29 Jan 2013

Chinese Walnut Cookies / Hup Tou Sou 核桃酥


Hup Tou Sou 核桃酥 is a type of Chinese traditional bakery, literally means walnut cookies. The matter is: tons of Chinese walnut cookies are in fact without any walnuts within. Walnut cookies no walnuts! Ahem, awesome! >"<)

I always bake my own Chinese walnut cookies with walnuts. I modified a recipe from KS Lee but I go for less-salt and less-sweet. Traditionally use lard, or some use shortening or partly shortening, I opt for corn oil. In some tradition recipes, ammonium bicarbonate is added, but if you don’t like, just omit it.

The original recipe calls for low protein flour, I always use HK flour (Hong Kong flour for making Chinese steamed bao) for my walnut cookies and I like the result. You can use AP flour or cake flour instead, but avoid over kneading the dough forming load of gluten.    

This is the initial recipe I learnt from K.S. Lee for your sampling, in case you wish to try it out. Buy his various cooking books.
Hup Tou Sou
A)150 g oil
B)120 g castor sugar
1/2 tsp salt
300 g low protein flour
1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate
1/2 tsp baking powder
C) 1 no egg
Mix all ingredients (B) well.
Pour in oil and egg, slowly mix till it becomes a soft dough.
Divide into small balls, press at the centre, egg wash.
Bake at 170°C for about 20 minutes.
-          -          -

Do add another 1 or 2 TBsp caster sugar if you prefer sweeter cookies. My modified version is less-sweet and less-salt: 

Chinese Walnut Cookies / Hup Tou Sou 核桃酥
(I)
110 g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
300 g HK flour
2/5 tsp (0.4) baking soda
2/5 tsp (0.4) baking powder
1/5 tsp (0.2) ammonium bicarbonate
(II)
150 g corn oil
1 egg, beaten
(III)
50 g walnuts, chopped into nips

extra beaten egg for egg wash
Yield: around 60

Sift all (I) in a mixing bowl. Mix the flour well with a hand-whisk.

Make a well in the centre, add in (II) 1 beaten egg and corn oil, mix gently to the flour mixture by hand, mix in (III) the walnut nips forming a soft dough. Rest dough for 15 minutes.

Roll into small balls and place them onto a lined baking tray. I use a teaspoon to press in the middle; I like to make mind look like flowers. You can press with your thumb, or you can shape it into rounds and press with your palm for a rounded finish. Egg wash.

Bake at 170°C in a pre-heated oven for 20 ~ 22 minutes. Rotate if necessary.

Let the fresh baked cookies sit on the baking tray for 5 minutes. Transfer to the wire rack. Let cool completely before storing in air-tight container.


Again, baked these Chinese walnut cookies for the coming Chinese New Year! CR ‘n’ CR =  crunchy and crispy! Yumm!

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