12 Lunar New Year cookies you need to eat

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You know it’s time for Lunar New Year when you see red everywhere, hear Chinese New Year songs and see tubs of New Year cookies being put up for sale all over supermarkets and pasar malams, right next to red lanterns and mandarin oranges. Many of these cookies will automatically cause some to salivate, but if you’re not familiar with the varieties of cookies available, here’s a helpful little guide to CNY cookie and snack heaven!

1. Pineapple tarts

Credit: Ancoojournal.com

Credit: Anncoojournal.com

Arguably one of the more famous cookies on this list, its name is usually followed by an exclamation of “Ooh, I love those”. A combination of western influences and Asian spices, it is a small, buttery pastry that is topped (or filled) with pineapple filling. Combining savoriness and sweetness, this is a tart loved by all.

2. Arrowhead chips (Ngaku chips)

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Credits: Groupon.sg

My personal favorite on this list, these delightful, lightly salted chips made by deep frying thin arrowhead slices until they are crispy. They are immensely satisfying and if you’re not careful, you might just go through the entire container in one go, despite promising yourself you’d only eat a handful to begin with.

3. Kuih Kapit (Love Letters)

Credits: Seasaltwithfood.com

Credits: Seasaltwithfood.com

Crispy, sweet and delicate, these wafer-like goodies are made by ladling a sweet, runny eggy batter onto a hot iron mold grilled over a charcoal fire. The resultant circular crepe is then removed from the mold and folded onto itself while still warm. These are great for something to go with your morning coffee or eaten on their own.

4. Tapioca Cookies (Kuih Bangkit)

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Credits: Messywitchen.com

If there ever was a cookie that earned the description of “melts in your mouth”, this would be it. Made with tapioca flour and coconut cream, this powdery cookie dissolves in your mouth, leaving behind a really creamy coconutty sensation.

5. Peanut cookies

Credit: Rotinrice.com

Imagine peanut butter – but in a soft, powdery form. This is essentially what these cookies are. Made almost entirely of ground roasted peanuts, this cookie crumbles in your mouth the minute you put them in, instantly filling your mouth with nutty goodness.

6. Cashew cookies

Credits: Foodiebaker.com

A nice little cookie made up of ground cashews and topped with a half cashew, cashew cookies are often seen around Chinese New Year as well. If you like the taste of cashew nuts, you’d definitely enjoy this light, crumbly cookie.

7. Mini peanut puffs (Kok Chai)

Credits: Savouriesandsweets.com

Imagine a curry puff, but much smaller, infinitely crispier, and filled with ground peanuts (I just realized how much we like peanuts) and sugar. All that results in a sweet, nutty explosion that fills your mouth with crispy pastry filling and groundnuts.

8. Sticky Rice Cakes (Nian Gao)

Of course, no Chinese New Year would be complete without this sweet, sticky and gooey perfection that is Nian Gao. This rice-based delicacy is grand when steamed, or fried with yam, sweet potato, or even eaten on its own.

9. Ribbon Cookies

Credits: Piggyscookingjournal.blogspot.my

Credits: Piggyscookingjournal.blogspot.my

Shaped like ribbons due to its twisted flour, this cookie is deep fried until it becomes golden and crispy. Some like to add a bit of powdered sugar to the cookie to give it a light and sweet flavor to this crunchy delight.

10. Rice Crackers

Credits: Theodysseyonline.com

Credits: Theodysseyonline.com

This crunchy traditional biscuit is made by heating rice until it ‘pops’, not unlike popcorn. The popped rice is then stuck together using syrup, and other ingredients are added to enhance the taste. These ingredients can include fried peanuts, sesames, and coriander etc.

11. Sesame Sticks

Credits: www.misstamchiak.com

If you know how fragrant sesame seeds can be, then you’d know how good these things can be. Made with rice and deep-fried until it is crispy and hollow, these sticks are incredibly crunchy, and leave you wanting for more.

12. Spicy dried shrimp rolls

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Credits: tummytroll.wordpress.com

Believed to be born from the influences of Malaysian and Singaporean cooking styles, this crunchy snack combines sambal, dried shrimp and chilly all wrapped up in spring roll skin. These little dynamites contain so much flavor that it is impossible to stop after having one.

Do be careful not to overeat these, however. They may pack a punch in flavor but you may pack on a whole lot of calories.

Make sure you get your hands on these snacks this Lunar New Year. It wouldn’t be much of a New Year without munching on them.

Gong Xi Fa Chai!

Christopher Yee

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Christopher Yee

Chris is a frequent traveller of worlds beyond the screen, and has been to places like Skyrim and Ferelden more times than he can count. When not indulging in escapism, he enjoys annoying the neighbours with his guitar and pondering the answers to life's great questions; like the meaning of life, and what to have for lunch.

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