These little cookies are one of my childhood favourites. My Mum used to make a variant of these all the time for the Eid Mubarak celebrations and I think I ate the bulk of them. They were called Biskut Sugee. They were small morsels of rich, short, super crumbly but silken cookies, with a velvety layer of icing sugar. As a child, I would work my way through a whole jar of these and once demolished, I would systematically gather the surplus icing sugar with my sticky fingers and lick them off one by one.
Icing sugar is definitely meant for dredging onto cakes and cookies, not for buttercream. I have a really bad, bad history with making traditional buttercream.
My Mum doesn’t make these anymore. Like many of the traditional Malay flour sweet confections, the recipes are being lost and more Westernised biscuits have replaced them. Before leaving for England, I did manage to get my Mum o give me her recipe for Biskut Sugee but alas, even after several attempts, I have yet to get it right. Something was missing.
So, it was with great chuffness (yes, that’s a word) for me to share that I have discovered something so similar. There are some differences to the ingredients list – instead of using clarified butter, this recipe calls for straightforward butter. It also has almond extract and ground almond in the recipe, which Biskut Sugee recipe hasn’t got.
These cookies have various incarnations, Biskut Sugee, Russian Tea Cakes and of course, Mexican Wedding Cookies.
I seriously urge you to make these. Both Firstborn and Slaveboy were in the kitchen debating how many of these they could demolish in one sitting. The best offer so far was 45 in 3 minutes.
250g softened butter
60g icing sugar, sifted
1tsp almond extract
1tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour, sifted
55g ground almonds, sifted three times
100g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
– Using your tabletop or handheld mixer, cream the butter and icing sugar until pale and creamy.
– Add the vanilla and almond extract.
– Using a large spoon, mix in the plain flour and ground almonds.
– Chill the dough (wrapped in cling film) for 1hr.
– Preheat oven to 170C and you will be wanting to line two baking trays with parchment.
– Using a teaspoon measure, roll into balls and place them on the trays.
– Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden.
– After leaving them to cool for 5 minutes, dust them with the 100g of icing sugar. Feel free to use more if you think it needs more coverage. You really want to make sure that you dust them when warm so that the surface of the cookies and icing sugar meld together, creating that velvety sweet texture.
– Just prior to serving, make sure you heavily dredge the cookies with icing sugar. Do the same if you intend on storing them.