Traditional Hari Raya goodies are the bedrock of the festive occasion, whether it is your grandma’s pineapple tarts or that kuih suji from a specific home-based baker. Everyone’s an expert food critic when it comes to kuih Raya.
Given everyone’s unique preferences, gifting during the festive season can be quite the challenge. After all, you want to ensure it’s unique enough but also something the recipient would actually eat.
Fortunately, unconventional Hari Raya treats always emerge during this period, and they just get more abundant and creative each year. Here are our top picks for 2021:
1. Golden Pineapple Tarts by Dr.Kitchen
These pineapple tarts are certainly not your average Hari Raya staple. Besides the crusty tart base that is made using premium butter, it is also layered with vanilla bean finishing, generous pineapple filling and get this, edible 24K gold flakes!
If that’s not classy enough, these petite bites (S$39 for a box of 20) come encased in a beautiful box where each piece sits in its own compartment.
These super exclusive treats are made by Dr.Kitchen, a home-based baker who specialises in the So Black Brownie, her creative spin on the brownie with a melty, fudgy core and a black exterior due to ultra-dutched processed cocoa powder used.
2. White Chocolate Serundeng Shortbread by Makbibik x Dapiku Sweets
Fusion food featuring some of the Malay culture’s iconic dishes are not particularly new, but we’ve never seen one using serundeng…until now. These White Chocolate Serundeng Shortbread (S$25/bottle) is the brainchild of two very creative cult favourite brands: MakBibik and Dapiku Sweets.
Leaning into their specialities—MakBibik on the savoury front, Dapiku Sweets on well, sweets—the dynamic duo came up with this newfangled flavour that is decidedly modern but still pays tribute to a time-honoured side dish, the serundeng (sautéed grated coconut mixed with spice and other ingredients).
Pleasure seekers will definitely appreciate the buttery treat of white chocolate, keffir lime leaves and dried spices topped with MakBibik’s original Serunding that lends an undeniable umami depth to the Raya snack. This is as unconventional as it gets!
3. KOOKEE by Absolut Chocolat
Following the success of its cakes with pour-it-yourself liquid toppings, Malaysian bakery brand Absolut Chocolat is now selling a new range of cookies just in time for Hari Raya. And you best believe they also come with tubs of sweet sauce to dunk your cookies into.
Called Koo-kee, the range features three of Absolut Chocolat’s existing flavours. These include Milk Lava, Salted Egg Charcoal, and Dalgona, a coffee flavour that’s a huge trend last year. Each set of Koo-kee comes with a 400g bottle of cookies and a tub of sauce. As much as we welcome innovative ideas, we’re unsure of this one for Raya. The imagery of kids dripping the sauce on our new carpets is making us hesitate to add this to cart.
But if this is right up your alley, you may order them from local agent @absolutchocolatsg.
4. Curry Butter Cookies by The White Label
If you’re looking for Hari Raya goodies to gift that one adventurous friend, these savoury Curry Butter Cookies (S$18) might just work. With its fiery orange hues that hints of spice and jaw-dropping awe, it is perfect for your Hari Raya host or hostess who no doubt will remember this unconventional treat for many Raya to come.
The snacks belong to halal French restaurant The White Label‘s series of French Malayan cookies. Other cookies in the series include Madeleines au Litchi Rose (Lychee Rose Madeleines), Biscuits au Pandan et Sel De Mer (Pandan Sea Salt Cookies) and Sablés à la Truffes Noire (Black Truffle Butter Cookies).
5. Premium Tapak Kuda by Shartini’s Food Journal
Tapak kuda is so synonymous with Hari Raya, we had to include these into the list. And the best part is that these are not your typical horseshoe-shaped Swiss rolls! What?!!! These tapak kuda by Shartini’s Food Journal are mostly filled with Malay dessert flavours, which give them a lovely familiarity. They are Naga Sari, Ondeh Ondeh or Bubur Pulut Hitam.
And yes, elements of the desserts are incorporated into the fillings as well. For instance, the Naga Sari has coconut and banana chunks while the Bubur Pulut Hitam comes with chewy black glutinous rice. For mango fans, Mango Tango filled with a cream filling and mango bits would be fantastic.
A set of 3 rolls are priced at S$50 and you can order them here.
What do you think of these unconventional Raya treats? Are they worthy of being on your coffee table or will you give them a pass?
Let us know in the Comments.