So you’ve succeeded in fasting for 30 days. A whole month of preservation and self-reflection,
going the extra mile on good deeds and controlling your appetite. Thus the time has arrived for
celebration – Hari Raya Aidilfitri! No open house is complete without the raya cookies and even
if you didn’t fast, you’re more than welcome to feast because what is Malaysia if not for all races
to be celebrating all festivals. Here’s a quick guide on how to identify your cookies like a pro.
Also, plus point if you can wow the host/guests with your cookie-knowledge!
1) Almond London
Ask any Londoner about this and you’ll get a blank reply – nobody from London has ever heard
of it and no, it did not originate from London. Some say that it’s a take on the fact that the
‘almond land on’ the cookie – thus, Almond London! This cookie is a whole almond, coated in a
buttery biscuit and dipped in chocolate, topped off with some almond nibs. Butter, chocolatey
and crunchy in the middle. Absolutely gorgeous.
2) Pineapple Tart
If Malaysia was a cookie, this would be it. Chinese New Year, Raya Aidilfitri, Deepavali and
even Christmas – you’ll find it in any house during any celebration. This is the most popular
cookie that is wajib. Must have. Cannot-not-have. The pineapple tart mostly comes in two
shapes – the roll and the flower. It consists of a golden baked cookie base and topped off with
sweet jam filling.
3) Cornflakes Biscuits / Cookies
Cornflakes was created back in 1878 and has been used in baking ever since. A firm favorite
because it’s so versatile, cornflakes can often be found paired with chocolate, honey,
condensed milk, raisins, nuts and everything in between. The type of cornflake cookies you’ll
most likely to find are those coated in honey and sprinkled with nuts chocolate coated
4) Kuih Suji
Evergreen and aging gracefully, this traditional kuih has stood the test of time and will always be
served during raya for eons to come. Biskut suji is as simple as it is popular. Suji or semolina, is
made from ground durum wheat – the same wheat the Italians have been using for to make
pasta and bread for hundreds of years. Semolina is often enriched with vitamins and minerals
so you don’t have to feel too guilty if you’re eating lots of it! A combination of semolina, ghee,
icing sugar and butter, biskut suji is usually topped off with a piece of glazed cherry.
5) Kuih Batang Buruk
A mixture of wheat flour, coconut milk and mung bean powder which is then fried and dusted
with icing sugar – kuih batang buruk has a crunchy, sweet exterior and a rich, velvety interior. It
was named so because of it’s cylindrical shape that resembles a tree bark and once coated, is
ugly. No points for guessing where its name came from!
6) Kuih Bangkit
Also known as kueh bangkit, kopiah, koah, koah lau huay or shih fun paeng, this kuih is like the
United Nations of Asia. Steeped in rich history, it’s heritage is diverse with some Nyonya and
Indonesian roots. A pasty white, simple looking cookie, it does not look as glamorous as its
cousins but it’s preparation method is complicated. An amalgamation of tapioca flour, pandan,
custard powder, coconut milk and butter, this is a cookie for the ages, preferred by the golden
generation and also always found during the Chinese New Year.
7) Biskut Mazola
Why the name? Because the oil used is the corn oil from the brand Mazola. Simple. Another
firm favorite, this cookie is one of those that makes raya complete. A simple combination of
grounded kacang tanah, flour, and the magic ingredient – Mazola corn oil. This dough is then
baked to give it the firm texture on the outside but just crumbles and melts once inside the
8) Kuih Semperit
The colloquial term for melt-in-the-mouth, this cookie has been a winner since the 1970s.
Simple yet elegant and beautiful, this cookie gets its form from the piping bag. It would then be
completed with a tiny piece of glazed fruit at the top. Kuih semperit or biskut dahlia as it’s
known, is made with butter, flour, sugar and eggs. A firm favorite in Malay and Chinese
households. Some say that this kuih was born out of desperate times where food was scarce
therefore ‘dari masa yang perit’, kuih semperit was born!
9) Kuih Sarang semut
With an intricate lattice work that resembles an ant farm, this kuih is another firm favorite at raya
open houses. Made from corn flour, eggs, butter and vanilla icing, this kuih is a crunchy snack
that is mostly loved by the kids. A folklore of how this kuih came to be was that a little boy who
could speak to ants asked them to show him how they built their hive. The little boy then went to
his mother and told her about it. This sparked an idea and the mother quickly created a kuih to
resemble the ant hive.
10) Kuih Makmur
Competing for the most melt-in-your-mouth title, this kuih combines peanuts or dates, ghee,
flour and icing sugar to give you a sweet yet savoury combo. The kuih has a sweet exterior that
just melts into a savory burst of either peanuts or dates filling. The velvety texture is just rich on
the palate, giving you that oh-so-good feeling of something exquisite. This kuih is an old and
timely classic that have been gracing open houses for the generations passed and the
generations to come.
Armed with the knowledge above, we wish you a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and may your
quest for the best cookies and kuih bring you an abundance of joy and happiness.