Nothing announces the start of the Chinese New Year festivities like a pantry chock-full of festive goodies, like pineapple tarts, bak kwa, and all sorts of baked goods. While the classics are must-haves, there’s always room for something a tad different. Before you rush off to stock up on your favourite snacks, take a peek at these delectable spins on traditional treats to add a pop of flavour and a tinge of intrigue to your celebrations.
1. Sweetened Red Bean with Preserved 10-year Tangerine Peel Nian Gao – Peach Blossoms
Impress your family and guests by bringing out this “gold bar” at the end of your reunion dinner. A luxe twist on the sticky-sweet nian gao, this Instagram-worthy version is sweetened with red bean paste and perked up with a zing of citrus from 10-year preserved dried tangerine peel. For the more traditional, go for the Reunion Nian Gao, a three-layered treat made with Okinawa brown sugar and coconut milk, or the Harvest Purple Sweet Potato Nian Gao, smooth and mellow in flavour.
SAFRA members receive 20% off Chinese New Year Goodies; more info at www.safra.sg/promotions/prmb-cny
From $38 for the Harvest Purple Sweet Potato Nian Gao; more info at shop-parkroyalcollectionmarinabaypromotions.panpacific.com/en_SG
2. Golden Osmanthus Pineapple Tarts – Kele
Known for their signature buttery crust paired with premium pineapple jam, Kele is the festive favourite for many. This year, they have collaborated with another beloved homegrown brand Gryphon Tea Company to create a limited-edition pineapple tart infused with fragrant Golden Osmanthus flowers. The delicately floral bites are decorated with a layer of edible gold powder for that added touch of extravagance to usher in the New Year.
To spread the festive joy, gift the Kele x Gryphon® Golden Osmanthus Bundle Set, available from 13 Jan. It includes a box of tarts, a tin of Golden Osmanthus Tea, and an exclusive onigiri bag.
From $36.80 per box and $69.90 per bundle set; more info at kelepineappletarts.com.sg
3. Earl Grey Pineapple Tarts – Teaspoon of Love
Causing quite the buzz when it first debuted, this seasonal crowd favourite is making another comeback this holiday. Enveloped within the buttery pastry is a well-balanced concoction of tangy pineapple filling and earthy earl grey tea. Made from choice black tea leaves and bergamot oil from an organic farm in South Africa, the tea blend lends the classic cookie a charming afternoon tea vibe.
From $32.90 per box; more info at tspoflove.com
4. Vegan Bak Kwa – Angie’s Tempeh
If your New Year’s resolution is to eat cleaner or consume less meat, this is your cue to try some tempeh bak kwa. Packed with protein, prebiotics, and micronutrients, these handcrafted tempeh slices are made from carefully cultured soybeans using Angie’s Tempeh’s proprietary recipe and marinated in their special in-house vegan sauce. Each slice is then grilled on the barbecue and torched with a flame gun to ensure each bite is encased in a perfectly caramelised layer of crunchy bits, just like meat-based bak kwa.
Be sure to send in your pre-order as soon as possible because these delicious slices were sold out within two weeks last year, and the current waitlist is said to be already in the thousands!
5. Multi-Coloured Fortune Cookies – 25Grams Bakery
Dipped in a colourful white chocolate coating and dressed up with sprinkles and dried flowers, these iconic American-Chinese confections are tasty and fun. Packed in a cute bamboo steamer basket, these vanilla-flavoured cookies each conceal a little message, and are individually wrapped for optimal freshness. The baskets can be added to your kitchen to cook dim sum and other steamed dishes.
For gifting, there’s also a giant fortune cookie painted in red and gold, which is stuffed with mini fortune cookies, each containing a message.
From $50 per set; more info at 25gramsbakery.com
6. Red Dates Walnut Cookies – Yang Yang
In addition to its auspicious colour, red dates are traditionally a symbol of fertility and signify abundance and prosperity for the coming year. They are commonly served as a sweet tea during the holiday or used to embellish festive dishes. Halal-certified bakery Yang Yang has taken this Chinese New Year staple and cleverly transformed it into a cookie with crunchy walnuts. The result is a complex flavour profile with the sweetness and smokiness of the dates pairing perfectly with the rich nuttiness and slight bitterness of the walnut. It also leans more towards a classic Chinese palate, making this cookie a great option for older folks or anyone who prefers Asian flavours.
From $20.80 per tin; more info at yangyang.com.sg
7. Belinjo Cookies – Chilli Padi Goodies
Can’t get enough of belinjo crackers? You can now enjoy the unique-tasting emping nut in a scrumptious cookie. Best known for their award-winning pineapple tarts, Chilli Padi Goodies is the festive bakery offshoot of the established Nonya restaurant. Among their repertoire of traditional baked goodies is this unassuming gem. Mixing the bitter belinjo crackers into a buttery cookie dough not only yields an addictively bittersweet flavour but also a delightful combination of crumbly and crunchy textures – all in one bite!
From $30.80 per bottle; more info at chillipadigoodies.com.sg
8. Japanese Purple Sweet Potato Cookies – Qakes and Bakes
After selling out a year ago, these gorgeous cookies are back on the shelves just in time for CNY! Made from specially imported Japanese purple sweet potato flakes and dusted with auspicious gold, these deep lilac-coloured morsels are irresistibly crispy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside. Helmed by a baker with 20 years of experience, Qakes and Bakes specialises in fresh handcrafted pastries made without any additives or preservatives, so you can munch on these cookies with a little less guilt.
From $28 per tin (various discounts and promotions available); more info at qakesandbakes.com
9. Orh Nee Tarts – Whisking Bakes
Not a fan of pineapple? Fret not, you can still join in the festive binging with these creamy yam tarts. The thin crust makes way for more of the fragrant filling, which is made into such a fine paste that it all seems to magically melt away in your mouth. Made with all natural ingredients, these buttery balls are also free from preservatives, which means a shorter shelf life, but you’re not likely to have a problem polishing these off.
From $14 per bottle; more info at whiskingbakes.com
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