Welcome To The New Normal Of Lunar New Year Snacks
STORY: Pearlyn Tham
08 February 2021
“Normal” pineapple tarts, love letters and kueh lapis are so 2020.
And now that you are only allowed eight visitors per day per household, you want your Lunar New Year goodies to stand out even more. Because those chosen eight people would be very special folks in your life who deserve something out of the ordinary, no?
Here are some out-of-the-Ox-dinary CNY snacks and cookies that will put you in the moo-d for the Year of the Ox.
If you believe in Nian Nian You Yu
To those who had to go for 4,582 remedial lessons before their O-level Chinese exams, this is roughly translated as “every year got fish” aka “every year got prosperity”.
But now that you aren’t allowed to shout that with hangry gusto at restaurants while you mess up their tablecloths by tossing around julienned carrots and smoked salmon from your lo hei platter, a good alternative is to get one of these fish-shaped confections from Janice Wong.
These are not your usual koi-shaped nian gao or agar agar. Hello, it’s Janice Wong leh. These are chocolate creations filled with praline wafer candied orange. Yes, nothing koi about these designer fish.
What? Muah chee in a cookie – sign us up!
If you are nuts about, well, nuts, Bakers Brew Studio has just the recipe for you this Chinese New Year: its Muah Chee Peanut Cookies (which are strangely curated under its Peranakan Nostalgia Collection, though).
These sweet, savoury bites are made with roasted peanuts and also peanut butter, then topped with ground peanuts. Your basic cousins can serve their old-school peanut cookies but you do you.
A less fat-die-me way to have your ong lai
We love our pineapple tarts – open-faced, covered up, rolled up, whatever – but don’t say we never say, one of these orbs can bring in anything from 70 to 100 calories. And whoever stops at one, right?
So, for a more wholesome way to stuff in your huat-ness, try these pineapple chips from Hey! Chips instead.
For guests who are too atas for neighbourhood kueh
Yes, we are talking about that distant relative who acquired a British accent after having gone to London for a week-long training stint.
Sure to impress: Goodwood Park Hotel’s Bountiful Box of Sweet Blessings. Don’t let the cheena-sounding name fool you. It’s really a box of 15 assorted petit pastries (meaning pastries small enough to pop into your mouth lah) which include chocolate almond tarts and coffee vanilla sponge cakes – one for every day of the Lunar New Year.
The hotel also has a very Instagramable Lucky Fortune Oranges, a 2kg kumquat butter cake that is shaped to look like six mandarin oranges.
When you have gone through every kind of chip in life
Potato, sweet potato, tapioca, prawn, fish, beetroot, lotus root… been there, done that, eaten that.
Don’t give up yet. We bet you haven’t tried Goodwood Park Hotel’s Crispy Kang Kong with Cheese & Sour Cream. Definitely a sure-win way to trick the veggie haters into consuming their greens.
Love letters to durian fans
There are “normal” love letters that just about everyone can crunch on to their blood sugar level’s content. And then there are these D24 Durian Rolls from Sunnyhills that you’d probably need to slap on a Post-It note as a warning to non-durian lovers. We are guessing that is why these cookie sticks are one of the few items on their website that haven’t sold out yet.
Your kueh lapis is on a roll
After having served rainbow and prune-studded versions of this popular addictive multi-layered cake, your next game plan involves getting your hands on something known as Madam Lee Lapis Roulade. Like its name suggests, the cake is all rolled up. What sticks the layers together? Pineapple jam. Double yums.