Vietnamese 101....

Bánh = pastry
Gai = thorn
Đuông = a type of worm, found in the heart of coconut and palm trees

Thus gives us the name for these cookies.

They are somewhat related to "Dragon Cookies" which are found in other Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia during Chinese New Year. The Vietnamese version is a bit more complicated in ingredients.  In this speciality, traditional Southeast Asian ingredients such as tapioca starch and coconut milk are paired with French influences of butter and condensed milk.....goes to show the east meets west concept is not just a fad it's..., well....it's history and tradition.  The texture and method for making the cookies very much resemble Les sablés pouchés (piped shortbread cookies).  The worm shape is strictly Vietnamese.

Ingredients:
-100g all purpose flour
-100g tapioca starh
-80g sugar
-25g coconut milk
-1 1/2 tbs condensed milk
-20g butter, melted
-2 egg yolks
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp lemon extract 


What to Do:
Sift together flours and baking soda.  Whisk together sugar, coconut milk, condensed milk , butter, egg yolks and extract.  Add the flour mixture to the mix of wet ingredients.  Mix to form a slightly sticky dough.

To Make Bánh Gai:
Fit a star tip into a piping bag and fill with cookie dough.  Pipe the dough onto a baking sheet.  Traditionally, these cookies are made with the aid of a specially created mold.  The mold works like a cookie gun. However, if you live outside of Vietnam or Asia...chances are pretty slim that you'll be able to get your hands on one... The pastry bag works just as great.

To Make Bánh Đuông:
Add 1 tbs tapioca starch to the above dough (the dough should be firmer).  Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll them between the palms of your hand to turn them into worms.  Use a clean comb to give the worms the signature indentation. 

Bake the cookies at 350'F until golden (about 12-15 mins).

Comments (3)

On 6:15 AM , lilyng said...

tt

they really looked like worms

 
On 7:27 PM , Tuty said...

tt,
I am happy to have found your blog again.
I saw these worms in the Viet store nearby and wondered what they are. Now I know.

The comb trick is cute.

 
On 6:25 AM , Anonymous said...

OMG I loved these when I was little. Love your site.