Fr. Jeff‘s recent trip to one of the southern provinces brought a good crunchy lot of ampaw – crispy rice bars held together with a raw sugar syrup – to our house. More than we could conveniently eat, as a matter of fact!
So, what does one do with several bars of ampaw? Why, make cookies, of course!
Broken into chunks, ampaw give cookies a surprising lightness and a crispness that is just delightful. The raw sugar used to sweeten the ampaw works very well with vanilla and a good bit of cinnamon; the end result is deliciously fragrant and totally irresistible. As these are not too sweet, they’re great for dipping in hot Spanish-style chocolate.
However, I would advise would-be-bakers of these treats to use the native ampaw as you need solid chunks of crunchy-crisp rice. The Chinese ampaw, while good for snacking (the peanut-coated ones are particularly divine), will crumble into nothingness if used here.
Spiced Ampaw Cookies
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 2 pieces native ampaw, broken into manageable chunks
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 325 degrees / Gas Mark 3. Lightly grease a standard cookie sheet; set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and baking soda; mix until well incorporated. Mix in the flour until properly combined, then fold in the ampaw just till the chunks are distributed throughly in the dough. Drop by tablespoons onto the greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or till golden.
Makes 2 – 3 dozen.