Make it yourself

Chinese New Year is all about family bonding, so why not make it extra special this year by whipping up these goodies together with the kids?

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Tan Wei Te
Tan Wei Te

Coconut nian gao
Makes about 25 pieces
900g glutinous flour,300g wheat flour, 700g fine sugar, 800g water 40g milk, 600g coconut cream, 80g coconut powder, 160g peanut oil, Pumpkin seeds for garnishing (optional).
1 In a large bowl, combine glutinous flour, wheat flour and sugar.
2 Add water and mix until the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes a thick dough, about 10 minutes.
3 Add milk, coconut cream, coconut powder and oil. Mix well until it forms a sticky dough.
4 Pour the mixture into your preferred mould and steam on high heat for 1 hour. Let it cool and decorate with pumpkin seeds if desired.

Cashew nut cookies
Makes about 40 pieces
600g all-purpose flour 40g corn flour, 200g fine sugar, 160g butter, 160g shortening Pinch of baking soda Pinch of baking ammonia(from baking supply stores), 200g icing sugar 2 eggs, 100g cashew nuts.
1 Preheat the oven to 165 deg C.
2 Sieve flour and corn flour. Mix well and set aside.
3 Combine sugar, butter, shortening and baking soda in a large bowl and mix well.
4 Add ammonia and icing sugar to the mixture, and mix well.
5 Add eggs and flour mixture from Step 1 into the mixture from Step 2. Knead into smooth dough.
6 Divide dough into 20g per piece and top each piece with a cashew nut. Bake the cookies in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes. Let it cool before storing.

Tan Wei Te
Tan Wei Te

Xin’s little chicken cookies
Makes about 60 pieces
400g all-purpose flour, 40g maltose (from baking supply stores), 200g sugar, 1g salt, 1 egg Pinch of baking ammonia, 40g corn oil >, 400g minced pork, 2 drops rose wine (from supermarkets), 80g sesame seeds, 80g minced garlic, 2 pieces fermented bean curd.
1 Preheat the oven to 120 deg C.
2 Combine flour with maltose, sugar, salt, egg, ammonia and corn oil. Mix well into dough form and set aside for 30 minutes.
3 Marinate pork with rose wine, and then add sesame seeds, minced garlic and bean curd.
4 Combine pork with the dough. Cut into 20g pieces and flatten each piece with your palm until it is 2mm thick. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

While pork is used in this recipe, these are called little chicken cookies as they were traditionally shaped like chicks.
Tan Wei Te
Tan Wei Te

Wolfberry and osmanthus jelly
Makes about 24 pieces
160g sugar, 250g jelly powder, 1 litre water, 40g wolfberries, 20g osmanthus paste (from Chinese medicine shops).

Combine sugar and jelly powder in a bowl. Mix well.

Bring water to a boil and then turn off the heat. Stir in the sugar and jelly powder mixture until it dissolves.

Add wolfberries and osmanthus paste, and stir well.

Pour the mixture into your preferred mould. Let it cool and place in chiller until set, about 30 minutes.

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Cheung Kin Nam, dim sum chef of Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant in Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium, contributed these recipes.