Sunday 22 September 2013

Snail Cookies by Phay Shing Tan

Recipe for Snail cookies
(Adapted from recipe for Chinese New Year melt-in-your mouth almond cookies)

Plain dough
120g cake flour
30g icing sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt (or a pinch if you prefer less salt)
75ml canola oil (can replace with other oil if you prefer)
1 tsp vanilla essence added to the oil

Flavoured dough

For every 60g of cake flour add:
- 1 tbsp of cocoa powder to the flour mixture for chocolate flavour
- 1/2 tbsp of green tea powder to the flour mixture for green tea flavour
- 1 tsp strawberry essence and 2-3 drops of red food colouring to the oil for strawberry flavour

1. Sift flour, icing sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well by whisking and divide the flour mixture into half
2. Add cocoa powder/ green tea powder in one portion of flour mixture if you are making these flavours and mix well
3. Gradually add oil a tbsp at a time to the flour mixtures ( about 2.5-3 tbsp for each portion) until a ball of dough can be formed. Sprinkle a bit of water and continue kneading until the dough does not crumble into pieces.
4. Dough can be cling wrapped and refrigerated for 30min or overnight at this point before shaping it. Bake for 10-15min at 160°C.

Steps for shaping the snails:
1. After preparing the dough, wrap up in cling wrap to refrigerate for 30min. Divide the flavoured dough into 2/3 and 1/3 portions.  You can play around with the excess 1/3 portion of flavoured dough to make cookies of different shapes.
2. Draw a 10x15cm box on a baking sheet and a 15x15cm box on another sheet and fold it such that the dough can fit into a "pocket". Put the 2/3 portion of flavoured dough into the smaller pocket and roll it out using a rolling pin, making sure that the corners are filled. Roll until the dough is about 0.4-0.5cm thick. Repeat for plain dough in the bigger pocket. Roll until both dough are about the same length as shown.
3. Carefully place the plain dough on top of the flavoured dough by aligning the straight 10 and 15cm sides. Place a baking sheet over and gently roll the two sheets of dough to make it stick a bit. Roll up the dough like a Swiss roll in the direction shown by the arrow above, making sure that there is no air trapped. Cling wrap and refrigerate overnight or for 30 min. Cut to 0.6-0.7cm thick slices with a knife. I used a baking sheet cut to this width as a template to ensure that all slices are even in thickness.4. Place pinwheels on baking sheet to bake. You may add melon seeds that have been split into two to make the feelers of the snails.
5. You may use melted compound chocolate to draw in the faces of the snails after the cookies have cooled to room temperature.

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