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Hup Toh Soh Chinese Walnut Cookies
Greet Chinese New Year (or any holiday) with homemade hup toh soh (Chinese walnut cookies), and my recipe uses walnut and sesame seed for extra nuttiness.
Any holiday is a great excuse to bake a mountain of cookies, and Chinese New Year is no different. Growing up, my Grandma bakes at least a dozen different cookies, all arranged in pretty jars, to welcome the new year and to greet guests that visit our house during Chinese New Year.
This hup toh soh (Chinese walnut cookies) is a must-have item and make a regular appearance each year. It is very easy to bake these at home, and if you love these cookies, feel free to whip up a batch at any time of the year and not just for CNY. :)
What you need to prepare a batch of hup toh soh (Chinese walnut cookies)
Ingredients to prepare a batch of hup toh soh (Chinese walnut cookies) are very straightforward and should be really easy to procure.
You will need all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, walnuts (toasted and coarsely chopped), sesame seeds (toasted), unsalted butter, sugar (either regular white sugar, or brown sugar), and eggs.
To get coarsely chopped walnuts, you can either pulse whole toasted walnuts for 2-3 seconds in a food processor, or place whole toasted walnuts in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin.
How to shape hup toh soh (Chinese walnut cookies)
Hup toh soh (Chinese walnut cookies) are traditionally shaped like a round dish.
First, make 1 teaspoon (~ 10 gram) round balls from the cookie dough and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Then, either grab a spoon, or a fork and press the round ball to flatten. The spoon will give you plain disc-shaped cookies while using a fork, you get disc-shaped cookies with indentation.
Bake the cookies in two half-sheet pans.
This recipe should yield about 80 pieces of cookies, and the easiest way for me to bake these is using two half-sheet pans.
I arrange the cookies in a 5x8 per baking pan, in other words, 40 cookies per pan.
Also, the cookies will expand slightly, but if you space them apart in your half-sheet pan, they shouldn’t end up touching each other.
Store fully cooled cookies in airtight container.
Although hup toh soh (Chinese walnut cookies) are super addictive, I strongly suggest you don’t eat the whole batch in one seating. Be sure to store your fully cooled cookies in airtight containers.
If you are preparing these cookies to celebrate Chinese New Year, they should stay fresh at the minimum 2 weeks when stored properly, so all your Chinese New Year guests can enjoy your homemade cookies.
Of course, these cookies are great for gifting too, and I am sure the recipients will be happy to receive your homemade hup toh soh.
Hup Toh Soh Chinese Walnut Cookies
- 280 gram (~ 2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 150 gram (~ 1 cup) walnut, toasted and coarsely chopped (I pulse for 2-3 seconds with my food processor)
- 50 gram (~ 1/3 cup) sesame seeds, toasted
- 175 gram (~ 12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 90 gram (~ 1/2 cup) sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 egg, lightly beaten (for egg wash)
- Preheat oven to 165 Celsius (325 Fahrenheit). Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- Whisk together all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Then add the walnut and sesame seeds and mix well. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add egg yolks and beat until well mixed. Then, lower the speed and gradually add the flour and walnut mixture and mix until it form a smooth cookie dough.
NOTE: The texture of this cookie dough can be quite dry, and it is usually easier to work with hands at the very end to gather the dough.
- Form round balls (each about 1 teaspoon, or 10 gram) from the cookie dough and arrange on the prepared half-sheet pans. You should get about 80 balls, and you can arrange them in a 5x8 cookies per half-sheet pan.
- Use a fork and press each ball of cookie to create an indentation. Then brush the top of each cookie with the lightly beaten egg (egg wash).
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove cookies from oven and rest in the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container.
Natalie Levin says:
These walnut cookies look so delicious and perfect with a cup of coffee ♥
veena Azmanov says:
Healthy and a very tasty nut. These walnut cookies sound delicious and perfect.
Jacqueline Debono says:
I love how easy these Chinese walnut cookies are to make! Am going to try them for our Christmas party!
These would be perfect for Christmas. :)
I would have a hard time sharing these as they sound delicious - love the sesame in there too!
I know what you mean, Shashi. It's a good thing that we usually bake several different types (like a dozen) of cookies for CNY, otherwise, there wouldn't be enough cookies to go around. :D
Helen Of Fuss Free Flavours says:
I love traditional foods like this, especially those with a story behind them. So delightful and easy to make, perfect little bites of deliciousness.
These cookies are indeed very easy to make. I remember we were always tasked with helping my Mom when we were little to shape the cookies during the busy baking time in preparation for CNY. :)
Samantha C says:
Thank you for sharing this recipe as I love Hup Toh Soh. I successfully bake the cookies with your clear instruction. Wondering can I replace the sesame seed with more chopped toasted walnut instead?
Thank you for giving my recipe a try, Samantha. I have never omitted sesame seeds before, but I tend to think that if you grind the additional 50 gram of walnuts into really fine approaching sesame seeds size, it should be doable. Please let me know how it works out if you do give it a try. :)
I can't wait to try these cookies, they look amazing. Thank you for sharing.
Andrea Metlika says:
I've had these once before and they were delicious. I didn't realize how easy they are to make. I can't wait to make these for my family.
This is really delish my kids can't stop eating them!
Kelly Anthony says:
These hup toh soh chinese walnut cookies will make a great addition to my annual cookie exchange.
Thanks for sharing! Love learning about recipes from different cultures! The ingredient list is super simple and such common ingredients that this would be so easy to whip up! Love it!
Is it possible to make them dairy-free by using something else than butter?
Sandra, you can also try lard, or neutral flavor oil such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil. If you do use oil, start with 1/2 cup first, and add as needed to make the dough workable. :)
Yummylicious!! Can't stop eating!
👍👍👍 Not the sexiest-looking cookie ever, but the taste was absolutely perfect !
ive had ones with paste in the middle do you know what that is
Sorry Devan, I'm not sure I've had Chinese walnut cookies filled with paste.
Daryl Williams says:
I loved making (and serving) these cookies. Goes really well with coffee or vanilla ice cream, but I found that it could do with a tiny bit more sugar. Thanks for the recipe!
We love cookies that are not too sweet, so I can understand that some people would prefer sweeter cookies. In that case, feel free to use between 100 to 125 gram of sugar instead of 90 gram. :)
Is it possible to halve the recipe to make 40? How many eggs should i use in that case?
Hi Candice, ideally you use 1 1/2 egg yolks from large size eggs for the cookie dough. If you have small/medium size eggs instead of large size eggs, you can try using 2 egg yolks from small/medium size eggs.
I tried baking with my toddler this morning and the cookies are successful but i put a little lesser baking soda and too little sugar so they turned up savoury.
Hi, I tried your recipe and the cookies looks pretty. But after the first bite my heart sunk, it’s not flavourful. Something is missing, might be essence.
Hi Lilia, sorry if the flavor is not as expected. Usually, by making sure that both the walnuts and sesame seeds are toasted, the cookies should have plenty of flavor on their own without the addition of essence. Store-bought cookies, however, are almost guaranteed to have flavor enhancement. If you want a more store-bought version, perhaps a teaspoon of vanilla essence wouldn't hurt for your next attempt.
Made these cookies today. Added a drop of vanilla essence for fragrance. Could do with a little more sugar. The dough is dry I rolled it into balls, bigger than recipe cos I prefer bigger cookies. Baked in convection oven 140C for 45 minutes. I used a digital weighing scale. Thanks for the measurements in grams. Came out delicious.
Can I make these in the large size 4inch diameter like I've seen in Chinese bakeries?
Hi Chris, you can make the cookies bigger. It will need a longer baking time, probably 45-55 minutes?
Shannon R says:
These were delicious! I had no idea what to expect and my family has all been pleasantly surprised! I was going to share with my coworkers but my family asked I leave them home to enjoy! Thank you!
Halved the recipe and glad we did. Saved our waistlines! Yum! Brushed the egg wash on, had loads left. Is it ok to dip them in next time?
Hi Soph, it's best not to dip. I think dipping will make the cookies stick to the parchment paper and harder to remove later on.
Super tasty! Wish I can post pics to share.
Dee Dee M. says:
Made the cookies this morning and the first batch turned out great. The sugar content was just fine, prefer less sweet treats.
When I was forming the cookies, the dough started to get oily half way through. I think it could be because I crushed the walnuts too finely, almost to powder, do you think? Or is it the sesame seeds that cause this to happen?
The 1st baked batch was fine, but the 2nd tray, while baking - I noticed that a few cookies started to ooze and bubble up and were quite oily, even when cooled. Can I have place the dough in the fridge to firm up if this happens?
However, they tasted great! Thank you so much for this recipe. It's one of my favourite recipes and it's going into my book of treasured recipes.
Hi Dee Dee, thanks for trying out my recipe. I think you can reduce the oiliness by not pulsing the walnuts into fine powder. I usually just give it a quick 3 pulses with my food processor into a coarse chop walnuts. And yes, if you need to bake in batches, you can definitely place the dough in the fridge to firm it up.
Ho FP says:
Baked this cookies few times. Indeed very delicious and my whole family love it . Thanks for the recipe.
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