I wanted to pop by here and say 'HI' to all of you for such a long time, but last month proved to be rather challenging when time is concerned. So like a forlorn lover, I waited, and waited for TIME to come by and relieve me from the grueling schedule. But one thing for sure, my workplace is exciting and inspiring enough that last week, I decided to venture into all Oriental cooking, just like the dishes that I got served (for free! and gourmet, mind you) on my operating days. Amongst all the cookie jars and biscuit tins that were arranged neatly in the coffee room, there was a hidden gem that not many staff seems bothered about, but it sure did pique my interest, and before I knew it, I became more enthusiastic than usual to finish up the op so I could savour the 'little gem' afterwards, a little treat for myself. I swear I've never tasted such moreish cookies before, Chinese peanut cookies they call it, tucked in the corner, waiting to melt in the mouth with added crunch of toasted peanuts on top.
Then one day, they just disappeared. Never to be seen again. Replaced by the boring Jacob's crackers, or some jam filled sandwich cookies. They could never be on par as my peanut cookies though. After weeks of yearning, I decided to search for the recipe and do it myself. It was definitely a good call, as not only the yield was over 100 cookies that could last me forever, they also tasted so good, almost as identical as my love-at-first-sight Chinese peanut cookies at work.Apparently those cookies are a must at Chinese New Year, and I can understand why, as I don't mind them any time of the year:-)
I hope I could do more blogging, and blog hopping once this settling in period is over and I could feel like an old seasoned local at this new place..in the mean time, please endure this eerie silence until my keypad gets hold of me yet again. I haven't explored much of the baking bazaars and the little alleyways of bargain hunting here, but guess what, another fellow blogger, Happy Home Baking, really made my settling-in journey much easier, with her long guides on where to get my continental stuff and even the electrical shops with best deal on ovens. Thanks to her, I managed to not only got my much awaited built-in Bosch oven for a cheaper price, and a beautiful handmade walnut cabinet to go with it..so if you are reading, HHB, thank you for all your help, even though we have never met and only connected by this virtual bloodline of food blogging:-)
If you could spare an hour of your time in the kitchen, make sure that hour is spent on making these delicious cookies. You could obviously halve the recipe for smaller yield, but go on, make the full batch, and share them all:-)
Chinese Peanut Cookies
recipe largely adapted from here
600g coarsely ground peanuts
400g all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
400ml corn oil (or neutrally flavoured oil like Canola)
1 egg (mix with 2 tbsp water and a pinch of salt to form egg wash)
1. Toast the peanuts at 180C for 15 minutes.
2. Grind half of the peanuts into fine powder, and I keep the remaining half coarse for the crunchier taste.
2. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients except the oil and egg wash. Combine well.
3. Slowly add the oil and mix well with clean hands until a soft dough is formed. You can adjust the amount of oil used here.
4. Form small walnut sized balls and using a chopstick or a clean tip of ball point pen (seriously!), indent the middle of the cookie. Alternatively, press half a peanut in the centre like the original recipe.
5. Brush the top of the cookies with the egg wash.
6. Bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and cracked slightly.
7. Transfer the cookies to cool on wire rack and keep in airtight container. Enjoy!