*Disclaimer*: If you are looking for an exact recipe, you will not find it here. This is a venue to help you search for other recipes online; combine, modify, and revise recipes to cater to your needs; and provide you with more of the experience of making a particular dish rather than just the ingredients and directions.
Boy, I had some time finding recipes online for these. I had always called these Gok Tsai in Cantonese but I couldn't find a recipe under that name for the life of me. I don't even remember how I came about some recipes, but, I finally found some recipes under the name Yau Gok, or Yau Gok Zai. You can also try searching under some variations on Crispy Coconut Peanut Puffs. Also try adding "Chinese New Year".
Once again, I want to warn you that I do not have an exact recipe here. In fact, I don't even remember the exact recipe. Find some recipes online and come back here for some tips =).
Here's the dough:
Most recipes call for lard. I'm sure butter or shortening is a fine substitute. I don't know pastry doughs well enough to say whether a liquid fat (i.e. oil) works or not. However, I used coconut oil =)! I wanted the subtle flavor of coconut to also be in the dough. I'm guessing, like any pastry dough, you don't want to overwork it. But make sure that it's incorporated enough that you can roll it out. You can see in the picture above that there are still bits of coconut oil (the white flecks).
If you're in a rush, you can use pie dough =).
Next, the filling:
This is just a mixture of peanuts (lightly ground), coconut flakes, sesame seeds, and sugar. There's really no way to go wrong with the filling as long as you like the taste =). As you can see, my peanuts are very roughly chopped (some are ground fine, others are still in halves). Also, most recipes call for unsweetened coconut flakes. I didn't have any unsweetened, so I used sweetened. You should also use toasted sesame seeds. If you don't have them pre-toasted, it's really easy to toast them in a pan on the stove. Just put them in a dry pan and toast them over medium or medium-low heat until fragrant. Only takes a few minutes.
Lastly, add sugar to taste.
Now, to assemble:
Roll out the dough...
Use a round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to cut out rounds--approximately 2 inches in diameter. I didn't have any cookie cutters so I used a glass.
Once you cut out as many as you can from one piece of dough, just roll up the scraps and roll them out again.
Put a little filling into the center of a round of dough. Most recipes say about 1 tsp or so. After you make a few you will get the hang of how much filling you need.
Fold in half and seal the edge. (You can seal most of it to see if you have too much or too little filling. Leave a space to remove or add filling before sealing all the way.)
Now crimp the edge. As you can see, I don't have pictures of how to crimp (darnit =). But it's not hard. Start on on end and fold, and fold, and fold until you get to the other end.
And here they are all finished!!
(Keep them under plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.)
Ready the oil!
Make sure you have a few inches of oil. Head the oil over medium heat. I'm not exactly sure what temperature to use. A trick that I've learned is to use a wooden chopstick. Stick it in the oil until the chopstick touches the bottom of your pot/saucepan/wok (what have you). When bubbles form from the contact point the oil is ready. When you think the oil is ready, you can pop a puff in to test. It should bubble like this...
Flip them occasionally to ensure even browning. Take them out just before the level of brown-ness that you want. They will finish browning out of the oil. If they start to brown too quickly, you can turn the heat down.
Drain on paper towels.
Look at this texture!
The last tip that I will add is that next time I might add some form of sweetener to the dough. The dough to filling ratio was such that it wasn't quite sweet enough for my taste.
Now, go makes some!!