While you’ll find pindakoeken ("peanut cakes") at every Dutch supermarket, few people know that these peanut-studded cookies are a sweet legacy of Chinese immigration in Dutch port cities such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
According to the Center for the History of Migrants (CGM) in the Netherlands, out-of-work Chinese seamen took to selling peanut cookies (known as pindakoekjes or teng-teng). This became such a common sight on the streets of large Dutch cities in the 30's of the previous century that Chinese men were sometimes called pinda-Chinezen or pindamannen ("peanut Chinese" or ''peanut men"). Some of these Chinese street vendors later opened a restaurant in what's become Amsterdam's China Town.
These cookies have a satisfying snap and crunchy bite and a clean, nutty taste. If you're looking for a peanut cookie that doesn't taste of peanut butter, this is the recipe for you.
You will need a cookie sheet and parchment paper.
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (120 g) fridge-cold butter
- 1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup (100 g) roasted, unsalted, shelled peanuts
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or by hand), knead the butter, sugar, salt and 2 of the eggs until it forms a supple dough (about 3 minutes). Set the dough aside and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Line the cookie sheet with the parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Roll small portions of cookie dough between your hands to form equally sized little balls. Place on the cookie sheet and use the palm of your hand to flatten the balls.
Beat the remaining egg with a whisk and brush the cookies with beaten egg. Press the peanuts into the cookies.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.
- To produce more professional-looking cookies, rest the dough in the refrigerator, then roll it out to a thickness of approximately 0.11-inch (3 mm) and cut out rounds using a 3-inch (7 cm) round cookie cutter with a scalloped edge.
- These cookies are also delicious dipped in melted chocolate. Learn how to dip your cookies in melted chocolate like a pro.
- Have you run out of brown sugar again? Learn how to make brown sugar using ordinary white sugar and molasses.