Friday, September 2, 2011

Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese almond cookies happen to be among my favorite treats of all time.  When I lived in New York City I used to work in SoHo, which is next door to Chinatown, so it was easy for me to take a quick stroll during my lunch break and buy a packet of almond cookies for the apartment.  The crumbly sweetness, coupled with the delicious flavor of almonds through & through, has always been appealing to me.  They are the perfect thing to nibble on with a strong cup of green tea in the middle of the afternoon.  Any baker, whether a beginner or professional, can whip up a batch of these delicious cookies in no time.  Let me show you how.


 
A platter of Chinese Almond Cookies.




Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup smooth, natural almond butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 24 whole blanched almonds
  • 1 large egg yolk




In a large bowl, cream your butter until it's smooth.  This will take about one minute by hand.  You can use a stand mixer if you want to make it easier, but employing a bit of elbow grease every once in awhile is a good way to get some exercise!




Add both sugars and blend them well into your butter.  About another minute more.  Add the egg & combine this thoroughly.



Now add that delicious all-natural almond butter and mix it well.




Sift your flour & baking soda over the almond butter mixture.  Stir this together until it is fully combined and all of the flour has been absorbed.




The finished dough should now chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap or a plate.

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With the racks positioned in the lower half,
preheat your oven to 375° F.
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Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and measure out 24 cookies onto silpat or parchment lined baking sheets, spacing about 3" between cookies (about 8 cookies per sheet).  To get even sized cookies, use a 1 1/2" ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to portion out the dough.  Flatten the cookies slightly with the palm of your hand or with the bottom of a flat drinking glass.




Whisk the egg yolk and have the almonds and a pastry brush ready.




Put a single almond in the center of each cookie and brush the egg yolk evenly over the tops.  This will give the finished cookies that wonderful golden color.



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Place the cookie sheets in your preheated 375° F oven and bake the cookies for approximately 10-12 minutes, rotating your sheets halfway through baking to ensure even browning.
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Let them cool on the baking sheets for one minute, then transfer them to cooling racks.




A closeup.  Delicious!




As I said before, these are perfect with a cup of green tea.  



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As you can see, these cookies aren't challenging to make in the least.  I find that they store well in an airtight cookie jar for approximately 3 days or so if you don't happen to devour them instantly.  The wonderful thing about my Chinese Almond Cookies is that they don't contain any partially hydrogenated oils like the store bought variety.  Give this recipe a try the next time you have a craving for almond cookies.  I think you're going to like them.  Cheers!

4 comments:

  1. These look so good, I think I'm going to have to try them! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad I've whetted your appetite.

    ReplyDelete
  3. These really do look good. And easy. I will have to give them a go.

    ReplyDelete

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