Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sesame hup toh soh 核桃酥 (Chinese walnut cookies)

I've always been a big fan of crumbly walnut cookies (or more commonly known as hup toh soh 核桃酥 in Chinese) since young. CNY is here in 4 days, I have only got two tubs of cookies done, and guess what, I'm still browsing through the blogs and contemplating on what else I should bake. Two weeks ago, a client of mine has told me she wants two tubs of whatever cookies I'm baking for myself. Because of her, I cannot not bake my cookies ;p and it gotta be something not normal! Came across this here, so I decided I should give this a go.
For all my home-baked stuffs, be it cookies or bread, I've always used organic ingredients. It's the same for this cookie, I use organic walnuts. I find that the seeds or nuts are much fresher and sweeter, and that they don't have that rancid taste.
It's my first time baking walnut cookies and I'm very impressed with it. It's easy (I molded the cookies in my bedroom, cos the others are out and my little baby boy is sound asleep) and it's very moorish. I let my sis in law tried it, she said, oh this cookies, you'll always want another one after your first one. Great!
I doubled up this recipe so that I can have extra for my 'client'. I also made some adaptation to the original recipe, like usual, I bake with molasses sugar (replacing castor sugar) and I mistakenly scooped in some black sesame powder (don't ask me how that happened), which turned out fine, and I cut the oil down by 20g (meaning 130g oil used), and it's grapeseed oil that I used.
Recipe adapted from Singapore Shiok!
  • 50g organic walnut, lightly toasted and coarsely ground
  • 250g all purpose flour, unbleached with about 1tbsp black sesame powder
  • 1tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 60g molasses sugar (oh, I also cut this down from 80g original recipe)
  • 1tsp baking powder, natural
  • 1tsp baking soda, natural
  • pinch of salt
  • 130ml organic grapeseed oil
  • 1 beaten egg with about 1tbsp water
  1. Lightly toast walnut, remove the skin (I remove them cos I was worried it may render a bitter taste to the cookies, let me know if that's needed) and coarsely grind with a blender (I used my baby's food babybullet cos it's small and I don't like the hassle of washing a big blender bowl).
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt with molasses sugar. Add in ground walnut. Mix in vanilla extract.
  3. Drizzle in grapeseed oil. Mix with your hands until a smooth dough forms (no need to knead).
  4. Preheat oven to 170deg C.
  5. Shape dough into marble size balls. Press down centre with a chopstick, or your finger.
  6. Glaze cookies with egg glaze.
  7. Bake cookies for about 12-15min.
While I was blog-hopping looking for inspirations for my CNY bakes, I learnt that one of my 'friend' from a blog I followed lots has lost a very close one due to road mishap. Again, deepest condolence to her. For me, and rest of us, let this CNY serves as a reminder for us to always treasure our loved ones and our family.

I'm linking this post to Bake Along event, Chinese New Year cookies for the month of Jan 2014, organized by  Frozen Wing, Bake for Happy Kids and  Kitchen Flavours.



  1. Your cookies look great! Your client is very lucky, to have good quality ingredients in the cookies! Tastes extra special!
    Thanks for linking.
    Gong Xi Fa Cai!

    1. Thanks thanks. Honestly, of all the cookies I've made this year, this is my favorite. I'll definitely bake them again next year. Happy Chinese New Year! Oh!! I had more CNY cookies to link, but been too occupied to upload and link. Oh well, next year perhaps. :)

  2. Hi Jen,

    I always reading how you tweak delicious recipes into healthier versions. Your use of grapeseed oil sounds good. Lucky baby and "client" :D


    1. Hi Zoe, thanks, I'm glad to know you've been reading my post :) Ya, that's me trying to be a smartass tweaking the recipes. Just failed terribly last night trying to bake a '10grain german cookies'. It didn't work and the whole tray of failed cookies went into the bin. No german cookies for baby or client this CNY -.- Happy Chinese New Year to you, dear Zoe. Btw, I read your post on Bangkit and I baked some good ones after reading yours. Good one!

  3. hi jennifer, i also like your idea of adding a little bit of some black sesame powder into the dough..tho i nvr tried it before but i think it will give some kind of a unique fragrant taste to the cookies..glad to hv you sharing your post with bake along, here's wishing you a very happy chinese new year, gong xi fa cai!

    1. Thanks Lena! I guess the 'accident' of adding black sesame powder worked well for this walnut cookies. Happy Chinese New Year to you and family :)


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