Another Hello Cookie enterprise!
Chinese Almond Cookies are sometimes served in Chinese restaurants at the end of a banquet, especially if you’ve ordered the expensive items, like lobster or suckling pig. The size varies, with the restaurant ones usually ‘bite size’. These ones, made from the recipe in Anita Chu’s ‘Field Guide to Cookies’, are more of a ‘normal’ cookie size.
It never ceases to amaze me when my baking and cooking endeavours turn out unexpectedly well. With these cookies, they are just like the ones in the restaurants, and that’s a gold star in my books, because I like them like that.
As an aside, I gave some cookies to my mother to try, and she was very impressed. She even dug out a Chinese cookbook she had with a view to making some herself. Based on her translation, the recipe was quite similar – except that hers used pork fat as well as butter. I recommended that she leave out the pork fat, unless she was looking forward to a spike in her cholesterol levels.
The original recipe in ‘Field Guide to Cookies’ has 3 cups of flour, but I followed the author’s suggestion and substituted a ½ cup of almond meal for ½ cup flour, for a more nutty, almond-y taste. Incidentally, I ran out of sugar while making these so bf had to run to the shops for me to get some (‘Quick, go now! No, now! Hurry up!’). Thanks, sweetie, for your speedy footwork!
Chinese Almond Cookies
Makes about 50
2 ½ cups plain flour
½ cup almond meal
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (250g) unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ tsp almond extract
½ cup sliced almonds for decoration
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
1. Sift flour, almond meal, sugar, baking soda and salt into a bowl and set aside.
2. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter until smooth
3. Add the egg and almond extract, and mix until combined
4. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined
5. Turn out the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disk. Cover dough and refrigerate for 20 minutes until firm
6. Preheat oven to 325 deg F (165 deg C). Line baking sheets with paper.
7. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Flatten balls slightly with palm of your hand
8. Place a sliced almond in the centre of each cookie. Brush top of cookie with beaten egg.
9. Bake for 12-15 minutes (rotate baking sheets halfway through). The cookies should be light golden on top.
10. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.