Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year—恭喜發財 (Gong Hay Fat Choi)

Butter Cookies

Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year, and 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit.  Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese Lunar Calendar.  It is the tradition that on the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families.  Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year(Gong Hay Fat Choi), and receive money in red paper envelopes like those from the picture below (yeah, I know, these are not red.  They are more modernized designs and the Chinese believe that gold is another lucky color besides red). 

Butter Cookies

Another tradition on the first day of Chinese New Year is that the families visit the oldest and most senior members of their extended family, usually their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents and so forth (pretty much like Thanksgiving in the U.S.)  Along with our visits, we always bring some delicious treats.  And butter cookie has been a popular item that people would bring as a treat.  However, I think the popularity of the butter cookie treat is totally influenced by the British culture.  This is because Hong Kong was a British Colony from 1841 until 1997, when China regained sovereignty.  Nevertheless, these butter cookies are delicious treats, addictively delicious treats!  They are buttery and got the melt-in-your mouth texture.  I made a batch 2 days ago and they were all gone in a few hours.  So, I made 2 more batches yesterday just to make sure I have enough to share with my parents and brothers.  (I better wrap them up before they all migrate to my stomach before the new year!)

Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips


Since butter is the star ingredient in this recipe, I used the best I could find, Pure Irish Butter!  The cookies came out richer and creamier than those with just regular butter. Since one of the Chinese New Year tradition is to go all out to celebrate, it is time to bring out the good stuffs!  :)   And, how can I resist from adding a chocolate chip on top of each cookie!?  I used bitter-sweet chocolate chips, a nice match with these butter cookies since they are not overly sweet.  Oh my, I can’t find words to describe their deliciousness any more, they are out of this world yummmmy! 

Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips


Although I may not be able to visit all of you to deliver a Gong Hay Fat Choi and a basket of butter cookies in person, I want to share this recipe with you and hope you’ll make some at home to enjoy with your family.  恭喜發財(literally means wish you good wealth), also, wish you good health, happiness, longevity and prosperity in the Year of Rabbit!


Butter Cookies


I'm sharing this post with Holiday Recipe Swap.  Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Kerrygold.





Butter Cookies:  Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups cake flour
10 tablespoons butter, room temperature (I used Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter)
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 egg yolks 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375F.  Place rack on the upper 3rd of the oven.

Cream butter with an electric mixer with paddle attachment over medium speed until light.  Add caster sugar and powdered sugar, continue to beat until fluffy.

Add egg yolks into the butter mixture, one at a time.  Continue to beat until well combined.  Then, beat in vanilla extract.

Sift flour and salt into the butter mixture. Use a spatula to combine all ingredients.  Transfer the batter into a pastry bag with a large star tip.

Pipe the batter on a lined baking sheet in 1 1/2-inch rounds and 1 1/2-inch apart. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.




29 comments:

  1. These cookies are so delicious! Gong Hay Fat Choi! Just wanted to let you know that I am hosting a Culinary Smackdown Battle and would love for you to check it out and participate if you are interested: http://imapretendchef.blogspot.com/2011/01/culinary-smackdown-battle-hand-held.html

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  2. Yum! I miss butter cookies. I'll have to try to make a gf version. Thanks for posting this and reminding me about them.

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  3. @ Pretend Chef: Thanks for stopping by and inviting me to your Smackdown Battle. Love the theme you've selected this month! I'll definitely participate and join in for fun!

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  4. that butter cookies looks awesome. Nice post about Chinese new year.

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  5. These look great! Thanks for sharing and the happy new year warm wishes.

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  6. Another Amazing recipe! My mouth is watering! Thank you for sharing! Happy New year!

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  7. Happy New Year Amy. These cookies look like the perfect treat for the occasion!

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  8. Amy, these look delicious and your photos are beautiful! :) I wish you Gong Hay Fat Choi!
    Blessings!

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  9. Gong Hay Fat Choi Amy, wonderful blog, I can't wait to read more. Love these butter cookies.
    -Gina-

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  10. Happy New Year !Gong Hay Fat Choi.
    Don't forget to link it in our linking party this week.

    http://www.passionatelyartistic.com/2011/02/fun-ideas-for-valentine-day-2011be.html
    Maggie

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  11. Thank you everyone for the warm wishes!

    @ Maggie: Thank you for the invitation. I'll join the linking party right after this comment. :)

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  12. These are beautiful!

    I'd love to have you link up with Sweet Toot Fridays, a linky dedicated to all things sweet. I hope to see you there!

    http://alli-n-son.com/2011/02/03/chocolate-toffee/

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  13. A lovely post about Chinese New Year ~ thanks so much for sharing! LOVE butter cookies and will definitely try these.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!
    Pat

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  14. Happy New Year Amy! I am so happy that you have shared your New Years Butter Cookies with us. They just look delicious. Thank you so much for coming to Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

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  15. I love butter cookies!! Send me one or better yet a dozen! This look so delicous!!

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  16. Hi Amy, thanks so much for visiting my blog earlier. You've such a lovely blog here. Looking forward for sharing with you and wishing you & your family a very Happy Chinese New Year. Enjoy & have a great time. Hope to hear from you more often.
    Blessings, Kristy

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  17. happy new year to you too! these cookies look amazing..there is nothing better than pure butter cookies,is there? welcome to tuesday night supper club and thank you for sharing this amazing recipe.

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  18. Gong Hay Fat Choi May your year be filled with prosperity. Thank you to for stopping by and visiting with me at cooking underwriter. I am now following your blog and look forward to reading more.

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  19. I can almost feel those cookies melting in my mouth :) Your photos really are beautiful.

    The Nourishing Homemaker
    http://nurturedfamilylife.blogspot.com

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  20. Oh, these cookies look wonderful! Especially with the little chocolate morsel added! I'll be trying these cookies very soon!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on my blog! I'll be checking out more of your recipes during the baby's naptime!

    Happy New Year!

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  21. Happy New Year to you! Thanks for linking up to Tailgating Time. Hope you will join us for the big Super Bowl party tomorrow! :-)

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  22. I love butter cookies! I'm going to try these for sure. Enjoyed your post!

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  23. Looks yummy and a wonderful space

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  24. How did you manage to pipe the cookies?! I tried but dough so stiff and bag and hands all ended up greasy. Thanks

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  25. @ Anonymous: I used a reusable pastry bag along with an extra large star tip. Here's the exact pastry set I used for your reference, see the link below.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BVFYU4/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=a0464-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000BVFYU4

    Just need to make sure the pastry tip is large enough for the batter to come out easily. Also, I'm not sure which part of the world you are in right now. The weather here is pretty cold. As the recipe calls for room temperature butter, it could easily vary by 10+ degree or more. Just make sure the butter you use is soften (not melted or hard to touch). If you use a stand mixer, the mixing bowl could be colder than "room temperature" and will harden the butter once you add it in. The trick is to melt a few tablespoons and add them to the soften butter before you cream it with the sugar. So, it stays nice and soft. Hope it helps. If you have any other questions, feel free to let me know and I'll be more than happy to answer them. Have a wonderful day.

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  26. Hi there! I made these cookies a 3x times now - the first time - they were sooo good! The 2nd time I noticed they were quite dry and the same the 3rd- I could not figure it out! then I remembered the first time I made it I had copied out the ingredients and the 2nd time I printed it out via your link. THAT's when I figured it out. On here it says 1 1/4 c flour but your link says 2 1/4 c flour! Just an FYI..thx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for ltrying the recipe and letting me know about the typo, Katherine. I feel terribly sorry that you made two batches of dry cookies because of my typo! Truly appreciate that you let me know so I can go fix it now. :)

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