Chinese Five Spice Gingerbread Cookies

Happy Christmas Eve, y’all! 2017 is coming to a close–I can barely believe it! I’m in the mood to bake spicy cookies and drown my stress in hot chocolate, how about you?

Needless to say, grad school life has kept me quite occupied this year. I actually got sick twice this semester (currently still recovering)–which is absolutely insane to me, because I hardly ever get sick. This semester seriously took a toll on me. I have another year left–my thesis looms ahead! Cue the tears and hot chocolate…and Chinese five spice gingerbread cookies.

gingerbread scene final-B

Chinese five spice, ngũ vị hương in Vietnamese, is one of my favorite things to reach for in the kitchen. It has a complex balance of flavors: sweet, savory, sour, and bitter. Around this time last year, I shared a savory recipe featuring it–Fusion Jackfruit Bao Bites. This year, I’m showing you how I decided to throw it into some cookies…it turned out to be a success at a vegan Christmas cookie swap I went to, so I decided to refine the recipe to share with you!

Finishing Process2

Chilling the dough before and after rolling keeps cookie shapes intact–but I also like the cute mistakes that occur when I forget to chill the second time, like this little dancing cutie!

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Lemon Lavender Candied Ginger (Mứt Gừng) for Chinese New Year (Tết) | plantcrush.co

Lemon Lavender Candied Ginger for Chinese New Year (Mứt Gừng)

Like any new year celebration, Chinese New Year is about new beginnings. Sweet treats are popular cross-culturally, as they symbolize a sweet, joyful start to the upcoming year. I think we can all agree that we definitely need more joy this year. This year, I was honored to be invited by the lovely Christine (Vermilion Roots) to participate in a Chinese New Year sweets party with several other Asian bloggers. It’s kind of like a virtual potluck—I urge you to check out the participating blogs below, to get a taste of the lunar new year from various parts of Asia! Continue reading

Chai Spiced Pear Tarts With Crushed Pumpkin Seeds

This recipe post is coming to you from a very sleepy but determined grad student…lately, my life has consisted of 12-hour long days working on final project stuff at school. I’ve still got a long way to go until it’s all over! Anyway, I’m sorry for my absence of content this month–I’ve missed blogging so much.

I want to let you guys know I just published my first Buzzfeed Community post–a curated list of visually stunning crowd-pleasers for your upcoming potlucks this weekend! I urge you to check it out and show the world that vegan food is wonderful and delicious. 🙂

 

To me, chai spices represent the quintessential flavors of autumn. These tarts feature fragrant pear slices baked with warm chai spices, in a flaky golden crust. A drizzle of maple sweetness and toasty crushed pumpkin seeds complete the experience. I’ve had this flavor combo in mind for a while and I’m so glad I finally have a moment to share it with you.

Chai Spiced Pear Tarts With Crushed Pumpkin Seeds | plantcrush.co

Last weekend, my friend and former co-worker Richard came over to catch up and we basically had a creative workshop! Richard actually taught me a lot of basics when I first started getting into DSLR photography. Hanging out with other creatives makes me so happy, especially when we can encourage and learn from each other.

Richard’s a multimedia specialist (check out his work here) and I love all kinds of visual media, so we plan to have more collabs in the future–stay tuned! We spent our day geeking out about photography, sharing our creative aspirations, and playing with food. We made a cozy winter soup (recipe coming soon) and these adorable pastries.

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