After cooking for around a week, my guests have just left my Lunar New Year Open House. It was the perfect opportunity for me to prepare some of my grandmother’s Nyonya dishes (see blog), a treat for my guests over the last few years. This year, I decided to make New Year cookies as dessert, and I started preparations a bit earlier for that. With three attempts to make the special powdery cookies, Kueh Bangkit, resulting in dissatisfaction and disappointment, I resorted to Peanut Cookies, a favorite of mine back when I was growing up in Malaysia. These are very delicate flakey bites with the rich nutty flavor in each crumb. With success under my belt, here is the simple and tasty recipe, adapted from the Rasa Malaysia website (see page).
4 cups ground roasted peanuts (or oven roast peeled raw peanuts at 250 F (120C) until fragrant and lightly brown)
1 cup confectionary sugar
1 cup peanut oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg yolk, beaten slightly with 1 tsp water for egg wash
Chop peanuts in food chopper until very fine and loose and when the mixture starts to become slightly sticky.
Mix the ground peanut, sugar, and flour together until well combined. Cut the shortening into mixture until fine bits. Slowly add the peanut oil and mix well, until the mixture begins to come together – stop adding the oil at this point.
Shape into small balls and place on baking tray lined with parchment paper – do not flatten. Use a toothpaste cap to make the circular indentation by pressing and rotating the cap to lightly flatten the cookie.
Brush the sides below the indentation with the egg wash.
Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) on middle rack for 20 minutes or until brown – check and watch out for burning after 15 minutes (remove if you smell burning). Remove from oven and let cool. When cool, store in airtight container.