Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, Singapore (Part I)








This is a very special post for me.  First, as you can see, I have made some National Day Cookies here as a pre-National Day celebration.  Tomorrow, I will be going down to Marina Bay to watch the NDP preview.   And I am equally thrilled to be sharing this post with one of my favorite food bloggers, Ellena, at Cuisine Paradise. 

With about a week more to our National Day, I decided to make these cookies for my little girl and her pre-school classmates.  I zoom in on two colours - red and white, the colours of our National Flag.  And, what's better way to pack these cookies than having them in this NDP Fun Box!  For those who have attended last year's NDP ("National Day Parade") celebration, you might remember having this Fun Box inside the goodies bag.  

I thought this is also a great time for me, as a Singaporean and a young parent, to engage our little ones in some National Education.  I design a simple quiz of 20 questions on Singapore, from "what is our National Anthem", " What does the crescent moon on our flag represents" to "Name 5 MRT stations on the East West Line".  These questions are printed and glued on small little tags and taped behind each cookie pack.  I hope while the children are enjoying the cookies, they will also get to learn something about Singapore.  





Updated on 10 August
Received this powerpoint slide from the class teacher:

Glad the kids have a good time!


For Part II of my National Day bakes, I made a chocolate brownies National Day cake for their school celebration




Recipe
I used the same cookie recipe as my earlier Valentine's Day cookies.  This cookie recipe yields very crispy cookies, but is extremely sticky to work with.  If you prefer more manageable cookies, you may want to add a little more flour to it or cut down the butter to 200g.

Cookie dough:
(makes about 28 to 30 cookies)
220g butter
100g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla essence
300g plain flour
60g corn flour

Royal icing:4 tsp meringue powder
4 tbsp water
300g icing sugar
4 tsp lemon juice
Red, black colour gel



Method:
1) Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy (pale white).

2) Add egg yolk and vanilla essence, beat for another minute or two.

3) Sift plain flour and corn flour together.  Add into butter mixture and mix well to form a dough

4) Divide dough to 2 portions, cover with clingwrap and rest dough in fridge for an hour.

5) Roll each dough between baking paper and clingwrap to about 2 to 3mm thick.  

6) Rest the dough sheet back in fridge for 30 minutes (or 10 minutes in the freezer).

7) Stamp the cookies using cookie cutter and transfer them to a baking tray lined with baking paper.

8) Bake in preheated oven at 175C for 15 to 20 minutes.  Let the cookies cool completely on rack before decorating.



Decorating the cookies:
1) Whisk meringue powder and water till foamy.

2) Add icing sugar gradually and continue to whisk till stiff and fluffy.

3) Add lemon juice and whisk for another 2 minutes.  Add a little water (1/4 tsp each time) if the icing is too stiff and dry.  

4) Divide into portions and mix in desired coloured gel.

5) For each icing colour, save a portion for piping the outlines (i.e. stiff icing); and then add more water (1/4 tsp each time) to get thinner icing consistency for flooding the cookies.  

Notes:
1) Working with red and black colours are the most tricky, as the red and black coloured gels will turn "pink" and "grey" when mixed together with the white icing.  You could try preparing the icing a day ahead, as icing color will darken slightly with time (whisk it slightly before using).  If you're preparing your icing ahead, do not make it too thin as it tends to be a little diluted the next day.  Alternatively, some websites suggested adding a little cocoa powder to darken the shades.  I have not tried this method.  

2) Transfer the royal icing to piping bag(s) and use immediately.  Else, cover the royal icing with cling wrap to prevent it from drying out. 

3) I used a piping tip #2 for piping the lines.  For flooding, I just cut a small tip off the disposable piping bag.

4) Click here for a detailed explanation on getting the right icing consistency.  

5) Let the icing fully set and dry before transferring them to cookie bag.  I left them in a air-con room for about 5 hours to set.  Some websites recommend leaving them overnight, but I am concern that the cookies might turn soft.  




To my little girl and her friends, enjoy your cookies and have fun with your NE quiz !

I will like to end this post by sharing with you my favorite NDP theme song, "Home", sang by Kit Chan:





Happy Birthday, Singapore!






17 comments:

  1. When I first saw the post, I went WOW - your cookies are so beautifully decorated. And I'm so jealous of your daughter's classmates - they not only get to eat the lovely cookies, they get to learn about Singapore in such a fun way as well! Kudos to you!

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  2. the wordings on the cookies are so nicely written.
    It's good to instill love to the country at a young age.

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  3. Wow!!The cookies are so pretty & beautiful. You are so patriotic. Proud to be a Singaporean. Theresa

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  4. Janine: ha... get you to join in their playgroup!

    Thanks, Wendy.

    Theresa: Just do my little part

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  5. Really pretty! The kids are so lucky to receive the cookies!

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  6. 哎哎哎,很美呢,你怎么酱有心思啊?:P

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  7. thanks, SSB. Just came back from school... the kids love it. But my girl said hers not fun ... cos she happened to choose a more "challenging" question ... "who wrote our National Anthem". hee...

    鲸鱼:有空就是喜欢弄些吃的和玩一下下小手工。又不能一个人吃 (不胖死我才怪!),就和大家分享。

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  8. WaiFong you are really good in doing icing cooking :) And thanks for your beautiful guest post :)

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  9. This is my 1st visit to your blog! Saw your link @ Anncoo's blog, I also did a National Day dish :) I'm impressed with your cookies :) Very nice indeed! Looking fwd to more sharing!

    Dropping by from Luxury Haven!

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  10. Thanks, Shirley. Just went over to your blog. Glutinous rice... hmmm.. I like!

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  11. I want to vote you as model parent of the year. Your idea of a quiz is fantastic.

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  12. lots of hard work on these cookies. You are a wonderful mom.

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  13. Cooking and baking is my passion. I find this a meaningful way to share this passion with my child.

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  14. Wow wow wow!! You are really awesome!! I am a mother of 3 wonderful kids and a 24/7 homemaker like you. You certainly have a special way of bonding with your child! I will definitely look upon, the way and effort you shower your love to your child!

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  15. Came across ur blog while looking for gift idea for national day. These are so beautiful! Wonder if l can place order from u? Pls let me know. Great thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, I made them as a hobby only. Making them for orders can be a little stressful as they are all handmade and rather time consuming. Nevertheless, thanks for visiting

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