Recipes excerpted from Modern Asian Baking at Home by Kat Lieu. Reproduced by permission of The Quarto Group.
Chewy Taiwanese Snowflake Crisps
Confession time! This is my favorite recipe in the entire book. Why? Well firstly, it’s super versatile and easy to make. Secondly, I’m simply addicted to snowflake crisps (or nougat cracker candy). I’ve finished entire bags on my own. (Don’t judge!) Each bite is an addictive harmony of yin and yang: chewy yet crispy, sweet yet salty, and milky yet light.
It’s no wonder this confection is one of the best-selling snacks across Taiwan and Hong Kong, and it’s a social media star.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Inactive about 60 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
YIELD 12 TO 16 CRISPS
¼ cup (½ stick, or 55 g) salted or unsalted butter
About 3½ cups (180 g) mini white or colored marshmallows (or cut-up large ones)
1 tablespoon (15 g) milk powder or buttermilk powder, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 40 buttery salted snack crackers (130 g)
About ½ cup (76 g) salted nuts of choice, chopped (such as salted pistachios)
About ½ cup (70 g) dried fruits of choice (such as cranberries or raisins)
- Generously grease or line an 8- x 8-inch (20.5 x 20.5 cm) baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the marshmallows. Stir continuously until all the marshmallow melts, resembling melty mozzarella cheese. (Alternatively, you can melt the butter and marshmallows in the microwave, in 20-second bursts, stirring after each burst.)
- Add the milk powder (or buttermilk powder) and vanilla extract and stir until incorporated. Add the crackers, nuts, and dried fruits.
- Using a flexible spatula or wooden spoon, stir until everything is well coated with the marshmallow-butter mixture. The crackers, nuts, and fruits should be spread evenly so each bite will have a little of everything. At this point, it’s up to you whether to crush and break up the crackers. I prefer the crackers a bit more intact. Remove from heat.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Wear a pair of greased food-safe gloves. When the mixture is cool to the touch, pull, stretch, and knead it a little, using your hands.
- Evenly press the mixture into the coated pan using your hands (or a greased spatula). You want the mixture to be about ½ to ¾ inch (1.3 to 2 cm) thick and leveled, so don’t over-flatten it. Cover and let rest on the counter for 30 minutes.
- Cut into 12 to 16 even pieces. Dust all over with milk powder. Enjoy one (or two) and then hide or share the rest of these tempting bites. Store in an airtight container and eat within a few days.
Substitute the milk or buttermilk powder with matcha for green, matcha-flavored crisps. You can do the same with cocoa powder for cocoa-flavored crisps.
Feel free to change up your mix-ins.
About the Author
Grew up in South Brooklyn, New York, she obtained a Doctor of Physical Therapy to fulfil her Asian parents’ dreams in 2008. However, for the past 13 years, Kat Lieu has been constantly searching for her identity. “For many years, I was untrue to myself and constantly searching, always unsatisfied, and I became a serial resigner (I always had a template for a resignation letter ready!)”, she shares with Set the Tables.
During the peak of the pandemic, Kat started Subtle Asian Baking (SAB) on Facebook as a private group for like-minded home bakers. Within two years, it had snowballed to a community of 145.2k people (as of May 2022). Beyond supporting individual bakers, charities, and Asian communities, Lieu sees this platform as a place for connection and inclusivity for bakers of all backgrounds, not only those of East Asian descent. Her first cookbook, Modern Asian Baking at Home, will be released on 28th June 2022.