When Steph invited us to her end-of-CNY-fortnight celebrations, I knew right away that I'd try making the Chinese New Year peanut cookies that I saw on Sarah Cooks three years ago (I made almond jelly and melon salad that year).
With lard and an egg involved in the original recipe, I had some veganising to do. Sarah left some nice potential adaptations at the end of her blog post. I also couldn't help noticing how much her cup of lard looked like coconut oil so I used the latter as my main binder, added in a little peanut oil, and glazed the cookies with off-the-shelf egg replacer. Limited to salted roasted peanuts from the corner shop, I also skipped the custom peanut roasting and salting the Sarah begins her recipe with.
My cookies turned out sweet, crumbly and lightly golden, just as they should. Most of us were too full of deep-fried mock duck and kimchi pancakes to scoff too many cookies, but I loved layering them up like scales on a fish-shaped platter and watching our friend Danni sneak a third one.
CNY peanut cookies
(slightly adapted from a recipe on Sarah Cooks)
2 cups roasted salted peanuts, plus extra for decoration
1 cup icing sugar
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon powdered egg replacer (optional)
Preheat an oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray or two with paper.
Place the peanuts and icing sugar in a food processor and blend them for about a minute - you want the mixture to be mostly sandy with a few bigger chunks of peanut through it. Add the flour and pulse briefly to combine the ingredients. Spoon in the coconut oil and process again to combine evenly. If it comes together into a dough, skip the peanut oil entirely. Otherwise, gradually pour the oil in a tablespoon at a time until the dry ingredients start coming together.
Scoop out about 2 teaspoons of biscuit mixture at a time and roll it into a ball, placing it on the baking tray. When the tray is full, press a single peanut into the centre of each cookie ball. Whisk the egg replacer with a tablespoon of water in a mug, and brush it lightly over the cookies.
Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before shifting them to a cooling rack - they are quite crumbly and delicate.