TAOSU , or walnut pastry, is one of the most popular snacks in China, particularly loved by children and old people because of its sweet, crisp taste.
According to legend, taosu was once a royal snack.
The story goes that during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) loyal official named Xi Yan was framed by his rival Yan Song. Xi was jailed and his family was forced to leave the city. Some of his family members fled back to his hometown in Jiangxi Province. There they opened a small business making and selling taosu, using a recipe purloined from the royal kitchen.
The tasty snack quickly became popular with locals, and soon its fame spread across the country.
In the past, taosu was wrapped in lotus leaves to present as a special gift for friends.
Modern bakery techniques have greatly diversified the varieties and ingredients of taosu. The basic snack may be dressed up with seeds or nuts for added crunch and flavor.
Because of the oil and sugar content, taosu doesn't rank as a super healthy snack. People trying to control their levels of blood sugar and fat should go easy on eating them.
Taosu can also be made at home. Here's the recipe:
wheat flour, 100 grams
sugar, 50 grams
eggs, 10 grams
sesame seed, 15 grams
walnuts, 30 grams
1 tsp baking powder
dash of soda ash
Blend oil, eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Separately, mix the flour, baking powder and soda ash and nuts. Work the flour and oil mixtures together into a sticky dough, then cut it into small pieces and roll them flat. Brush with a bit of egg and pop them into a 180 degree Celsius oven for 15 minutes.
The key point is to a crisp taosu is to keep the pastry moist. Add oil to the dough whenever you feel it is becoming too dry.