ramadhan baking: rainbow star cookies

As a child, I grew up learning not to ask too many questions, particularly those pertaining religious or cultural practices. It was always a matter of “because it is so”, and as much as my highly inquisitive mind would be the first to vehemently refuse that answer, more often than not, I would just skip away and ponder upon it while preparing my next dish out of Play-Doh.

With Ramadhan though, I’ve grown to realise that the answer lies not within what is explained by the older folks, but rather, what is distinctively learnt through each unique individual’s experience.

My mother once told me that amongst my siblings, I was the one who started fasting at the youngest age, around 4 or 5. Though I can’t remember much of my fasting experience as a child, I recall waking up excitedly (albeit sleepily) for suhoor, the pre-dawn meal we have to fuel up our bodies for the day’s fast. My mother would have prepared six glasses of Milo, for all of us to end our meals with, after which I would be sent back to bed, with the mother reading the niyyah (which states our intention of fasting the next day) with me.

Quite a number of children start fasting only for half a day, just to accustom their little bodies to the act of fasting the whole day, as well as for those who can’t abstain their thirst and hunger any longer. Lucky for me though, I never had half-day fasts, and plunged headlong into whole days of fasting altogether. Looking back I don’t think it was so much of will power as a child, as it was out of innocence, and well, not really knowing how to tell the time. I remember my mother would always say that it was going to be iftar (the fast-breaking meal at sunset) soon, even though her definition of ‘soon’ was really four to six hours away. I never thought much of it though, and simply looked forward to my dad’s return from work, after which he would bring my brother and I to a mini-mart near our place, to grab something for iftar, as a form of reward, so to speak.

I would always grab the same thing. Having abstained from food and drinks from dusk till dawn, one would reckon I would go crazy choosing food items, but nope, all I ever wanted was a grape-flavoured drink in an elephant-shaped bottle. It meant the world to me, and I remember feeling so special each time I had it during iftar, knowing that I had deserved it. After all these years, Ramadhan has grown to mean so much more than just a token reward, yet it is always the simplest of things, like these crunchy star-shaped cookies (which I’m sure the younger me would’ve loved), that brings me back to the time I identified Ramadhan with an elephant juice.

Rainbow Star Cookies
(adapted from Langkah Demi Langkah bersama Chef Anuar 2)

140g butter
70g sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tbsp Nutella
1 egg yolk
200g plain flour
60-100g rainbow sprinkles
chocolate chips for decoration (optional)

  1. Mix butter, sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in Nutella, and mix well. Add in the egg yolk until it is fully incorporated.
  3. Stir in the flour and rainbow sprinkles, and knead to form a dough.
  4. Roll out the dough to about 7mm thick, and cut into your preferred shape(s). Decorate with a chocolate chip, or more rainbow sprinkles.
  5. Bake at 160Β°C for 20mins.

Previously on Ramadhan Baking:
Brown Butter Buttons

Kuih Bakar


34 thoughts on “ramadhan baking: rainbow star cookies

  1. the mister

    Beautiful, beautiful photos, luv. πŸ™‚

    I smiled reading your thoughtful entry… Nostalgia and reminiscence are sweet, especially so near Raya… πŸ™‚

    “I would just skip away and ponder upon it while preparing my next dish out of Play-Doh.”

    Hahaha…. Can’t wait to have the kiddos do that too. Then can teach them to sell tauhu also! πŸ˜€

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Thanks, hun πŸ™‚ Hmmm, I really wonder whether they’ll do that, though, given the abundance of toys right now. But rest assured, your socks will be volunteered as Barbie’s evening dresses ~ haha! πŸ˜›

  2. cookie

    Wow, you fast at 4 or 5!? I always admire people who fast – it says alot more than will power and discipline! I now have new found respect for you, my dear!

  3. percicilan

    ok I made two bottles of these already. yummy and looks good for kids. i cut it into flower shape and put white choc chip in e middle. looks like a cheerful flower. thanks heaps for the recipe!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Hahaha, you’re so fast! Love your flowery interpretation of it πŸ™‚ I personally find it addictive (I finished quarter of a bottle myself!), so I hope your guests will like it as well!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Hehe, thanks sweetie! Hope this post has given you a little insight into Ramadhan, albeit through the eyes of a younger me πŸ™‚

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      *hi-fives!* Y’noe what, I actually really miss playing with Play-Doh. As much as fondant is my own version of Play-Doh now, I kinda miss the Play-Doh smell ~ haha!

  4. su

    will it make a difference if i use normal butter versus unsalted butter in some cookie recipes? was wondering whether it’ll affect the cookie texture…

  5. Norza

    Hi bb, made the cookies with the girls ‘helping’ me few hrs before iftar. My first time baking raya cookies and fortunately they came out great! Even the girls like them. πŸ˜€

    P.s sarah loves helping out juz now…she thot its playdoh. Hehe.

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      su: Butter purists are probably gonna kill me for this, but I’m gonna say no. In terms of texture, I don’t think it makes a difference. In terms of taste, however, using salted / unsalted makes a difference when it comes to cookies whose taste hinges on the butter quality, e.g. shortbread. Hope that helps πŸ™‚

      mynakedlunch: You should! It’s going to be one of my Raya staples from now on πŸ™‚

      Norza: Glad to hear these turned out well for you! Hehe, cuma ni playdoh boleh makan punya πŸ˜›

  6. ilyana

    Aww these are amazing! Btw I just found out my microwave doubles up as an oven….is it possible to do some baking in it? I’d love to try out these cookies but I’m a little wary they might er tak jadi lol!

    Happy Ramadhan ❀

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Happy Ramadhan to you too, sweetie πŸ™‚ Ah shucks, I’m not the best of persons to dispensing advice here, coz I’m not really sure abt microwave ovens. I feel inclined to say just halve the recipe (you can still put in the whole egg yolk) to see if it works, but if it doesn’t, it’ll be such a waste!

  7. thecoffeesnob

    I love love love how rustic the metallic flower pots look! And what a cute idea to have sprinkles baked into the cookies.

    Anyway my primary school canteen used to sell those drinks in all sorts of animals. I never liked the taste of the drink (yeap, I was a brat even as a kid) and would buy them anyway just for the bottles πŸ™‚

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      The bottles are just gems, aren’t they? I really wish they still have them around, would love to keep a bottle for memory’s sake πŸ™‚ And yes, I love the flower pots too! Got them with a bouquet, and even though I’ve yet to find a purpose for them, they’re too pretty to let go πŸ˜›

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Avanika: Hehe! They sure are delicious. The original recipe calls for chocolate sprinkles, but I reckon rainbow ones would look more colourful and festive πŸ™‚

      grace: Glad you enjoyed it, sweetie! πŸ™‚

  8. SufiyahNurFitrah

    The “elephant” drink…hahahaha…u still remember..n dont forget the irritating melody u n d bro always sing when preparing for raya..classic!!

    Btw,d cookies r cute n i’m so gonna make it wif d girls πŸ™‚

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Ohhh you mean the ‘teng tet tet tet tet’ song issit? Hahaha! It’s okay, when the girls are older, I’ll teach them that irritating tune πŸ˜› And buat, jangan tak buat!

  9. Shaheen {The Purple Foodie}

    Such a cute Ramadan story! I remember fasting on some days as a kid – one summer it was excruciatingly hot and I could not wait for a sip of water.. Everyone played “it will be soon iftar” game with me too. That really helps! However, now I don’t fast because I still need some convincing.. πŸ™‚

    And I love your reply to the mister in this post.. so cute!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Hehe, I think parents always use that soon-to-be-iftar trick! I guess it works really well when we can’t tell the time πŸ˜› As for the reply, I’m horridly guilty of that; –reinventing my dad’s socks into Barbie’s dresses. Haha!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Thanks, Ellie! I love reading food-related stories too. Till this day I remember your love story behind the Malaysian sardine sandwich. Hehe πŸ˜›

  10. Amnah

    Just found your blog via foodgawker. Love it! I’m going to try the cinnamon rolls tonight. By the way, I love the fact that you add nutella to practically everything!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Ah-hah, you’ve found me out! I do believe Nutella makes everything tastes better, so I sneak a bit in as often as I can πŸ˜› Hope the rolls work out for you! Thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  11. Carol

    May i ask if these cookies are crunchy? Sorry coz i would love to try this recipe if they are not soft cookies.
    Thanks heaps for sharing : )

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Hi Carol, yup, they’re crunchy, and a lil crumbly. You can also give the brown butter buttons a go; they’re definitely crunchy πŸ™‚

  12. Pingback: post-ramadhan baking: kek batik marie & biskut keju « :: epicurean escapism ::

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