Peanut Cookies (Biskut Kacang) are popular festive cookies in Malaysia. You’re sure to find many stores selling them during occasions such as Chinese New Year and Hari Raya. They’re made of ground peanuts, with a soft and crumbly texture, similar to shortbread cookies. I tend to prefer soft and chewy cookies, but recently, when we bought some peanut cookies, I practically finished them all! They were just so addictive! I hadn’t had them in a while and I guess I’d forgotten how good they are. They’re little cookies too, so it’s easy to just pop one after another into your mouth!
Since Chinese New Year is coming up on February 1, I decided I had to make some peanut cookies this year, in addition to the usual Kuih Bangkit and Pineapple Tarts. These cookies are also known as Biskut Mazola because – you guessed it – they’re traditionally made with vegetable oil. The oil binds all the ingredients together, and helps make these cookies more tender, with a softer mouthfeel. I try to avoid using vegetable oil whenever I can though, so I substituted with melted butter instead.
I was all ready to start grinding up some peanuts when I realized that the 2 new packs we had in the pantry had turned rancid! They weren’t even expired yet but yup, that’s life in the tropics! When it’s so hot and humid, things spoil much faster unless you store everything in the fridge!
I managed to find some hazelnuts, however, so hazelnut cookies it was going to be! Actually, I didn’t even quite have enough of those! But I saw some recipes that used peanut butter. So that’s how I came up with these hazelnut PB cookies 🙂
I love hazelnuts but unfortunately, they’re pretty pricey, and these cookies don’t last long in the house! So TBH, I’m not sure any of us would make this recipe too often! But you can always substitute with other nuts, or just make the original version with peanuts. I should also mention that melted butter totally works!
Regardless of what nuts you use, these cookies are melt-in-your-mouth yummy! The buttery flavour is a definite bonus too! They’re not too sweet, and perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. By the time I’d finished baking the cookies and stored them away, I’d polished off 15 cookies…and Chinese New Year is still more than a week away!
For all those celebrating, I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous Year of the Tiger!
Did you make this recipe?
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(Recipe loosely adapted from What to Cook Today)
HAZELNUT PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
Makes 60-65 cookies
130g hazelnuts, roasted and ground finely
70g natural crunchy peanut butter (give it a good stir before measuring)
180g all-purpose flour
80g icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
175g unsalted butter, melted
20g roasted peanut halves for garnish, optional
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 Tablespoon milk, for egg wash
1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine hazelnuts, peanut butter, flour, sugar and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.
3. Gradually add the melted butter, stirring to mix all the ingredients into a dough.
4. Measure out 10g pieces of dough. Roll each piece into a ball, then place on the baking sheet, about half an inch apart.
5. Gently press a peanut half onto the top of each cookie (optional).
6. Lightly brush the cookies with egg wash.
7. Bake 15-17 min until golden brown.
8. Remove from oven. Leave cookies on the baking sheet for 5 to10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.