Chinese Almond Cookies
These are a staple in traditional Chinese-American restaurants. The store-bought ones tend to be hard and tasteless, but these are wonderfully light, with a crisp edge and a chewy center. The traditional cookies are also a dull dark yellow from an egg yolk wash. I use an egg white wash to get the same glazed effect but with a creamy shimmer. The slivered almonds on top add a nice crunch and a fresh toasted nut flavor.
Makes3 dozen cookies
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Dietary Considerationlactose-free, peanut free
Taste and Texturebuttery, chewy, crisp, light, nutty, sweet
Type of Dishcookie
- 1¾ cups (9 2/3 ounces/272 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7 3/8 ounces/210 grams) sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1¼ cups (4 2/3 ounces/132 grams) almond flour
- 1 cup (8 ounces/225 grams) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes and chilled
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ½ cup (2 1/8 ounces/60 grams) slivered almonds
- 1 large egg white, beaten
Sift together the flour, sugar, and baking soda and set aside.
Put the almond flour, butter, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until the mixture resembles cornmeal, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, add the egg and almond extract and mix until well incorporated. Turn the speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix just until no traces of flour remain.
Transfer the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap, flatten into a 1-inch-thick disk, and wrap tightly in the plastic. Refrigerate until hard, at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Form the dough into ½-inch balls and put 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Use the palm of your hand to press the balls into 1-inch circles. Press 4 slivered almonds into each cookie, arranging them decoratively to form an X. Brush the tops of the cookies with the egg white.
Bake the cookies until golden and crisp around the edges, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on the baking sheets on a cooling rack. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
2007 Pichet Ong