For the Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (Kuih Makmur Dough)
90gicing sugar(powdered sugar in the US)
250 - 300gsalted butter, at room temperature(or ghee - if using ghee, add a pinch of salt to the dough)
1-2Tbspcold waterONLY if needed
The Peanut Filling
100graw or blanched skinned peanuts
small bowl of flour
Let's toast the Peanuts
Place the raw or blanched peanuts in a large frying pan over medium heat and toast for 10 minutes. Be sure that the pan is large enough for the nuts to be in a single layer.
Turn the heat down to medium-low after 2 minutes, so the peanuts don't brown too quickly and burn.
Keep tossing and flipping the peanuts until they are a light brown colour and giving off a sweet and nutty aroma.
When done, tip the nuts onto a large, flat plate and leave to cool for 20 minutes.Then, place them in a chopper and pulse to a fine state, but be careful not to overdo it to the oily stage. Do these in batches if your chopper isn't big enough. When the peanuts resemble small grains of wet sand, you're done.
Tip the ground peanuts into a medium bowl and add the caster sugar. Mix thoroughly until needed.
Let's make the Kuih Makmur Dough
Let's do this while the peanuts are cooling down. Sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl. Set aside. (Ignore the small bowl in the image, I was making a smaller amount).
Using a wooden spoon, cream the butter slightly in another bowl, until soft and a little light in colour. Basically, you are just going to be stirring that butter for about a minute.If using ghee, make sure it's runny, but you don't have to heat it, unless it's winter time, and it's hard.
Add about ¾ of the butter to the flour. Now, using your fingertips, gently rub the flour and butter to get a coarse mix that resembles wet sand, adding butter as needed.
Add a little more butter and rub this in, again with your fingertips. Keep adding the butter, until you get a dough that comes away from the bowl and doesn't crumble.To test if it's ready, take a pinch of dough, make a ball, and press down flat on your palm. If it cracks quite a bit (instead of just at the edges like in the picture), it's too dry. So add a little more butter.Remember, we are going to be filling our flat pastry with nuts, then sealing. So if your dough is crumbly now, you'll have trouble later.
If you've used up all your butter (or ghee), and your pastry is still too dry, then add a tablespoon of the cold water and that should be enough to bring your dough together.
Filling Kuih Makmur
Divide your dough into two. Cover the one with a clean tea towel while you work on the other. Form little balls out of your dough, slightly smaller than pingpong balls. As mentioned above, each should weigh between 17-20g. Place on a large plate.
Get a baking tray and the peanut filling ready. Get 1 ball and flatten with the base of your palm. Then, using your thumb, press down in the middle of the disc, to make a slight bowl shape. You probably have to press down with your thumb twice in two different directions.
Using a tsp, fill the bowl shaped dough with the nut filling. I used about ¾ tsp for each cookie. Don't overfill, as you'll have trouble closing it.
Bring the ends of the dough together, pinching lightly to seal. You'll end up with a crescent shaped cookie with a slightly flat bottom. Like Chinese dumplings or curry puff. Place your filled kuih makmur on the baking tray. Repeat with all the balls. Then move on to the second half of the dough.As each tray is filled up, cover with a tea towel to prevent from drying out. Or, you could heat the oven up after filling 2 trays, before crimping the first one.
Crimping Kuih Makmur
Get your bowl of flour ready. Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (140° Fan).
Dip your crimper in the flour and shake of excess. Now, crimp the top of the cookie from end to end.
Then, do one side, starting from the top, going down, and at an angle. You are essentially crimping out the veins of a leaf. Do the same on the other side, making sure that the pattern is flowing in the same direction.Repeat with all the filled cookies.
When you are done with one tray, place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 - 18 minutes. If your oven runs cool, you may even need to go to 20 minutes. The cookies are done when they are a pale golden colour.You could also bake two trays at a time, which is what I do. The top tray may be done a couple of minutes before the bottom one.
Take the tray out of the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before dusting with icing sugar.
Finish crimping and baking the rest of the cookies.
Let the cookies cool down completely before storing in an airtight container.
The time given here is an estimate, and for baking 2 trays at a time. Everyone's going to be different.Cooking time also includes the toasting of peanuts.It takes me about 1 minute per kuih makmur, from flattening, filling, to crimping.