Everytime I open a Dim Sum cookbook, there is definitely a recipe that makes flaky pastries. I have skipped through these recipes many times for the simple fact that it calls for 2 types of dough and lots of rolling process. With limited countertop space, the idea is not welcoming to me. Despite so, I love this Chinese pastry as it is all flaky, thin and good. Eating them in one spot with a plate to collect all the falling flakes everytime a bite is taken is advisable.
I don't really know what to call this pastry and I think cookie is appropriate as both are made of sweet dough, crisp and can be filled or baked plain. I managed to get a can of green tea flavored sweetened bean paste, similar to the lotus nut paste that is used to fill mooncakes. A friend once told me that this paste tasted like toothpaste but I was eager to give it a try as I love anything green tea and it must not be that bad and I am convinced that only mint flavor tasted like toothpaste and certainly my friend was wrong. Nothing was minty nor toothpaste about it and I thank my curiosity.
In terms of appearance, this pastry is rather plain and the usual ones are non flavored and only brushed with egg yolk before baking to give it a better color. Chinese food emphasizes more on taste rather than all the pretty and frilly touches and indeed, eating a freshly baked pastry like this one is more satisfying than looking at it!
I added green tea powder to the oil dough, which was a combination of flour and vegetable shortening. I have heard that some people do use cooking oil instead but I am more content using the shortening without getting too greasy. As for the water dough, it was another part of flour with less vegetable shortening added to icing sugar and water to make a more pliable and firmer dough than the oil one. Both dough are then rolled together into a ball and with a rolling pin, the process of rolling out and folding was repeated twice to blend in both doughs to create the flaky layers when baked. When the cookies were rolled out, the green from the tea powder was very obvious but after baking, it kind of faded away. The filling was first rolled into balls before being placed and wrapped into the dough. Instead of egg, I brush some water on the surface of the cookies and sprinkled black sesame seeds on it before the baking.
The kids loved it as it was light with a tinge of crispness on the outside layer and plenty of sweet filling in the inside. I enjoyed my teatime today with 2 pieces and a cup of hot green tea. I like to think that eating these type of cookies is not as fattening as the usual butter cookies!