Almond London Cookies

almond london cookies main

This confectionery may look like just any ordinary homemade chocolate truffles, but don’t let your eyes fool you. This is actually the all-famous Malaysian festive cookie called ‘Almond London Cookies’!

Almond London Cookies are very popular especially when celebrating the end of the Ramadan (fasting month). Festive cookies are normally petite in Malaysia as it is common to try a few different types of cookies when visiting our friends and families over the festive season. Eating a huge cookie could possibly destroy our chances at trying out different types of cookies, so I guess that’s why people in Malaysia are more inclined to creating small cookies. And that’s why these Almond London Cookies are the size of a chocolate truffle!

Almond London Cookies are a Malaysian creation. Their tempting flavours managed to win the hearts of all the different races in Malaysia. I’m not sure where the word ‘London’ came from though.

I was introduced to this cookie by my Malay friends when I visited their homes during their festive season. Once I had a bite of this cookie, I immediately loved it and couldn’t stop eating it! I mean, who can resist the perfect combination of crunchy and fragrant toasted almonds wrapped around with buttery and crumbly sweet butter cookie that is oozed with dark decadent chocolate and topped with texture inviting roasted almond nibs? This cookie spells the best of all worlds – chocolate, cookie and confectionery heaven!

Seriously – the creator of this cookie must have been a genius!

Being a huge fan of this cookie, I sadly haven’t had these cookies for five years. Since I couldn’t find them anywhere in Australia and missed eating these cookies so much, I decided to make them myself!

After scouring the internet for recipes on how to make this delicious festive treat, I managed to come up with my own version of Almond London cookies. My version is more cost effective, rich in flavour and chocolaty. The addition of milk in my new version brings the cookie dough to the next level in terms of texture and taste.

I find that these cookies are best eaten after they left overnight to harden for their taste to develop. Though I can assure you that once you start eating these cookies – you can’t stop eating them! So if you are preparing them for guests, don’t start eating them before your guests arrive.

My best advice to you is – if you’re up and running and would like to indulge in a sweet treat yourself or would like to impress your loved ones with a sweet delight, here is my contribution to you.

Here’s my recipe:

ALMOND LONDON COOKIES
Makes approximately 52 cookies

Ingredients:
125 grams unsalted butter, softened
75 g icing sugar
1 medium sized egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
200 g plain flour
25 g rice flour
Whole almonds
300 g dark cooking chocolate
80 g slivered almonds
2-3 tbsp milk

Method:
• Preheat your oven to 170 C.
• Spread a baking tray with the whole almonds and toast them in the oven for 12-15 minutes, turning the almonds around every five minutes.
• Take them out and cool before keeping in air-tight jars.

whole almonds

• Next, dry fry the slivered almonds until lightly browned. Then chop them into rough pieces. Cool and store them in air-tight jars as well.

dry frying slivered almonds

toasted silvered almonds

Take the slivered almonds once they turned lightly brown to avoid them from burning.

• Now , start making the butter cookie dough by creaming the butter and icing sugar.

beating butter and sugar

When creaming the butter and sugar, you want to make sure the butter is softened for easier mixing.

Mixed butter and sugar

Your butter and sugar mixture should look something like this.

• After they are well combined, add the egg and vanilla essence. Continue mixing the ingredients.

Adding butter and vanilla extract

• Sift the plain flour and rice flour. Mix them in small portions into the butter mixture to form a soft dough. Then, add 2-3 tbsp milk to the dough. If the dough is too soft or sticky, add some flour. Then mix again.

Adding flour to butter mixture

Mixing the flour in small portions ensure the flour is evenly distributed to form the dough.

Finished cookie dough

Your prepared cookie dough should look something like this.

• Take about ¾ tsp cookie dough and flatten it with your hands. To make an even layer for the cookie dough, I normally like to press the sides of the dough with my fingers.
• Next, place a toasted whole almond in the centre of the flattened dough and wrap the dough around the almond. Shape the cookie dough into a small log.

whole almond on dough

Step 1: Flatten dough and place whole almond at the centre of the dough.

sealing dough step 1

Step 2: Fold the dough into half.

sealing dough step 2

Step 3: Gently enclose the dough to cover the entire almond.

shaping cookies

Step 4: Shape the dough into a small log.

cookies before baking

This is what your cookie will look like before baking them.

• Bake the cookies at a preheated oven at 175 C for 20-25 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Cool cookies completely before proceeding with the chocolate coating.

cookies after baking

Your cookies should turn golden brown like this after baking.

• Melt the cooking chocolate using the bain-marie method. To do this, you need to place the chocolate in a large bowl under a smaller saucepan with simmering water and turn the gas to low heat. During this process, do not let any water get into the chocolate as this will ruin the melted chocolate texture.

melting chocolate

Melt your chocolate in a big bowl over a smaller saucepan of simmering water. Don’t let water get into it!

melted chocolate

After melting, your chocolate should look shiny like this.

• Dip the butter cookies into the melted chocolate with a spoon and transfer the cookies to the small paper cups with a fork.

dipping cookies

Gently dip and coat the entire cookie with chocolate using a spoon.

taking cookies from chocolate

Lift up the cookie with a fork so that the excess chocolate drips off.

placing cookies on paper cups

Gently place the cookie in small paper cups.

• Immediately sprinkle the cookies with chopped almonds before chocolate hardens so that the almonds will stick to the cookies.

topping cookies with nibbed almonds

• Leave the cookies to cool completely before transferring them to air tight containers.

• Enjoy eating them!
half cookie

Are you hungry yet? Maybe it’s time to start baking.

Do you love baking or cooking? How about baking cookies? Or do you just love eating?

Share your thoughts here.

Cheers,
Caroline Poh

Oatmeal Butter Prawns

oatmeal butter prawns

Have you ever visited a restaurant again and again to order the same dish…only to find out later that the particular dish is actually really easy to prepare at home?

That happened to me when I finally learnt how to cook Malaysian butter prawns at home!

Butter prawns have always been one of the favourite dishes that my family likes to order whenever we are dining at a Chinese seafood restaurant in Malaysia.

Butter prawns are really popular in Malaysian restaurants. Although not much has been documented about the origins of this dish, the flavours and ingredients of this succulent dish may suggest that its creation was partly influenced by Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines. There are two versions of butter prawns in Malaysia – the wet and dry version. There are many different ways to cook dry butter prawns. Some cooks like to deep fry the egg mixture as they swirl them in hot oil, some like to use grated coconut or desiccated coconut, some like the Nestum cereal combination and others love to include instant oatmeal in their butter prawn dishes.

I used to buy the pre-packed mix for making cereal butter prawns but I later on discovered they consist of some artificial flavouring. So I decided to make my own butter prawns from scratch instead. After researching all over the internet for an easy recipe, I finally mastered the art of making butter prawns. This favourite recipe of mine uses instant oatmeal as it is easily available where I live and it is cheap to prepare.

Although the traditional butter prawns recipe requires me to deep fry my prawns in hot oil and use a lot of butter, I have modified the traditional recipe so that I use less butter and oil to provide a healthier option.

Here’s my recipe:

OATMEAL BUTTER PRAWNS

Ingredients:
16 medium sized banana prawns (shells intact)
3tbsp cornflour
4 cloves roughly chopped garlic
2 springs curry leaves, separated from their stems
3 finely sliced dried chillies
2-3 tbsp unsalted cooking butter
½ cup plain instant oatmeal
2 egg yolks
2tbsp milk
Salt, sugar and pepper to taste

Method:
• Peel off the shells of the prawn body and devein them. Make sure to keep the heads and the tails of the prawns intact as they will provide flavour to the dish.
• Lightly toast the oatmeal by dry frying them in a non-stick frying pan until the oats are lightly browned. Remove immediately to avoid them from burning.

toast oats
• Coat the base of a frying pan with cooking oil and heat till the oil is hot. You can test the heat of the oil by using a wooden chopstick. When you place the chopstick in the oil and you see bubbles around the edges of the chopstick, this means that your oil is hot enough to fry the prawns.
• Next, coat your prawns thoroughly with cornflour.

prawns in cornflour

• Lightly shake off any excess cornflour from the prawns before pan frying them on both sides until they are lightly browned. Do not overcook the prawns as they will become rubbery.

frying prawnscooked panfried prawns

• In a clean frying pan, melt two tablespoon butter.

melting butter

• Beat the egg yolks with the milk and pour gradually into the melted butter while swirling the mixture.

beating eggs with milkAdding eggs to butter

• Add in the chopped garlic, dried chillies and curry leaves. Continue to stir fry until the mixture is fragrant.

Stir frying butter mix
• Next, add in the oatmeal. Continue to stir the mixture until well combined. At this point, if you feel that you would like more butter, you can add 1 tbsp butter to the mixture. Then, add salt, pepper and sugar to taste.

Adding toasted oats to butter mixMixing curry leaves chilli and garlic with butter mix

• Now that your oatmeal mixture is done, add in your cooked prawns and combine both prawns and mixture.
Adding prawns to oats mix

Combining prawns to oats mix

• Serve prawns immediately with warm rice and stir fried vegetables.

So there you have it – an incredibly easy restaurant style prawn dish that you can whip up in minutes.

Butter prawns for end photo

Do you have a favourite restaurant dish that is really easy to prepare at home? Or do you wish you knew how to cook some of your favourite restaurant dishes?

Feel free to share your thoughts here.

I guess that’s all for now. Hope you’ve been inspired to prepare this easy restaurant dish at home.

Till then, happy cooking!

Cheers,
Caroline Poh