Chinese Peanut Cookies
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These savory-sweet Peanut Cookies are a favorite on our table for Chinese New Year. Cooking “tikoy”, a steamed brown sugar rice cake is not the only thing I make for Chinese New Year. I also cook pancit, a noodle dish, steamed siomai dumplings, Lumpia Shanghai (egg rolls) and platters of pineapple tarts.
Filipinos celebrate Chinese New Year in a big way. In the Philippines, the event is vibrant and loud. In Manila, the country’s capital, one finds bargains at the malls. Food is abundant on everyone’s tables. The city is one big party. Traffic gets snarled, too. If you plan to celebrate Chinese New Year in Manila or Asia, make advance reservations for accommodations, restaurants or visiting friends.
The Chinese community in the Philippines is very much a part of the economy, culture and landscape. Chinese influence is strong in foods and traditions. Growing up we enjoyed ‘tikoy’, a steamed brown sugar and rice cake along with a buffet of dishes. I’ve also baked Pineapple Tarts, taking a cue from our Singapore neighbors. And often I bake these mildly sweet Peanut Cookies.
When we lived in Manila, there was a packaged peanut cake I loved. It was often around during the Chinese New Year. It was square-shaped, had the texture of shortbread and had a nutty, sweet aroma.
I found something close to the peanut cakes of my childhood at an Asian restaurant which we frequent here in America. I recreated it at home. The peanut cookies I baked were so good it got addictive, I have to warn you.
No matter how we choose to celebrate, the desire for an abundance of food, friends and good luck seems to be on everyone’s mind for Chinese New Year. Some things will always be universal – the wish for good fortune, prosperity and happiness are always at the core of our hearts.
Chinese Peanut Cookies
- Food processor
- Large Baking Sheets
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup coarsely ground unsalted peanuts bottled
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 whole egg beaten, for brushing on cookies
- Using a food processor or blender, crush the peanuts to a coarse consistency. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and baking soda. Process these dry ingredients in the food processor till it is a fine powder, for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the crushed peanuts and sugar. Continue processing.While the processor is running, pour the cooking oil. Process till the mixture becomes thick and clumpy. This takes about 3 to 4 minutes.Transfer the peanut mixture to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to firm up.
- Shape the peanut dough into small balls, 1-inch in diameter each (about 1/2 Tablespoon per ball).Arrange the balls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Leave a space of 1 inch between the balls.Using a chopstick, poke the center of each ball with the wider end of the stick. This will give each ball a middle indentation.Brush egg wash on top of each peanut ball.
- Preheat the oven at 350 F degrees.Bake the peanut cookies at 350 F for 12 to 13 minutes till golden brown.When cookies are done, cool on a baking rack.To store: Keep cookies in an air-tight container in a cool section of the pantry.
Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking or baking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Did you love this recipe? I have more Philippine dessert recipes in my popular cookbook How to Cook Philippine Desserts, Cakes and Snacks.
If you need Filipino Instant Pot recipes, find more in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot. Buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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