Nian gao is a Chinese dessert that is traditionally eating in the winter, or more specifically, for the New Year. Similar to the Korean dduk and Japanese mochi, it is made from glutinous rice flour, which can be found in Asian grocery stores. Make sure you get the glutinous version (I buy the green bag with the 3 elephants on it) versus regular rice flour (the red bag with the 3 elephants on it). This recipe (from my friend, Joanna Lee) has sweetened red beans baked into it and is very rich because of all the butter. You could use a little less butter, but really, why would you want to?
The hardest part about making this dish is getting all the ingredients to mix. You don't want the butter to be too hot or else it will cook the eggs, but if the milk is straight out of the fridge it will solidify the butter. If you do run into that problem, you could try microwaving the mixture just enough so that the butter melts again, but I think it is easier to get the milk warm before adding it to the butter. —Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 1/4 cups
milk, warmed to a little hotter than a fever
glutinous rice flour
can (18.75 oz.) red bean paste or sweetened red beans