Asia: East Timor: East Timorese Ladder Biscuits


East Timor:




East Timorese Ladder Biscuits



8 egg yolks

7 tablespoons caster sugar (approximately 125 g) 

300 g plain flour 

125 g butter 1/4 cup “Lum Ying” or almond slivers (pounded with mortar & pestle) 

1 tablespoon aniseed or fennel seed (pounded with mortar & pestle) 

40 g vegetable oil 

1 1/2 tablespoon milk powder



Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 

Pound the Lum Ying/almond slivers with mortar & pestle. It needs to be small enough for the dough to be rolled and crimped but leave some small chunks for texture. 

Pound the aniseed or fennel with mortar & pestle. Don’t pound too much as you need a mixture of seeds and powder for the texture. 

In an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until pale. 

Add egg yolks and mix well.

Add the milk powder and oil and mix well. 

Then slowly add the flour a few tablespoons at a time while mixing slowly. Take care not to mix too much as this will make the dough tough. The dough should be soft and not sticky to the touch. 

Add the seeds and nuts and either mix by hand until well blended or on the slow mixer setting, slowly incorporate the seeds and nuts into the dough. Rest the dough for about 5 minutes before proceeding to the next step. 

For the TRADITIONAL METHOD, skip this step and go straight to “step 10”.

For the MODERN METHOD, split the dough into 2 portions, wrap each portion in plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour. Using one portion at a time, continue with next step.  

Step 10. Place dough onto a floured board, using 4 chopsticks* as a level guide and a rolling pin, roll the dough until it is approximately 1 cm thick. Then using a pizza cutter or rotary cutter or knife, cut the dough into long strips approximately 2 cm wide by 7 cm long (or whatever length suits your baking tray) and evenly place the strips onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. * Use a total of 4 chopsticks, with 2 chopsticks on each side. On 1 side of the dough, place the first chopstick in 1 direction and then the second chopstick in the opposite direction. Repeat for the other side of the dough. This provides an even height for the dough.

For each strip, use the crimper to make the “ladder” steps. For more information, see above for the instructions.

Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes until golden brown, turning the tray at 10 minutes. The ladder biscuit will appear oily but this is ok, as the oil will disappear when the heat is turned off. 

When the biscuits are ready, take the tray out of the oven, leave the biscuits in the tray to cool for about 5 minutes before placing the biscuits onto a wired rack to cool completely before storing them. At this stage the boiling oil surrounding the biscuit will disappear and get absorbed into the biscuit.


Try not to eat all the biscuits on day one, as the flavor gets better (sweeter and more licorice) the next day or two.


Author: orenalwpusr
sales rep in the S.E

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