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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ginger Kaya Cookies

A friend of mine brought me back something magical from Malaysia.
Seri Kaya.
This intriguing caramel custardy texture made from coconut and eggs is translated as coconut jam, but it's really much much more than that.  It is somewhat like asian dulce de leche but with a nice subtle coconut flavor, and it's dairy free.
In Malaysia, they eat it on toast.  I've tried it that way and it is of course delicious. 
But the voice in my head is putting it in the same category as tahini, peanut butter, and condensed milk...which means I absolutely need to make cookies with it.
If there's anything that goes better with coconut than ginger, please let me know because I'm getting ready for a wild wild ride.  I'm not using a recipe, but I'll jot down whatever naturally develops in my brain.
Yield 33 cookies
190g flour (100g whole wheat + 90g all purpose)
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp powdered ginger
100g cassonade or brown sugar
100g butter
1 beaten egg
1 tsp maple syrup
100g kaya + more for topping
3 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
50g dried coconut
Chopped cashews for topping
1.  Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, and powdered ginger together and set aside.
2.  Cream the butter with the sugar, then add the egg, maple syrup, kaya, and fresh ginger.
3.  When the mixture is homogenous, add the coconut and incorporate well.
4.  Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well.  Refridgerate for 10 minutes to make the dough easier to handle.
5.  Preheat the oven to 350°F or 175°C.
6.  Scoop tablespoon sized balls onto a cookie sheet.  Be sure to leave enough space between the cookies.
 7.  Make a well with your thumb (or any other finger of your choice) into the center of each cookie.  Add as much kaya as you can into the well.  I was able to get a little over 1/4 tsp into each cookie.
8.  Sprinkle chopped cashews onto the cookies.  I made 3 different visuals.  One with the cashews around the the well, another all over the top, and another with them kneaded into the dough.
9.  Cook for 12-14 minutes and transfer to a wired rack for cooling.
I'm so full of kaya right now.  It's so addicting it draws you toward it and asks you nicely to eat it out of the can with a spoon.  It says "pleaase please taste me."
The cookies are cooling right now so I haven't tasted them yet... I did, however eat a large quantity of the dough and it's delicious gingery goodness.
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