Peanut Cookies (花生饼)

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INTRODUCTION

In the last Chinese New Year, I did not blog about peanut cookies.. one of my favourite Chinese New Year cookies… I think from now on, I should spread my cookies recipe over a period of a few months until Chinese New Year or Christmas such that reader have more choices to choose from.. (updated on 19-12-2014 – all updated recipes will be highlighted in red)

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Frankly speaking, I do not have much to blog about this simple cookie as it is just another cookie commonly found in Singapore and Malaysia during major festivals..

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The only point that I have to highlight is the quality of the peanuts. I am frank to tell all that this batch of peanut is not very aromatic… In the next batch, I will try to buy the Shandong peanut for this.. The peanut was quite tasteless and less aromatic..

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Preparation is not very difficult but a challenge to me.. I found that the shaping need to be tight enough such that it binds the powdery peanut  together but it shouldn’t be overly tight such that it become hard to bite… As long as a shape can be formed, that should be adequate to ensure a melt in the mouth recipe…

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 50 cookies of 2 cm diameter

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  • 250 grams of roasted peanut (can roast raw peanut at 170 degree Celsius for 10 minutes or until aromatic)
  • 250 grams of plain flour
  • 150 grams of icing sugar
  • 150 grams of peanut oil
  • 1 egg
  • Pinches of salt

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

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  • In a food processor, blend the roasted peanuts until fine powder form. Add in icing sugar, plain flour and blend until well mix. Add in eggs and gradually add in the peanut oil. Blend until it form a pliable dough. If it is too dry, add additional peanut oil teaspoon by teaspoon. If too wet, add plain flour tablespoons by tablespoons.

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  • Take some dough (about 15 grams), shape it round, use hand lightly press the dough until it look like a dome, use a chopstick to make a cavity in the cookies.. Egg wash the cookies before baking in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for about 15-20 minutes or until your desired colour tone. For egg washing, stir one egg yolk with one tablespoon of water until well mixed, sift before application.

Note:

  • The colour of the cookies will very much depends on your roasted peanuts. If you preferred lighter colour, you should reduce roasting the peanuts in the oven to 8-10 minutes.

  • Handling shall be as light as possible such that air can be incorporated into the dough such that it will melt in the mouth.

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RECIPE 2 – USING PEANUT BUTTER (Updated on 19-12-2014)

Today, I have decided to try out this recipe using peanut butter. I am pleased with the outcome. It melts in the mouth and taste is not compromised. In fact, it is much easier that the first recipe.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 40-50 cookies

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  • 125 grams of top flour or cake flour
  • 75 grams of peanut butter
  • 40 grams of icing sugar
  • 30 grams of peanut oil
  • 1 egg yolk for egg glazing

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Pre-heat the oven to 130 degree Celsius.

  • Put all the ingredients in the mixing bowl, use hand to knead until it form a pliable dough. If it is too dry, add some more peanut oil teaspoon by teaspoon. Pinch some dough, shape round and lightly flatten it. Brush the egg yolk on top of the cookies. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 130 degree Celsius for 20-25 minutes or until the desired colour tone. Let in rest in the baking tray for about 5 minutes before transferring to a rack for cooling.

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CONCLUSION

This cookies is addictive and rest be assured, it is not very sweet….. The gist of the recipe is how you handle the dough.. If you want a melt in the mouth cookies.. light handling is required. If you do not want to take the trouble of roasting the peanut, you can always used ready made peanut powder sold in the supermarket.. Colour of the cookies will very much depend on the colour of your roasted peanuts. If you do not have an oven, roasting the peanut over the stove is acceptable.

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This recipe was included in Page 22 and Page 23 of the following E-book. 

For more Chinese New Year related cookies, snack and steamed cake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy Chinese New Year Recipes – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD3.50. The recipes covered various recipes from auspicious radish cake to nian gao to traditional kuih bangkit to trendy London almond cookies. Of course not forgetting both type of pineapple tarts. You can purchase by clicking the link above. You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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I Like My Cookies To Look Like Flowers During Chinese New Year–Plum Blossom Cookies (梅花饼)

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梅花开五福 – A Plum Blossom Will Bless One With Five Fortunes

‘长寿’是命不夭折而且福寿绵长 – “Longevity” means not to die at the young age and have a long life
‘富贵’是钱财富足而且地位尊贵。- “Rich” means have abundance of wealth and respectable position
‘康宁’是身体健康而且心灵安宁。- “Healthiness” means a healthy body and a peaceful mind
‘好德’是生性仁善而且宽厚宁静。- “Generosity” means is benevolent and of generous character
‘善终’是能预先知道自己的死期 – “Hospice” means ability to know in advance the date of death

Source: http://iask.sina.com.cn/b/11547911.html

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INTRODUCTION

First of all, I have to say that it is intentional to have the cookie cracked because I want the cracked cookies to resemble the petals in a plum blossom. Because of this, I have to make my dough slightly harder such that when the dough was pressed, it will be cracked into this shape. If you want to have a nice shape like the traditional thumb print cookie, you can adjust the butter quantity by another 20-30 grams and reduce the cream  cheese by the same quantity. In this way, your dough will be greasier and moister, it will be a round shape and not cracked like flower petals.

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During the Chinese New Year, Chinese like to have auspicious cuisines including cookies. They will give their cuisines (both savoury dishes or sweet cookies ) some special names or special looks just specifically for the festive seasons. Most cookies will have names that linked to prosperity, joy, happiness and other positive greeting words.

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Though this cookie is a traditional thumb print cookie, however, because of Chinese New Year, I will love to have my cookie  look like a plum blossom (梅花)。 Plum blossom is a flower that thrives well in the cold weather and when it blossoms, it signifies that springs have arrived and time to celebrate Chinese New Year (Spring Festival). To Chinese, it also signifies hopes and the abilities to endure hardship. If you wish, you can read a bit more about this flower in one of my older postNational Flower Series–East Asia 5–Taiwan Republic of China– Prunus Mume.

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Preparation is definitely not difficult but a bit laborious. If you have the patience, it will definitely be a good cookie that can impress your guest. The inclusion of cream cheese make it creamier but will not be as crispy as compare to pure butter cookies. Response from relatives and friends are positive, a nice cookie and we have finished all the cookies even before I issued this post, which is rather unusual.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • 450 grams of plain flour (about 3.6 cups)
  • 110 grams of cream cheese (about 1/2 cups) (at room temperature)
  • 200 grams of butter (about 7/8 cups) (at room temperature)
  • 150 grams of sugar (about 2/3 cups)  (not in picture)
  • 1 hard boiled egg yolk
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla essence
  • 0.5 cups strawberry jam

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift in the hard boiled egg yolk. Stir until well mixed.

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  • Sift in the plain flour and use the slowest speed to stir until well mix. Take the dough out and lightly knead until well mixed.

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  • Take some dough (about 10 grams each) and shape it into a ball. Use the end of the wooden ladle to make a cavity on the ball (vertically from top).

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  • Put the strawberry jam into a piping bag and pipe the jam on the cavity. Bake in the oven at 175 degree Celsius for 10-12 minutes.

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CONCLUSION

I like this cookie because of the shape and colour that resembles a beautiful flower. I am sure it will stand out in a tray of golden looking cookies during Chinese New Year. The taste of the cookie is definitely delicious.  As it is rather easy, I will encourage reader to try preparing this traditional cookie for the coming Chinese New Year.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers.

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For your convenience, this recipe has been included in the E-book Page 37-38 (Easy Chinese New Year Recipes – A step by Step Guide). The e-book was packed with 30 Chinese New Year recipes and you can get hold of a copy of the E-book HERE or by clicking on the picture below.

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For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE .  

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If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 1000 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD. You can also join the Food Bloggers and Foodies United Group Facebook Group to see more recipes.

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Christmas 2013 Series–Yin Yang Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

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UPDATED POST ON 21-10-2014
 
No doubt this is one of my favourite cookies.. I seldom prepared as it is quite high calorific and if not because friend have requested to show her helper how to prepare this, I do not I will prepare now…I have made some adjustments to the recipe today based on what I have at home….I have substitute almond nibs with macadamia nuts and instead of prepared in the Ying Yang pattern, I opt to prepare all as chocolate flavoured so as not to confuse her… Ha-ha.
 
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INTRODUCTION
 
Christmas 2013 is approaching, time to get ready your cookies for friends and relatives. I will not be going back to my hometown for Christmas this year and I have relatives now staying with me in Singapore whom are going back to hometown soon. I am now busy preparing Christmas fruitcakes, chocolates, cookies etc.. for them to bring back as hand gifts.
 
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It may be slightly early for others but not too early. You can save the recipe (advise is to use  “PINTEREST”, an easier way to keep and categorize your bakes, recipes wanted to try or special board such as Christmas To Do), test the recipe and decide if you want to make for your friends or relatives. This will definitely save you a lot of money and headaches to find suitable gift items.  It will definitely be a presentable gift to the recipient and they will be delighted to receive these well thought homemade gifts. This Christmas 2013 and Thanksgiving 2013 series is to give you ideas of homemaking your own gifts or delicacies during these two important festivals.
 
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My neighbour gave me one bottle of macadamia nuts and I did not have a chance to finish it. I still have a quite a lot left and immediately come across my mind is to prepare some macadamia nut biscuits. I have chosen a simple recipe and the cookie is definitely well beyond my expectations. Nice texture, not overly sweet with mouthful of macadamia nuts and caramelized chocolate chips. Preparation can be really simple if you do not want to create the Yin Yang effect.
 
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WHAT IS REQUIRED
 
Recipe adapted from : Chocolate Macadamia Biscuits
 
Servings: 3 baking trays of biscuits (about 40-50 medium sized biscuits)
 
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  • 250 grams butter (soften at room temperature)
  • 227 grams (1 cup) of soft brown sugar – Can reduce by 10 % sugar if desired
  • 227 grams (1 cup) of white castor sugar – Can reduce by 10% if desired
  • 312 grams (2.5 cups) of self raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder (not in picture)
  • 2 teaspoons of chocolate molasses (optional, can be substituted with one additional tablespoon of cocoa powder)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
  • 65 grams (1/2 cup) of macadamia nuts – chopped
  • 80 grams (1/2 cup) of caramelize chocolate chips or chocolate chips
  • 2 piping bags (not in picture – optional)

 

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STEPS OF INSTRUCTION
 
  • Line 3 baking trays with parchment/baking paper and pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
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  • Cream the sugar and butter until light and pale. Add in one egg at a time, beat until well mixed. 
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  • Add in caramelized chocolate chips, macadamia nuts and vanilla essence. Use the machine to stir well. Sift in the self raising flour and mix well. Divide the batter into two portions. Put one portion in the piping bag. For the other portion, add in chocolate molasses and cocoa powder, mix well and place on another piping bag.

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  • Pump the white dough in the baking sheet leaving adequate space for expansion. Pump the chocolate dough next to the white dough. You can create any pattern than you like as the dough is not an overly sticky cookie dough. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 180 degree Celsius for 10-12 minutes. Take the baking tray out, leave the cookies on the hot tray for at least 5 minutes before transfer to wire rack for cooling. Cool completely before store in an air tight container. Repeat the same for the other 2 trays.

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CONCLUSION

This is an addictive cookie. It is crispy and I loved the crunchiness of the macadamia nuts and the caramelize chocolate chips. Family members loved it. When I start eating the cookies, I usually end up eating at least 5 cookies and I doubt if there will be any cookies left by the time my relatives schedule to leave for hometown. Well, recipe is here and I presumed they can bake themselves too… Ok, may be I will bake another batch the day before they left… Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day!

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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