Chinese New Year is on February 8th and I am getting into the spirit. Last year, I didn’t start planning until the week before Chinese New Year. By the time I went to Chinese supermarket, the ingredients that I wanted were all sold out. I am trying to be smarter this time. Two weeks ago, I have bought everything I needed to get ready for Chinese New Year. Score! 🙂
Other than celebrating on my own, my blogger friend, Christine from Vermilion Roots are teaming up with other 14 bloggers, including me, to start a Chinese New Year Cookie Party. Each of us will share one of our favorite Chinese New Year cookie recipes on our blogs. Even though you may not celebrate Chinese New Year, you can still get a taste of Chinese New Year and join in the festivities. If you are celebrating Chinese New Year, join our party with your delicious cookies with the hashtag #ChineseNewYearCookieParty.
For my cookie, I am making fried red bean puffs (豆沙角). I know, I know… It is a bit of a stretch to consider fried red bean puff as cookie. But let me explain, growing up, my families didn’t make cookies during Chinese New Year. Our family is not very traditional. The only snack that my grandma makes are the sweet glutinous rice dumplings with black sesame. Other than that, we all munch on dried fruit, chocolate, roasted seeds and fresh fruit. Every region and every family has their own traditions. So to me, fried red bean puffs are my kind of “cookie”, and they are something I love dearly. Fried red bean puffs are a snack for Guangdong region. It is usually eaten during Chinese New Year, but sometimes, you can also find them in dim sum restaurants. The puffs are shaped like half-moon. They resemble ancient Chinese gold or silver ingots. It symbolizes wealth. By making the puffs, you are bringing in wealth to your home and family.
The puffs are made with red bean and glutinous rice flour. The uniqueness about glutinous rice flour is that when it is mixed with water and cooked, it has a sticky and stretchy texture. If you have had Japanese mochi before, it is kind of like that. These puffs are fried. When you bite into them, you get a little bit of that crispy and chewy crust and sweet red bean filling. Absolutely satisfying and addicting! These puffs will guarantee to bring everyone to the table and make them happy.
Here are the cookie recipes from my blogger friends, check them out! And don’t forget to tag your own cookie photos (#ChineseNewYearCookieParty)!
Browned Butter Chinese Walnut Cookies – Yummy Workshop
Cherry Blossom Cookies – Brunch-n-Bites
Chinese Peanut Cookies – Daily Cooking Quest
Chocolate Almond Cookies – Curious Nut
Honey Almond Cookies – Hapa Nom Nom
Macau Almond Cookies – Thirsty for Tea
Melt-in-the-Mouth Chinese Gluten-Free Peanut Cookies – Foodie Baker
Mochi Stuffed Almond Cookies – Miss Hangrypants
Pineapple Jam Tarts – Wok & Skillet
Quinoa Sesame Brittle – Omnivore’s Cookbook
Red Bean & Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies – Butter & Type
Sesame Spiral Pie Cookies – Bams Kitchen
Tapioca Cookies (Kue Bangkok) – What To Cook Today
The Ultimate Pecan Sandies – Created To Cook
Vegan Cornflake Cereal Cookies – Vermilion Roots
Fried Red Bean Puffs
15 – 17 puffs
– 300g glutinous rice flour (sweet rice flour) (separated)
– ½ cup cold water
– 1 cup water
– 100g Chinese brown sugar in pieces or light brown sugar
– 220g smooth red bean paste
– vegetable oil for frying
- In a baking sheet, lined with a few layers of paper towels. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add 100g glutinous rice flour. Slowly pour in ½ cup cold water. Stir and mix with one hand until the dough comes together. If it is too dry, add little more water. If it is too wet, add little more flour. Pinch the dough into about 1-inch irregular pieces.
- In a medium pot, add 1 cup water and the brown sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium-low heat. Cook until the sugar has melted. Add the dough pieces and cook through, about 3 – 5 minutes. Turn the heat off. Add 150g rice flour. Stir together with a wooden spatula.
- On a lightly floured (rice flour) working surface, place the hot dough over. Add another 40g of rice flour. Carefully knead the dough until smooth. If the dough is sticky, add little more flour. Divide the dough into 2 parts.
- Roll 1 part of dough into ¼-inch thick with a rolling pin. Use a 3½-inch round cutter to cut out rounds. Repeat with the other part of dough. Gather the scrapes and roll it into ¼-inch thick dough again. Continue to cut out rounds. Make 15 – 17 rounds in total.
- Place about 1 tablespoon red bean paste in the center of each round. Fold the dough over to make half-moon shape. Press the edges firmly to seal.
- In a wok or medium pot, add enough vegetable oil to reach 1-inch deep. Heat the oil to 350˚F (160˚C). Fry the puffs in patches until golden brown, turning them often for even cooking. Transfer the finished puffs to the prepared baking sheet. Let them drain and rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Glutinous rice flour can be found in Chinese supermarkets or Amazon.
- Chinese brown sugar in pieces can be found in Chinese supermarkets. Learn a bit more here.
- I made my own red bean paste. For a short cut, you can buy pre-made one from store or Amazon. It won’t be as good, but easier.
- If the dough gets hard and dry during the kneading process, add a little bit of warm water to soften it.
- The ¼-inch wrappers seem very thick. But once they are fried, they will be thinner.
- To make the wrappers easier to wrap, roll the red bean paste into half-moon shape.
- When enjoying the puffs, make sure they are cool enough to eat. I burnt my tongue while doing a taste test. Ouch!
- The puffs will not taste as good when they are cooled. Reheat them in microwave for 15 seconds. They will be warm again, but soften with a chewy texture.
(Adapted from Apple Daily)