A couple of weeks ago I ordered a very interesting Chinese cookie mold from a quirky import shop. When the package arrived, therein was the mold, a back-scratcher, (which stated "Reachable" Wok Shop) and two cookie recipes that are formulated to work well with wooden molds. Also included was a recipe for Moon Cakes. Apparently the intended use for wooden molds of this variety are for Moon Cakes.
What is a Moon Cake? Heck, I didn't know.
I learned they are made in celebration of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (or Moon Festival) when the moon is fullest and roundest. It is usually celebrated around late September or early October. I found this an odd coincidence that I just happened to order and receive this at the appropriate time of year! Serendipity! Neat-o.
I haven't tried the Moon Cakes recipe, but I did dive into an adapted recipe of Dorie Greenspan's for Sweet-Tart dough. It has a sable-like consistency that can be used for tart crusts and the like, but can also make an excellent cookie. It reminds me of shortbread, not too sweet and with the addition of Cinnamon it makes your kitchen smell like Autumn. If you'd like the original recipe, it's here as the crust recipe for a pear tart. It's an easy recipe that needs to be chilled at least 2 hours. I liked the results, although I believe chilling overnight would yield more detail in the cookie. I also added a drop of food coloring, to make my goldfish, well... gold.
As I was baking I started thinking about the small jar in my spice cabinet.
Not many people know this about me, but for as long as I can recall, I have saved almost every fortune I've ever received. Why? Perhaps it's a testament to my love of Chinese food. More likely, I am a sentimental fool and have memories attached to many of them.
Some are poignant...
Some are funny...
and some are plainly true.
Maybe I just like the idea of all those fortunes and possibilities being kept secretly in my spice cabinet, with all the other spices that make life tasty.