Golden Balls with Sweet Walnut Paste

Enjoy these traditional, golden balls when warm to truly taste the rich, savoury, flavour of the sweet walnut paste.
These are ridiculously delicious and sticky thanks to the glutinous rice flour that you can find in the Asian markets. Perfect for the Chinese New Year as a treat. The expansion of the balls as they cook represents good luck and prosperity. If you eat 3 does that mean you'll have 3 times the luck?? We made them and cooked the next morning after letting them sit at room temperature and they worked great.

Serves: Makes 20 balls.

Sweet Walnut Paste:
1 cup (250 mL) toasted and finely ground California walnuts
2 tbsp (30 mL) honey
1 tbsp (15 mL) condensed milk
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt

Glutinous Rice Dough:
3 cups (750 mL) glutinous rice flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) white sesame seeds, raw
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) water
1/2 cup (125 mL) dark brown sugar
Oil for frying

Cooking Instructions:
Toasting Walnuts: In large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast walnuts, stirring occasionally, until lightly brown, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Sweet Walnut Paste Balls: In a medium-sized bowl, combine walnuts, honey, condensed milk and salt to form a thick paste. Roll the paste into 1/2-inch (1 cm) size round balls. Set aside.

Glutinous Rice Dough: Place the rice flour in a medium sized bowl and the sesame seeds in a small bowl.

Heat a small sauce pan with the water and brown sugar on medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and gently pour into rice flour and stir to incorporate until a pliable dough is formed. Knead dough with your hands a few times and roll into a ball.

Cut the ball in half and roll each half into a 10-inch (25 cm) log. Slice each log into 10 pieces and roll the pieces into balls.

Take one ball and form a well with your fingers. Place a walnut paste ball in the well and pinch the dough back together so that the dough envelopes the walnut paste. Roll into a ball.

Lightly wet the ball with water and roll in sesame seeds.

Repeat steps until you have made 20 balls.

Pour enough oil into a deep-fryer or deep heavy-bottomed pot to come at least 3 inches (7.5 cm) up the side of pot. Heat to 325ºF (160ºC).

In batches of four, gently drop the balls into deep-fryer. After 2 minutes, gently squeeze the balls with wooden chopsticks or a slotted spoon to help them expand. Turn them frequently to brown evenly (5 to 7 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and let rest on a tray lined with a paper towel.
Serve warm.
Tip: Make a day ahead and refrigerate, covered. Re-fry golden balls up to two hours before serving