Dear readers, do you remember these candies? Does it not bring you right back to playgrounds and playing all day and dirty hands and mommy's tender kisses? These adorable biscuit candies are officially called Iced Gem Biscuits, or 花佔餅, but my favorite name for them is the local nickname for them: Belly Button Biscuits, or 肚臍餅. What a cute name! Only the Cantonese, who are fanatical about giving everything a nickname or two, could think of a name like that! These tiny sweet biscuits have been a favorite of children for many generations now in Hong Kong. Kids and their mommys and daddys are all fans of the Belly Button Biscuits! How cool is that!
Made of a small roundish crunchy biscuit on the bottom and a tenderly colored swirl of hardened icing on top, these biscuits look like sweet kisses. And, importantly for the kids, you get to choose which delicious color of Belly Button Biscuits you want. Pink? Green? Yellow or Blue? Go on, choose a favorite! And there's more of course. Now you have to decide how you want to eat these delicious morsels. Shall you crunch off the biscuit first? Or lickety split go for the perfect swirl of pink sugar? Or maybe just pop the Belly Button Biscuit whole into your mouth and enjoy the crunch and the burst of sweetness together?
We got these Belly Button Biscuits at our local traditional sweets bakery and they also sell a more commercialized versions at the supermarkets (look for the official name of Iced Gems or 花佔餅). But we like to go to the traditional bakeries where the moms and pops (just like us!) work so hard at making food for and raising their families. Try it, it's a fun, harmless treat that your kid is sure to love, love, love. And I have to confess, I still love it too!
Do you have a favorite childhood treat?
More Treats at The Hong Kong Cookery:
Lychee Popsicle 荔枝冰棒
Mango Ice Cream 芒果雪糕
Fruit Jelly Candies