The Happy Home Cook: Chinese Peanut Cookies for the Lunar New Year of the Rooster 2017

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Chinese Peanut Cookies. (Photo by Besa-Quirino, LLC ©)

Chinese Peanut Cookies. (Photo by Besa-Quirino, LLC ©)

Filipinos celebrate Chinese New Year in a big way. In the Philippines, the event is vibrant and loud. It can last for weeks culminating on the day of the Lunar New Year itself. In Manila, the country’s capital, one finds bargains at the malls and stores. Restaurants and hotels are packed with visitors. Food is abundant on everyone’s tables. The city is one big party. 

These Chinese Peanut Cookies are a simple, savory-sweet cookie I like to bake for the Lunar New Year’s desserts or snacks. They are mildly sweet and have a coarse, shortbread-like consistency. They crumble at the first bite, but the peanut-like aroma and flavors make it hard to put down. Serve it with a pot of tea. This is an Asian In America recipe and makes about 24 bite-sized pieces.


1 ¼ cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

¾ cup crushed peanuts (unsalted, bottled)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg, beaten for brushing on cookie


  • Crush the peanuts to a coarse consistency using a food processor or blender. Set aside.

  • Sift flour with the baking powder and baking soda to a fine powder by processing in the food processor.

  • Add the ground peanuts and sugar.

  • While the processor is running, drizzle in the cooking oil and process till the mixture becomes clumpy. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Transfer mixture to a bowl. Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

  • Shape the dough into little 1-inch balls (about ½ Tablespoon per ball). Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Poke center of each ball with the wider end of a chopstick for a middle indentation.

  • Brush with egg wash on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F degrees for 12 to 13 minutes or till golden brown.

  • Store in an air tight container, in a cool section of the pantry. These cookies keep for about a week.

Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey is a journalist and author of the “How to Cook Philippine Desserts: Cakes and Snacks” Cookbook. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and blogs about Filipino home cooking on her site

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