It was a different kind of excitement when entering the kitchen this time. Oh, ya! The new kitchen created a whole new aura for everybody present. I must admit their (OKU Youths and mothers) joy was our joy.
Preheating the oven is an important prerequisite in baking. The temperature has to be absolutely correct for a perfect outcome. The reason being, different cookies require different temperature specifications or settings.
Cleanliness and hygiene should be one of the main focus in the food industry! We ensure on this. While learning `the curves’ this point is always highlighted to the beneficiaries.
Aprons are not only to present a professional look or to keep the clothes clean but as a personal protection as well. An example would be, if some wet/liquid ingredient splashes on the body, one can just pull away the apron before the liquid seeps through to the skin. Caps are a high priority. Not only it hinders the hair from falling into cookies but it also stops stray hair from getting into the eyes.
Look at that! They are washing hands as per MeSTI requirements.
Looks as if they are having fun.
It is mandatory to wear GLOVES, a cardinal rule in fact. Why?
This rule can prevent the cookies made from contamination.
Madam Lau is seen here explaining the preliminaries for baking and also the recipes required for the day’s lesson. They were ‘all ears’. An ardent fervent listener gains much. Ha! Ha!
The three look on as one of them slowly and steadily unwraps the butter. It is always butter first into the mixing bowl.
To enable easy blending they are trained to break up the butter as small as can be. This can quickly blend in with the sugar at a quicker pace.
How long must the mixture be creamed or beaten?
Good question! Until it is light in colour and fluffy in texture. It is a skill to master. But never over cream or over beat the mixture. Why? It will loose most of the air you have worked in and the end result of the cookie may not be impressive.
The mixture is done. The texture is good. Now the mixer blade is removed from the bowl for the next addition.
The premixed flour is poured into a separate bowl.
Salt and xanthum gum (a stabilizer & thickener) is added into the flour. It is thoroughly combined.
The above flour mixture is then added to the blended butter mix.
Madam Lau is seen here observing them.
The flour mix is carefully folded into the creamed butter until the whole batch of flour is now a complete mixture or dough
Never waste anything good!
Another interesting stage is scrapping the excess dough from the paddle. They do it very meticulously not wanting to waste even a wee bit.
“Observe this”, seems to be the look in the photo!
Scoop the whole lump of dough onto the tray. The dough is now ready to be apportioned into small uniform balls or bolus.
This is teamwork and the beneficiaries display it.
They measure and shape the dough into small equal sizes as required by the recipe.
One in the team is in deep concentration shaping the dough gently.
O! it is a cute sight to see these beneficiaries bent over their work, paying attention while shaping the dough as instructed.
Here one is seen arranging the dough balls in neat rows. Another is garnishing the shaped dough with colourful lentils before the trays go into the oven.
The precooked cookies are now ready for baking.
Madam Lau is in the act of putting the first two trays of cookies into first tier of the gas oven.
…..and she presses the timer.
Setting the time required for baking is highly essential.
The 2 trays of baked cookies are transferred to the cooling rack.
The cooled cookies are ready for packing.
The beneficiaries are learning the art of handling chopsticks. As seen here they pick and pack into airtight containers.
Each and every cookie container is weighed according to the specific weight requirement.
Waah! These are the cookies produced by #webehelpinghands beneficiaries.
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