梅花开五福 – A Plum Blossom Will Bless One With Five Fortunes
‘长寿’是命不夭折而且福寿绵长 – “Longevity” means not to die at the young age and have a long life
‘富贵’是钱财富足而且地位尊贵。- “Rich” means have abundance of wealth and respectable position
‘康宁’是身体健康而且心灵安宁。- “Healthiness” means a healthy body and a peaceful mind
‘好德’是生性仁善而且宽厚宁静。- “Generosity” means is benevolent and of generous character
‘善终’是能预先知道自己的死期 – “Hospice” means ability to know in advance the date of death
First of all, I have to say that it is intentional to have the cookie cracked because I want the cracked cookies to resemble the petals in a plum blossom. Because of this, I have to make my dough slightly harder such that when the dough was pressed, it will be cracked into this shape. If you want to have a nice shape like the traditional thumb print cookie, you can adjust the butter quantity by another 20-30 grams and reduce the cream cheese by the same quantity. In this way, your dough will be greasier and moister, it will be a round shape and not cracked like flower petals.
During the Chinese New Year, Chinese like to have auspicious cuisines including cookies. They will give their cuisines (both savoury dishes or sweet cookies ) some special names or special looks just specifically for the festive seasons. Most cookies will have names that linked to prosperity, joy, happiness and other positive greeting words.
Though this cookie is a traditional thumb print cookie, however, because of Chinese New Year, I will love to have my cookie look like a plum blossom (梅花）。 Plum blossom is a flower that thrives well in the cold weather and when it blossoms, it signifies that springs have arrived and time to celebrate Chinese New Year (Spring Festival). To Chinese, it also signifies hopes and the abilities to endure hardship. If you wish, you can read a bit more about this flower in one of my older post – National Flower Series–East Asia 5–Taiwan Republic of China– Prunus Mume.
Preparation is definitely not difficult but a bit laborious. If you have the patience, it will definitely be a good cookie that can impress your guest. The inclusion of cream cheese make it creamier but will not be as crispy as compare to pure butter cookies. Response from relatives and friends are positive, a nice cookie and we have finished all the cookies even before I issued this post, which is rather unusual.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
450 grams of plain flour (about 3.6 cups)
110 grams of cream cheese (about 1/2 cups) (at room temperature)
200 grams of butter (about 7/8 cups) (at room temperature)
150 grams of sugar (about 2/3 cups) (not in picture)
1 hard boiled egg yolk
3 teaspoons of vanilla essence
0.5 cups strawberry jam
STEPS OF PREPARATION
Cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift in the hard boiled egg yolk. Stir until well mixed.
Sift in the plain flour and use the slowest speed to stir until well mix. Take the dough out and lightly knead until well mixed.
Take some dough (about 10 grams each) and shape it into a ball. Use the end of the wooden ladle to make a cavity on the ball (vertically from top).
Put the strawberry jam into a piping bag and pipe the jam on the cavity. Bake in the oven at 175 degree Celsius for 10-12 minutes.
I like this cookie because of the shape and colour that resembles a beautiful flower. I am sure it will stand out in a tray of golden looking cookies during Chinese New Year. The taste of the cookie is definitely delicious. As it is rather easy, I will encourage reader to try preparing this traditional cookie for the coming Chinese New Year.
Hope you like the post today. Cheers.
For your convenience, this recipe has been included in the E-book Page 37-38 (Easy Chinese New Year Recipes – A step by Step Guide). The e-book was packed with 30 Chinese New Year recipes and you can get hold of a copy of the E-book HERE or by clicking on the picture below.
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