Monday, 18 August 2014

Handmade Chinese Zodiac Mooncake Biscuits (十二生肖公仔饼)

When I saw Aunty Young's post on mooncake biscuits that were soft enough to eat the day after baking, I was tempted to try.  My first attempt last year took about a week for the biscuits to be soft enough for eating. I told my elder kid that I would be making this and we planned to have a "playdoh session" together when he's not in school. Here's my set of 12 animals shaped using hands and a few simple household tools!

Pardon the poor photography. It's really tough to take a good photo on my phone. Actual color is a richer brown like the one below.

Close up view of a few biscuits!

I adapted from Aunty Young's recipe for the biscuit dough but used Ann Low's recipe for the egg wash.

Ingredients (makes about 16 "animals"):
210g plain flour, sifted
138g golden syrup
60g peanut oil
3g alkaline wiater
30g lotus paste ( I used white lotus paste. Original recipe would call for 90g of lotus paste.)

Egg wash
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp water
2 drops yellow liquid coloring

1. In a large bowl, add syrup, oil, alkaline water and lotus paste. Mix well.
2. Add sifted flour and form a dough. Cover with cling wrap and rest at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
3. Divide the dough into 24g with some spare dough for animal parts. Shape them as you wish, dusting your fingers with a bit of flour if it gets too sticky. I just used a toothpick, yakult straw, bench scraper and my fingers to do all the shaping.

Full set of 12! But not in order.

4. Place the animals on a baking tray lined with baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Remove and cool for 10 minutes.

This is how we look like after first round of baking!

5. Brush top of biscuits with egg wash. (I need to improve my egg washing skills... or use a different recipe that is less viscous.) Make the egg wash by combining all the three ingredients and sieving it. Bake again for another 10-15 minutes.  Be careful to watch the biscuits like a hawk nearer the 9 minute mark. They start to brown very fast after a certain point. I over-browned my kid's batch :(.

I am pleased to know that the mooncake biscuits were soft enough to eat the next day! The addition of lotus paste really did wonders. An extra one or two more days of storage and the texture was just right for consumption.

A peek at the insides...

I had lots of fun with my kid at this playdoh session even though the biscuits did not turn out looking perfect. That's the nice thing about messing around with baking together with kids for fun :).

Here's my kid's handiwork!

We gave some away to our neighborhood kids. The mummies thought I bought special moulds to make these! The kids were of course keen to have stuff that Auntie Phay Shing baked for them again :). This bake is easy enough to get kids involved. Have fun!

Updates: I changed the design of the monkey and made minor changes to the rabbit (added ear pads) and mouse (added whiskers). Here are some photos of subsequent batches of Chinese zodiac mooncake biscuits that I made. I forgot to take photos of the final product before packing into boxes for a friend.

Just shaped!

After first round of baking!

I didn't add any flour while shaping the biscuits to retain as much moisture as possible.  I replaced 1/2 tsp of water with 1 tbs of milk and a few drops of oil for the egg wash. The resulting biscuits are less brown but it was easier to apply the egg wash.

 I'm joining Best Recipes for Everyone August 2014 Event Theme: Dim Sum hosted by Fion XuanHom's Mom.

With love,
Phay Shing


  1. Hi Phay Sing,the mooncakes are.....very very very cute,I won't able to make this much creation for a mooncake,well done!
    Thanks for sharing your cute mooncakes with Best Recipes ^^

    1. Thanks Fion! We had much fun shaping the biscuits. Good bonding time with my kid :)

  2. Ha ha I like all these zodiac animals ... so cutie !

  3. Thanks Karen :). Best part is you don't need special moulds to make the whole set :)

  4. I agreed this is a very nice recipe and a fun way to spend time with children…you are so creative, your "animals" look so cute!

    1. Thanks Jeannie :). My kids want an encore session of this playdoh during the september school hols!