You may be familiar with these Chinese peanut cookies as a Lunar New Year sweet: Hua sheng bing are often sold in tall plastic containers at the markets.
I assure you that homemade ones taste far better.
This recipe comes from my friend and stylist Karen Shinto. Not only do we work together on my cookbook projects, but we also trade recipes. She was so jazzed about these cookies that she emailed photos, asking me if I wanted the recipe. Heck yes.
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These peanut cookies are full of peanut goodness, rich and lardy but there's no lard involved. Ground peanuts, cooking oil, and butter enrich the dough. The confectioners' (powdered) sugar contribute to the crumbly texture. Karen used canola oil, but I opted for semi-refined peanut oil that I get at the Chinese market; you can use unrefined peanut oil sold at health food stores. That type of peanut oil adds a lovely roast-y peanut taste and perfume.
These cookies come together very quickly. As for those cracks? They add character. May your Chinese New Year be all the better for having these cookies at your table. Or, secure your wealth by enjoying these cookies all year long.
Andrea Nguyen is a James Beard award-winning author, cooking teacher, consultant and editor. Her latest book is "Vietnamese Food Any Day" (Ten Speed Press, 2019). She edited "Unforgettable", the biography cookbook about culinary legend Paula Wolfert.