The Chinese New Year gravy train is steamrolling at full speed now with only five days left until we usher in the Year of the Tiger! And honestly, I don’t care if we have KFC for Chinese New Year as long as I have my batch of Malaysian cookies to gorge over, especially these nutty balls of peanut buttery goodness.
One thing I know about peanuts is that The Father loves them especially in Malaysian treats. So these peanut cookies were perfect for him and in fact these were a hit with the whole family. Even Critique Numero Uno – The Mother – was absolutely impressed with them and took great joy in telling me that her work colleagues were in raptures at a mere taste. For me, these cookies are so easy to make that I’m confused as to why I’ve never tackled them earlier!
Simply put, these are even better than any of the packet or processed peanut cookies that you buy but I certainly can’t take credit for these gems. The recipe comes from one of blogger pal A Table For Two, who loves to churn these cookies out every year. He in turn adapted it from here.
Ad-break for some Chinese New Year trivia! Did you know that peanuts are popular to eat during this time as it symbolises longevity and also fertility? Personally the fertility boost I can do without but yay for living longer! In any case who’s to stop you from enjoying these at any time of the year? The crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth texture and the unmistakable peanut buttery taste with the touch of saltiness are just too hard to resist on the other 364 days of the year.
Peanut Cookies (Fah Sang Peng)
300g shelled and unsalted peanuts
200g caster sugar
250g plain flour
180-200ml peanut oil (or any flavourless oil like canola) – you’ll only need enough to bind the mixture
1 tsp salt
1 egg beaten or 1 egg white, lightly beaten until slightly frothy
1. Preheat the oven at 200°C and line some baking trays with baking paper or silicone mats.
2. In a frying pan over medium heat, roast the peanuts until fragrant (be careful not to burn!). Grind them in a food processor until finely grounded. Alternative you can roast peanuts in the oven for about 10 minutes on 170°C.
3. Tip the grounded mixture into a large bowl and break any lumps with a wooden spoon. Sift in the flour, sugar and salt into the peanuts and mix to combine.
4. Pour in about 100ml of the oil into the bowl and use your hands or wooden spoon to knead the mixture together.
5. Pour in the remainder of the oil little by little, while still kneading the mixture until the sugar has melted and has just come together as a dough without it sticking to the bowl or your hands. Dough is ready when it doesn’t break or crumble when you roll a bit of the mixture into a ball in your palms.
6. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place them on the baking sheets (I made them slightly bigger and got exactly 40 cookies out of this recipe).
7. You can either:
- Stud each cookie with half a peanut to decorate
- Or use a round piping tip to score decorative circles on top of each cookie (the original recipe used empty pen cases for this!). For me, I used a star piping tip for a slightly prettier indentation.
8. Brush each cookie with the beaten egg/egg white and bake in the oven for 15-17 mins or until golden brown.
9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and store in airtight containers. Will last for about a week before it starts to go a bit stale.