Hello, Good News! Welcome to our blog, where we share with you the best recipes, tips, and tricks for baking amazing treats. Today, we are going to show you how to make Chinese tea cookies, also known as pake cake, a popular snack in Hawaii and Polynesia. These cookies are soft, chewy, and slightly sweet, with a hint of honey and brown sugar. They are perfect for tea time, or anytime you need a quick and easy dessert.
Chinese tea cookies are not actually from China, but they are influenced by the Chinese bakeries that spread throughout the Hawaiian islands. They are made with simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, such as flour, sugar, baking powder, honey, oil, and eggs. The key ingredient is wong tong, or Chinese brown sugar, which gives the cookies their distinctive flavor and color. You can find wong tong at Asian grocery stores, or substitute it with regular brown sugar if you can’t find it.
What You Need to Make Chinese Tea Cookies
To make about 24 Chinese tea cookies, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup of water
- 5 slabs (about 13 ounces) of wong tong (Chinese brown sugar), or 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of white sugar
- 5 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons of baking powder
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
You will also need the following equipment to make Chinese tea cookies:
- A large pot
- A wooden spoon
- A large bowl
- A whisk
- A small bowl
- A knife
- A cutting board
- A baking sheet
- Parchment paper or cooking spray
- An oven
- A wire rack
- An airtight container
How to Make Chinese Tea Cookies Step by Step
Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the baking sheet
Before you start making the cookie dough, preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with cooking spray. This will prevent the cookies from sticking to the pan and make them easier to remove.
Step 2: Dissolve the wong tong or brown sugar in water
In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low and add the wong tong or brown sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves completely. You should have a dark brown syrup. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Step 3: Whisk together the flour and baking powder
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder until well combined. This will help the cookies rise and have a uniform texture.
Step 4: Combine the honey, oil, and eggs
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, oil, and eggs until well blended. This will add moisture and flavor to the cookies.
Step 5: Add the sugar syrup and the honey mixture to the flour mixture
Pour the sugar syrup and the honey mixture into the large bowl with the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms. The dough should be soft but not sticky. If it is too dry, add a little more water. If it is too wet, add a little more flour.
Using a knife, cut the dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten each ball slightly with your palm or the bottom of a glass. Leave some space between the cookies as they will expand in the oven.
Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are lightly golden on the edges. The cookies will still be soft in the center but they will firm up as they cool.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy them with a cup of tea or coffee, or store them in an airtight container for up to a week.
Chinese Tea Cookie Nutrition Facts
One Chinese tea cookie (about 50 grams) has the following nutrition facts:
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Saturated Fat||1.5 g||8%|
Frequently Asked Questions About Chinese Tea Cookies
Chinese tea cookies are soft and chewy cookies that are made with wong tong or brown sugar, honey, oil, and eggs. They are also known as pake cake, a Hawaiian term that means “Chinese cake”. They are popular in Hawaii and Polynesia, where they are influenced by the Chinese bakeries that spread throughout the islands.
Chinese tea cookies have a mild and slightly sweet flavor, with a hint of honey and caramel from the wong tong or brown sugar. They are not very rich or buttery, but they have a moist and tender texture that melts in your mouth. They are best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee, as they complement each other well.
You can store Chinese tea cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can also freeze them for up to three months, and thaw them at room temperature before serving.
You can make Chinese tea cookies vegan by substituting the eggs with flax eggs (1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water per egg) and using vegan butter or margarine instead of oil. You can make them gluten-free by using gluten-free all-purpose flour or oat flour instead of regular flour.
You can add other ingredients to Chinese tea cookies to make them more flavorful or festive, such as nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips, spices, or extracts. For example, you can add chopped walnuts, cranberries, white chocolate chips, and orange zest for a holiday twist, or add sesame seeds, coconut flakes, dark chocolate chips, and almond extract for a tropical touch.
If your Chinese tea cookies are flat or hard, it could be because you used too much baking powder, which caused them to rise too much and then collapse. You can reduce the amount of baking powder by half or use baking soda instead. It could also be because you overmixed the dough, which developed too much gluten and made the cookies tough. You can mix the dough just until it comes together and avoid overworking it.
If your Chinese tea cookies are dry or crumbly, it could be because you used too little liquid, such as water, oil, honey, or eggs. You can increase the amount of liquid by a few tablespoons until the dough is soft but not sticky. It could also be because you baked them for too long, which dried them out. You can check the cookies after 10 minutes and take them out when they are lightly golden on the edgesand soft in the center.
If you don’t have honey or don’t like the taste of it, you can make Chinese tea cookies without honey by using another liquid sweetener, such as maple syrup, agave nectar, or corn syrup. You can use the same amount as honey, or adjust it according to your preference.
If you want to make Chinese tea cookies with matcha, a green tea powder that has a bright color and a grassy flavor, you can add 2 tablespoons of matcha to the flour mixture and whisk well. This will give the cookies a green hue and a subtle tea taste. You can also dust some matcha on top of the cookies before baking for a more intense flavor and a decorative touch.
If you want to make Chinese tea cookies with ginger, a spicy and aromatic root that adds warmth and zing to the cookies, you can add 2 teaspoons of ground ginger or 1/4 cup of finely chopped crystallized ginger to the flour mixture and stir well. This will give the cookies a spicy kick and a chewy texture. You can also sprinkle some granulated sugar on top of the cookies before baking for a crunchy finish.
We hope you enjoyed this article on how to make Chinese tea cookies at home. These cookies are easy to make, delicious to eat, and fun to customize. They are perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a cozy afternoon tea, a festive holiday party, or a simple snack. Try them out and let us know what you think!
If you liked this article, please check out our other articles on baking, cooking, and more. We have plenty of recipes, tips, and tricks to help you create amazing dishes in your kitchen. Thank you for reading and happy baking!