Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lunar New Year Sweet Dumplings

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For the recent Lunar New Year Celebrations, I feasted on the Lunar Sweet Dumplings. Around this time of the year, Asian Grocers will usually have tins of these dumplings available, but the homemade flavours are still the best in my opinion. This recipe is fairly time consuming due to the wrapping, but when giving these dumplings away, the recipient will be sure to appreciate the time and effort put into making them.

The Filling:
There isn't a right way to make the filling. I tend to prefer just mixing white sesame seeds with chunky peanut butter. Some people prefer to add in shredded coconut pieces as well. The key to the filling is to always taste it after you've mixed it.

The Dough:
  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 16 Chinese soup spoons (the ceramic variety) COLD water - sorry for lack of a better measurement, but that's what it took.
Mix all of the above ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead until everything has combined. The dough will tend to have a yellowish tinge to it.

The Wrapping of the Dumplings:
  1. Rip a baseball size chunk of dough and roll it out into a thin sheet. Carve out circles of dough using a cutter that has a roughly 3-inch diameter.
  2. Spoon a little bit of the filling into the centre of the circle of dough
  3. Fold the circle of dough in half to form a half-moon shape
  4. Pinch the edges of the dough to close the dumpling
  5. From one side of the dumpling to the other, gently fold in and pinch the edges at a 45 degree angle to form a beautiful ribbon design.
  6. Make 3 or 4 of these dumplings and test them out on the deep fryer. This is essential ensuring that your dough is tough enough to withstand the frying. The last thing you need is a leaky dumpling.
  7. If your dumplings have survived and they taste great, then proceed to make a large batch to prepare for the festivities!

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