Friday, January 23, 2009

Dragon cookie

In China, the dragon and the phoenix are traditional animals symbolic of auspiciousness. Along with the lin and the tortoise, they were known as the "Four Supernatural Spirits." According to ancient records, the dragon appeared in a magical variety of forms. It could be long or short, small or gigantic. It could be both secretive yet active, and it also inhabited everywhere from the heights to the depths. Traveling between the skies and earth, dragons were considered the mounts of heavenly deities. They also had the power to control rain.During times of drought, dragons could bestow precious water, and in times of flood, they could stop the rain and clear the skies. It is so true especially when you make these cookies, they turned out long, short, small or gigantic. If the dough is not the right texture, you need dragon strength to pipe and when you are exhausted from piping, disappointment awaits when you open the oven door - the dragon had lost its' scales.

I did not realised that i have left out a whole egg from the recipe, therefore the dough was not right. I managed to adjust the texture with cooking oil and it did the trick - very smooth dough which this old phoenix can tackle. Managed to get a tray baked and it turned out fine but these cookies are so delicate that you have to treat them with tender loving care. To my surprise, the cooking oil did good, making the cookie melts in the month.

Time was not with me last night, it was too late to carry on baking. So, dough has to take a vacation. Very bad idea to let the dough rest, cos with time, gluten developed and the dough was tough as ever.

I refused to give up the idea of making dragons and came up with this new method which i would like to share.

Roll the dough, make straight design with the pineapple roll's rolling pin and then cut across into strips.

Shape the strips into dragons and dot the eye with red coloring


150g butter

90g confectioner's sugar

350g cornflour

20g all purpose flour

1/2 oz milk powder

3 egg yolks

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

2 tbsp milk

2 - 4 tbsp cooking oil


Sift cornflour, all purpose flour and milk powder into a bowl. Set aside.

Sift confectioners' sugar into a mixing bowl. Add butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Add yolks one by one, beating well after each. Add in , vanilla essence and milk. Mix well.

Fold in dry ingredients in (1) and mix until a soft dough is formed. Adjust dough texture with cooking oil.

Put dough into a piping bag. Using a star nozzle, pipe out an "S" shape. Dot the eyes red.

Alternatively, roll a tiny piece of dough and roll with the pineapple roll rolling pin to get the lined design. Cut into 2 - 2 1/2 inches strips, (smaller dragons are not as delicate) shape them into dragons and dot the eye red.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 f for 10 - 15 minutes. DO NOT bake till brown. These cookies are suppsoed to be white or yellowish.

Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.

Store in air tight container.


Pipe the design as soon as the dough is ready and well mixed.

Using a smaller star nozzle, creates a better design and make the cookie smaller, longer dragons are too delicate and break, creating a storage problem.

I would suggest that when piping, have the star nozzle touching the baking sheet and pipe out in lines of length of about 2 1/2 inchs, then form the shape of "S"


Anonymous said...

You are very creative and bake such delicate cookies. Very sui leh.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Love your lazy improvisation! I read that this cookie tastes a lot like kuih bangkit.

Anonymous said...

HI Lily,

Where did you get the pineapple roller? Looks cute!

Unknown said...


where else??? it came from malaysia

Sinner said...

Gong Xi Fa Chai to you and your family. Cute cookies.

Anonymous said...

Aunt Lily!
I do not have milk powder. What should I do??

I must make this before CNY!

Unknown said...


milk powder is for flavor, so if you do not have it, omit it, no great loss

rokh said...

wow your trick does seem to save a lot of hassle! i made a batch with a friend this year with the cookie press. maybe next time we can use your way ;) btw, gong xi fa cai! have always loved your blog!

jinkar said...

Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and your family. Wow!! All the cookies you have made are new to me. I made pineapple jam tarts, peanut cookies plus one that my aunt used to call "mung ngay" which I have seen that others call butterfly cookies. Mine did not quite turn out like my aunts which were the size of joint of a finger and delicately crunchy. I'll have to try again but at the moment have run out of baking steam. I=

Anonymous said...

Gong Hei Fatt Choy!
I'm trying to make the dragon cookies here in Texas. This brings back a lot of memories of CNY at home. However I do not have tools to weigh the ingredients. Is it possible for you to help me convert to cups?

I read another recipe that calls for tapioca flour.. and I don't want to buy a big bag of tapioca flour just for that. Thank you very much for your recipes.. they certainly help all of us abroad now appreciate more of the goodness when we were back home.

Unknown said...


just scroll down this page and you will find the conversion calculator

Anonymous said...

I subscribe to your blog. And when I read dragon cookie, I had to come by. The way you came up with the design is brilliant. Very creative. Thanks for sharing.

Chin Ee. said...

Hi there

I am a Malaysia and now in Canada
i always visit your blog to learn how to cook, thanks for all the nice recipe

I have one for you
here : always have easy and nice recipes !

I love it very much , wish to share with u ..

chin ee

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've tried baking dragon cookies for the 10th time now.. Still cannot manage to hold its shape after the baking it.. It becomes flat (it melts after 2 minutes in the oven).

Anonymous said...

Tried the recipe. Aunty Lily, you have a wonderfull recipe. It's really melt in the mouth. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hello Lily,

I have been making various versions of this cookie from different recipes (variations of flour content, egg yolk/egg white.. etc)
and have found that I have yet to achieve the authentic milky taste like the ones back in Malaysia. I am trying to nail down some factors and thought I should ask an experienced baker like you. Do you think the butter that we get here in Europe makes a difference? The butter taste is really strong and comes out in the end product, and I think back home, most of the home bakers would use Planta/margerine or even cooking oil instead. I was wondering if it would be possible to replace all the butter in the recipe with cooking oil instead?

What do you think?

Experimental Baker

Unknown said...

experimental baker

i don't think oil will work for this recipe. oil has no water content and will make the cookie very short and easy to break.

Yes, i agree with you, European butter is slow churned so it is more fragrant than the sweet creamery butter in the united states.

I think the brand of milk powder used gives the milky flavor

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