Chinese New Year is just a few weeks away so it’s time to break out the food processor, hand mixer, etc to bake Chinese New Year cookies. One of the cookies I regularly make for CNY are peanut cookies or fah sang pehng / thor thau pneah.
It is rather easy to make but it takes time to roll it into tiny balls before baking. In the olden days, it might take longer because you will need to knead the dough till it’s soft and pliable, which could take hours (although it’s a rather great way to work out your arms!)
Anyway, I used a food processor, I just dump everything in and pulse till it’s done while gradually adding oil. My peanut cookies are different from commercial ones because it’s VERY peanut-ty, with very intense peanut flavour and this year, I even added almonds. For a few of it, I added one small chocolate chips in the scene, just for the fun of it. After all,peanut and chocolates goes really, really well together.
Here’s some collage of how to do it…
Mix the dry ingredients and then pour into the food processor. Add margarine and pulse till combined.
Gradually add oil and pulse alternately until the dough is a smooth, sticky and pliable mass. Remember to scrape down the sides occasionally. Once the dough is smooth and pliable, do not add any more oil or else it would become too soft. Form the dough into little 1 inch balls, use an icing nozzle to indent the circle in the centre and brush with egg wash to glaze.
Pop the tray into the preheated oven and bake for about 8 – 10 minutes until it is a golden brown. Let it cool on a wire rack completely before placing it into airtight containers.
Here’s the recipe for:
CNY melt-in-your-mouth peanut cookies
2 cups flour
4 cups finely ground peanuts
1 cup finely ground almonds
2 cups soft brown sugar or plain fine caster sugar
1 cup margarine
1 cup vegetable oil (approximate amount)
1 egg, whisked
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp water
1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease the baking pan
2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl till well combined
3. Pour into a food processor and add the margarine. Pulse till combined, scraping down the sides occasionally.
4. Process the mixture on medium speed while you gradually add the oil, about 2 – 3 tablespoons at a time. DO NOT add ALL of the oil.
5. Pulse till the mixture become a smooth sticky dough. If it becomes a sticky mass before you finish adding all the oil, stop adding the oil.
6. You know it’s ready to be baked when you take a small clump of dough and it is very pliable and smooth enough to form small balls without breaking apart. You need to process the dough till the sugar has all melted and fully incorporated.
7. If the dough is too dry, add a bit more oil. Alternatively, if it’s too soft because of too much oil, you need to add some flour so that it will hold its shape.
8. Shape into balls, indent it with an icing nozzle, brush with the egg ways and then bake in preheated oven for around 8 – 10 minute depending on your oven’s wattage. It’s ready when it turns a nice golden brown color.
9. Let it cool in the pan for awhile before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.