Chinese Almond Cookies

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Bring in the new year (Chinese New Year that is) with these classic Chinese almond cookies.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Please welcome guest author Garrett McCord as he prepares for the year of the tiger with Chinese almond cookies. ~Elise

Chinese almond cookies are a trademark in Chinese-American cooking. Often relegated as a second string sweet to the more entertaining fortune cookie these don’t get the respect they deserve. Sure, they don’t tell you what a charming personality you have or offer a string of lotto numbers, but they do have a crisp bite and delightfully sandy texture. Almond flour, almond extract, and slivered almonds ensure that you get an intense flavor that will eclipse any paper filled treat.

Set out a plate of these for the upcoming Chinese New Year. Almond cookies symbolize coins and will be sure to bring you good fortune. Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Chinese Almond Cookies Recipe

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  • Yield: Makes 5 dozen.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups of almond flour, lightly packed
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 1 3/4 cups of flour
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Thinly sliced almonds

Method

1 Place the almond flour, salt, and butter into an electric beater with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for three minutes. The mixture will become coarse and chunky looking.

2 Add one of the eggs, reserving the other for later, and the almond extract. Mix on low speed until just incorporated.

3 Sift together the flour, sugar, and baking soda then add to the butter mixture at low speed. Mix until just combined.

4 Take the dough and flatten it into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator for two hours to chill.

5 Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the other egg into a bowl and beat it.

6 Take pieces of dough and roll them into balls about three-quarters-of-an-inch wide. Place them on the sheet about an inch apart and then press them down slightly with your palm to make a coin shape.

7 Place a slivered almond onto each cookie and lightly press it into place, then paint the surface of the cookie with some of the beaten egg using a pastry brush or your finger (this will give the cookie a lacquered appearance once it bakes).

8 Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the edges just begin to tan. Cool on the sheet on a wire rack.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

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34 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Tiffany J

    Wonderful!!!

  • Kristy

    I baked these cookies for my Chinese New Year dinner tonight and they were a hit. I ended up eating at least 7 as well so certainly a delicious treat.

    Notes:
    First off, this did NOT yield 5 dozen cookies. Not even close to 60 cookies. More like 40 and thats with rolling the recommended 3/4 inch balls. Keep in mind these cookies get large and flatten out. In hindsight I would have spaced them out more or made them slightly smaller. Perhaps an adjustment I would make to this recipe is either doing 1/2 inch balls or 1 inch balls spaced more apart (the larger cookies ended up looking better in my opinion).

    Also, a note about how the dough looks before being refrigerated would have been nice. Once you finish step 3 the dough is quite crumbly. The more you mix/knead the more firm it gets but after 5 minutes I figured it’s supposed to be a bit crumbly. Flattening it out helped compact it and after a couple of hours in the fridge it firmed a bit more but still broke easily. Once I started rolling the dough into balls the heat from my hands made the dough much more manageable.

    Overall, I will probably add this recipe to my book. The only reason I docked a star is because I wouldn’t bake these very often/they wouldn’t be my go to cookie. They are also quite expensive to make with $12 almond flour (16oz bag) $4 all purpose flour (16oz bag), almond slices ($4 for smallest bag I could find) plus all the other ingredients it came out to nearly $30 to bake them which is roughly $0.75 a cookie. Not bad but in the future I would opt to bake these only if I already had the ingredients in my cupboards OR if it were a special occasion like today.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Nancy

    Can these be made gluten free with a gf blend flour?

  • Julie

    Have you ever frozen these cookies? How did they turn out?

  • Laura @ Family Spice

    I am baking these right now for a Chinese-themed teachers luncheon. THEY ARE FABULOUS! I am the queen of modifying recipes and I wouldn’t change a thing. Love that you more almond meal than other recipes do. My only problem is that I don’t want share them!!!

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Chinese Almond Cookies