Even if you’ve never gone anywhere near an oven, this simple recipe may just make a baker out of you. These classic peanut cookies are the perfect starting point because they are virtually fool-proof. The ingredients are minimal, not to mention cheap. Best of all, they are heaps tastier than any bottled cookies from supermarket shelves. Like baked morsels of ming Chiang kueh filling, they dissolve in the mouth in a sweet-salty explosion of flavour.
Melt-In-Your-Mouth Peanut Cookies
Makes about 60 x 3cm cookies
300g roasted peanuts, shelled (try Camel brand)
200g caster sugar
250g plain flour
1 tsp fine salt
¾ cup peanut oil
1 egg yolk, beaten
a handful of halved roasted peanuts, to decorate
• Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a tray with baking paper.
• Place peanuts in the bowl of a food processor or electric grinder and pulse until the nuts are finely ground to the consistency if rougher-than-usual sand. Be careful not to process the nuts to a paste or you’ll end up with peanut butter.
• Place the ground peanuts, sugar, flour and salt into a large bowl and sit to mix well.
• Add the oil, a little at a time, and knead the mixture. Once a handful of the mixture can be rolled into a small ball without the surface crumbling, stop adding the oil (you may not need the full amount of oil stated).
• Use a teaspoon to measure out and roll the dough into small balls, about 3cm to 4cm in diameter. Arrange them on the baking tray about 3cm apart.
• Brush cookies lightly with the beaten egg yolk and then place a halved peanut on top of each cookie.
• Bake for 12 to 15 minutes on the middle rack of the oven, or until cookies turn a light golden-brown. Allow to cool before storing in an air-tight container for up to a week.
Photo by Mark Lee