1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups [10 1/2 ounces] sugar, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature and cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons [3/4 stick] unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Place 1/2 cup of sugar in a shallow dish or pie plate.
Place 1 1/2 cups sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl. Pour warm butter over the sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine [some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later]. Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, vanilla and toasted sesame oil; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until a soft dough forms.
Divide dough into 24 equal pieces [about 2 tablespoons each]. Using hands, roll dough into balls. Working in batches, roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and evenly space on baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with the sugar remaining in the shallow dish [about 2 teaspoons per tray] and the toasted sesame seeds.
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice
3 [10 ounce] cans coconut milk