Today is the second day of Chinese New Year. I can already forsee that there will hardly be much decoration waste to discard when the celebration is over. We are happily reusing most of the decorative items from previous years and I use a lot of tassels like these to inject a Chinese new year feel into almost anything around the house. Everything gets stowed away rather than being thrown away, and since they are not that elaborated, they don’t take up much space in the store room either. As long as I can practice self-control when it comes to pretty wicker hamper baskets!
// reused : vase, tassel, mini wooden peg with bird motif, grey jute string, patterned origami paper.
// new : baby’s breath in pink, to be dried and added to my dry flower collection.
// reused : hamper basket, artificial peach blossom from hamper deco, tassel, red packets
// new : mandarin oranges. When all the exchanges are done after the new year visits, the fruits will be eaten, the peels to be soaked in white vinegar to make an citrus infused all-purpose cleaner.
// reused : a pair of door couplets and 3 “福” wall decorative images, since I refrain from buying zodiac specific ones.
// reused : red packets from last year turned into lanterns this year, and tassels.
// reused : umeshu glass bottle-turned-vase for a bouquet of artificial flowers, also pre-loved.
The handmade, homemade, without preservatives ones went first. These love letters were next. Luckily, (and strangely) the urge for these stuffs come once a year, i.e. during the Chinese New Year. Just like Bak Kwa, Kueh Lapis (an ultimate fattening 45 egg yolks recipe here) and White Rabbit milk candies, though they are available whole year round, we only eat them in the beginning of the year. Which is a good thing, I guess.
Another small batch baking recipe from <<每天都是饼干日>>.
++Notes001 // This cookie cutter will make the cookies look even nicer.
++Notes002 // I use Van Houten cocoa powder. Recipe originally stated 4g, but I found it too much and dry out the dough.
++Notes003 // After cutting out first batch of star-shaped cookies, I still had a lot of dough left. As I did not want to spoil the distinct marbled effect by gathering and kneading the remaining dough too much , I simply rolled and shape the remaining into a log. Wrap it with a plastic bag, and after chilling for 30minutes, the dough is ready to be sliced into 1cm thick round cookies. I then baked them the same way as per the recipe instructions. (Last photo)
CONDENSED MILK MARBLE COOKIES
// Adapted from <<每天都是饼干日>>
// Yields 20 cookies, depending on the size of cookie cutter
- 60g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 100g condensed milk, room temperature
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 170g plain flour, sifted
- 1 tbsp Cocoa powder
01. In the small mixing bowl, whisk to cream softened butter.
02. Add condensed milk and salt. Whisk to combine.
03. Add vanilla extract.
04. Pour sifted flour into the mixture, stir with metal teaspoon to form dough ball.
05. Pinch out 50g of the dough, add cocoa powder slowly to it to form a cocoa dough. Stop adding when the dough starts to feel dry
06. Roll out the plain dough on a floured surface or baking paper. tear up cocoa dough into pieces randomly place them on top of the flatten plain dough.
07. Roll out with pin again to flatten (to 0.4cm) and combine them.
08. Cut into desire shapes and arrange on a baking tray.
09. Bake in a preheated oven at 170C/325F for 10minutes till cookies are done, but not brown.
10. Cool completely on rack before storing in air tight container.