Chinese New Year Peanut Cookies (花生饼)
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Chinese New Year Peanut Cookies (花生饼)

Adapted from www.atablefortwo.com.au and http://food-4tots.com
Makes 40 teaspoon sized cookies
Author Wendy Sondov themondaybox.com

Ingredients

  • 300 g plus a handful for decorating about 2 ½ cups unsalted peanuts
  • 200 g about 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 250 g about 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil canola, peanut, olive, etc.
  • 1 large egg
  • Optional: ¼ cup granulated sugar for topping

Directions

  1. To oven roast the peanuts: Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a baking pan with foil and spread peanuts out in a single layer on top of the foil. If using raw peanuts, bake for 15-20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes until golden brown and fragrant. If using roasted peanuts, bake for 5 minutes only, stirring after 2 ½ minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
  2. Lower the oven temperature to 325˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Grind the slightly cooled roasted peanuts in a food processor until the texture of small grits or cream of wheat.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, and salt. Add the ground peanuts. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until well combined.
  5. Drizzle half of the oil into the bowl. Mix with the wooden spoon/spatula. Then knead the mixture by hand, adding additional oil by tablespoons, until a smooth dough forms (about 5 minutes) and a teaspoon of dough can be rolled into a ball without crumbling. Depending on how finely the peanut are ground the amount of oil needed will vary. Some of the oil may not be used.
  6. Scoop teaspoon portions of dough (about 10 grams) and roll into balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet at least 1 inch apart. Press a peanut half into the top of each dough ball.
  7. Lightly beat the egg with a teaspoon of water to make an egg wash. Use a pastry brush to brush the wash over each cookie ball. Optional: Sprinkle granulated sugar over the egg wash coated dough balls.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. The cookies should be golden brown. Turn off the oven and leave the cookies inside to bake another 5 minutes before removing them.
  9. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Packing Tips

These cookies can be a bit fragile but are sturdier when wrapped in pairs with bottoms together. Double wrap pairs of cookies in plastic wrap. Then place snugly in an airtight container or in a columns in a zip lock bag for mailing. Be sure there is no movement in the box.