Dark, crispy and messy looking, it’s no wonder this popular traditional Malaysian cookie is known as kuih cakar ayam, which literally translates as chicken scratch cookies. Whether it refers to the scratchy marks chickens make as they dig around looking for food or undecipherable handwriting no one knows for sure, but ask any local and they’re bound to know this crispy, sweet snack you speak of. But here’s a few facts about chicken scratch cookies you may be completely unaware of:
They only require three ingredients to make.
The ingredients are super cheap.
Actually making them? Dead easy.
So why have you been forking out your hard earned cash when you can make this at home cheaply and easily? It doesn’t even require any fancy equipment. All you need is a wok or pot, a ladle, a circular-shaped mould and lightning fast reflexes. Alright, alright, you don’t need to be The Flash or Usain Bolt to make this, but working quick is necessary. And, well, a tolerance for handling hot things with your bare fingers is a definitely plus. Maybe some superhuman strength may be required to make some kuih cakar ayam after all.
Breaking it down to basics
Chicken scratch cookies are made with only three ingredients : yam, sugar and cooking oil for frying.
Yes, it’s a carbs-galore kind of cookie but one that is completely worth all the calories.
but variations in techniques and even types of sugar used seem to exist. We decided to break it down and test the different techniques .
First, yam is finely grated. Then, sugar is melted in hot oil until it resembles sludge. Seriously. After that, all you need to do is dump in some yam into the hot oil, fry it until it turns nice and brown, and – here’s where the lightning reflexes come in – scoop the fried strings of yam into moulds while they’re still hot to form shapes. And then it’s all about being patient before you attempt to take a bite because they’re molten hot.
Even though they’re easy to make, we’ve come to realise that one of the important aspects about making this cookies is setting up your working space
The sugar factor
Different recipes we found called for different types of sugar. Since we wanted to make sure you make the yummiest kuih cakar ayam possible, we tested four different types of sugar to see which was the best. The only trouble with our findings was: they all tasted good! There were some variations though in terms of ease of use and taste, so here’s what we found:
White sugar :
The easiest sugar to use and makes delicious chicken scratch cookies.
Jaggery (gula merah) :
Sugar takes a while to melt and becomes somewhat clumpy. However, cookie is till tasty.
Brown sugar :
Makes for a crispy and very tasty cookie with a nice caramel aftertaste.
Coconut sugar (gula melaka) :
Blows-your-mind kind of delicious. Incredibly crispy with a lovely burnt caramel aftertaste that makes you want more.
White for ease of use, budget and flavour. Brown for taste and a lovely caramel flavour. Coconut sugar if you want to up your game to a gourmet level. But why don’t you try all three instead and decide which one you like best?
By using this beautiful and authentic ingredient , these cookies may cause you to eat far too many and end up shaped somewhat like a kuih cakar ayam yourself. You’ve been warned. So, just get some with us, it will ease you more !
Our Cakar Ayam are hand-cooked to perfection with each one made with premium tapioca stripe and brown sugar. Ah, good things always have a way of coming together. So go on, satisfy your cravings but don’t say we didn’t warn you, these are so ADDICTIVE you just cant stop.
Best eaten alone or with a tea or coffee.