Feel The Huat With Tiny Temptress' CNY Cookies
Those who know me well know that I rarely crave sweet treats. Sure, I'll have the occasional chocolate, or I'll indulge in a key lime pie from time to time, but I only do so when it's there, when a craving strikes, or if it's the festive season. The latter scenario is especially true during Chinese New Year when it's time to forget about your waistline, feast, and then attempt to burn all those excess calories once the 16-day celebrations come to a close.
16 days. The Chinese really know how to party, huh?
I enjoyed an assortment of CNY treats growing up – cookies, barbecued meats, mandarin oranges, and soft drinks. While I no longer have a sweet tooth like I did when I was little, I still do enjoy my favourites – pineapple tarts, barbecued pork jerky (long yuk), tapioca biscuits (kuih bangkit), love letters (kuih kaput), and arrowhead (ngaku) chips. Naturally, F&N orange soda and Yeoh's packet drinks have now been replaced by beer.
Tiny Temptress, an artisanal patisserie started by Wendy Loh that dates back to 2016, recently sent over a generous gift basket for me to sample. And I gotta say, I'm impressed. I first noticed the patisserie back when they used to have a physical outlet in Telawi, and even remember reporting on it during my days as a writer for Tatler when it made a splash on the Bangsar scene. But, I never have the chance to taste any of its creations, even after it shut down and transitioned into any online store. Until now.
Lunar New Year cookies I feel are exceptionally personal, in a sense that each family typically has their own preferred stores, professional or homemade, that they would usually order from to stock their house with an abundance of treats. More is always better when it comes to the New Year. Why? Because the Chinese love the notion of prosperity, abundance, and wealth.
When it comes to my family, we usually buy cookies from various mom and pop home stores that specialise in a particular type of cookie or cookies. Two weeks ago, I learned that the pineapple tarts I usually buy for CNY, which are superb in its ratio of sweet, tart pineapple jam and crumbly, buttery pastry, is sadly closed for business this year. Another coronavirus casualty. Fingers crossed it's only temporary.
Fate, however, had other plans in mind. Tiny Temptress' CNY Big Huat Basket (RM388) arrived at my doorstep last Monday to sweep away my pineapple tart blues and then some with eight boxes of delectable goodness. Each basket contains:
2x Golden pineapple tarts
1x Peanut cookies
1x Cereal cookies
1x Butter cookies
1x Almond cookies
1x Salted egg yolk cookies
1x Green pea cookies
The gift basket's stars are the pineapple tarts, cereal, peanut, and salted egg yolk cookies for me. While every box was displayed quality, these four did it for me.
I have incredibly high standards for pineapple tarts and Tiny Temptress' tarts just knock it out of the park. As I compose this, I've already finished one box of pineapple tarts by myself. These baked golden morsels of pure pleasure do a bang up job of nailing that balance of impactful flavour (with the jam having just the right amount of sweetness and acidity) and delicate buttery crumbliness. Pineapple tarts need to satisfy these two vital criteria to be deemed worthy. Have this with a glass of cold milk and you've got an excellent match. Or even try them with whisky!
The cereal cookies are also a winner – buttery with a delicate savoury crunch from the cereals make for a full-flavoured mouthful. The same goes with the salted egg yolk cookies. Now, I'm usually not an advocate for salted egg yolk flavoured treats, but these cookies do it justice. Disclaimer: I harbour disdain for foods that use salted egg yolk as a cheap way to flavour food unskilfully and I feel that this trend has unfortunately spread like wildfire. When used carefully and with skill, salted egg yolk can bolster a food's flavour profile. However, there is a fine line between enhancing and overpowering and many Malaysians sadly prefer the latter.
Tiny Temptress' peanut cookies lean more on the classic side of the flavour spectrum, with a nutty, buttery mouthfeel that's more savoury than sweet.
As for the rest, those are for you to find out! From what I've tasted so far, just know that Tiny Temptress' CNY cookies are the real deal and I'm glad that my house will be stocked with these sweet treats for the upcoming festivities.
Those interested in picking up only one or two boxes can also do so. Check out the link below to see what's in store. Here's a tip: if something you see is sold out, email them or reach out to them on social media to inquire!