Nearly every year for Chinese New Year (or in my case Vietnamese/Chinese New year) my family would get little gifts from yum cha tea sets, sweets (coconut strips, winter melon strips, dried fruit candy, ginger candy etc) and banh chung (traditional Vietnamese cake consisting of glutinous rice, pork, mung beans etc) and most of all we get tins of these yummy Chinese cookies.
My favourite would be the peanut cookies that has the sesame seeds on top. It's soft but when you put it into your mouth - it crumbles and you get this sweet and salty taste at the same time. This peanut cookie is VERY easy to make and I think most of you will find the ingredients right in your pantry! All you need is flour, some oil, ground peanuts, a pinch of salt and baking powder! Yes that is right! That is all you need! No milk and no butter! So this is so great for vegetarians :).
I initially got this peanut cookie recipe from Bake Cook Eat but I made some alternations to suit my taste (I just added sesame seeds and added coarser peanuts). Instead of using the small cap that she has used to shape the cookies, I used a bigger one hence the less cookies I baked. Traditionally, you will find the cookies will have an indent in the middle and just glazed with a egg yolk wash but I liked it with the sesame seeds. I baked around 30 small cookies! It looked good and it smelled great. It was even better when I tasted it. The first batch turned out very well so I guess for my second batch it is going to be bigger since I am going to share it around with my Vietnamese family and my Chinese family (my partner's side). I hope they like it. I feel a bit of pressure here lol.
So here is the recipe from Bake Cook Eat with a bit of my version in it :)
Chinese New Year Peanut Cookies or 花生饼
Ingredients (makes around 40ish)
- 3/4 roasted peanuts and grounded
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 1/2 tsp of baking powder
- 3/4 cup of icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- some canola oil
- sesame seeds
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk + dash of water (for egg wash)
Firstly, roast the peanuts in a fry pan until golden and until aroma hits your nose :). Then let cool. Grind the peanuts in a food processor until finely grounded. You can leave some bits coarse.
Then a big mixing bowl sift the flour, baking powder, icing sugar, salt and mix with some oil. Blend the mixture with clean finger tips until the mixture turns into a crumbly short bread dough or like bread crumbs. When squeezed together in your hand it should be compressed. That is how you want it.
The consistency you want
If the mixture is too oily or too floury just add more flour or more oil until you get it right. You do not want it too greasy or too dry.
Now to the fun part - Shaping the cookie. I thought this was a really neat idea to shape cute cookies (thanks Bake Cook Eat for the tip!). Just get any good sized cap for a cute cookie shape and all you have to do is place some cling wrap over inside the cap and then press the dough in tightly. Then pull the cling wrap to release the cookie shape. Place the cookie onto a lined baking sheet.
Now to glaze the the cookies. Mix one egg yolk and a dash of water. Mix and with a back of a spoon brush with egg wash. I just used an actual brush to brush it over. I found it more simple...well for me.
Next sprinkle some sesame seeds over each cookie dough :).
Finally bake the cookies at about to 200°C for about 16 minutes or until golden brown
Let cool. Share and enjoy!!!
Gung Hay Fat Choy!