Or as I say, Gong xi fa cai, hong bao na lai! (Good luck and fortune, now gimme my red packet! It sounds better in Chinese.) Today is the start of the Year of the Dragon; if you believe in astrology and all that, you can go look up your specific horoscope for how this year will go for you. I read that I'll be having a difficult year in terms of health, and specifically that I may be injured at work! I will be using this as a pitch to work from home more often...
Like our centerpiece?! You've always got to have apples and oranges (auspicious colors, see) and Cedric was our stand-in for a dragon. He's got wings, I'm convinced! But there are dragons in edible form, too!
Last year, I decided I was going to make all of the zodiac signs into cookie form (yes, this will be a 12 year project!). As it turns out, it was a good year to start on, the rabbit being relatively simple in shape. The dragon? Not so easy! I kicked around a few ideas (and Megg had suggested a Trogdor shaped cookie), but I really wanted something rounder and cuter (like the bunny cookies, but, you know, dragony).
So I took some green tea and vanilla shortbread dough, and made something vaguely dragon shaped. Here is a crappy cell phone photo of what I was going for. See? Kind of dragony?
Aaaaand here is what happened after baking. Total collapse, whoops! It should not have been such a surprise to me that shortbread dough wouldn't hold its own weight. Sigh.
So I took a break from dragon cookies and made pineapple tarts instead. As usual, I made my own jam; you can see check out this old post for step by step instructions on making pineapple tarts. I made them bite sized this year, figuring that would help with portion control.
Unfortunately, that just meant that they are that much easier to keep grabbing and munching! Whoops!
Then I made another traditional food, nian gao. This is actually somewhat untraditional, as the typical nian gao is brown sugar based and steamed, whereas this version uses coconut and is baked in the oven. Nian gao is a type of cake made out of glutinous rice flour, and is quite similar in texture to mochi. It is rather delicious, and has caused me to gain several pounds already.
So anyhow, after all that, i came back to my deformed dragon cookies and stared at them, long enough that I decided maybe all was not lost and there might be a way to salvage them after all. And so, with a little creative arrangement and some (extremely) rudimentary photo editing...
I give you dreaming baby dragons. Yes, they dream of cookies. What, don't you?
Happy new year! May it be healthy and prosperous, and full of nothing but good things.