Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Chinese Peanut Cookies

Apparently today, April 9, is National Chinese Almond Cookie Day. I don't know who the heck comes up with these extremely necessary special days. I can understand if they decide to have International Chocolate Appreciation Day, or Cereal Day, but National Chinese Almond Cookie Day just doesn't make any sense to me as a legitimate day day. But whatever.

These are Chinese peanut cookies, which my mother often makes during the Chinese New Year period. (mid-February) They neither look, taste, nor feel like Chinese almond cookies, which, although I personally have not tried, seem to be flatter, crispier and obviously has a sweet almond fragrance instead of an earthy peanut one.

I've made these Chinese peanut cookies on two occasions so far, and they have gotten great feedback both times. Lots of this feedback comes from the voice in my head which goes, "Mmm..." after every cookie.

It all starts with this bad boy right here.

This cookies are best made with a friend or any other living thing which can provide you with an extra pair of functional hands, which will be ideal for the tedious task of rolling the cookie dough into Maltesers-sized balls.

Chinese Peanut Cookies
(makes 2-3 tupperware-boxes)


200g raw unsalted peanut (without skin)
300g plain flour
120g icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
175ml peanut oil
1 egg  - lightly beaten (for glazing)


1. Spread the peanuts on a baking sheet and roast in the middle of a preheated oven at 175C for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring them once or twice during cooking time. (If your peanuts are salted, rinse them with water and dab them dry before placing them in the oven.)
2. Crush the peanuts very finely, until they are as close as possible to powder form. (This is going to take forever, be prepared. Unless you have a fancy appliance like a food processor or whatever.)
3. Put all the above ingredients (sift the flour and baking soda and powder) and the roasted ground peanuts (except for peanut oil and egg) into a big mixing bowl and mix well. Heat the peanut butter slightly for easier mixing.
4. Add peanut oil and mix it into a dough.
5. Roll and gently press (the dough is quite fragile) them into marble-sized balls and place on ungreased baking trays.
6. Egg wash them before baking in preheated oven at 175C for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly browned. 
7. Cool on trays and put them in an air tight container.

Roasting peanuts

The fragrance will fill your kitchen like no other.

Look at me trying to be all creative.

Dad: It looks like the Incredible Hulk.

2013 is the year of the serpent.

 The result of all this hard work is loads and loads of melt-in-your-mouth, bite-sized cookies which are just firm enough to hold, but crumble immediately as you bite into them, disintegrating into buttery, nutty goodness.

If you don't have a blender or food processor, you are stuck with a rolling pin and a ziploc bag. During my second time making these cookies, I gave up with the crushing and ended up with a few crumbly bits of peanut, which I could feel in the end product, which disturbed the powdery, little-particle texture of the cookie. A sieve is a good tool to use to ensure that the peanuts are close to powder-form.

You can find peanut oil in most Asian supermarkets.

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