Cheong Liew tells me that these lotus paste shortbead biscuits are typically served with jasmine tea at the end of a Chinese banquet and, while golden lotus seed paste (lin yoong) is traditional, they can be filled with red bean (hong dou sha), black sesame (hei zhi ma xian) or any of the sweet Asian pastes. Traditionally they’re made with lard, but I prefer butter for its convenience and flavour. Bring both the butter and egg to room temperature before making the dough, and don’t overwork it once the dry ingredients are added, treat it like a scone dough and just bring it together without kneading. Custard powder was introduced to Chinese cooking via Hong Kong and adds a lovely vanilla note and golden colour to these biscuits; if you don’t have any, add a tablespoon more flour. This recipe is a variation on one from Cheong’s wonderful book My Food, and he suggests serving Tieguanyin (TGY) oolong tea with these lotus paste shortbread biscuits.
Makes 6 pieces
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