolution of the cultural osmosis from mainland China to overseas Chinese communites."

Kuih Bangkit comes in many shapes such as flower and animal shapes. A good Kuih Bangkit to me is white in color, melt in the mouth texture, not too sweet, slightly creamy and the pandan fragrance must be in it. So far, I always buy a tin of Tong Kee Kuih Bangkit every year since I started earning my own salary.

Do you enjoy eating Kuih Bangkit too?



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