Chinese Almond Cookies

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Almond cookies are a traditional Chinese treat with tea.

Plate of Chinese New Year inspired almond cookies.

The Chinese New Year gives us an excuse to try out more Chinese recipes that pair well with tea, including Chinese Almond Cookies. These cookies resemble American sugar cookies, only with less sugar, and make a great snack to go along with any pot of tea. Traditionally, these are a very popular Chinese sweet and are usually given as gifts to friends and family as part of holiday celebrations. The almond is considered to give good health and lucky to the recipient.

Chinese Almond Cookies (Makes 2 dozen)

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp of almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of Almond meal
  • 1 cup of flour (I used an unbleached pastry flour for the cookies in the picture)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 24 whole almonds
  • Egg wash (1 egg beat with a tablespoon of water)

Steps:

  1. Almond cookie dough rolled into small balls before baking.

    Almond cookies ready to go in the oven.

    Beat in a mixer the butter and sugar.  This may require scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter.

  2. Mix in the salt, almond extract and egg.
  3. Mix in the almond meal, baking soda and flour.
  4. Scrap out the batter onto plastic wrap or wax paper and form into a ball.  Put into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare the egg wash by beating together 1 egg with a tablespoon of water (this is going to create a lot more than you need, but you can turn the leftover into a quick omelette or freeze the remaining for future use as an egg wash)
  6. When ready, pull the dough from the refrigerator and form into a long log.  Cut the log into 24 equal sized pieces and form those pieces into balls.
  7. These cookies will expand a little, so limit the number of cookies on a tray to 12.  Place the balls onto either parchment paper or a silmat on a cookie sheet and then flatten with the bottom of a cup.  Place a whole almond in the center and then brush with the egg wash.
  8. Put the cookies into the oven for 15 minutes or until a nice light brown color appears around the edge.  Pull out of the oven and put on a wire rack to cool before serving.

These sweet cookies make a great addition to an afternoon pot of tea or an after dinner cup of tea.

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