Kueh Makmur (Properous Biscuit?)

Kueh Makmur Tradisional

Traditional Kueh Makmur

Hmmm..I don’t really know the English translation for this cookie’s name  however I do know that makmur in Malay is ‘prosperous’ in English. And maybe  kueh makmur is just a name and does not mean anything. Anyone care to shed some light?

By far, this is the most difficult biscuit or cookie (I always don’t know which word suits best so I will refer to all kueh as cookie in my blog).

Ok, where were we? Oh yes, I spent a sleepless night trying to finish this cookie. I have never in my entire life, dozed off trying to make a cookie but it happened. I was truly exhausted and it was taking too long. I ‘accidentally’ dozed off for a second or two.

There I was in the middle of the night, alone, sitting by the kitchen table with bowls of raw dough waiting its turn to be shaped. Waiting its fate. As I was just about to start, it began to rain. Light showers first then the thunders came but it did not deter me. Once I have completed everything, it was already time for sahur (pre-dawn meal before the fast starts).

Shaping the cookie is at first a challenge for me because of its filling, my first attempt resulted in a very fat cookie. Then I remembered that more is not necessarily better and recalled those ready-made ones have less filling. My second attempt succeeded and in fact I was quite skillful after that.

Pink Kueh Makmur

Kueh Makmur with a new look

I went further and gave a modern look for one batch of the cookies. I colored the dough pink. I googled on how to color icing sugar and found it’s an easy task. So I go ahead and colored my white icing sugar pink as well.

Maybe next time I color the kueh makmur purple or blue or red..hmm. I bet my kids will love it. It will look unusual. I just love to see my guests’ response. It will be interesting.

Well, below is the recipe for kueh makmur. It’s really easy to put the ingredients together. The difficulty is in shaping the dough and holding everything together which will be easier after a try or two.

Makes about 100 pieces.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Baking Time: 30 minutes for a tray

Temperature: 160 Degrees Celsius


For the dough

  • 750 grams of plain or all-purpose flour
  • 200 – 300 grams butter, softened (depends how soft you want the dough)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Green food coloring

For the filling

  • 400 grams groundnuts, roasted and grounded coarsely
  • 150 grams butter, softened
  • 150 grams icing sugar (more if you want sweeter filling)
  • Pinch of Salt


Making Kueh Makmur

Clockwise from top-left: Making Kueh Makmur

Making the dough

  1. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the salt. Next add the ghee or clarified butter and mix well with the flour. Use your hands to mix the ghee.
  2. Then add the butter, a little at a time. Knead well. Once you have a firm dough and you can shape it without crumbling stop adding butter.
  3. Add your choice of food coloring to the dough (normally 2-3 drops is sufficient) and knead well until the dough is colored.
  4. Form balls of dough to the quantity needed to make one piece then set aside.

Making the filling

  1. Dry roast the ground nuts and remove the skin.
  2. Crushed the groundnuts coarsely by using an electric blender or you can pound it using a mortar or pestle (which will take a longer time).
  3. Once all the groundnuts are crushed, add the butter and sugar and mix well.
  4. Form balls out of the groundnuts so that you can easily insert into the dough later. Set aside.

Making Kueh Makmur (Putting everything together)

  1. Take a ball of dough and press the ball between your index finger and your thumb. Let the index finger make a deep well into the dough by pressing down.
  2. As you do this, your thumb and index finger of the other arm touch the dough and rotate it. Seen pottery making before? It’s the same concept, rotate the ball as your index finger makes a well.
  3. Once you made a deep well (NOT hole!), insert a ball of peanut paste and cover it with the dough.
  4. Seal the opening and shape your cookie like a leave,
  5. This is optional, but if you have a pair of pincer, make a leaf pattern on the dough.
  6. Place your cookies on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 30 minutes at 160 Degrees Celsius.

See below for a better picture of how to shape it. Again, I didn’t make any pattern because it would have taken longer time to complete. Maybe next time.

Shaping Kueh Makmur

Clockwise from top-left: Shaping the Kueh Makmur


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