I only make two batches of cookies for this Chinese New Year, one is lidah kucing (langues de chat/cat’s tongue cookies), and the other one is this delicious batch of lemon macadamia cookies. Unlike langues de chat, you can create pretty shapes with this lemon macadamia cookie dough. Of course you can also go simple like me with nothing but a fork!
Shaping the cookies
Assuming you are going to keep the one teaspoon of dough per cookie irregardless of your design choice, you should be able to get about 36-40 cookies from this recipe. This year there are only me and my hubby, so the amount is just right. If you are going to have families and friends dropping by, feel free to double or triple the batches.
Happy Chinese New Year!
Since today is probably going to be the last day for most people to prepare for the big Chinese New Year feast, I wish you all a very happy Chinese New Year. And also, the diet can wait, CNY only comes once a year and should be fully celebrated! 恭喜发财. 祝你大吉大利, 年年有余, 吉祥如意!
If you love corn flakes and chocolate chips cookies, then you are guaranteed to love this easy to bake corn flakes chocolate chips cookies.
These cookies were all the rage back when I was still a little kid in grade school. I have never seen these sold in the States, and even back home in Indonesia, this stuff is next to impossible to buy nowadays.
Luckily they are the easiest thing to bake. If you can bake a batch of chocolate chips cookies, you can definitely bake a batch of corn flakes chocolate chips cookies.
What you need
Those that bake chocolate chips cookies AND eat corn flakes for breakfast regularly will most likely have everything ready to go.
Just from the title, you know you will need corn flakes and chocolate chips.
You will also need all-purpose flour, baking powder, butter, egg, confectioners sugar, vanilla, and salt.
Simple stuff, really.
If you own an electric mixer and a medium-size cookie scoop, mixing and shaping these cookies will be a breeze. But you can still mix the cookie dough without an electric mixer, in which case a spatula will be your best friend.
You can shape the cookie with nothing but 2 spoons, one to scoop out some cookie dough, and the other to help push the dough on to baking sheet. Your cookies might not be as pretty (or regular) if you use spoons, but they should still taste mighty delicious, which is the whole point of baking these in the first place.
These cookies don’t expand during baking
I hate it when cookies recipes don’t tell me beforehand whether the cookie dough will expand or not during baking, so I will let you know so you can space your cookies accordingly on your baking sheet.
These cookies don’t expand at all. They will retain their shape before and after baking.
If you use a medium-size cookie scoop, you will end up with 24 cookies.
Technically you can bake the whole lot in a half-sheet pan. But I like to bake them in two half-sheet pans to ensure enough heat circulates and my cookies bake evenly. If you want to crowd them in one pan, proceed at your own risk 🙂
Do you love shortbread cookies? And do you love matcha? If you said yes to both, then you are going to love this matcha checkerboard shortbread cookies.
These cookies are so crumbly, and so melt-in-your-mouth. They are not too sweet, which can be dangerous since they disappear so quickly before I even realize I have eaten half a dozen cookies before I stop myself. 😀
Good Matcha is a Must
If you have been flummoxed trying to get that elusive bright green color in your matcha, then you are not alone. I am by nature (or is it by nurture?) a very frugal person.
The first couple of times when I shopped for matcha, I used to choose the cheap kind, and they always ended up looking brownish and the tea I made with them felt slightly gritty.
Well, lesson learned. Now I know better to look for good quality matcha so I don’t end up disappointed.
You can try this culinary grade matcha from Maeda-en if you are still looking. Or if you are a Costco member, I recently bought a huge 12 oz packet of Ito En Matcha for less than $30, super great quality at an unbelievable price.
Not Too Sweet Cookies
Once you have read enough Japanese recipes, you get this concept of not-too-sweet dessert/snack/sweet/cake/e.t.c.
I don’t grow up in Japan, but my Mom is an expert in making not-too-sweet dessert, so much so that I now end up having to cook/bake all sort of sweets at home since store-bought ones feel too sweet for me.
But, if you have a more normal palette, this cookie can be on the not-sweet side. In that case, feel free to increase the sugar to suit your preference. I would suggest adding 50% first, and if even that is not enough, go ahead and double the sugar.
Do Watch Your Oven
In the recipe, I states that the cookies need about 15 minutes of baking time. Know that oven can varies, and yours might need slightly less or slightly longer. But regardless, do start to watch out at around 12 minutes mark.
For this particular batch, it took about 18 minutes, but I think the edges are a bit too brown. 😉 I looked at the cookies at 12 minutes, decided they need more time, and added 5 minutes.
Haha, shouldn’t have done that, should have added just 3 more minutes like I usually did. But, there will be plenty more batches since these quickly disappear into thin air around here.
There is nothing like Chinese New Year to send my whole family into cookie baking frenzy. Most Chinese families will do a cookie baking marathon, churning out boxes and boxes of different kind of cookies.
What is surprising to most is that we do this mainly for the enjoyment of our guests, though it is not a secret that most people bake extras for their own enjoyment.
Among the top must bake in my house is this Chinese almond cookies, alongside other must-haves such as Chinese peanut cookies, nastar, and lapis legit (thousand layers cake).
This almond cookies recipe is super easy and perfect for beginners, so even the kiddies should have no trouble helping Moms in the kitchen.
Whole almond vs. ground almond
Nowadays you can buy almond flour which is very fine pre-ground almond. Growing up, we don’t have such luxury of buying almond flour. Instead, we buy whole almond and grind them with a food processor.
This hand-me-down recipe assumes that you will grind your own almonds. If you use almond flour, the cookie texture will be less rustic, which may or may not be a bad thing. It should work, but know that it is different from what pass as Chinese almond cookies.
Neutral flavor oil
The most common oil to use when making Chinese almond cookies is peanut oil. If you cannot find this, feel free to use other neutral flavor oil, such as canola or even vegetable oil.
Don’t use olive oil or coconut oil as these will impart their flavor to the cookies.
Decorating the cookies
If you are short on time, you can leave the cookies plain. Just shape them into round balls and brush with egg wash and pop them in the oven.
But if you have just a bit more time and some extra whole almonds at hand, I highly suggest dressing them up by pressing one whole almond (or a half almond) on top of each cookie, then follow with egg brush before popping them in the oven.
Personally, I always make sure I have extra almonds on hand when making these.
Sesame seeds are super common in Asian desserts, and it is not surprising that we even have them as cookies.
I bake these black sesame seeds cookies annually to celebrate Chinese New Year, but they are great for just about any time of the year. If you love sesame seeds, definitely give these cookies a try.
Ingredients for black sesame seeds cookies
These cookies only use common ingredients. We will need black sesame seeds, all-purpose flour, unsalted butter, egg, ground almond, powdered sugar, and salt.
Black sesame seeds vs white sesame seeds
I use black sesame seeds to bake these cookies. I generally prefer black sesame seeds in my dessert since I find them more fragrant compared to plain sesame seeds. But if all you have at home is the plain version, don’t hesitate to bake these cookies with plain sesame seeds.
Whole seeds vs. ground seeds
In this recipe, we use 40 grams of toasted black sesame seeds. You have two options on how you want to incorporate them into the dough:
You get delicious cookies regardless of your choice, but visually option 2 is prettier since you can still detect whole black sesame seeds in the final cookies.
Step-by-step to bake sesame seeds cookies
Mix all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, ground almond, and ground black sesame seeds.
Add chilled butter cubes, use a pastry blender (or 2 butter knives) and mix until the dough is crumbly.
Add whole black sesame seeds and egg yolk, mix and form into dough.
Cut into two portions, shape each portion into a log (or a block) of 6 inch long. Wrap each log/block with saran plastic, and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut each log of cookie dough into 24 pieces (each piece is 1/4 inch thick). If you bake the whole recipe at once, you get 48 cookies in total. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the edges are brown..
Cool the cookies in the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Gently remove the cookies and cool on wire rack. Once the cookies are completely cool, store in airtight containers.
These black sesame seeds cookies fall into the category of icebox cookies. So once you form the dough, you can shape it into a log (most typical shape). If you don’t feel like baking the cookies now, you can refrigerate the cookie dough log(s) for up to 3 days!
When you feel like baking them, remove the log(s) from your fridge and cut into thin 1/4 inch slices. The most convenient is to shape the cookie dough into 6 inch logs. One log should be cut into 24 slices of 1/4 inch thick slice each.
Any holiday is a great excuse to bake a mountain of cookies, and Chinese New Year is no different. Growing up, my Grandma bakes at least a dozen different cookies, all arranged in pretty jars, to welcome the new year and to greet guests that visit our house during Chinese New Year.
This hup toh soh (Chinese walnut cookies) is a must-have item and make a regular appearance each year. It is very easy to bake these at home, and if you love these cookies, feel free to whip up a batch at any time of the year and not just for CNY. 🙂
What you need to prepare a batch of hup toh soh (Chinese walnut cookies)
Ingredients to prepare a batch of hup toh soh (Chinese walnut cookies) are very straightforward and should be really easy to procure.
You will need all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, walnuts (toasted and coarsely chopped), sesame seeds (toasted), unsalted butter, sugar (either regular white sugar, or brown sugar), and eggs.
To get coarsely chopped walnuts, you can either pulse whole toasted walnuts for 2-3 seconds in a food processor, or place whole toasted walnuts in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin.
How to shape hup toh soh (Chinese walnut cookies)
Hup toh soh (Chinese walnut cookies) are traditionally shaped like a round dish.
First, make 1 teaspoon (~ 10 gram) round balls from the cookie dough and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Then, either grab a spoon, or a fork and press the round ball to flatten. The spoon will give you plain disc-shaped cookies while using a fork, you get disc-shaped cookies with indentation.
Bake the cookies in two half-sheet pans.
This recipe should yield about 80 pieces of cookies, and the easiest way for me to bake these is using two half-sheet pans.
I arrange the cookies in a 5×8 per baking pan, in other words, 40 cookies per pan.
Also, the cookies will expand slightly, but if you space them apart in your half-sheet pan, they shouldn’t end up touching each other.
Store fully cooled cookies in airtight container.
Although hup toh soh (Chinese walnut cookies) are super addictive, I strongly suggest you don’t eat the whole batch in one seating. Be sure to store your fully cooled cookies in airtight containers.
If you are preparing these cookies to celebrate Chinese New Year, they should stay fresh at the minimum 2 weeks when stored properly, so all your Chinese New Year guests can enjoy your homemade cookies.
Of course, these cookies are great for gifting too, and I am sure the recipients will be happy to receive your homemade hup toh soh.
Chinese New Year is fast approaching, and as usual, I am busy baking cookies and cakes to celebrate. Today, I have a very delicious Chinese New Year cookies recipe to share with you, salted egg yolks and curry leaves cookies.
These cookies are super easy to prepare, and yet, very delicious. If you plan on having plenty of guests coming for the Chinese New Year house visit (拜年), you will definitely want to bake a double batch, at the very least. These will be gone in a blink of an eye. 🙂
What do I need to prepare salted egg yolks and curry leaves cookies?
The ingredients for these cookies are quite unique, unlike your typical cookies. You will need:
salted egg yolks. These are from duck eggs and not chicken eggs. My neighborhood Chinese market sells vacuum-sealed packets of steamed salted egg yolks, so I can immediately use them as is. If your market is selling the raw eggs, you will need to crack the eggs, then steam the egg yolks for 10 minutes to cook them.
fresh curry leaves. My neighborhood Chinese market carries this in their fresh produce section along with other fresh herbs. You may also see these in an Indian or a Middle Eastern market.
milk powder. I use Nestle Nido dry milk powder since I find this to be the closest to the kind we get in Indonesia and most other Southeast Asian countries. You can use baker’s milk powder, or even malted milk powder too, if that’s what you have.
egg yolk, to apply egg wash
black sesame seeds, to garnish the cookies
How to prepare the cookie dough
Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Sieve in all-purpose flour, milk powder, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Mix well with a spatula.
Add mashed steamed salted egg yolks and finely chopped curry leaves, mix well with a spatula.
Gather the crumbly mix to form a soft pliable dough. I usually just use my hand. Then wrap the dough with a saran wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
How to shape and bake the cookies
To shape the cookies, please do the following:
Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and line baking sheets with parchment papers.
Roll the chilled dough on a well-floured work surface into a 3 mm (1/8″) thick. Then use a cookie cutter to shape the cookies.
Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, making sure there is about 1″ of space around the cookies.
Brush the top of the cookies with egg yolk and garnish with black sesame seeds.
Bake the cookies until golden brown. This should take about 15 minutes.
What if I don’t have any cookie cutter?
In that case, the easiest is to first shape the entire batch of cookie dough into a log. Then wrap the log with a saran wrap and chill for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours. Just prior to baking, use a sharp knife to cut the cookie dough log into 3 mm (1/8″) thick slices and arrange on prepared baking sheets. Apply egg wash, garnish, and bake as per the recipe. 🙂
How long can I store the cookies?”
Before storing the cookies, make sure you cool them on a wire rack until completely cool. Then transfer the cookies to an air-tight container. The cookies should stay fresh at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
Other Chinese New Year cookies recipes to try
Usually, we bake and prepare many kinds of cookies to celebrate Chinese New Year. You may want to bake these popular CNY cookies to fill your cookie tray:
We usually bake a cake or two as well to celebrate the new year. Here are some of the popular choices:
Putri salju (snow princess) is a dainty cute crescent-shaped vanilla almond cookie, with a tender, crumbly, and melt-in-your-mouth texture, and is always covered in confectioners sugar. These cookies are a must in our family to celebrate Chinese New Year. They are also super popular for all sorts of celebrations too, such as Idul Fitri, Christmas, or New Year.
What goes into putri salju cookies?
For 2 dozens of cookies, you will need:
1 cup (120 gram) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (50 gram) almond flour, you can use ground almond from whole almond too
1/4 cup (30 gram) confectioners sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup, or 113 gram) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar, for coating
Can I use other nuts instead of almonds?
The most classic version always use almond. But you can use other nuts too, such as walnut, pecan, and cashew.
I love fancy cookies. What can I add?
If simple vanilla is too basic for you. You can try adding one of these (not all, just pick one!):
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water, then add 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom to the flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the confectioners’ sugar coating
How do you shape putri salju?
Putri salju, or vanilla crescent cookies, are always shaped into a crescent moon. The process is like this:
In a mixing bowl, beat butter, confectioners sugar, salt, and vanilla until fluffy. Then beat in almond flour, and finally all-purpose flour.
Gather cookie dough, then divide into 24 portions.
With hands, shape each cookie dough portion into a crescent moon shape.
Must I shape them into a crescent moon?
I know it may seem like a whole lot of trouble to shape each of the cookie into a crescent moon shape, but that is the signature look of putri salju cookies. If you wish, you can also simply shape into round balls, but you will need to call the cookies with other names.
The round shape cookies are known as: Mexican wedding cookies, vanilla snowballs, and Russian teacakes.
How do you bake these cookies?
Unlike other cookies, we don’t want to bake putri salju until they are completely golden brown! Instead, what we want to achieve is a pale top, but with a golden brown foot/bottom.
I bake these cookies at 165 Celsius (325 Fahrenheit) oven, for about 20-25 minutes. For this particular batch shown in the photos, it took me exactly 22.5 minutes to get the desired doneness.
Once they are done, remove them from the oven and cool for 10-15 minutes, or until only slightly warm to touch before coating them with confectioners sugar to get their signature look.
How do you coat the cookies?
Pour about 1 cup of confectioners sugar into a bowl, and once the cookies are only warm to touch, you can start coating them.
Dip each cookie in confectioners sugar, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Once they are completely cool, dip each of the cookies one more time with confectioners sugar. Make sure the cookies are thoroughly coated and snowy white.
Storing and freezing the cookies
It is best if you store the cookies in an air-tight container. They should stay fresh at room temperature for up to 1 week. For longer storage, it is best to freeze the cookies. And when you want to enjoy, simply remove from the freezer and let the cookies return to room temperature.
You may notice that the ones that have been frozen may look less snowy. To remedy, simply coat/sprinkle with more confectioners’ sugar before serving. 🙂