One of my fondest memories from celebrating the Chinese New Year as a kid, other than collecting red packets knowing I was gonna be a little richer- and hopefully luckier from the act of receiving said red packets- by the end of the day of course, was the tubs of cookies my aunt used to make.
You see, back then, my aunt used to make tons and tons of cookies just for the Chinese New Year. We would all show up for our reunion dinner the night before the first day of Chinese New Year, have said dinner amidst catching up with- or in my case, bullying- our cousins and then leave with a bag bursting full with cookies. The ride home would then seem agonizingly long as I had to patiently wait until we got home before I could rip the tub of cookies open and eat myself silly with my favourite cookies, as if the reunion dinner I had just returned home from had never happened.
Yeahhh, I might not have had very discerning tastebuds as a kid but I certainly knew a good thing when I came across it- and believe me, those crunchy, buttery cookies were just to die for.
My aunt has since sadly stopped making those cookies so when I came across a recipe for almond cookies, I knew that even if it was just for nostalgia’s sake, I couldn’t go past this Chinese New Year without making them.
I ended up swapping the almonds for peanuts as we already had tons of really good almond cookies courtesy of the boyfriend. Besides, believe me, when it comes to Chinese New Year treats, there can really never be too many variety of cookies.
Having never made any form of Chinese New Year cookies before, I honestly was quite surprised at how incredibly easy these cookies were to make and how incredibly delicious they were. I mean, I always thought the local bakeries were all in on some prized, closely guarded peanut cookie recipe that justified the ridiculous prices they charge whenever the Chinese New Year period draws near- who knew it could really be this easy?
That all said however, I certainly am not complaining. A super easy recipe that makes a whole lot of delicious peanut cookies? They might not be the same cookies my aunt used to make that I grew up on but they do make a pretty damn good substitute for sure.
Double Peanut Cookies [adapted from Betty Saw's More Kitchen Secrets from Betty Saw]Notes: As mentioned earlier, the original recipe was for almond cookies, to which I simply swapped out the ground and whole almonds for ground and whole peanuts respectively. I also threw in a pinch of salt and used salted peanut to top the cookies because salt just makes everything taste better if you ask me. I’m so so thrilled that this recipe worked out so well that I can’t wait to make it again next Chinese New Year perhaps with almonds or hazelnuts. Oh and while I’m at it, happy Chinese New Year, everyone! May the year of the Dragon bring you good health and prosperity!
180g cold butter, cubed
90g caster sugar
1 egg, separated
180g plain flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
90g ground peanuts
A large handful of salted peanuts
- Preheat the oven at 175C. Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and caster sugar together till light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and mix well.
- Sift the plain flour, baking powder and salt into the butter mixture. Add the ground peanuts and fold both the flour mixture and ground peanuts into the batter until just combined.
- Roll the batter into small balls the size of marbles, placing them about 4cm apart on the prepared baking trays. Flatten each ball slightly into a small disc and press half a salted peanut into the cookie. Brush the cookies with a lightly beaten egg white.
- Bake the cookies for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the cookies are light golden brown and the edges feel crisp to the touch. Let the cookies cool completely before removing from the baking tray; they will harden as they cool. Makes about 100 small cookies