Kleeb Lumdual, Thai Cookies
I wish you could smell and taste these delicious yet beautiful Thai cookies. I don't know exactly when it started, but I know that these fragrant cookies have been around in Thai cuisine for many decades.
Rumduol or Lumdual is the name of the national flower of the kingdom of Cambodia. The plant belongs to an Annonaceae family. The flowers have a very lovely sweet scent. I remember when I was a little, I used to play under the Annonaceae shrub we call Nom Maew or Cat's nipples flowers because of the size and....have you ever seen cat's nipples? The Cat's Nipples flower is a close cousin of Rumduol flowers only that they are much smaller than Rumduol.
What makes these lovely Thai cookies distinctive, besides their look, is the way they are scented. Since most traditional Thai desserts have very simple ingredients, flour and sugar, they need to be scented after finished.
The Thai fragrant candle, or Tien-Ob, in Thai, is a candle that is made out of bee wax mixed with a bunch of dried fragrant herbs and frankincense, is used for scenting Thai desserts since the old time.
Thai Fragrant Candle, Tien Ob
Even though these cookies are made out of very simple ingredients, they are quite pricey because of the times and effort put into making them. I used to whine a lot when I knew how much I had to pay per gram for these cookies.
From now on, I will keep my mouth shut if I had to buy them again because I now know how much effort I have to put in to shape up each flowers.
It needs gentle hands and patience to shape them into delicate flowers resembling the real Rumduol flowers.
Believe me, my version, as you see here from the pictures, is not even close to those that is made by professional which are smaller, look more delicate and prettier than what you've seen here, and that is the price you pay for.
But, hey, my mom already cried seeing I can make these kind of delicate Thai dessert.
Simple ingredients kill.
Make about 30+ flowers
- 2 cups, all purpose flour
- 1 cup, sugar powder or icing sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- Thai fragrant candle for scenting
1. Mix flour, sugar, salt together.
2. Gradually drizzling in the oil. Mix them throughly. Be careful not to make the mixture too wet.
* Testing by grabbing a small handful of mixture and squeeze it tightly in your palm, shape it into a small ball. If you cannot shape a ball, the mixture is too dry. Little by little, add more oil. If you feel the oil in the ball, it is too wet, add little flour.*
3. After the mixture is well mixed, start making Rumduol flowers.
Making delicate flowers.
1. Shape the mixture into one inch balls, or if you wanted to feel like a pro, make them a half inch ball.
2. Cut the ball in to four pieces to form petals.
3. Attach three petals together, using your finger tip to smooth out the top where they are met, so the petals won't separate when baked.
4. Make a tiny tiny ball, attach it into the middle of the three petals, slash the tiny ball open with a sharp knife.
5. Put them on a cookie baking sheet. Send them to the pre-warmed oven with 350F for 12 minutes. These cookies should look off-white, not yellow crispy kind of cookies.
6. Take them out of the oven, let them cool down completely on a cookie rack before scenting.
Scenting the cookies
1. You need a wide open jar with a lid.
2. Place a small dipping bowl at the center, inside the jar.
3. Piece by piece, carefully place each flowers into the jar.
4. Light both of the candle wicks, make sure they are well burned to the wax before blowing them out.
5. As soon as the candle is blew out, place it on the small dipping bowl inside the jar, close the lid right away, keeping the candle smoke lingering inside the jar until faded.
6. Your lovely edible Rumduol flowers are scented.
The best Kanom Kleeb Lumdual cookies should be off-white in color, but here I used unbleached flour, so the color is not that white, and it supposes to melt in your mouth when you eat it.
I do really wish you could smell it...Loveeeeely!