Step aside, plebeian kueh bangkits
Step aside, plebeian kueh bangkits
- By Amanda Chai
- | Jan 24, 2019
The time has come for the annual great cookie crackdown. Will your coffee table be piled high with quality snacks your guests can’t stop reaching for? Or will it remain an untouched No Man’s Land where you reuse the same treats for the next five house visits? For a crack at being a hostess with the mostest, here are the quirkiest treats—baked, chocolate-coated, fried and more—worth stocking up on this Chinese New Year.
Fancy snacks with a chocolatey touch? The homegrown chocolatier comes in hard with its widest range ever of cookies and hampers this CNY. Splash out on the Four Treasures set ($68), which contains four tins of handmade cookies in metallic gold boxes set in a matching bamboo tray. Inside you get 110g Almond Crumble coated in bittersweet dark chocolate; 100g Roasted Soba, a cookie with crunchy pearls coated with chocolate caramel and cranberry, 120g Baked Semolina, a buttery sugee mixed with white chocolate, cashews and sea salt; and 120g of Awfully Chocolate’s signature Dark Chocolate.
Previously based out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian bakkwa fiend Hock Wong Foodstuff recently set up a factory in Singapore to cater to us, their bakkwa-devouring neighbours. They’ve made this Lunar New Year their official debut, with their honeysuckle charcoal-roasted bakkwa in five ridiculously cute gift boxes. Take home your chosen God—of Blessing, Fortune, Longevity, Happiness or Fortune—who will bestow on you and your home either Minced Pork Bak Kwa ($33 per 600g) or Barbecued Bacon Bak Kwa ($48 per 600g), in individually vacuum-packed strips. Fair warning: Keep greedy relatives away from the latter; the luscious pork belly fat content means it’ll be snapped up in no time.
CNY Cookie Tin
Trust golden girl Janice Wong to come out with a truly fine collection of goodies almost immediately after her Christmas collection. Available are classic CNY treats with a twist—like pineapple tarts coated in 76% single origin dark chocolate ($28), a decadent snack that still serves its purpose as a sweet dessert; and Strawberry Love Letters ($18) that will surely bring to mind your childhood strawberry Pocky. For the most bang for your buck, pick up the all-in-one CNY Cookie Tin ($38) that contains seven varieties of treats, including the divisive Chocolate Chip Bakkwa Cookies—perplexing on the palate but a fuss-free way to snack on bakkwa.
Nothing like locally flavoured cookies to get you into the mood for Chinese New Year. Aside from their daring new chicken rice curry puff, Old Chang Kee has released limited-edition CNY cookies ($16.80 per jar) in two familiar flavours: Curry, using the same recipe of candlenut, blue ginger, lemongrass and curry leaves as the brand’s signature Curry’O; and Nasi Lemak, a cookie with personality made with dried chillies, assam, belachan and shrimp paste.
The ever-elegant Sinpopo delights yet again with Singapore-infused flavours in gorgeous packaging. Under the Gourmet Treats line ($15.80 per jar), choose from Toasted Coconut, Gula Melaka and our favourite, Curry Leaf with Salted Egg Yolk, a melt-in-your-mouth salty treat. Plus point: Once the treats are all gobbled up (and we’re guessing that won’t take long), you can reuse the ceramic jars to store knick-knacks—and keep everything that didn’t spark joy during your spring cleaning hidden from sight.
No ordinary pineapple tart, the Lemongrass Earl Grey Pineapple Tarts ($38.80 for 600g) from SPRMRKT’s chef-owner Joseph Yeo elevate the buttery staple with lighter flavours, so you won’t choke yourself on richness. The short-crust pastries are infused with aromatic earl grey tea leaves for a burst of fragrance, while the pineapple jam itself hides notes of refreshing lemongrass. Well aren't you a classy one?
You can count on this local Teochew confectionery for tasty snacks that combine traditional methods with more modern flavours; so there's something for both the young and old. They've launched new items like the delectable Golden Yam Mochi ($12 per box of four), but our hearts (and stomach) still go out to their not-too-sweet Gula Melaka Pineapple Pastry ($12 per box of six), or the more divisive but crazy delicious Durian Pastry ($15 per box of six) version.