Welcome to The Storied Recipe Podcast, a podcast about food, culture, and love. This recipe for Indonesian Butter Cookies with Pandan came from my podcast guest, M Aimee. Make sure you listen to her episode Christmas in Indonesia while you make these Pandan Cookies - Kue Semprit Keju (Cheese Spritzen Cookies)!
The ingredients for these Pandan Cookies from Indonesia (similar to a Filipino cookie named) could come straight from a basket in Chopped! An Indonesian adaptation of the classic Dutch cookie recipe, Spritz cookies, these combine tapioca starch, gouda cheese, coconut milk, and pandan leaves!
However, I knew I could trust my podcast guest, M. Aimee because she gave us one of the Top 5 recipes ever shared on The Storied Recipe: Mie Goreng, a gorgeous dish of sweet Indonesian noodles with shrimp, chicken, and lots of Asian greens. And M did not disappoint! As she says, these cookies are not "boringly sweet", but you will be going back for another bite... and another!
- Look, Flavor, and Texture
- M's Memories of Making Indonesian Cookies for Christmas
- Listen to M's Episode
- Follow The Storied Recipe in Your Favorite Player
- Ingredients & Substitutions
- What is Pandan - Variations and Substitutions?
- Other Pandan Cookies from Southeast Asia
- More Christmas Around the World Episodes
- More Christmas Desserts Around the World
- Indonesian Butter Cookies with Pandan, Cheese, and Coconut
Look, Flavor, and Texture
- These are such fun and festive cookies because you'll use a piping bag or cookie press to shape them, just like their predecessors, Spritz cookies.
- You can decorate with jeweled colored dried fruits, chocolate chips, dessicated coconut, or cheese sprinkles.
- These will not have the green color of other Pandan cookies if you use the method with fresh pandan leaves or the small amount of Pandan powder called for in the recipe.
- Primarily of butter, yay!
- You'll get salt too, as M says salt and sweet is a popular combination in Southeast Asian cuisine.
- Pandan flavor - more on that below.
- These cookies are hard and crumbly, but not dry. The egg yolk gives them a lovely crumble and the butter keeps them rich.
- With each bite, you'll have a little crunch of baked cheese
M's Memories of Making Indonesian Cookies for Christmas
My maternal grandfather was the avid cookie maker during Christmas time. I remember watching him making different types of cookies for Christmas since all of his grandchildren came to visit.
It was normally very humid in the kitchen as it was rainy season in December. There were always too many people in the kitchen in my paternal grandparents house. Sometimes the helper helped us; one of the senior helpers had been with the family for years so she knew how to do it.
We relied on our old gas oven. My job was to sit in front of the oven with a tiny stool and wait. I recalled our gas oven only operated automatically with actual fire from the bottom, so to make any cookies golden brown, we had to manually hold the ignition button for the top fire to turn on for however long you need it. It could quickly turn to disaster as it got really hot rapidly, so I had to watch carefully.
Later on when we moved to our own house, the kitchen was more spacious and comfortable, with a window in front of the stove which helped, but my job was still the same. Watching the cookie with my tiny stool while making sure the fire did not devour it before we did.
Listen to M's Episode
Follow The Storied Recipe in Your Favorite Player
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Tapioca Starch - I tried two different kinds and ultimately had the most success from this type from Amazon
- Mild gouda - M says they use a particular type of Kraft cheese in Indonesia that is not available in North America, so she replaced it with Gouda, a Dutch cheese. Do not use pre-shredded gouda as it will contain cornstarch
- Butter - The butter flavor is prominent so choose a high quality butter.
- Sweetened condensed milk - This is what M uses. Other recipes use a combination of milk powder and granulated sugar, icing sugar (confectioners' sugar), brown sugar, gula melaka (palm sugar), jaggery, or panela. (The last 2 are versions of evaporated cane sugar.)
- Egg yolks
- Coconut milk - full fat is best
- Pandan flavoring (see below for options)
- Decorations: Diced dried fruits, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, grated cheese. Everyone uses something a little different. I used sugared cranberries, pomegranate arils, and chopped crystallized ginger for these shots.
What is Pandan - Variations and Substitutions?
- A tropical plant popular in Southeast Asian desserts
- Pandan powder / fresh Pandan leaves / Pandan extract / Pandan pastereplace with 1 tablespoon of vanilla
- Preheat oven to 300F,
- Make crunchy gouda crisps by finely shredding cheese over baking sheet covered with parchment paper and cooking until the cheese is golden and crispy.
- Cool down and chop.
- Toast the tapioca starch. If you are using fresh pandan leaves, you can knot the leaves and toast them with the tapioca to infuse the starch. Toast until the tapioca looks malleable like sand. Cool.
- Sift tapioca starch with salt and pandan powder.
- Cream butter and sweetened condensed milk.
- Add egg yolk one at a time.
- Add the crispy cheese, then gently add the tapioca starch.
- Pipe or press the cookie dough onto sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Decorate if desired.
- Bake in the middle rack of preheated oven until the middle is completely dry. Do not undercook.
Other Pandan Cookies from Southeast Asia
- Traditional crinkle cookies from Philippines
- Parchment paper
- Electric mixer
- Cookie press or piping bags/tips for distinctive cookie form. Recommend large open star tip because the cheese chips need to come through.
- Refrigerate or freeze the dough, well-wrapped, up to 7 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.
- After baking, freeze the cookies up to 3 months well-wrapped and in an airtight bag.
More Christmas Around the World Episodes
- 161 Christmas in Indonesia with M. Aimee Tan
- 160 Christmas in Bruderhof with Diana Rutherford
- 159 Christmas in Ecuador with Sofia Alarcon
- Christmas Traditions Around the World (Podcast Interviews)
- 146 Christmas in Norway with Alexandra Taylor
- 145 Christmas in South Africa with Kate Jack
- 144 Christmas in the Valley of the Kings, France
- 143 Christmas in Alicante with Mar Lozano
More Christmas Desserts Around the World
- Traditional Mincemeat Tarts 3 Ways (British Christmas Pies)
- How to Make Povitica Bread with Walnut Cinnamon Swirl
- Best Vegan Frosted Cookies (Vegan Christmas Cookies)
- Zabaglione (Zabaione): Easy Italian Custard With Eggs
- Chocolate Covered Rich Buttery Toffee
- South African Peppermint Crisp Tart
- Easy Christmas Truffles: Chocolate Mint Balls from Norway
- Turrón de Jijona (No Cook Spanish Soft Almond Nougat)