*Phew*, after four days (including reunion on the eve) of feasting and visiting, life is back to normal before another weekend of festivity begins. This year, our family has no plans to host any gatherings so initially I hadn't intend to bake any CNY goodies since we don't really eat much. Moreover, I was busy with dear son's birthday cake and another two rainbow/ombre cake orders two weeks before, coupled with all the
But after seeing all the yummy goodies churned out by friends on FB made my hands super itchy and I decided to join in the fun. Only did three items - salted egg yolk cookies (because I love savoury cookies and very intrigued by the taste), pineapple tarts (because when I asked the hubby what he wanted, he said pineapple tarts) and fried arrowhead chips (because I love it and arrowhead is only available this time of the year)
Lena of Frozen Wings. I decided to add more salted egg yolk because I read some comments that the taste of salted egg yolk was very subtle. Steps are very simple as well so I let dear son get involved in the process. I liked how the dough turned out, soft and slightly pliable yet not tacky. I made them petite (2.5-3cm) so that I can just pop one whole piece into the mouth each time and yet not be too overwhelmed.
The above fluted ones were done by me; and below in hearts, stars and flowers by him (he stamped the shapes and put them on the baking tray after I rolled the dough for him). I must say he's quite good at it. Next year, I think I could recruit him if I'm baking this for sale :p
The cookies turned out scrumptious! Texture was slightly crispy and very brittle; taste-wise, not too sweet and slightly saltish with strong hints of the salted egg yolks. Very unique and addictive! My whole family loves it! This recipe is certainly a keeper for all upcoming CNYs.
Salted egg yolk cookies
(yields about 85-90 pieces, about 2.5-3cm each, 4-5mm thickness)
(Update as at 9 Jan 2015: yields about 70 pcs, 1 inch diameter, 6mm thickness)
- 125g plain flour
- 10g corn flour
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tbsp milk powder
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
- 3 salted egg yolks
- 85g unsalted butter
- 40g caster sugar
- 1 egg (lightly beaten for egg wash)
- Sesame seeds (for decoration)
- Preheat oven at 160 degree Celsius (fan mode).
- Steam salted egg yolks for 5 mins, then mash coarsely and set aside.
- Sift plain flour, corn flour, baking powder, milk powder and fine salt together. Set aside.
- Cream unsalted butter and caster till light and fluffy.
- Add mashed egg yolks and mix till blended.
- Add flour mixture in 2 additions, mixing till just blended.
- Divide dough into 3 portions. Place each portion between 2 sheets of plastic/freezer bags (for ease of rolling and handling). Roll dough into 6mm thickness. Place the 3 portions of dough into chiller for 30 mins.
- After 30 mins, work with 1 portion of dough at a time. Stamp into desired shapes (mine cookie cutter is about 1 inch in diameter and arrange the cookies on baking paper or silpat mat in baking tray. Gently brush top of each cookie dough with some egg wash, sprinkle some sesame seeds. Repeat steps with remaining dough.
- Bake for 10-11 mins till slightly brown. (As the size of my cookies is very small, only 10-11 mins is needed, adjust accordingly for larger size cookies).
pineapple tarts before using Chef Christoper Tan's recipe from his cookbook, Shiok! and they turned out very nice. But I thought of trying a different recipe this time, so I went for Wendy's (Table for 2... or more) recipes for both pineapple jam and melt-in-the-mouth pineapple tarts. Not re-posting her recipes here as I followed all the steps.
And the best advice for cooking pineapple jam were, wear a long kitchen mitten (mine can cover up till lower arms or maybe my arms are short lah) while stirring the jam and run far far away after each stir. Because the jam would splatter vigorously like volcano eruption (ok, a bit of exaggeration here) after each stir for about 1 min and it's very very hot. Certainly didn't want to burn face before CNY!
The dough was quite straightforward as well, but mine turned out to be quite tacky. Had to rub some vegetable oil onto my palms to wrap the tarts and wash hands quite frequently else the dough will stick all over my hands and unable to roll into a ball :(
The tarts turned out quite beautiful and I love the melt-in-the-mouth texture. The jam was a tad too sweet although I reduced a little bit of sugar. Luckily there was still a tinge of sourness. Alas, hubby didn't like it :( He claimed that the tarts tasted like those Taiwanese style ones which he didn't like. He preferred more crispy tart with pineapple jam that's grated (more texture and fibrous) instead of blended like jam. Grrrr....
My mum liked it though and preferred mine over the ones she bought from her neighbour.
Probably next year I will attempt a cheesy version so that I can have sweet, savoury and sour taste.
Last but not least, my favourite fried arrowhead chips! Throughout my childhood, I know arrowhead as Chiku 慈菇. They appear in the market usually one month before chinese new year and my mum would buy them to grow as a plant. The shoots of the arrowhead would grow upwards into leaves shaped like arrow so I guess that's how its name comes about. The leaves pointing upwards symbolises continuous improvement 步步高升 so it's very auspicious.
Some people also call in NgaKu 芽菇 which I learnt only recently. Anyways, this arrowhead chips seem to appear as a CNY food only recent years as well? Since I tasted it the year before, have been addicted to it. When I found out that it was very easy to make (from Wendy's blog once again), albeit tedious, decided to give it a try this year. Initially bought just 1kg to try and made one tub. It was actually quite fun so I bought another 1kg a few days later to make another tub. Couldn't resist snacking on the chips immediately after frying :p
Basically just peel the arrowhead, slice using slicer then deep fry. Some people dry the arrowhead slices using kitchen towel but I didn't bother and the chips turned out just as fine :)
One CNY snack that I didn't get to eat this year is the mini hay bee hiam spring roll. Don't think I wanna make them now, probably gonna buy one small tub just to satisfy my cravings :p