Ask any Indonesian what their favourite biscuit is for Idul Fitri (or any special celebration for that matter), and without hesitation you’ll hear, ‘Nastar!’, ‘Kaastengel!’, ‘Putri Salju!’, ‘Kue Semperit!’ and ‘Lidah Kucing!’. These biscuits clearly are the favourites of Indonesia. And as these cookies are being named, you’ll also detect a hint of nostalgia in these voices – as attached to these cookies are fond memories of childhood, family and togetherness.
Did you know that we have already published seriously delicious recipes for Nastar (pineapple cookies) and Putri Salju (peanut cookies)? And today we present you with our wonderfully simple recipe for Lidah Kucing.
‘Lidah Kucing’ biscuits (which translates as ‘cats tongue biscuits’ due to their shape), are light in weight, soft in the centre and crispy around the edges. Eat them in their simple and elegant form, or dress them up with any matter of yummy toppings (suggestions below!). Either way, you’re sure to delight your family and friends when you serve up these delicious biscuits.
Finally, to those of you who celebrate Idul Fitri, we say, ‘Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri’. Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and peaceful Eid.
Recipe for Lidah Kucing Biscuits
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 5 – 8 minutes
125g unsalted butter (softened)
125 g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites
125 g plain flour (sifted)
Preheat oven to 175 degrees (fan forced).
Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Next add the vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks are formed.
Gently fold the egg whites into the butter mixture.
Next, gently fold in the flour until completely combined.
Transfer the batter into a piping bag with a 1.5 cm tip.
* Note: If you don’t have a piping bag, simply fill a ziplock bag with the batter then make a 1.5cm diagonal cut across a corner.
Pipe 6cm long strips onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 3cm between each strip.
Bake in preheated oven until edges are golden. This will take approximately 6-8 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool.
If decorating your cookies, ensure they are completely cool before icing and/or dipping in melted chocolate.
Here are some decorating suggestions:
Why not ice your cookies? or perhaps dip them in melted chocolate then cover with chopped nuts?
Or how about dusting your cookies with a pinch of ground cinnamon or a sprinkle of desiccated coconut?
Whatever you choose, be sure to refrigerate until set.
Eat fresh or store in airtight container for up to 4 days.
For a twist, why not spike the cookie batter with some finely grated orange or lemon zest; ground cardamom or cinnamon.
Why not sandwich two biscuits together with raspberry jam. Want a little more indulgence? Dip the ends in melted dark chocolate.
In the spirit of Idul Fitri, we asked some of our AJB interviewees (featured in our ‘People’ category) what their favourite celebratory cookies are. This is what they had to say:
Hani Nandana (my Bahasa Indonesia teacher for the past 5 years): “Kaastengel, Putri Salju and Lidah Kucing are found in almost all households during Idul Fitri”.
Nita Strudwick (professional photographer): “Oh I love Lidah Kucing! But I grew up eating Kaastengels and Nastar cookies every Eid. My mom used to make them. Now my husband and daughter love Kaastengel too (made from Edam cheese)”.
Muhammad Fadli (professional photographer): “When I was growing up we almost never bought any biscuits for Eid, instead everything was homemade. My aunty would make the best cheese biscuits (Kaastengel)”.
Ruth Marbun (AKA, ‘Utay Utay’ – Artist): “Nastar, Lidah Kucing and Putri Salju (made with cashews). Because my mum rarely buys Putri Salju cookies, I treasure every sugary bite when I enjoy them in other people’s homes. The best ones have crushed cashews in the dough”.
Vina Alhadath (photographer): “Home made chocolate peanut cookies – they are easy to make and taste great!”
Ayu Larasati (Ceramicist): We enjoy Lidah Kucing as well – but the other ones that we love are Kue Putri Salju and also of course Nastar and Kaastengel. We would usually buy ours from Toko Oen when we would do Mudik to Semarang. Toko Oen has been around for generations”
Looking for more recipes for Lebaran and other festive occasions? Try these!
Interested in learning more about Ramadan, Idul Fitri and the Islamic faith? Here are a few more posts:
Words: Jo Stevens Photography: a journey bespoke