The week before CNY is all about decluttering & deep cleaning the house as you can’t do this on the day. It’s also all about getting food & treats ready for New Years Eve & the day.

One of the Chinese New Year treats I’ve been making are these lovely Smiling Sesame Cookie Balls. It’s a fantastic cookie for all ages as it’s not too sweet & who doesn’t like little balls of fried dough.

I’ve had a few request for this recipe so here it is…

Smiling Sesame Cookie Balls

Serves: Approx 50 balls

Total time: Approx 2 hrs

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp veg oil
  • 2 egg
  • approx 300g white sesame seeds
  • vegetable oil for frying

Mix flour, baking powder & bicarbonate soda in a bowl.

In a small saucepan add sugar, water & mix well until sugar dissolves under a low heat. As soon as the sugar dissolves pour into a large mixing bowl & let it cool.

Add 2 tbsp veg oil, eggs to the cooled syrup & whisk.

Gradually add the flour mix to the syrup & mix with wooden spoon – you might have to use your hand to make sure it’s all combined. The dough will be slightly sticky so cover & put into the fridge to chill for about an hour to firm up.

After chilling, have a large bowl of cold water & bowl of the sesame seed ready.

With floured hands, roll dough into 2cm balls, dunk balls into the cold water using a sieve – make sure to remove as much water as possible before rolling it into the sesame seed (6-7 balls at a time).

Fry in batches on a medium heat in a wok full of veg oil (2 x height of balls) for approx 5 minutes till golden brown. Make sure to constantly turn the balls & turn down heat a little if it browns too quickly.

Remove balls using another sieve & place on kitchen paper. Let the sesame balls cool a little before you eat it. 

These are pretty moreish so great to make loads in one go. It’ll keep for about a week in an airtight container.