How to Pick Chinese New Year Cookies to Indulge with Your Family This Year|February 10, 2021
Reunion dinner is upon us! It’s the time to bring out your favourite wok and ladle to create beautiful Chinese New Year food for your family this year. Can you already smell the ginger, soy and sesame oil wafting through the air? We sure do! Yet, one part that excites us the most is what will come after dinner and the following days. Besides the red packets, of course, these are your Chinese New Year cookies for you to enjoy.
How blessed are we to live in a country with an abundant choice of treats and local kuihs. Of course, you can get an array of selections in the store, but even better, get into the Chinese New Year spirit and make them yourself. Here are some tips to help you decide.
If you grew up in a traditional household, no Chinese New Year is complete without the infamous pineapple tart. Buttery on the outside, sweet and tangy on the inside, this treat definitely takes you back to every Chinese New Year celebration you had since young. Don’t forget about the peanut cookies that melt in your mouth and other mandatories as well are such as the kuih bangkit, kuih kapit and kuih loyang, which are all must-haves if you’re looking to go traditional.
A good tip is to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe if you’re making these cookies yourself. For example, pineapple jam is easily found in stores to make the fillings for pineapple tarts, but often they have higher amounts of sugar and preservatives. So instead, choose to make fillings yourself and add sugar based on your desired intake. When making pastry or dough, use unsalted butter and add salt if needed. For treats that need frying, make sure to use healthier vegetable oils and drain any excess oils using an absorbent paper towel. Then you can enjoy your Chinese New Year cookies and treats guilt-free.
Go Modern and Artisanal
Today we also find many inspiring ideas on what to serve for the lunar month. Home-bakers and artisanal stores are lining up their displays with Chinese New Year decorated cookies, orange-infused cupcakes, and even their own take on traditional treats such as Nutella filled kuih kapit or significantly large sized Pineapple tarts. Modern ideas also open up the many possibilities of what you could make. An orange shortbread cookie or chocolate jaffa biscuits, perhaps? A pinwheel cookie with bean paste as fillings would also look pretty to serve if you’re designing your cookies.
Yet, going modern does not necessarily mean fancier but also including common alternatives today that you can plate nicely for your family. You can even go simple by plating fruits and nuts, which are generally loved by all. Nutbars are relatively easy to make too. Add raw mixed nuts, honey and other ingredients you like to and fridge for an hour and slice them to serve. Other ideas are roasting your nuts with ginger and orange zests or even jumping aboard the salted egg train and making golden salted egg nuts or cornflakes that are incredibly tasty.
Think about Pairing with Tea
Another solution to help you decide what Chinese New Year cookie best to serve to your family is what drinks you will be serving. Cookies are generally nice with hot tea, and after a long round of chatter and laughter, something throat soothing like a Lime and Assam Boi tea would be great. If you’re serving treats with a more savoury taste, cleansing the palate with a refreshing Green Tea Cooler could also work well. Putting a bit of thought on pairing with drinks may help you decide what to make or get for your family this festive season.
Gong Xi Fa Cai!