{Celebrate China} Moon Cookies

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is a Chinese holiday celebrated in September.  Moon Cakes are very popular at this time and are given to one another as gifts.  They are definitely an acquired taste and not my personal favorite, but they are exquisite works of art.  They probably aren’t the kind of baking I want to try because of how involved they are (and because no one in my family cares for the flavor), but when I found wooden moon cookie molds, I felt like I hit the jackpot!  I know it’s not Mid-Autumn Moon Festival time, but I made these cookies for a little sprinkle to send off my very dear friend to bring her sweet boy home from China.  I thought it’d be fun to post about these during my {Celebrate China} series.

I made them with a basic shortbread cookie recipe that I have posted below.  Aren’t they pretty?

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Basic Shortbread Cookie

(adapted from Martha Stewart)

1 1/3 cup butter (2 sticks plus 6 tbsp)
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
Sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.  Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add in the salt and vanilla extract, beat to combine.  Add in the flour, 1 cup at a time, beating on a lower speed until combined.  To make the cookies, I rolled 1-inch balls from the dough, and then lightly tapped one side of the dough ball in flour (to prevent sticking in the mold).  After that, I pushed the dough into the wooden moon cookie mold.  Two whacks on the counter popped the cookies out of the mold, and then I placed them onto a Pampered Chef baking stone.  I repeated this process for all of the dough, which made about 30 cookies.  It went surprisingly quickly and didn’t take as long as I thought it would.  I baked the cookies for 70 minutes, which seemed to be the perfect time using the baking stones.  As soon as I pulled them out of the oven, I sprinkled them with some white sugar cookie sprinkles, but I’m sure granulated sugar would work just fine if that’s what you have.

I will absolutely be making these again for Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.  They are the perfect alternative to moon cakes for our family, and they came together pretty quickly.  I’m sure it would be fun to sprinkle different colored sugar on them too!  They keep for a long time and actually taste better with age.  You’ll need the wooden moon cookie molds from the Wokshop, but they are reasonably priced and were delivered quickly.  I highly recommend their shop.

Zhōng qiū jié kuài lè!  Happy Moon Festival!

  • January 30, 2014 - 11:51 pm

    Karma - I wish I could get that narrow depth of field with my digital camera…well *you* could probably do it! I’m not even sure if I’m describing it properly.ReplyCancel

    • February 2, 2014 - 10:55 pm

      Living Out His Love - I understand what you’re saying! It’s all in the lens! This was shot at f/1.4. I love shooting what a narrow depth of field like this, it’s so fun! Blessings to you!ReplyCancel

  • February 2, 2014 - 8:20 pm

    Shannon - The cookies are beautiful! Thank you for the posts about China and all of the lovely suggestions for incorporating their traditions into life here; so helpful 🙂 Just ordered a mold and looking forward to making the cookies!ReplyCancel

    • February 2, 2014 - 10:56 pm

      Living Out His Love - Hi Shannon! I’m so glad to hear my posts are helpful, thanks for commenting! It’s been a lot of fun delving into Chinese culture more. You will LOVE the mold. They make such pretty cookies. Blessings to you!ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2015 - 4:34 pm

    Jacquie Olsen - Hello. I just saw your repost of this and love this idea. I have two questions: did you purchase both the single wooden cookie mold and the double cookie mold and do you find one of them easier to use or is it nice having both? Also, you mentioned flouring the cookie dough a little so it doesn’t stick in the mold. Is that sufficient or did you have to season the mold with a little oil? Can’t wait to make these with my little ones! Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • September 26, 2015 - 6:18 pm

      Nicole Renée - Hi Jacquie!

      I use both of the molds, I guess because I like variety. The double has molds that are a tiny bit smaller, so I try to get all of those cookies on one tray. Otherwise, the smaller ones end up getting a little too brown because the slightly bigger ones take longer to bake. I’ve never seasoned the molds, the flouring seems to do the trick. I hope you enjoy making them with your kids! Happy Moon Festival!ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2015 - 7:15 pm

    Moon Cookie Making » Living Out His Love - […] know it’s traditional to make Moon Cakes for the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, but we like Moon Cookies better.  And I’m positive they’re quite a bit easier to create as well.  So in […]ReplyCancel

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