Chinese Almond Cookies

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

  • Yield: Makes 5 dozen.


  • 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


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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  • 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.

    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.


  • 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!!!

  • Jenny

    Do these cookies keep well? I was thinking about shipping them (it’ll take 2 days for them to reach their destination). My family loves almond cookies. Thanks Garrett!

    They should keep fine. Pack them airtight and with something soft to keep them from breaking. ~Garrett

  • Brad Weesner

    These cookies are excellent. If you try Chinese Restaurant Almond cookes, you know how dissapointing they are. These are so FAR superior! Follow the recipe, and you are good to go. I personally add; 1. double the amount of almond extract 2. a full almond, cracked/split sort of on top, 3. with the final egg wash, I sprinkle “raw” sugar crystals on top. These additions are not as powerful as you might think,, helps bring the flavors forward. Too much extract tho will take away from the lovely, subtle (and pricey) almond flour,,Be sure to give these as gifts, bring to church.. they are special, and your friends will be so impressed. Garrett, thank you very much!

  • Scott

    Simply perfect! We have been seeking a good Chinese Almond Cookie recipe for some time and decided to try yours. They are not as good as those found in a Chinese restaurant, they are BETTER!!!

  • Yvonne

    Wow, these sound delicious, but how sweet do they end up being? I want to make some for my mom, but she doesn’t like really sweet food like a good health-obsessed Chinese mom (: And I don’t bake enough to know by just looking at the recipe. Thanks!

    They are cookies so they are pretty sweet. ~Garrett

  • bobbie

    WOW! these are the best cookies I have ever made. Easy, delicious, and impressive looking. These are NOT the heavy, doughy almond cookies sold in boxes at the supermarket. They are more like amaretti or biscotti – light and full of almond flavor. I am serving them for our lunar new year feast tonight. If there are any left, that is…;=)

    I made it easier on myself and split the dough into two, and rolled them into two small diameter logs for refrigerating. I cut them about 1/4″ thick and laid them on parchment to cook. They spread when cooking. I also turned the pans midway through for even browning.

    I can’t thank you enough for this recipe!

  • robb

    I didn’t have any almond flour so I ground up sliced almonds and substituted. I made these a little larger than called for and I used a brush for the egg and then sprinkled the top with sliced almonds. They were terrific! I cooked each batch for 15 minutes and it was just right. Thanks for a terrific recipe, Garrett! I will be making these a lot in the future. :)

  • Deby

    Is there a reason these aren’t tagged as gluten-free? From the recipe, the cookies seem to be gluten-free.

    There is flour in the recipe. ~Garrett

  • Theresa

    These cookies were amazing and turned out far better than any store or restaurant-bought almond cookies I’ve tasted. I made these for a chinese-themed neighborhood party and got compliments on them all night. I ground sliced almonds in the coffee grinder to make the almond flour. I’m pretty much a novice in the kitchen, but these were easy for me (after I figured out how to get the almond flour).

  • Nikki the Novice

    Best almond cookies ever! To get the texture I wanted – slightly crunchy but mostly soft – I reduced the amount of butter to 3/4 cups. (If you desire almond cookies totally soft, I suggest 1/2 stick of butter).

    Also, because I’m lactose intolerant, I substituted the unsalted butter for Earth Balance vegan margarine sticks with no problems. Because it’s already salted, I omitted the pinch of salt.

    As for flour, I did a whole wheat pastry flour & unbleached white flour mix (as if this somehow makes these cookies any less sinful!).

    P.S. Trader Joes sells almond meal (ground almond flour) for super cheap (in relation to Whole Foods, that is). Good luck!

  • Jill

    I love almond cookies. This is a great recipe and easy, too.

  • Cristina at TeenieCakes

    I made a batch of these Chinese Almond Cookies yesterday. They are wonderful! Great texture and a perfect outside crispiness.

    This is among my favorite cookie recipes now and is definitely a keeper. I think they would ship well as homemade baking gifts.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • Linda

    Garrett!!! thank you for this amazing recipe. I just pulled the last batch out of the oven. They taste fantastic – just in time for our honoring the Chinese New Year (we aren’t Chinese though). These will be perfect as a dessert. Oh, I would highly recommend using almond flour instead of trying to substitute. I don’t think this recipe would come close to excellent as it does otherwise. None of our grocery stores had almond flour, however. If anyone lives in Northern Ohio, you can find Bob’s Red Mill at Marc’s! Our Trader Joe’s didn’t have it. Thanks, again, Garrett for another great recipe. Happy New Year!


  • Melanie

    Thanks for this excellent recipe, Garrett. I couldn’t find almond flour at my local grocery store, but they did stock ground almonds, so I used that instead. The cookies taste fantastic! However, I did find that the egg “glaze” turned out to be yellow and splotchy and not very attractive. Would it be better to use just egg white to coat the cookies before they’re baked? Do you think it made a difference that I used omega 3 eggs (which I find tend to have darker yellow/orange yolks)?

    I used whole eggs for a more authentic feel. This recipe does fine using egg whites only as a glaze which will give it a much more refined appearance. It depends which you prefer. As for the Omega 3 eggs, then yeah, it might have made some difference, but I can;t imagine much of one. ~Garrett.

  • Kate

    Just finished making these. Not only do they taste amazing, my entire apartment smells fantastic. Just in time for me and my family to celebrate the New Year.

  • Christina

    I made a batch of these cookies and when it was time to take them out of the oven, they really flattened a lot! Instead of almond flour, I used finely ground almonds that I blanched and dried. I’m thinking that the flour content might have been a bit too low because they had no body–all of my cookies came out as flat as can be even though I had kept them ball-shaped. Or maybe the dough wasn’t cold enough? Mine was in for

    They will flatten a lot, so I think you’re okay. =) ~Garrett

  • Jo from London

    Another place you will definitely find ground almonds (almond flour) is in any kosher deli/section of a supermarket. Passover baking recipes are entirely based on them, as is much general Jewish cooking. This recipe very much reminds me of my grandmother’s almond macaroons!

    Happy New Year to all the Chinese readers!

  • AndreaD

    I made them. I made my own almond flour first. I blanched the almond, let them dry (no almond flour), but when you grind them in a processor, don’t do it for too long, you’ll have butter.

    They taste exactly like the ones I got as a kid, in Chinese restaurants of course. Lite, crunchy and sandy, but not too sweet. Great recipe, thanks so much. I gave some to my Chinese neighbor, he liked them, or so he said. Anyway, I love them!

  • Rachel

    I’d just like to say that GONG XI FA CAI is the Chinese way of pronouncing it. Gung Hay Fat Choy is in cantonese. (:

  • Caroline

    I made these on a whim while snowed in yesterday. I was out of slivered almonds (I omitted them) and almond extract (I used rum flavoring instead). Perhaps because of my non-almond substitutions, I found the flavor to be too sugary and not almondy enough. However, they do have a nice sandy crunch and are the perfect mate to a cup of tea.

    You can see my results here.

    Yes, taking out the almond flavor would cause these cookies to not taste like almonds. Again, nothing in this recipe should be substituted, otherwise it won’t look or taste right. ~Garrett

  • nia

    Does it go without saying that if you have a nut allergy, these are not the cookies for you, or is there a way to modify, and still get to enjoy?

    Yeah… you can’t take the nuts out of these cookies. No way. ~Garrett

  • TexasDeb

    Do you think step 1 would work in a food processor? Don’t have a stand mixer and hand mixers typically aren’t sturdy enough for a stiff dough. I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy almond flour – think this might be it.

    I think a food processor would work in a pinch. Just be sure to pulse rather than set on full on liquify. ~Garrett

  • Denise Cottrell

    I have taken Chinese cooking classes from “authentic” chinese chefs, and they never use almond flour. That being said, Trader Joe has almond flour that is considerably less expensive than Bob’s Red Mill–and I mean considerably!

    I’ll have to try this recipe. Let it not be said that I don’t have an ‘open mind’!

    This is an “authentic” Chinese-American recipe. Not a Chinese recipe. (Huge difference.) You won’t find these in Hunan, but you will find them in the U.S., England, and Hong Kong. ~Garrett

  • Karen B

    Do you think one of the butter substitutes such as Smart Balance sticks could be used intead of two sticks of butter? I would love to cut the cholesterol down a bit on these! I love almond anything but am on a reduced cholesterol diet!
    Thanks for great recipes!

    Never even heard of the stuff. Give it a shot and let us know if it works. ~Garrett

  • Jane

    Thanks Elise and Garrett – these look wonderful. Do you think that I could use egg replacer for this recipe? I have a friend who is vegan and would probably love them.

    No. You cannot replace the egg in this. ~Garrett

  • Toni

    These look very crunchy. While I’m a fan of almond anything, I always pass these up in Chinese food restaurants. Garrett, do they have a more chewy consistency, or are they more the hard, tooth breaking variety I find at local Chinese food restaurants? :)

    They are light and crispy. ~Garrett

  • Aaron

    These look great. Do you think step 1 would work with a hand mixer?

    I think you could give it a go. ~Garrett

  • Jinsi

    Is almond flour the same as gound almond?

    Yes, you can make almond flour by slowly and carefully grinding bleached almonds into a flour. However, this can be dicey as it’s a VERY quick jump from almond flour to almond butter. Bob’s Red Mill makes a great and affordable almond flour which you usually find in the baking section of stores. ~Garrett

  • Taysia

    Where would I find almond flour?

    Most grocery stores carry it. All specialty store for sure carry it. ~Garrett