Friday, February 11, 2011


It was a quiet Sunday morning, the tail end of the week long Chinese New Year holiday stretch here in Kuala Lumpur. Chef Baini held another Fancy Cookies homeclass and she was expecting a small group to show up today. Because the traffic was light, her guests showed up a little early. What else could Chef Baini do but invite them to join her for a Sunday morning breakfast!

Though all of them had breakfast already, some of them took up the offer when they saw what was served: home made Lontong and Sambal Ikan Bilis! Now some of you may not know this, but Chef Baini's family always prepares the Lontong, Sambal Ikan Bilis plus Chicken Rendang for their two neighbours for CNY. Its a tradition in the family that has been on-going for almost 40 years!

Though not exactly Breakfast at Tiffany's, (the famous novella written by Truman Capote and immortalised into a film of the same name  starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard) it was definitely home cookin' at its best, minus the glamour and glitz! After breakfast was done, class began and Chef Baini started her usual teaching routine. Normally Chef Baini would begin by showing how to bake the cookies.....

The Fab Four for today comprised of 1) Dila 2) Lyn 3) Siti and 4) Lia.  So first they learned how to make the cookie dough and mould them into the desired shapes. This was easy enough.....

Sometimes Chef Baini would make the students play the role of the teacher; its a role reversal that's makes the classes more interesting from time to time. Maybe Chef Baini is preparing her students to be like her someday soon!

Next comes the icing. For this Chef Baini herself took the lead for this is the key to the the tastes and textures of the Fancy Cookies. She strongly advises her students to cover the icing bowls with cling wrap to protection and prevention of loss of moisture.

These are the minute details that make the difference between good stuff and great stuff. Its like Japanese cuisine: Food must be treated with the utmost respect because it is God's bounty meant for our consumption. We are what we eat, so must respect whet we eat in order to respect our bodies and those whom we feed!

Once the cookies are baked and cooled, they are ready for dressing. Start off with the laying of the icing borders. You can see the Fab Four below at work....

On the left is Lyn while on the right is Siti

Next, to the right is Dilla and finally there is Lia to the right.

After the icing hardens, filling up the spaces with various multi-coloured icing is the fun part. There's no script here, its all ad lib! It is as spontaneous as it looks. the above and below pictures show the ladies going at it.

Oh yeah, a late-comer joined in the fray much later. Its none other than Jannah who just loves making Fancy may notice that she looks like a little sourpuss in the picture.

The reaon for that is mean ol' Dad insisted Jannah finish her schoolwork before she can join the class! Hey sweetheart, you may be a chef in the making, but you're still a kid going to school. So school comes first, OK? There's a good girl!

Before you know it, the Fab Four finished their Fancy Cookies. Have a look at their work:

 This one is by Lyn 

Dila did this...

 And Siti did this, the last collection of today's Fancy Cookies.

As a bonus, Chef Baini always showed the Fab Four how to make the Fancy Cookie Lollipops! The above picture shows a sampling of these lollipops. Kids love them by the dozen!
Here below are a few close-ups of some of the Fancy Cookies that were done today.....

Notice the detailed decoration that went into these cookies. Each is unique to its own.

Like the holidays that came to an end, so did today's class, Ugh! Tomorrow, we all have to get back to the grind as schools reopen and work resumes. But what a way to end the festive season, it surely ended with a bang instead of a whimper! See you again real soon dear friends, take care!

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