Every year during Chinese New Year (CNY) I’ll make peanut cookies. They are somewhat a traditional CNY cookie in Malaysia. Peanut cookies require roasted peanuts to be grind till fine before being mixed with the rest of the ingredients. I find that a lot of work and maybe not as yummy as my mum’s short-cut version which uses peanut butter instead! It may sound sacrilegious to the traditional peanut cookie bakers out there who would painstakingly roast and pound (okay, maybe just whiz in a food processor) tons of peanuts for the cookies but this is really a time-saver. Granted the texture of the cookie would not be the same but it’ll still be a hit with all peanut and peanut butter lovers.
I’ve not met anyone who likes peanut/peanut butter who doesn’t like this cookie. This year I brought some over to my neighbours, Andrew and Cherie, along with ang pow (red packets) for their daughters. I had just gotten back into the house when the phone rang. It was Andrew and Cherie on speaker-phone telling me how much they love it and asking me if I would teach Cherie how to make it! I taught Cherie how to make it on Tuesday and she and her 4-year-old had fun rolling and baking the cookies.
Give this recipe a try. The full recipe makes about 300 cookies depending on big or small you roll them but they’ll go fast! They break in your mouth with the slightest pressure and melt into peanut butter goodness. They’re pretty addictive that way and you won’t be able to stop yourself from taking one after another!
340g creamy peanut butter (I prefer Skippy’s)
600g all-purpose flour
200g confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
240ml vegetable oil
1 egg yolk
1. Mix all ingredients together, except the egg, in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until the mixture comes together. The dough will be smooth and soft.
2. Pinch some dough and roll in between the palms of your hands to form a round ball. Place it on a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Alternatively, you can take some dough and roll it to form a thin, long log. Pinch dough off the end of the log to roll into balls. Repeat till dough is used up. (Leftover dough can be frozen.)
3. Using the end of a drinking straw or a pen cap (I used a Crayola marker cap) press down lightly on each ball to make a dent.
4. Beat the egg yolk lightly with a tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash over each cookie.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake each tray in the centre of the oven for 15-16 minutes until the cookie is done and turns brown on top. The cracked top is characteristic of this cookie.
6. Place the tray on a cooling rack and allow the cookies to cool down and firm up before removing.