Symbolism also comes in the shape of flower and animal motifs - such as goldfish (prosperity), butterflies(afterlife), Peonies (faith) and chrysanthemums(fortune). These rice flour cookies are sometimes sprinkled with sesame seeds that symbolise numerous progeny. Kueh bangkit are typical of the evolution of the cultural osmosis from mainland China to overseas Peranakan communities; their origin being rice cakes baked in the shape of currency as an altar table offering for the departed to spend in their next life.
400gm sago flour
3 large pandan leaves
200 mil coconut milk
1 egg yolks
1/2 egg white
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten lightly (for brushing)
sesame seeds (optional) 10 gm
- Take 2 pandan leaves and cut up into 2 cm pieces. Dry-fry sago flour in wok (preferably non-stick) with the cut-up pandan for about 10 minutes over a low flame until very dry. Remove to cool. This removes most of the moisture and renders the flour light-as-air.
- Put sugar, coconut milk and remaining pandan leaves to simmer over medium heat. Do not over boil or the coconut milk will turn oily. Remove from heat once sugar is melted and allow to cool completely.
- Beat 1 egg yolks and 1/2 egg white till frothy and add to cooked coconut milk. Beat lightly for 3 minutes. On the working area, scoop 2 tablespoons of premix flour (sago flour + baking power to coconut mixture. Knead into a soft, pliable dough. Add a little if dough is too soft or add coconut mixture if dough is too dry.
- Roll out dough to about 1 cm thickness. Use cookie cutters or traditional bangkit cutters, usually paisley-shaped or as stylised flowers, and punch out the shapes. Dust a baking tray with a little sago flour and place bangkit in this, without touching each other.
- Bake in pre-heated oven (180 degrees c) for 10 minutes until light brown. Cook and store in air-tight containers. They keep for up to a month.