Traditional melt-in-the-mouth Chinese Peanut Cookies made gluten free using rice flour. They are a favorite during the Chinese New Year and popular throughout the year.
One of the traditions surrounding the Chinese New Year is the practice of matching ingredients that are homonyms of auspicious words. Peanuts fall into this happy category with the Cantonese fah sung rhyming with long life and growing prosperity. Hence, they often appear in all kinds of dishes prepared for the celebrations. I also happen to like peanuts so I have absolutely no objections to this tradition. In fact, these Chinese Peanut Cookies are something I look forward to eating every Chinese New Year.
Traditionally, ground peanuts are combined with all-purpose flour, sugar, and pork lard to make these delectable cookies. Today, most people would substitute the pork lard with vegetable oil for a less “fatty” version. I have also replaced the sugar with powdered (icing) sugar and the all-purpose flour with rice flour to make them gluten free. White rice flour is finer than all-purpose flour giving these cookies a very smooth with a melt-in-the-mouth texture.
Molded Chinese Peanut Cookies
For a festive touch, I borrowed my mother-in-law’s excellent idea of molding half of the cookies using wooden Kuih Bangkit molds. The wooden molds with larger indentations are preferred. However, they are still smaller than the hand formed balls. Baking time for these molded cookies should be adjusted accordingly.
Similar Tools Used in Making These Chinese Peanut Cookies
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- 2 cups shelled raw peanuts (300 gm)
- 1¼ cup rice flour (150 gm)
- ¾ cup powdered sugar / icing sugar (90 gm)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil (160 ml)
- White egg wash
- Place peanuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Roast at 350°F (180°C) for about 12 to 15 minutes until just lightly brown. Remove and allow peanuts to cool.
- Grind peanuts in a food processor to as fine as possible.
- Pour into a large bowl. Mix in rice flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Pour in oil and mix well. Peanut and flour mixture should come together.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Flatten slightly before placing onto parchment lined baking pan.
- Brush top of cookie with egg wash.
- Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for approximately 18 minutes.
- Remove and cool in pan for 10 minutes.
- Transfer onto wire rack to cool completely. Store in an air tight jar.