Chinese Crispy Egg Roll Cookies

18
90 minutes
15 minutes

Crispy Egg Roll cookies (aka biscuit rolls, or 香酥蛋卷 [xiāng sū dàn juǎn] in Chinese) are a delightful, light, crispy treat, often given as a gift and popular around the holidays. They’re usually made using specialized pans, but this recipe allows you to make a delightful version of your own without specialized equipment.

Note that the cooking time of 4-5 minutes is PER COOKIE – total cooking time will vary depending on how many you can make at once, but plan for about 1-1.5 hours minimum for a full-sized batch.


Ingredients

  • 7 tbsp butter (100 g) softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar (100 g) see note 2
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • pinch salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds (~10 g)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (~130 g) or cake flour, sifted

Equipment Needed (see note 1)

  • griddle or large well-seasoned skillet or pan
  • parchment paper
  • large(ideally non-heat-conducting) spatula/turner
  • a small stick, handle, or dowel for rolling the cookies
  • heat-resistant cotton or silicone gloves are nice to have too


Instructions

Batter

  1. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl, then combine them with the creamed butter mixture. Whisk together.
  3. Add the sesame seeds and the flour and thoroughly combine. Allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes before you start cooking.

Cooking

  1. Preheat a griddle or large flat skillet to a medium temperature (see note 3 below). If you use a non-stick or very well seasoned pan you shouldn’t need to oil the surface, but you can use a little light vegetable oil in the pan if necessary.
  2. Place a tablespoon of batter on the griddle/skillet. Place a piece of parchment paper over the batter and flatten it thoroughly with a large spatula/turner. Work from the center of the batter out to the edges, taking care not to push batter back into the middle. This step may take a bit of practice, but you’re aiming to get the batter as thin as you can while still keeping it intact.
  3. Lift the parchment paper from the batter and cook the batter until it is uniformly pale whitish-yellow; about 4-5 minutes (see note 4).

Rolling the Cookies (see note 5)

  1. Place your dowel/stick/handle at the least attractive end of the cookie. Use a spatula or chopsticks to gently lift the edge of the hot cookie (still on the griddle/pan) and curl it around the stick. Once you’ve tucked the cookie in place (with your fingers of steel or heat-resistant gloves), start gently rolling the dowel/stick to curl the cookie into a tube.
  2. Remove the cookie from the pan and carefully slide the stick out. If you find this step difficult, it can help to gently hold the cookie and dowel with an oven mitt until it’s cool enough to more easily coax out the stick.
  3. Transfer the finished cookie to the baking tray in the oven (see drying steps below).

Drying the Cookies (optional but recommended)

  1. Preheat an oven to 175°F (80°C).
  2. Place a heavy baking tray in the middle rack of the oven.
  3. As the cookies are finished, gently transfer them to the pan in the oven, one at a time. Let them bake/dry at this low temperature until completely dry and crispy – about 60-90 minutes, depending on how thin you were able to get them. Be aware that the finished cookies will be delicate.
  4. Allow the finished cookies to cool for a few minutes, then transfer them to an air-tight container or bag. They will absorb moisture from the air and become softer if left out for more than 30 minutes or so.

Finished cookies will keep in the container for 5-7 days at room temperature.


Recipe Notes:

1 – Equipment: This recipe doesn’t require any specialty equipment, but it is easiest to adjust and tweak the temperature of an electric griddle. If you use a pan or skillet on the stove just make sure you watch the temperature carefully and that you use something that conducts heat evenly. A broad spatula/flipper will make flattening the cookies easiest, but try to avoid metal ones as they’ll conduct heat into your fingertips. Lastly, but most importantly, you need something to roll the cookies. A small clean wooden dowel or handle from a spoon (etc.) will make it easiest. A round handle is ideal, but something flat and thin will work too. The cookies can be rolled with chopsticks too, but it’s not as easy to do.

2 – Sugar: These cookies, like most Chinese desserts, are not terribly sweet. If you want them a little sweeter you can an additional 1-2 teaspoons of sugar.

3 – Temperature: It’s difficult to exactly describe the temperature that you’re aiming to get the griddle/pan at, but a bit of trial and error helps. A drop of water placed on the cooking surface should evaporate quickly, but not sizzle violently.

4 – Cooking Time: Each cookie will need to cook for about 4-5 minutes, but this will vary depending on how thin you can get the dough and how hot your cooking surface is. The cookies become paler as they cook, so use that as your guide.

5 – Rolling the Cookies: This is the trickiest part of the recipe, though it is made much easier if you have a good dowel and some clean cotton or silicone gloves to protect your hands from the heat. Don’t try to transfer the cookie to a cool surface before rolling it; the heat of the griddle/pan is the only thing keeping it flexible enough to avoid cracking.

Original Recipe from Diversivore

 

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