CNY = Chinese (Lunar) New Year. For Chinese families, those three words bring with it lots of memories, anticipation, and excitement. CNY is like the Chinese equivalent of American Thanksgiving, where extended families gather once a year over reunion dinner while friends and relatives visit each other over the next fifteen days.
This will be the first CNY in four years that I will be celebrating in Singapore. Spending CNY in Vancouver the past three years was a unique experience. On one hand, the world around you goes on since it is not a public holiday and nothing seems to be different on the streets. Yet, Chinese families are quietly preparing for the festivities at home in a low-key sort of way. And while the Asian supermarket stocks a good range of CNY treats from Hong Kong and Taiwan, it was the Singaporean versions that were virtually impossible to find, such as yu-sheng, kueh lapis, bak kwa, nonya pineapple tarts etc. What that meant was homesick Singaporeans like us just had to learn how to make them to satisfy our cravings.
This CNY, there will be a plethora of snacks and goodies to choose from. But that won’t stop me from making some. In fact, I will be posting 8 CNY-inspired recipes over the following weeks leading up to CNY. If you want to try your hand at making some simple CNY treats, I will be posting some of my favorite recipes. And if you are plagued by certain food allergies that prevent you from eating 99% of CNY goodies out there, or if you’re simply bored of the same ol’ selection of treats each year, then you might want to try some of my CNY-inspired recipes, which feature popular CNY ingredients with a twist. Such as today’s gluten-free coconut macaroon recipe, instead of the usual coconut-flavored kuih bangkit.
This recipe is extremely simple, takes about 30 mins from start to finish, and makes a light, moist, milky-sweet coconut macaroon that is perfect with a cup of hot tea.
Yields: 20 cookies
2 1/2 cups (200g) shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (300g) sweetened condensed milk
2 (60g) egg whites
1. Combine desiccated coconut, vanilla, salt and condensed milk in a bowl and mix well.
6. Cool and enjoy, or store in an airtight container for 3 days.