In Which There Were Wee Green Treats Among the Biscuits…

A fascinating bunch of homemade biscuits

Along with some madeleines, a few Klowi’s Challenge cookies, a slice of my newfangled orange-and-milk-chocolate pound cake, I threw some friends for a loop when I included several green-tinged biscuits in their Christmas tubs.  With everyone else giving away common things like food for the gods (date-nut bars), chocolate chip cookies, and even rum-and-butter cakes, I wanted to give my friends something different yet totally delicious.

These grass-green bickies are pandan-and-ginger shorties, delicately sweet cookies with a moreishly crumbly/sandy texture flavored with pandan (screwpine) flavoring and some ground ginger.  They evoke other local delicacies associated with the Yuletide Season: suman (steamed logs of glutinous rice) lightly flavored with pandan and fresh ginger, steamed puto (rice flour muffins), and puto bumbong (logs of purple glutinous rice steamed in bamboo tubes [bumbong] and slathered with butter, sugar, and fresh-grated coconut).  But these are a modern, more portable, and more easily snackable version of all these old-school goodies.

These are perfect with old-school salabat (ginger tea) or extra-thick Spanish hot chocolate (tsokolate eh) after the traditional Misas de Gallo (dawn Masses) that mark the Christmas season in this part of the world.

Pandan and Ginger Shorties

  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salted margarine, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 100 grams granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pandan flavoring (To get the green color, I used Ferna Flavocol which doubles as a colorant.)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees / Gas Mark 4.

Cream together the butter and 100 grams sugar till light and fluffy. Whisk in the egg and the [andan extract and mix till well-combined. Add the flour, baking powder, and ginger and mix till the mixture is about the texture of mashed potatoes. Roll level tablespoons of the dough into balls and roll in the cardamom sugar. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for fifteen minutes.

Makes 36 cookies.