Advertisement 300 X 250

Monday 13 January 2014

Old Time Cookies - Hup Tou Sou

Of late I find myself more fascinated with the traditional type of Chinese New Year cookies (the likes of kuih bangkit, pineapple tarts etc) than the modern ones.  Festive seasons have a nostalgic effect on me :)

This one here is the Walnut Cookie also known as Hup Tou Sou (核桃酥) in Cantonese.  It's a Cantonese baby hence the Cantonese name.  I only realised that traditionally these cookies did not have any walnuts in them although they are named such when i started looking for a suitable recipe! Which was surprising, the way i remembered them was they had a very nice nutty aroma in them.   No walnuts, can it be?

So i had to decide whether to go traditional full fletched, with or without walnuts? I decided to go with the walnuts, i figured it could only taste better and not otherwise.

I decided on Lily's recipe, one that she has fine-tuned a couple of times, pretty sure it will be good.  The recipe calls for peanut oil which i didn't have on hand, i went with sunflower instead.  I tweaked the recipe a little, instead of all oil, i rubbed in a little butter and reduce a slight amount of the oil used.  My thoughts were a little butter will make it more fragrant and some melt in your mouth effect.   Verdict? Love it!

As I was preparing this post, it came to my mind that this cookie tasted like one that i used to eat when i was a little girl.  The one that i used to take from a big glass jar with a plastic red cover (i wish i had a photo to show) that was placed atop the cashier counter at my grandmother's kopitiam!   Those cookies were meant for selling but they were not made by grandmother though.   So, i searched further to find out if they are the same cookies.  The moment i saw this post, i knew i was right, they were shaped exactly like the ones that i used to eat except those were much bigger, 3-4 bigger than the ones on the post.   I made another batch shaped exactly like the ones i used to eat as a child just for old times sake...

I am glad i picked this cookie to try.  It brought me back to the times when i had lots of fun with my sister and cousins in my grandma's kopitiam, among them climbing up the cashier counter to get these cookies :)


  • 90 g all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • a pinch of salt 
  • 40 g confectioners' sugar (reduced to 35g icing sugar)
  • 1/2 cup roasted and ground walnuts 
  • 75 - 80 ml peanut oil (reduced to 50-60ml if butter is used)
  • 15g unsalted butter
 Egg Wash
  • 1 egg yolk plus 1 tbsp water  (milk)
  1. Sieve flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and confectioners' sugar. 
  2. Add in the ground walnuts and mix well.
  3. Rub in butter.
  4. Add in peanut oil and knead into a soft dough. 
  5. Divide dough into small portions (I use a melon ball scoop as a gauge but you can just eye ball the size you desire) and roll into a ball.  Flatten ball slightly and arrange them onto lined baking sheets.  (I used about 1 tbsp of dough and shaped it into a ball.  To get one with more edges, use something round and flat to press on the dough)
  6. Glaze cookies with egg wash 
  7. Put to bake in preheated oven 350F for 12 - 15 minutes until golden brown. Baking time defers according to the size of the cookies (Baked at 180C for 18minutes)

I'm submitting this post to the Bake Along event hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce of Kitchen Flavours and Lena of Frozen Wings and the theme is 'Chinese New Year Cookies'.



This looks like a great CNY cookie to try. I'm pretty useless with names of CNY cookies... I know I've eaten this before but now I know the name too :P

Oh, I was holidaying in Penang last month and bought a box of this, but I guess nothing beats homemade one. Hopefully I have extra time to try this out too.

Yummy! I was contemplating on making these and now seeing your beautiful walnut cookies, I am going to make them. Thanks for sharing.

Very nice hup tou sou!!! May I ask what is the difference between the first and second picture of cookies? Is it the way you pressed them to get more rough edges???

May I ask again if you don't mind to link with our bake-along this month? Cheers!

Sorry that I have ask too many questions... hee hee


@Yen: Me too, i only knew this one after i looked around for a recipe :)

@Mel: Hope you can give this a try and compare it with the ones you bought :)

@Veronica: Nice, you inspire me, i inspire you :)) I tried making bak kwa after seeing how good yours was!

@Zoe: Q1 - Yes, the difference is the shape and also a darker shade which can be obtained by roasting the walnuts a little longer. The second one looks more like the traditional ones. Q2 - Linked, it was my pleasure. I had the intention to link but somehow i forgot until you reminded me :)

So that's the name of the cookies ! They look nearly the same as the ones that are being sold here ( the ones in a plastic container with red cover ) except yours are a bit bigger :D

I just baked some cashewnut cookies and I must say they look similar to this cookie in texture....I too remember Hup Tou So from way back:) A large piece is enough to satisfy my cravings for sweet snack..:)

I remember the Hup Tou So biscuits! Very nice eaten with Kopi-O. Your cookies looks wonderful !
Thanks for sharing with Bake-Along!

hi adeline, i also made walnut cookies yesterday and now when i looked at the recipe, it is quite similar ! beautifully baked and thx for linking with bake along!

Hi, love this addictive cookies, your look so well baked. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Have a nice day.

Sus galletas son una delicia realmente adictivas....tu última receta está espectacular tiene goji un producto muy saludable y grandes propiedades.

no pude entrar en tu último post,abrazos

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting, it would be great to hear from you too


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More