This is a Thai-style cookie, derived from a beautiful flower called ‘Lamduan’ – a tropical tree that bears a scientific name of Melodorum fruticosum Lour. The tree is so abundant in Thailand’s northeastern region that it is designated to be the tree of Sri Saket province where they also have the annual ‘Lamduan Blooming’ festival to celebrate its unique calming scent.
But apparently, to appreciate the beautiful flower by seeing it, smelling it and depicting it in classic literature do not suffice it for the Thai people. We also sweetly imitate the look of the bloom into these crunchy cookies made simply by kneading together flour, icing, oil (vegetable or lard) and salt and carefully make these tiny flower cookies complete with its original three thick petals and stigma. These cookies are then baked until crisp (or sometimes half-crisp) and scented with the light smoke of kwan tien (scented candle).
Easy and simple as it sounds, Lamduan cookies need lots of patience in the preparation. You need to sit down for a long time to meticulously roll out the dough into small balls and cut each into four equal pieces. Put the three pieces together to make the petals and then put a smaller bead on top for the stigma. Some people, with no such patience, just cut the dough into four big pieces still attached at the bottom and call it Lamduan cookie. Some even imagine their own Lamduan bloom by making the cookies with four petals. 😀
The best Lamduan cookies I ever had is made by Khun Yui who has been making these cookies at her place for over 25 years. Hers, shown here, are delicate and elegant. She bakes the cookies until crisp with some browning which I love. I usually have these cookies with tea (sounding like an real chillaxing aunty) or just by itself whenever I feel like it. There’s no rules savouring thislovely thing. Just enjoy it and appreciate it. Such a gorgeous and delicious souvenir.
Khun Yui’s cookies, Bt200 per box (75 pieces). Call T: 086-476-8104 (daytime only).