It just would not be Chinese New Year without sugee cookies. These pale yellow discs have a lot going for them: They’re sweet and salty (a killer dessert combination). They’re rich and buttery. They’re both melt-in-your-mouth and crunchy. And best of all, they’re one of the easiest cookies to make ever.
I wouldn’t dream of celebrating Chinese New Year without a huge batch of homemade sugee cookies for visitors and to give away to friends.
The rich flavour of sugee biscuits is thanks to clarified butter, or ghee, as it is known in Asia. Ghee is sold in supermarkets in tins, but you can just as easily clarify butter on your own. (I might do a Basics post on clarifying butter in future.)
Clarifying butter removes water and milk solids, leaving you with a fat that has a higher smoking point and a much more intense flavour than butter. If you cannot find ghee or don’t have the time to clarify butter, just use the same amount of butter in this recipe instead. You’ll get a pretty decent result, but the butter flavour in the cookies will not be as strong as if you had used ghee.
The other main part of a sugee cookie is sugee a.k.a. semolina. Semolina flour is often much coarser than regular wheat flour, hence why these cookies have a nice crunch to them.
150g icing sugar
1/2 tsp salt
150g semolina flour
200g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Makes 40 large (2-tsp size) biscuits or 80 (1-tsp size) small ones.
Step 2: In a mixer or in a large bowl by hand, mix all the ingredients until it forms a creamy, soft dough.
Step 3: Roll teaspoon-portions of the dough into balls and place them on the sheet pan about 2 inches apart. I like to use my disher because it’s just a cleaner and faster way to portion out the dough.
However, my disher’s capacity is two teaspoons, so my biscuits are pretty large. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack.
Since ghee has a longer shelf-life than butter, these cookies will last you a good couple of weeks. (That is, if no one gets to them first!)