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Let’s face it, not everyone is fond of Kuih Raya, especially the traditional ones. People, especially kids, nowadays would rather just eat modern or viral ones such as Nutella Choc Buttons, Biscoff Butter Cookies and any flavoured Choc Chip cookies.
But there are people out there who still like the taste from the past (oldies but goldies people). Some of these Kuih Raya still stand the test of time and some are becoming more and more scarce.
So for those of you who wanna impress your in-laws by knowing the names of these traditional cookies or for those who simply love the taste of it but just don’t seem to remember the name, here are some of the most underrated traditional Kuih Raya for you guys.
Thie ingredients for this cookie are as simple as they get but it’s the shape that’s a bit difficult to do. Mainly consisting of around 3-4 different flours (custard flour is important) and a wet batter, the dough is mixed until smooth and put into a cone-like copper mould with different shapes for its tips.
There are generally two types of Semperit, the classic rectangular long ones and the Dahlia flower-shaped ones. To modernize this, you can add in whatever food colouring, flavour and topping that you want. Some of the popular renditions of the traditional semperit are milk, chocolate, cheese, rainbow and many more.
They taste like little custard butter cookies that melt in your mouth. Have a look at the recipe here.
2. Mazola / Peanut Cookies
Back in the day, there were not many available choices of nuts that you can easily get at an affordable price (even almonds nibs today can stand around RM40 for a small 1kg!). So a lot of the cookies from back then use simple nuts like peanuts, cashews and mung beans.
These particularly simple cookies use peanuts as their base taste and honestly, if you love peanuts, you just can’t stop at one! Go nuts on the mazola, no one will judge you. The dough is shaped into small-sized balls, gently pressed and topped with an egg white wash and some half peanut bits.
3. Suji / Sugee Cookies
If you love Sugee Cake, you’ll love this one. Suji or sugee cookies use semolina flour which is the coarse grain-like flour that adds a crunchy texture to your cookies or cake.
The main ingredients for these cookies are of course semolina flour and also ghee. They are shaped into small balls and topped with dried candied cherries. You can also add almond nibs to the batter for an extra modernised crunch.
They taste very rich and buttery (because of the ghee), and also crunchy (semolina flour) at the same time. Here’s a recipe if you wanna make these at home.
Makmur or prosperous / peace, as its Malay meaning suggests, are cookies that are supposed to make you feel at peace. No, no it doesn’t have marijuana in it. Or does it? Kidding. The name came from an Arabian cookie named Ma’amoul which are semolina cookies filled with pistachios/walnuts/dates in the middle.
Here in Malaysia, it’s adapted to the local taste and we use groundnuts/peanuts as the filling. Makmur is oval (could be in a ball too, depends) in shape with a ghee base for the shell, peanuts for the filling and the end product is coated generously in icing sugar for a sweet soft finish.
With a soft outer shell and a crunchy inner filling, they taste like drops of heaven, but with peanuts. Check the recipe for tips on how to do this properly.
Bangkit cookie is very popular in Malaysia and is available throughout the year, during many festivities (especially Chinese New Year). They are a blend of tapioca starch and coconut milk that’s moulded into flower-shaped cookies.
The dough is pressed into a wooden or plastic mould that already has multiple flower/leaves prints and then is baked. They can also come in different new varieties like Bangkit Cheese, Bangkit Coconut (with grated coconut), Bangkit Pandan and more.
Very lightweight and with an airy rich and creamy texture, you can see the recipe here.
6. Putu Kacang / Kuih Koya / Mung Bean Cookies
If you know and like Putu Kacang, you’re legendary as not many people favour these as they’re not that sweet.
Despite having only two ingredients which are mung bean flour and sugar, this cookie has quite a tedious process to prepare. The flour needs to be popped in the oven or fried (with no oil of course) on a wok until it turns yellowish in colour. After that, sugar is added and a few sprays of water. Then, the sandy texture is moulded into the same wooden or plastic mould as bangkit cookies.
These are particularly popular among those with an acquired taste (very popular for the older generation) for nutty but a bit bland flavours. Check the traditional recipe here.
7. Batang Buruk
Batang Buruk isn’t actually a kuih raya but you can see them all over Malaysia during certain festivities as well. They’re called Batang Buruk or Old Logs because the pastry resembles little logs and is coated with powdered flour.
There are traditional ways of making the pastry but people nowadays can use spring roll pastry to make the tiny logs. After they’re fried, they’re coated with a powdered mixture of mung bean powder and icing sugar. There are also modern flavours to these traditional old logs which can be Nestum or Chocolate.
Tasting like a powdered crunchy snack, they can be a bit messy to eat. But if it’s good, nothing can stop us Malaysians from enjoying it. Here‘s a simple recipe.
Actually, some of these cookies (not all) are still popular today as they are not made for Raya Aidilfitri (Eid Fitr) only, you can also see these in Malaysia during Chinese New Year, Deepavali and even Christmas.
All Malaysians end up loving these snacks, but the good news is we always have a festival around the corner so you can munch to your heart’s content!