[dropcap size=small]I[/dropcap]there’s one thing you can always count on to entertain you during the Chinese New Year festivities, it’s the prosperity tray. Usually sitting pretty in the middle of the coffee table, the sweet treats are a welcome distraction for when the general rowdiness just gets a bit too overwhelming.
This year, why not put a personal touch to the tray by filling those 8 compartments with freshly-baked goodies that taste better than commercial (often frozen) ones? Here, we pick out 5 home bakers to order tasty snacks from.

1. Edelweiss Creations

Run by Michelle Chen, the former GM of Lange & Sohne Richemont left her job after 10 years in the luxury timepieces industry to stay home and whip up fancy cake creations. Chen is taking orders for cranberry butter cookies and fondant cupcakes, where she uses only premium butter and sifts dry ingredients three times to get a finer texture. Fondant works have to be prepared at least two days before delivery, while all cupcakes are freshly baked-to-order. Call 9740-0942 for customised orders.

2. 25 Grams

This quirkily-named store started off as an online marketplace for mini cupcakes, which weigh 25grams before they are frosted. Home-baker Nicole Lau has since set up a small store in Aperia Mall, but her cakes and cookies remain freshly-baked using fine ingredients. Her almond cookies, for instance, are made-to-order by mixing ground almonds, flour and salt together and have a slight crunch on the outside with just a hint of salt to keep things interesting. Try also the dahlia cookies, vanilla butter biscuits with exquisite petal layers achieved by carefully pressing out the dough with a mould before baking. Tel: 9236-0448 or email hey25grams@gmail.com.

3. Susie’s Delights

Home-baker Susie Loh might not have a fancy name for her baked creations, but she has tricks up her sleeve. Her pineapple tarts, for instance, feature cloves added to the pineapple jam to add more texture to the runny mixture and cut through the sweetness of the fruit. The tarts take more than 3 days in total to make, as the jam alone requires 2 days to drain away excess juice before it can be used for the tarts. Our tip: order in advance. Self-collection only. Email: smuffy1261@yahoo.com.sg 

4. Peranakan Khek

Just opened in June 2016, Peranakan Khek along Jalan Besar is a smart outfit with wooden floors and bare white walls – not unlike nearby cafes in the grungy-hip area. Chef-owner Sharon Low, previously a pastry chef at Prive Cafe, makes her traditional ang ku kuehs the old-fashioned way –, the skin is made by steaming and mashing sweet potatoes by hand; white sesame seeds are slow-roasted, then added to the split mung bean filling that is carefully stirred over low heat for hours. For Chinese New Year, Low will be taking orders for pineapple tarts made with three different kinds of pineapples with a splash of passion fruit for a well-balanced jam that is low in sugar. The buttery pastry is accented with specks of fresh vanilla bean for a tinge of sweetness. Best consumed within 10 days of collection. www.peranakankhek.com

5. Elijah Pies

Instead of the traditional pineapple tarts, liven up the sweets in your tray with bite-sized slices of pie instead. The Nutella Pie is a signature here, with its decadent and moist filling atop a crumbly crust, but for more local flavours, order a slice of freshly-baked pandan coconut pie or salted egg maple pie. Email: elijahpies@gmail.com