I don't bake pretty, I bake tasty: Grandmum's Sultana Biscuits

A very yawnful morning, Earthlings

(Author's note: I am actually continuing this post due to bad internet connection few days later. So it is A good morning-to-noon, Earthlings, now.)

I have been losing a proper internet connection for days, and it's bummed me out. So, during that internet shortage period, I am baking more cookies. I tried this recipe days ago but I always feel like posting the recipe. The recipe is not like other, it is my Grandmother's original. It is called "Sultana Biscuits" and is basically a double-layered/sandwich biscuits with raisin filling. So, I guess that's where the name originates from. Sultana is a variant of raisin and it's rather golden in color than normal raisin. But in this recipe I use the normal ones though.  I do not about any other region (in Indonesia), but in Palembang, they do not really sell Sultana. If they do sell, then it is not as good as my grandmother's. Sometimes they just combine the raisin mixture with the cookie dough and bake it as one layer--and that is not how you bake a Sultana! Yes, I am very serious when it comes about that.

It's been a long time since I had a jarful of good Sultana. I remember eating these neat, rectangular and chewy cookie during Idul Fitri/Lebaran/Raya festive. I used to forget the name of these cookies, but I would never thought eventually I will rediscover the recipe and baked my own trayful. My late grandmother would be so proud of me.

Okay, let's cut to the chase. And this is by far, the most complicated cookies that I have ever baked. It is pretty challenging baking task.

Grandmum's Sultana Biscuits

Prep + Baking Time : it took so long I tell you, but for one tray it would be 1 hour  or over, depends on the preparation.
Serving : about 1 medium/normal jar + 1 smaller jar

Cookie Dough Ingredients :
300 gr Wheat Flour
300 gr Margarine/Butter/Mixed
300 gr castor sugar
3 egg yolks for mixture, do not throw the egg whites yet.
one egg yolk for coating
(By the way, as I learn, this cookie dough ingredient is similar to pastry dough ingredients. This cookie will turn up crunchy and pastry-like)

Filling ingredients :
150 gr Raisins
3 tablespoons of condensed milk
Egg whites, as needed.

Steps :
1. Mix margarine/butter and sugar until well-blended and smooth. The mixture will turn a bit lighter in color.
2. Add in egg yolks, mix well.
3. Add in flour and mix well. Add in more flour until it forms desirable consistency of dough. The right dough is supposed to be unsticky, and easy to shape by hand.
4. Chop the raisin finely. I mean extremely fine, almost to the jam-like consistency. I use big knife to chop and it is pretty challenging. You can always use food processor to save some time and energy.
5. Add in the condensed milk and right amount of egg whites. Remember, egg whites are only for attaching purpose, so you can measure the right amount--mix well. You have your raisin filling now.
6. Smear a little amount of margarine on baking tray. I use rectangular baking tray.
7. Take some part of the dough and use rolling pin to flatten it. Make sure to place plastic on and below the cookie dough, to prevent stickiness. I suppose you can sprinkle more flour on the rolling table and on the rolling pin as well, but I do not expertise on that matter so I use plastic, it is much easier. Roll finely and place the flattened dough on the baking tray.
8. Smear the raisin filling over the bottom dough.
9. Repeat step 7 to make second dough/the top dough. Place the top dough over the raisin filling. You see, this is what I mean by attaching purpose of the filling. It attaches the bottom and the top dough together.
10. Now, you get your double-layered cookie dough + the filling. Poke all over the top dough by fork. You want to keep it neat and patterned. I do not know how to explain it by words, but make sure you keep every hole (from pokes) in line with one another.
11. Preheat oven to 170 degree Celcius or below.
12. Coat the top dough with egg yolks.
13. Bake your sultana dough on 170 degree Celcius for 15-20 minutes.
14. Take out the tray. Use knife to cut the half-set biscuits into even rectangular pieces. Do not take them from the tray yet. Because you are baking them for 5 minutes. Adjust the setting of your oven and keep an eye on your biscuits. You can add more heat or change flame setting until the biscuits are set. As for me I take out the biscuits after 5 minutes, then change the flame setting into only lower flame and lower the heat to 150 degree, and I bake for another 10 minutes... It sounds complicated, IT IS!
15. Take out your biscuits, set to cool and it is ready to be arrange inside your jars!


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