Though the heating method for this cookie is not the way those in the West have come to make cookies, it's the method that was and is still used in West Africa, since most people do not have ovens in their kitchen.
Chin Chin are found at any Nigerian celebration, or whenever guests are visiting, and they're served alongside soft drinks like Coca Cola, Pepsi, Fanta, Mirinda, or Malta. They're common in most West African countries and there are different variations, from really hard and crunchy (more common); to softer and doughier; to savory (from Ghana); to bright orange, sold by street hawkers at bus depots (my mum used to bring these back to us after her trips to Nigeria's south).
The most traditional Chin Chin are super hard and crunchy, but I like mine a bit soft, which is why I include baking powder. Margarine is commonly used, but butter will also work. The popular evaporated milk used is a brand called Peak Milk, but any evaporated milk can be used. —Egunsifoods
- Serves 4 cups
baking powder (optional)
margarine or butter
- In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Add margarine or butter and combine until crumbly.
- In another bowl, add sugar and evaporated milk, stir, and set aside to let sugar dissolve.
- Make a well in the flour mixture, add egg and evaporated milk mixture, combine, and roll dough into a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 2 minutes until very smooth. Then roll out to about 3/8-inch thick. Using a pastry cutter wheel or pizza cutter, cut dough into long 1/2-inch strips and then cut across to make 1/2-inch square shape. Sprinkle a little bit of flour and separate.
- In a medium saucepan, heat oil to 360° F. Pour dough into heated oil and stir continuously with a slotted spoon, frying for 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown. Take out of oil and place on parchment paper or a paper towel. Leave to cool, then store in an airtight container.
- You can eat Chin Chin plain—this is the way it's eaten in Nigeria. For a more festive option, make long strips with a slightly twisted shape and dip in chocolate sauce to serve. Alternatively, store the square Chin Chin in a mason jar and tie it with a festive ribbon as a great gift option.