My first encounter with this cookie was in Taiwan. Named after the shape it resembles, it is literally called Ox Tongue Cookies and is the local specialty of Yilan Province in Taiwan.
The commercial grade I had tried, came in many different flavours including, cheese, coconut, black sesame etc... The cookie was whisper thin and gloriously brittle. Packed with the wonderful flavours of butter and maltose, the fragrance was delightfully distracting as I was shooting the photos of these cookies.
My reference recipe worked with a soft oily dough (butter rich) which had to be proofed to relax the gluten structure. This was then used to wrap a sugary dough filling before it was rolled out carefully to form the thin tongue like shape. Obviously, made by hand, I can never attain the whisper thin thickness of the commercial product - most likely rolled out in large batches through machine press - but I am more than delighted with the results. Thin and brittle enough to break at the slightest snap, I am feeling very accomplished. I can't wait to show these off to my Taiwanese colleagues. These are again, traditional treats that very few would be bothered to make at home nowadays.
I can't wait to modify the recipe for Chinese New Year. Continue to watch this space for further adaptation.
YiLan Ox Tongue Cookies (宜兰牛舌饼， 原味）
Recipe : (adapted from 来做古早味零食）
120g All purpose flour
12g Powder sugar
40g Unsalted butter
30g Powder sugar
20g Maltose syrup
20g Unsalted butter
30g Condensed Milk
50g Cooked flour ( Cook flour in a pot over medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes until
flour turns light brown. Sift and store)
1. Prepare oil dough by mixing water, sugar, butter together. Add all purpose flour and knead until a smooth dough is formed. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough proof for 30 mins.
2. Divide the proofed oil dough (1) into 10g portion and roll them into balls.
3. Prepare sugar dough by mixing sifted powder sugar,maltose syrup, butter and water. Add in condensed milk and cooked flour until a dough is formed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 mins to firm up the dough.
4. Divide the sugar dough into 7g portion and roll into a ball.
5. Flatten a oil dough ball and wrap one portion of the sugar dough with the oil dough.
6. Flatten (5) slightly on a lightly floured silpat / baking sheet. Carefully roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin (use a smaller pin - those typically used for making Dim Sum would be good) .
7. Repeat (5) and lay the 2nd dough next to (6) and roll out the dough as instructed in (6)...
8. Make a slit down the center of the dough as shown above. (failing to do so, the cookie will balloon up in the oven) Bake at 170C for 15mins until the cookie is golden brown.