Less than a week the Christians around the world will celebrate Christmas and a week after that the whole world is welcoming the New Year. Currently, the ladies in the Christian family in Indonesia are busy preparing cookies for family and friends, cookies that are staple in every household for the holiday. For ones who don’t have time to bake, they will place order to friends, relatives, or buy it from the store.
If you happen to be in Indonesia at this end of year, do try these staple Indonesian cookies for the holiday that you can easily find in any supermarket or bakery. When you plan to be in Indonesia during Ramadhan, you will find more of them because these cookies are also staple in every household during Moslem holiday.
Prices are varied, depend on the ingredients used for the cookies. Normally ones with higher prices are using Wijsman, an imported butter from the Netherland. The cookies smell and taste better than ones that use regular butter or margarine.
Indonesian Cookies for the Holiday
1. Nastar (Pineapple Tart)
This melt-in-your-mouth shape cookie filled with homemade pineapple jam. In the beginning everyone shaped it to look like a leaf, but lately only a few still doing it. More people just shape it to a ball. It’s faster and practical. And now, people can always buy the homemade pineapple jam at the cooking store, too. After I moved to the U.S., I tried making it several times, but I never found fresh pineapple with quality like the ones from Indonesia. I ended up putting lots of sugar which I didn’t like. So, I stop making it.
2. Kaastengels (Cheese Cookies)
Another shaped cookie that probably originated from the Netherland. It uses old hard cheese like Edam or Gouda. This cookie is easily gone in second once you take it from the oven. Well, who don’t like warm cookie, right? I would say kaastengels taste like cheese cracker, but it’s thicker because of more flour in it.
3. Kue Putri Salju (Snow Ball Cookies/Mexican Wedding Cake)
I remember we made it in the late 70s for the first time, but I don’t know when people started baking it for the holidays. Originally, it’s only plain balls or crescent moon shape, but now people like to mix it with nuts which is personally, I think it taste better. Growing up, one of my brother could finish a container of it by himself that my mother had to bake it again before Christmas and New Year arrived.
I just want to add one more thing. If you stay home for the holidays and happen to have Indonesian friends or co-workers, ask them about these cookies. They might have it at home or know someone who bake them. Tell them to bring it for you. I’m sure they will be more than happy to do it for you.
How about you? What is your favorite holiday cookie? Do you have special cookie for a holiday in your country? Tell me about it.