Chinese New Year Goodies

This year, as Chinese New Year (CNY) was just right after Christmas, I didn't have the luxury to do many bakings. Therefore, I chose to bake the easier better ones. These were what I baked.
Pineapple Tarts
The recipe for the crust were from Zu's Kitchen. The pineapple paste were bought from PH, our local baking supplier. This year, their "premium" pineapple paste was really good, not too sweet, moist and tasty.

Bak Kwa Cookies
I decided to try this after seeing some online. Unfortunately, there was no recipe. So I came out with my own. Recipe can be found here.

Peanut Cookies
Last year, when I tried this, it didn't turn out to be melt in the mouth. However, this year's texture was good. It was really melt in the mouth kind. The recipe was taken from Wendy's blog.

Green Tea Almond Cookies
This almond cookies is a must every year. The recipe was extracted from my professional baking school previously. This year, I decided to add green tea to the taste. I think I have over baked it a little. 

Fruit Cake
I'm not a big fan of fruit cakes. However, since I started baking it some two years ago, I have started eating mine! I baked this for my in-laws and my spouse. The recipe was taken from Wen's Delight.

Kueh Lapis
Since I started making this, I've been making this every year for CNY. Sometimes, I make it into different flavours. This time, I decided to stick to the original flavour. The recipe was adapted from Do What I Like blog.

Bak Kwa Cookies

I've read and saw many bak kwa cookies and was very tempted to try it. When Doris recommended me the pineapple tart crust from Zu's kitchen, I reckon I could use the dough, modified it and turn it into Bak Kwa Cookies. So here it is. The cookies is crispy with chewy bak kwa bits. Trust me, it gets very addictive! Be sure to control yourself!
Recipe for Bak Kwa (肉干)Cookies
Makes approximately 122 mini cookies
(fill 2 canister containers)


250g SCS Salted butter, soften
70g Icing sugar
1 Whole egg
1 tsp Vanilla extract
400g Plain flour
130g Bak kwa, mini diced 

  1. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and beat till well incorporated.
  3. Add vanilla extract and mix.
  4. Add the flour and bak kwa, and mix thoroughly.
  5. Put the dough in a plastic bag, roll it out evenly.
  6. Refrigerate it for at least 30mins until firm.
  7. Use a scrapper to cut out into small sizes, and shape it accordingly.
  8. Placed it on a baking tray, spacing out evenly.
  9. Bake at 180C for 16-18mins, or until it turned slightly brown.

Tangy Prawn Canapés

This is a simple dish to make as appetizer for your Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations. It contains prawns (哈哈大笑), and orange (大吉大利) which is very suitable for CNY. I also added shredded lettuce to make it more colourful. You can add more ingredients like carrots or some finely chopped nuts.
I'm submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #15: Auspicious Dishes for CNY (January 2012) hosted by Wen of Wen's Delight.

Recipe for Tangy Prawn Canapés

(Serves at least 6 persons)

24pcs Wanton Skin (square)
24pcs Cooked Shrimps (I used medium size prawns and had to cut them into smaller pieces. If used small shrimps, you can use the whole shrimps)
2 big lettuce leaves, shred very thinly

Tangy Sauce
200g Orange juice
2 tbsp Corn flour
2 tsp Sugar (optional)

  1. To prepare the wanton skin. Place the wanton skin in mini muffin tray. Open up the corners.
  2. Bake in a preheat oven of 180C for 8-10mins, or till browned and crispy.
  3. Leave it to cool before keeping them in an air-tight container (if not used immediately. This can be prepared a day or two in advance.)
  4. To cook the tangy sauce. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan. Stir to mix well before bringing it to a boil. Leave it to cool till tepid.
  5. To assemble. Place some shredded lettuce in the wanton skin cup. Push them in.
  6. Put the cooked shrimp on top, then spoon the tangy sauce into the wanton skin cup.
  7. Served immediately and enjoy!

Chocolate Tartlets

We have this group of family friends whom we usually meet up once a year, either year end, or during Chinese New Year period. This year, I volunteered to be the host. As usual, when it comes to guest that I don't meet often, I usually fall back on foods that I'm confident it will not go wrong.

For this gathering, I made Baked Bolognase Pasta, Smoked Ham Gratin, and Chocolate Tartlets. We also ordered a Turkey from the local supermarket. When my spouse collected it, we realised it was not cooked! I had to hurry through my bakings so as to roast the turkey. Fortunately, the turkey wasn't too tough!

Overall, my guests were happy with the food I served. Thank goodness! :)
Baked Bolognase Pasta
Mini Dark Chocolate Tarts
The chocolate tartlets were very nice. I used a mixture of 55% and 72% dark chocolates for the filling. As I had some leftover chocolate swiss meringue buttercream (SMB), I piped some SMB on the tartlets and it was really "sinfully" good! In fact, one of my friend preferred the tart with just SMB fillings! I like the chocolate tartlet with some SMB frosting. Try it, I'm sure you'll agree!
Recipe for Chocolate Tartlets, modified from Lust by Audrey Tan
Makes about 60 mini tarts

Tart Crusts

125g Unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
40g Caster sugar
1 Egg
225g Plain flour
25g Cocoa powder

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg and mix till well blended.
  3. Sift flour and cocoa powder into the batter.
  4. Gather them into a dough.
  5. Flatten dough into a disc and cover with plastic cover.
  6. Refrigerate for 30mins.
  7. On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a 0.3cm thick sheet.
  8. Use a round cutter to press out the dough.
  9. Place dough into prepared tartlet tins, ensuring that dough is well pressed into sides and bottom of the tin. (I used a 12 mini muffin tray for the tarts).
  10. Bake the crust at 180C for 12-15mins.
  11. Let it cool completely before filling.
Chocolate Ganache

100g Dark chocolate buttons, 72% cacao
200g Dark chocolate buttons, 55% cacao
250g Whipping cream

  1. Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
  3. Add the hot cream into the chocolate and let it stand for 1 min.
  4. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Spoon the ganache into the tartlets.
  6. Refrigerate till firm before consuming.
Happy new 2012 everyone! Hope we bake more tempting treats in the new year!