(Pictured clockwise from bottom-left.)
1 Conpoy Carrot Cake
$48, from Feng Shui Inn, Level G2 Crockfords Tower, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, tel: 6577-6688
The moist carrot cake hides a flavour bomb packed with dried shrimp, dried scallops and waxed meat. It was tasty even when eaten cold.
2 Caramel Oat Cookies
$18.80, from Kele, #06-16 Jurong Food Hub, 15 Jalan Tepong, tel: 6560-1249
With oats and a pale, crumbly texture, the cookies seemed horribly healthy. But what a surprise – they were sweet, yummy and packed with flavour.
3 Orange Kueh Lapis
$68, from Conrad Centennial Singapore, 2 Temasek Boulevard, tel: 6334-8888
The candied mandarin orange slices scattered liberally over the top of this ordinary-looking kueh lapis clinched the deal for us.They sweetened the light but delicious cake, gave texture to the moist slices and added a dose of colour.
4 Black Phoenix Pineapple Balls
$25.80, from Kele
The pineapple balls get their name from the cracked black pepper sprinkled over each one – we’re sold! The tingly heat after each bite of chewy sweetness was a welcome change from the usual tarts.
5 Duo Choco Mini Crunchies
$17.50, from Bee Cheng Hiang, including #B1-10A Paragon, tel:6732-3433
The unusual combination of small disks of crispy pork floss coated with dark and white chocolate had a sweet-salty taste that grew on us. Kids will love the sweeter white chocolate crunchies.
6 Pork Floss Cookies with Seaweed
$25, from Bloomsbury Bakers, #01-889, 30 Bendemeer Road, tel: 6299-3450
Seaweed and pork floss in a cookie? It’s an outlandish idea that works. Munch on them slowly to appreciate the flavours and textures.
7 Pineapple Parmesan Cheese Tarts
$20, from Emicakes, including #01-170, Block 116 Lorong 2 Toa Payoh, tel: 6353-2313
Parmesan and pineapple go surprisingly well together – the sharp taste of the cheese brings out the sweetness of the pineapple jam. We loved the flaky tart base too.
8 Bak-hu Rolies
$16.80, from Little Nonya’s Cookies, #04-03, 1 Syed Alwi Road, tel: 8388-0068
A modern, salty update on the traditional sweet egg roll, each crunchy cylinder is tightly packed with chicken floss for a savoury hit.
9 Traditional Yuen Bao Pineapple Tarts
$29.80, from Bakerzin outlets, including #03-03, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, tel: 6604-7370
It’s not easy perfecting a pineapple tart.These individually wrapped gold ingots were the perfect balance of pastry and pineapple jam.The jam, made from premium Sarawak pineapples, had a lovely texture that kept us going back for more.
(Pictured clockwise from bottom-left.)
10 Sea Salt Caramel Peanut Butter Cookies
$28, from Baker’s Well, 35 East Coast Road, tel: 6348-6864
Unlike other peanut butter pastries, these bite-sized morsels don’t leave a sticky feeling in your throat. Some wanted a stronger caramel flavour but we all loved the hint of sea salt.
11 Bak Kwa Sesame Cookies
$25, from Bloomsbury Bakers
Good bak kwa-inspired snacks are hard to find, but we loved these cookies packed with tiny slivers of chewy, flavourful bak kwa that went perfectly with the nutty sesame.
12 Red Date Kueh Lapis
$48 for 1kg, from D Bakery House, #01-27, Block 731 Yishun Street 72, tel: 6635-8469
We tasted many stodgy, oily kueh lapis this year, but this was just right – light, with chunks of sweet, chewy dates scattered throughout.
13 Shrimp Floss Cookies
$12.80, from Cake Spade, #01-06 Orchid Hotel, 1 Tras Link, tel: 6444-3868
Each savoury bite gave just the right amount of heat and a burst of flavour from the fragrant hae bee hiam (spicy dried shrimp sambal).
14 Pumpkin Cassava Chips
$5.10, from Fairprice supermarkets
Bye-bye prawn crackers, hello pumpkin-cassava (tapioca) chips. These are less oily and less likely to make you feel guilty – or leave you with a sore throat.
15 Durian Nian Gao
$32.80 for eight pieces, from Majestic Restaurant, New Majestic Hotel, 31- 37 Bukit Pasoh Road, tel: 6511-4718
More mille crepe than dense nian gao, this CNY special is layered with white, mochi-like nian gao and silky mao shan wang puree. Desiccated coconut sprinkled over gives it an ethereal look. It’s also not cloying and rich like most desserts, so you can eat a couple of slices at a go.
16 Sea Salt Chocolate Cookies
$16, from Kith Cafe, including #01-01E Park Mall, 9 Penang Road, tel: 6338-8611
These cookies were rich and crumbly, small enough to munch on and balanced with a sprinkle of sea salt.
17 Salted Egg Potato Chips
$15, from Irvin’s Salted Egg Snacks, available at www.irvinsaltedegg.com, tel: 6719-8450; Leban HK Cafe, 2 Jalan Leban, tel: 6257-8801
Warning: It’s hard to stop once you start. Rich salted egg yolk crumbs, spiced with curry leaves, coat the light, crispy chips in a burst of salty-spicy flavours. One bottle isn’t enough.
This article was originally published in Simply Her February 2016.