Let’s face it. Chinese New Year 2020 is around the corner. And it will be merry but tough! Besides the usual cooking and cleaning, the indispensable Chinese New Year cookies have to be baked as well as their presence is a must every year during this time.
If you are unsure what to bake for the yet to come festival, My Weekend Plan has curated a list of baked goodies, inspired by tradition passed generations down. These recipes are so easy to make, you’ll have delicious cookies, cakes and tarts in no time.
1. Pineapple Tarts, with a Twist!
These golden cookies need no introduction at all. They are a staple in every home during the Chinese New Year. In fact, we love them so much that many of us have our own opinions on how to make these. While the recipe varies, the basics remain the same. For the pastry, it’s a combination of flour, egg, butter and sugar, while the pineapple filling is basically, pineapple tart jam which is available on the shelf.
Now, these ingredients might give you an ordinary pineapple tart, however, to bake an EXTRAordinary one, here’s what we suggest. Substitute sugar for condensed milk for a melt-in-the-mouth texture and add some spices to the pineapple tart jam to make them exotic-tasting and irresistible!
2. Crunchy Almond Cookie
Almond cookies are tricky – they need to be slightly crunchy and yet, slightly melty in the mouth. Sounds impossible? Far from the truth. In fact, do these tips when you bake these cookies again this year. The trick here is to control the amount of flavourless oil that is added while beating the flour, ground almond, and sugar together into a dough. The dough has to be soft while retaining its shape as you mould them into cookie shapes.
As for the crunchiness factor, add a little finely chopped almond into the mix, and egg wash the top of the cookie generously and you’ll get almond cookies that will be so much more delicious than those that auntie next door bakes.
Our love for Red Velvet cake runs deep in our red blood and the red colour perfectly complements the festivities of Chinese New Year as red represents ‘prosperity’ (繁荣). An excellent red velvet cake has to be slightly tangy and sweet altogether, with the perfect frosting to complement the cake.
The distinct flavours of a red velvet cake come from buttermilk, vinegar, cocoa powder and cream cheese frosting that are used in its baking. However, to achieve that distinct light, fluffy and velvety texture and taste that a red velvet cake has, you need to alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients together to preserve the air bubbles. Also, if you don’t prefer cream cheese, chocolate frosting works wonder too.
This next item on our list is not a traditional treat, per se. But, it always is an interesting challenge and a nice surprise for our guests to create food inspired by current trends. Our boba milk tea cake consists of sweet black tea cake layers with milk tea buttercream and topped off with warm brown sugar tapioca.
A fair warning, this cake is taxing to make as there are numerous components to it. However, here’s how you can complete different parts of it over several days. Day 1: Bake the cake. Day 2: Make Black tea syrup and milk tea concentrate. Day 3: Making the buttercream, cooking tapioca pearls and assembling the cake.
The end result? A triple-layered cake steeped with potent milk tea flavours, topped with warm gooey sugar boba!
Hey cheese lovers, you don’t want to miss this. Inspired by the famed Hokkaido Cheese tarts, this recipe honours the Japanese origins of this baked goodie, albeit with some twist. These gooey treats are equally tasty and simple to bake. There are only 2 components to tackle in this dish – the crust and the filling.
We recommend that you chill the unbaked crust in the freezer for a while before baking. As for the filling, add some lemon zest in to bring its taste to another level! Once you’ve piped the filling into the baked shells, brush the top with some egg yolk and grill the surface for that beautiful slight charred look.
6. Crumbly and Crunchy Peanut Cookie
Another staple during Chinese New Year, these sweet morsels of peanutty goodness crumble and melt in your mouth. Getting this desired texture and taste is a feat in itself, but fret not, because the key to hacking this dish lies in how granular the sugar used. Many recipes use powdered sugar, which makes it melty but for a bit more texture and crunch, use granulated sugar instead.
Another differentiating factor is the amount of salt used. Yes, we don’t want them to be very salty, but they should have enough salt to bring out the toasty taste of peanut and its natural sweetness.
With a little practice, you should be able to whip up a batch of any of these treats for Chinese New Year! Do all these cookies seem hard to bake? Or it feels like a mountain of work to be done just to come out with the perfect delicacies for Chinese New Year? Well, it’s OUR job to make it as easy and enjoying as possible! Learn the latest cookie and cake recipe for Chinese New Year 2020 with one of our professional pastry masters in our baking class. Our class venue will be in KL & PJ so if you are staying near, be sure not to miss the best chance of creating something unique for your friends and family!
Contact us to book your slot with us and enjoy the process of learning to bake from the ground up! We are sure these cookies, cakes and tarts are perfect treats to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year with your loved ones!