Saturday, January 29, 2011

Post Full of New Year Cookies!

My my , I have never deliberately neglected my blog for such a long duration of time before! I am not idling and wasting my time away, mind you. It's just that this year's pre- CNY bake has been a real busy one! Now, finally, I get some time to post it, please be warned of this LONG POST, since its a consolidation of all those cookies I baked for the past 2 weeks. :P

It all started with this idea in my mind; to make the pineapple tarts into golden nugget shapes! Sounds fantastic, but it's quite time consuming to make the shape. ^_^" But since it was so well received and several orders came in., I went ahead with it. It practically took up all of my free time, not to mention having to perform my daily duties on top of it. Although there are still requests coming in, I have to turn them down as I have already over stretched my limits...meaning I actually fell ill because of over working or over baking?! :P So lesson learn here, don't be too ambitious and remember to mark up the price to make more worthwhile, lol!
Without further ado, here it is, my pineapple golden nuggets!
The recipe is actually quite similar to the one I used last year, I made minor adjustment to it. Furthermore, I was too tight down that I don't have time to make my own pineapple jam, thus store bought ones. Luckily I was still able to find one that is not so sweet and a slight tartness to it. Furthermore my customers were pleased with them, so no complains there. :)
Taste? It's light, almost melt in the mouth, except for the chewiness from the pineapple jam, you really won't feel 'heavy' or full after popping 3 or 4 of these in your mouth! I also made some flower shaped pineapple tarts for my husband's co worker. :)

Besides all these traditional pineapple tarts, I too baked several other cookies this year, namely cornflake cookies, almond cookies (my favorite), peanut cookies, rabbit shaped butter cookies and lastly Orange scented Strawberry jam Almond Swirl cookies. A little much right, hahaha!

The cornflake cookies is actually a special request from my husband's work place, so I just did it as a favor.
Besides I make a little more for my kids to try to, heehee. I actually adapt the recipe from Jodelibakery. For more details on the recipe, please refer to the link.

The recipe is simple and easy to make. I added 2 different 'topping' to the cookies, one os dried cranberries and the other semisweet chocolate chips. The crunch and flavor from the cornflakes is very satisfying, not too sweet and a nice snack that you don't normally find selling in stores even during CNY. The down side however is that these cookies need to be store in air tight containers, else it turns slightly chewy after awhile.

Next up is almond favorite! This is the first time I attempted to make this myself. Why wait so long? Well, My standard is so high, I worry I might just disappoint myself, lol! Anyway, here it is, my almond cookies:

Not too shabby huh? For this recipe, I adapted J3ss's version, but replaced portion of the vegetable oil with ghee since I like the buttery scent from the clarified butter. :) Overall the texture and sweetness was really good, melt in the mouth but with bits of almond crunch in it, which is what I like. :)
However there is just one mistake I made....adding almond essence to the it. Somehow that 1/4 tsp of essence just made the cookie taste a little artificial. :P I swear the next time I make these, I am not gonna add any essence to it....natural is good. :) I just have to toast those almonds real good to get it's natural flavor out.
Next is peanut cookies. Since I love peanut, so I always make a point to make some every year. Here they are!
I love peanut cookies, it's almost a must for me in CNY. However, the dreading part I believe for most of us is to roast, de-skin and ground the peanuts. Although it only took me 3 hours to perform that task, I still didn't enjoy it any bit. But store bought ones are also not an option, so I guess I just have to suck it up and do it, lol!
Taste? It's almost melt in your mouth of course! I adapted the recipe from Wendy but I made some changes to it; i.e less the powder sugar by 10% (but still too sweet for me) and used ghee in place of 50% of the vegetable oil needed in the recipe (Plus 3 tbsp more). A wonderful recipe, but I will remember to reduce the sugar by 15 or 20% next time.
This year I made butter cookies mainly because it was actually a special request from a neighbor. So I decided to cut them out into rabbit shape to make them a little more festive, heehee!
Sorry, forgotten to snap a few photos of the cookies before I bottled them up. :P There are 4 different rabbit shapes in there. :) This recipe is the same butter cookies as the one I made before.
Last of them cookies I made this year would be Orange Scented Strawberry Jam Almond Swirl cookies which I got from 孟老師的下午茶 which I borrowed from the library. :) My kid loves jam cookies, so whenever I see any new recipes, I would jump to try it out. ;)
The addition of almond flour in this recipe makes it really special and delicious. ;) My girl loved it so much that she brought it to school for a consecutive 4 days!
However due to the presence of moisture in the jam, the cookies turned kind of soft after a couple of days. :P But the flavor is still good, so it was all eaten up as well. :D Here is the recipe for this delicious cookie:

Ingredients for Orange scented Jam Almond Swirl cookies (makes about 15 to 20)
Set A:
80g unsalted butter
50g ground almond
50g powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
25g egg white
Finely grated orange peel of 1 orange (without the white part)
100g cake flour

Set B:
Fruit Jam (I used strawberry jam)

  • In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, sifted ground almond flour and powered sugar together till well combined.
  • Add in egg white and orange peel to the butter mixture and again mix well.
  • Preheat oven to 170C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Add cake flour in directly and stir gently but not over mixing it. Scoop batter into piping bag with a large flower tip.
  • Pipe out the cookies in circular discs, leaving about 3 cm apart from other cookies. Repeat till all the batter is piped out.
  • Bake the cookies in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and place about 1/4 tsp of jam in the center of each cookie. Put the half baked cookies back into the oven to continue to bake for another 10 minutes.
  • Once the cookies a slight golden brown, remove from oven and let cool completely before storing them in air tight containers.
After all this, I shan't forget to do this before I sign off. That is to submit this to Aspiring Bakers #3 : My Favorite CNY Cookie (Jan 2011) hosted by Jess of i3ss kitch3n. Hope I am not too late for that! :D

Just in case I don't get the chance to post something up before the arrival of the Lunar New Year, I want to take this opportunity to wish one and all:

富貴滿堂, 万事如意,

身体健康, 新年快乐!

Cheers all! Happy Rabbit Year!!


My Little Space said...

Oh Bee, I love the first one! So creative. I'm sure all your guests will be eyeing on that one too. YOu know why! hahaha.... Whoa, you making so many types of cookies. Salute you! I only made a few only and already given all away. Left only pineapple rolls & a jar of black sesame biscuit for my mom. I'm going to make another batch of pineapple roll tomorrow. Afraid not enough to bring home, gifts for my 3 younger brothers. :o) I just completed 2 cheesecake and going to freeze them later. They going to travel hundreds miles with me in another few more days. haha... Hope you're enjoying your weekend. Go shopping? Have fun!
Cheers, Kristy

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Wow Bee, you are a super woman! So many cookies! The nuggets are definitely eye catching... But so much work, eh?

Sanjeeta kk said...

Oh my, my!! What a crispy display of the cute cookies. Bookmarked them for trying each one of them. Love the creative shapes and ingredients used. Simply awesome post. Have a great week ahead.

j3ss kitch3n said...

bee you have been working really hard! what an array of cookies! i love them all!

ICook4Fun said...

Wah, you have been busy baking lots of CNY cookies. No wonder no update from you for some time :) I love the look of the pineapple nuggets. I am sure it is not easy to make that shape.

Angie's Recipes said...

wow Look at the whole spread of cookies! Gorgeous!
Happy Chinese New Year!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

wow, that's a lot!

Haha, yeah, once I used half butter half oil for the peanut cookies, and they indeed smell better.
If you mill the peanuts with the flour, you'll get finer nut meal and it'll be a lot lot more meltier. How melty it taste depends on how fine you mill the nuts. A food processor might not give you the same results like a mill.

Bakertan said...

hey Bee Bee,

thats quite alot of cookies you have made. Admire your strength and stamina in making them. I can't do it for sure. making just 3 tubs of cookies is enough to kill me.( ya i know I am kinda weak in cookie-making, haha)

for pineapple tarts, I like to do closed rounded ones cos it requires the least effort. I can imagine how long you took to make the gold ingots. Anyone eating them surely will huat haha..

thanks for the ghee tip. Will be improving on my recipe for almond cookies.

Enjoy the coming lunar new year ya. Huat ar! =]

edith said...

Wow so many varieties. Super woman!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

WOW! You've been more productive than I'm! HELLO! LOL!

I suppose ghee would have added wonderful buttery touch to the cookies! "Moister" too!

Your first 元寶-like cookies are unique! Don't you think we the Chinese are all about $$$? HAHAHA!

Gong hey fatt choy to you!!! Don't worry about blogging! Enjoy CNY!

Lisa said...

Wow, those cookies are all so great. You really baked up a storm. I have a linky party going on at my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link this up.

ReeseKitchen said...

Hey Friend...very nice cookies you've made!! Especially the golden special!
I agreed that roasting, de-skin and grounding the peanut is no fun at all..I did the same thing for the peanut puffs requested from my father..;p
Due to limited time, you still have the time to bake & sell huh...salute!! You must take care ya..:) Hope to see you very soon.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Oh thanks Kristy! This ingot pineapple nugget idea has been in my mind for quite sometime actually, lol! Now finally made it for the NY, I am so glad it's so well received. Oh wow, you made cheesecake for the NY too? Sounds like a superb idea! I am only gonna make chiffon & fatt gob, the traditional stuff. Yeah, have a prosperous & joyous lunar new year too!

Hahaha, Shirley, I wish I am superwoman! Then I can sometimes just fly away from all this workload, lol! Yeah, it is more time consuming...but once I got the hang of it, it was much hour I can make about 40 of those.

Thanks Sanjeeta KK! Yeah, CNY is all about pigging out all the good food, lol! I love baking these cookies and it's only done once a year, so might as well go for it yah?!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

@j3ss: hahaha, yeah, almost worked till I dropped! Thanks!

@Gert: Yeah, been so crazy busy baking these cookies, especially the ingot shaped one, took about 80% of the time! Yup, MIA==busy baking for me. ;)

Thanks so much Angie! Happy Lunar New Year to you too!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

@Wendy: thanks for the tip! But in fact I love the nutty bits in the cookies, gives it it's unique nutty texture which I like to munch on after the rest melts away, lol! Hey, hope you have a wonderful CNY!

@ZY: nah, I don't think you are 'weak' cookie baking, just need more practice that's all! Soon you will be baking up a storm in the following CNY! Heehee, I wasn't thinking too much when I habor the idea of making the ingots, but indeed it was pretty tedious to make close to 500 of those! Yesyes, Huat Ah to you and your family! Happy happy rabbit year to you yah!

Thanks Edith, hahaha, no lah, far from super...but can say a little crazy plus hardworking, lol!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Pei-line, my friend! Gong Xi fa cai to you too! Best of luck to your advancing career yah! Yes yes, everyone also want to huat in the new year...I just wish I don't 'huat' on the belly after all that eating can already, lol! You take care ok. :)

Hi Lisa! thanks for stopping by and the invitation! Yes, gonna go to your blog to join in the linky fun! Thanks!

Thanks Reese! You are the only one who said take care...sob! Hahaha, I'm actually better now, so no worries. Yeah lore, those orders are from my neighbors, so pai se to turn down leh. Anyway, next time must control the order amount, else I sure over stretch again...old Liao. :P

Small Small Baker said...

Now I realise, most of the bloggers here are superwoman. Juggling with family and work, and still manage to bake so much for giving and selling. The golden nuggets are definitely the first time I see. Creative! Wish you a happy rabbit year. Gong Xi Fa Cai! :)

Kitchen Corner said...

Very good job Bee! You've been doing so much!! Hope you will get some rest after all and enjoy the Lunar New Year and have a good one!

Jess @ Bakericious said...

Bee, wow wow wow you have made so many cookies, superwoman leh! All the cookies looks so nice especially the 元寶 pineapple tarts, so unique!

Janine said...

wow pineapple tarts in the same of golden nuggets are indeed a first i've seen!

the jam cookies look fantastic - definitely bookmarking them to try in a day's time when i'm free :D

lilyng said...

gong xi fa cai

i tried making these gold ingots pineapple tarts but gave up cos it did not look as good and took too much time. Yours turned out perfect.

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

BeeBee, just almost finished to arrange my new house, and just manage to make one type of cookie -Ghee balls using the leftover ghee. But I want to bake one more batch and add almond to it, your idea sound great. All your CNY cookies sound great and I'm sure it all well received by your family, friend and relatives.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy CNY and Gong Xi Fa Cai.

Swee San said...

haha i love the pineapple nuggets, maybe next year I'll make them. cute. Happy Chinese New Year to u and your family :)

The Sweetylicious said...

there's really many bakes there! the weather is weird! take good care! (: your creative juice is great! the pineapple tarts is so cool!
same here! i promise that i'll never add almond essence ever again! trust me, i added more almond to it and omit almond essence, it taste GREAT and melty (: (:
happy new year to you and your family (:

pigpigscorner said...

WOw, so many cookies! I love the first one, so cute! Happy Chinese New Year!

neyeeloh said...

Happy Lunar New Year 兔 you ^_^

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

Unbelievable spread of fabulous cookies for the New Year celebrations!!! You have all my favorites! I'll bookmark this for I will be making some too! Thanks for this fantastic post! Excellent job you had!!!

Jess @ Bakericious said...

Bee Bee Wish you and your family a Happy Lunar New Year, Gong Xi Fa Cai!

hanushi said...

Bee, the pineapple nuggets are really very creative and pretty... Your guests will be spoilt for choice with so many cookies that you have baked... Happy CNY to you and your family...

Passionate About Baking said...

Wish you and your family a happy and prosperous lunar new year!
Had drop by your blog so many times but just too busy to leave my 'footprint'. Fantastic bakes you've got! :(

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

Hi Bee, something is wrong with my comment window that it won't allow me to reply so i have to do it this way. Sorry!
I'm just glad that you be my apprentice so I will learn to bake cakes and cookies as well as you in exchange. Thanks for your visit and nice comment. Your blog is wonderful, a must to visit I have to say! See you on your next post!

DG said...

Those cookies look good and delicious. Bee, Gong Xi Fa Cai!! May the year of Rabbit brings you and your family health, wealth, peace and happiness :)

lena said...

hi bee, i would love to receive those gold nuggets! the rabbit ones also look super cute!yeah, must mark up the price a lot more higher, haha! wishing you a happy and prosperous new year, gong xi fa cai!!

quizzine said...

That's a load of new year goodies that u baked! And I simply love your gold ingot pineapple tarts!
Happy lunar new year to u and your family :))

Valentines Recipes said...

Wow...first I must say what a beautiful site! The baking looks amazing, and the photography is equally amazing!

Those cookies are so neat! You obviously are talented.

I especailly like the nuggets...very original!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks for the well wishes Small Small Baker! Hahaha, no lah, I am far from super, seriously. There are things in my life that I wish I am more capable with. ;) yes, Happy Rabbit year to you and your fa,ily as well!

Grace, good to hear from you again! Hope you are enjoying your new year celebration from where you are! Am glad that you are resting and close to family....but hope to see you soon too! Take care!

Jess, your pineapple balls are fantastic too! Next time I also must follow suit, try out making pineapple jam at home too...can't be too lazy. See, I took short cut too, no super woman lah!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Janine! Welcome to my blog and glad to know that you like tose CNY cookies. Let me know how your almond jam cookies turned out ok? Have a great day!

@lilyng: oohh , it's not everyday that you'll come by my blog! Thanks for the encouragement! Hope you will try making it again next does takes a little more work to make it into ingot. ;P Have a wonderful CNY!

Soni, so happy for you that you are cooking and baking innyour new house! Must be very exciting yah? Hope you and your family have a wonderful CNY celebration and wishing you a prosperous and peaceful year ahead!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Swee San! Happy Rabbit Year to you! Oh great, I will look out for your post next year. :)

Thanks Sweetylicious. ;) there are actually still a couple more items I wanted to try out, but didn't have time...hopefully I can pull it through next time, lol! Happy lunar new year!

Happy Lunar New Year to you too Ann!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks for dropping by neyeeloh! Happy Rabbit year to you too!

Thanks michealeangelo! Welcome to my blog. I have to say you are a true master in fruit craving! Yes of course, we should teach each other what we are good at...there's endless knowledge to be picked up! Happy Rabbit year!

Thanks hanushi! Happy Rabbit year to you and your family too!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Jane! Hope you and your family have a fantastic new year celebration too! Huat ah!

Thanks DG! May you and your family enjoy a new year full of good fortune and prosperity!

Hahahah, thanks Lena for dropping by! You have a good and propserous new year ahead too! Cheers!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks so much for dropping by Esther, hope you and your family have great and prosperous year ahead!

Thanks for all the praises Valentine Bakes! Welcome to my blog! Hope you will drop by again when you get the chance, cheers!