Chinese New Year celebrates a week of family meals and visits, with gift-giving and money-receiving which therefore makes cookies quite abundant. There are so many varieties of cookies from tastes to styles with each bearing a special traditional meaning. It is important to have cookies made available for guests or for visits and with an assortment in cookie boxes, it is a perfect way to share them. Angela with Angie is a Girl enjoys Chinese New Year with her family and delights in creating these cookies.
“The Chinese take their food very seriously and many of their dishes and desserts have certain luck-bearing significance. Take, for example, the famous pink-tinted Longevity Buns, shaped to look like adorable peaches and eaten by those who aspire to live a long and healthy life. Or the sweet and sticky New Year Cakes made with glutinous rice flour that symbolize promotion or prosperity. Whether one believes in food having the power to bring such good fortune or not, one thing’s for sure: this yearly tradition of celebrating Chinese New Year is a yummy one.”
“I made a batch of these peanut cookies to kick start the lunar new year. The peanut is an auspicious symbol in Chinese culture. Like noodles, they represent longevity. They are also said to bring about prosperity, stability and good fortune.”
“Sweet and buttery soft, these peanut cookies boast a beautiful fragrance and bake to a gorgeous golden brown. Feel them crumble and melt in your mouth as soon as you take a gentle bite. With an intensely nutty flavour and an addictive sandy texture, you’ll be reaching for the next cookie as soon as you finish your last!”
Fragrant Peanut Cookies (花生饼)
A delicious Chinese New Year snack symbolising longevity.
2 cups roasted peanuts, ground
1 cup all-purpose flour
A generous dash of salt
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup peanut oil
1 tablespoon butter, softened
Some halved peanuts for cookie tops
1 egg yolk mixed with a bit of water (for egg wash)
If not using packaged ground peanuts:
- Dry roast peanuts in a pan or oven until slightly brown.
- Let cool, then grind into a sandy mixture using a food processor or mortar and pestle. If using a food processor, take care not to process the nuts too long or you’ll eventually get peanut butter! You can leave the mixture a little chunky.
To make the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
- Combine ground peanuts, flour and salt together in a bowl.
- Sift in the icing sugar and mix well.
- Add the oil and butter, and mix until combined. Mixture will be a little dry.
- Shape into small 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls. Flatten slightly.
- Place a half peanut in the centre of each cookie for decoration.
- Lightly brush cookie tops with egg wash (doing this will give the cookies that delightful brown glaze on top).
- Bake for 20 minutes or until brown and slightly cracked on the tops.