Melt-in-the-mouth Chinese Peanut Cookies made using rice flour. 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 New Year 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 every Chinese New Year. They are the best!
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 and so these cookies have a very smooth, 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.
I make these cookies a few times a year, not just Chinese New Year because they are so easy to make. Also, you only need a few ingredients and blanched peanuts is something I always have in my pantry. Many people have affirmed that these cookies have a melt-in-the-mouth texture because of the use of rice flour and powdered/icing sugar. I hope you will it a try.
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Chinese Peanut Cookies
- 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.