Chinese New Year (CNY) is coming up and I'm super excited because I attempted my first cookie recipe with red bean. I loooove red bean. It's a staple in Chinese sweets and I could never get enough of it as a kid. Red bean is usually used as a topping or filling for cakes, so it took quite a bit of thinking to find a way of incorporating red bean into cookies.
Truth be told, I've never tried to make Chinese sweets. Growing up, my family always went to the bakery to buy sweets and pastries, so it wasn't until recently that I started to learn about Chinese recipes. These Red Bean and Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies certainly aren't traditional Chinese New Year cookies. However, the flaky texture (almost pastry-like), red bean filling, and sesame topping are odes to my favorite Chinese flavors. I also love that they're not overly sweet—it makes it easier to rationalize scarfing down a half dozen of these cookies in one sitting. I'm sure your friends and family will feel the same way, so make sure you bake enough!
If you're in need of a few more CNY cookie recipes, look no further. I collaborated with 15 other amazing recipe bloggers for a Chinese New Year Cookie Party! It's the same concept as the Virtual Dinner Parties I did last summer (Sweet Pepper Honey Cornbread Muffins) and fall (Vanilla Apple Chai Cupcakes). Awesome, right? I know you don't want to miss out on the other recipes, so I provided all the links below.
Chinese New Year Cookie Party Recipes
- Vegan Cornflake Cereal Cookies by Vermilion Roots
- Fried Red Bean Puffs by The Missing Lokness
- Chinese Peanut Cookies by Daily Cooking Quest
- Chocolate Almond Cookies by Curious Nut
- Tapioca Cookies (Kue Bangkit) by What To Cook Today
- Pineapple Jam Tarts by Wok & Skillet
- Sesame Spiral Pie Cookies by Bams Kitchen
- Cherry Blossom Cookies by Brunch-n-Bites
- Mochi Stuffed Almond Cookies by Miss Hangrypants
- Melt-in-the-Mouth Chinese Gluten-Free Peanut Cookies by Foodie Baker
- Honey Almond Cookies by Hapa Nom Nom
- Quinoa Sesame Brittle by Omnivore's Cookbook
- Browned Butter Chinese Walnut Cookies by Yummy Workshop
- Macau Almond Cookies by Thirsty for Tea
- The Ultimate Pecan Sandies by Created to Cook
If you make any of the cookies from our Chinese New Year Cookie Party, or you just want to show the party some love, make sure you use our hashtag on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter): #ChineseNewYearCookieParty. We'd love to see your pics!
Chinese New Year Red Bean and
Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies
TOTAL PREP TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL WAIT TIME: 3.5 hours
TOTAL BAKE TIME: 12-15 minutes
YIELD: 24-28 cookies
**Note: Yes, I did use lard instead of butter. Lard is used in a lot of Chinese recipes, which is why I opted for lard over butter. Technically, you could make this cookie with any fat/oil, so if you'd rather use shortening or butter, go for it. Here's the thing about lard, it sounds super gross, but is great in baked goods. You might be able to find it at your local Asian market, but you can definitely find it at a Mexican grocery store in the baking aisle. Lastly, if you're looking for sweet red bean paste and sesame seeds, you can find both items at your local Asian grocery store.
Guys, I know I've been über M.I.A. and I'm SO sorry. I had a cold that turned into bronchitis and it's been impossible for me to be in the kitchen. It wasn't until this past week that I was able to start baking again—just in time to test this recipe. I had some killer music on my kitchen last week when I was working on this recipe and I just had to share it with you. Take a listen to The Blazing Ray of the Sun's new record, Young Love! The Where Could I Go track is my personal fave. Happy listening and baking!