A New Year's celebration wouldn't be complete without sweet treats. Here are some Chinese desserts that are traditionally served during the New Year season, and fun recipes featuring symbolic Chinese foods.
You might try catering to guests who have a sweet tooth with a dessert like sticky cake. For guests who want something lighter, fresh fruit is always an option—oranges symbolize wealth in Chinese culture.
And, if you don't feel up to cooking, some of these items should be available... at Asian bakeries, particularly during the Chinese New Year season.
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This is China's most famous cake, traditionally fed to the Chinese Kitchen God so he will report favorably on a family's behavior when he returns to heaven before the start of the New Year season. In Chinese culture, cakes symbolize togetherness and a rich life. The main ingredient in nian gao is glutinous rice flour, available in Asian grocery stores. The cake is filled with dried fruit and steamed.
If you're not comfortable with the idea of steaming a cake, here is a recipe for... baked nian gao. The cake is filled with red azuki beans, used in many Chinese festive dishes. And for a little extra help, here are step-by-step instructions, with photos, for making it.
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No Chinese New Year celebration would be complete without cookies! These almond cookies have a light, delicate flavor that is not too overpowering.
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Peanuts symbolize longevity in Chinese culture. In this easy recipe, the peanuts are coated in a syrupy mixture with brown sugar, corn syrup, and five-spice powder.
Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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At any Chinese New Year celebration, you'll see red everywhere, as the color red is a powerful symbol of happiness and joy in Chinese culture. Made with red adzuki (azuki) beans, this popular sweet dessert soup is perfect for Chinese New Year. Lotus seeds and dried tangerine peel give the soup an interesting variety of textures and flavor.
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Although they're actually an American creation, fortune cookies are a fun way to end a festive meal. Homemade fortune cookies taste so much better than store-bought, and you can make up the fortunes to put in the cookies.
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Resembling a miniature orange, kumquats are a popular treat during the Chinese New Year season, as they are a symbol of prosperity for the coming year.
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