My Chinese cultural knowledge can be a bit sketchy, but I think peanuts are lucky at Chinese New Year because the Mandarin words for peanuts (hua sheng or 花生) literally mean “flowers blooming.” Because of that, peanuts carry a whole load of good symbolism, like fertility, long life, and wealth.
Good luck withstanding, these peanut cookies are simply little nuggets of melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. And because there’s usually not much time to prepare for Chinese New Year, this quick recipe can be a lifesaver.
I got the recipe from Wendy’s blog Table for 2, and she says that you can reduce the sugar in her recipe, but you’ll have to up the oil content. So I did just that. I also halved her recipes because I didn’t really want to make over a hundred cookies. Oh, and I skipped the eggwash. It’s great for colour, but I think the cookies look just fine without it. (I’m lazy too.)
- 250g roasted peanuts
- 200g caster sugar
- 250g all-purpose flour
- About 3/4 cup peanut oil (or any flavourless oil like vegetable, sunflower, etc.)
- Eggwash, i.e., 1 egg + 1 tbsp water (opt.)
About 6 dozen cookies
Step 2: In a food processor, finely chop up the peanuts. If you leave the peanuts like coarse sand, your cookies will have some bite to them (which I like). If you want a smoother texture, just keep the machine on for a few minutes longer until the peanuts form a paste because the oil has begun to leech out.
Step 3: In a large bowl add the chopped peanuts, sugar and flour.
Mix everything together (just use your hands). Drizzle in about a 1/2 cup of the oil and knead everything together in the bowl. Keep adding oil and kneading until you get a shiny dough.
Step 4: Form teaspoon-sized balls of the dough by gently rolling them between your palms. Place each dough ball on your lined sheet tray and press down lightly with your thumb. Space your dough balls about an inch apart. Finally, just make a small indentation on the top of each dough ball with the end of a chopstick. (Makes the cookies look like small Mandarin oranges, or tiny gold ingots, if you squint.)
Brush the eggwash over the dough balls now if you want a golden-brown finish. (I was lazy so I skipped this step.) Bake each tray for 12 minutes.
Although these cookies can be handled without falling apart, please be really gentle when you’re storing them. They’re meant to crumble, so they won’t stand up to too much violence.
You can also buy raw peanuts and roast them on your own, but really, why add more steps when they’re not necessary?