Chinese Almond Cookies recipe
This weekend sees the start of the Chinese New Year and it’s the Year of the Rat. Not a terribly romantic sounding year, however, the rat symbolises wealth and the beginning of a new day. And thank God for that, as both those things sound like a bit of me at the moment. I am willing to scrape in on any wonderful celebration so this Year of the Rat, I will be baking, and eating, a large batch of Chinese Almond Cookies to celebrate.
These cookies are little bites of nutty heaven. They are a soft shortbread style biscuit flavoured with almond extract and topped with a whole almond. These originated in the early 1900’s and are meant to bring good luck, which is a total bonus considering the amount of these I have eaten. They are simple, not too sweet and so easy to make. You can make the dough in advance then bake them off as and when you fancy. Thanks to Dessert Now Dinner Later for the recipe.
I was doing a bit of research around the Chinese New Year celebrations and superstition suggests you avoid the following: washing clothes, using scissors and leaving the house. Thank God there’s no mention of not making cookies, as these are way too good to miss.
This is such a delicious ingredient selection. There aren’t actually any ground almonds in the cookies, they are simply flavoured with almond extract so they are still quite light and soft.
Make a start by lining your baking sheets with baking paper and pre heating your oven to 150 degrees fan assisted. Next, either in your stand mixer or a bowl with a wooden spoon or whisk, beat the soft butter and sugar until lighter in colour and texture.
Next beat the egg in a small bowl. Remove a tablespoon of the egg and put to one side for later to glaze the cookies. Add the rest of the egg along with the almond extract to the butter and sugar.
Beat until smooth.
Weigh out your plain flour and add the bicarbonate of soda and salt. Fold this into the butter mixture until you have a firm-ish dough.
Take your dough and roll tablespoon sized portions into balls and place onto your baking sheets. You should have around 18 to 20 balls.
Flatten each ball with the bottom of a glass or something flat, then press a whole almond into the middle of each cookie.
Mix your reserved tablespoon of egg with a teaspoon of water then brush each cookie with this to glaze.
Place these festive treats into your pre heated oven for 12 to 15 minutes. The cookies are ready when they’re just golden, firm and smelling nutty and wonderful.
Leave them to cool on the tray for as long as you can. Then devour, trying to save some to share with others.
Don’t let my ugly hand put you off these divine cookies.
Welcome to the Year of the Rat and all it brings. For me it will be an abundance of Chinese Almond Cookies and that’s a huge win.
Chinese Almond Cookies recipe
Makes 18 to 20 cookies
You will need lined baking sheets and a stand mixer or bowl and a spoon
115g soft butter
115g caster sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
210g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
18 to 20 whole almonds
Pre heat your oven to 150 degrees fan assisted and line two large baking trays with baking paper.
Take a large bowl or a stand mixer and add the soft butter and caster sugar. Beat until lighter in colour and texture. Beat the egg in a small bowl then put one tablespoon aside for glazing later.
Add the remaining egg to the butter and sugar along with the almond extract. Beat until smooth. Combine the flour, bicarb and salt then fold this into the butter, sugar egg mix until you have a firm-ish dough.
Roll the dough into tablespoon size balls and place on your lined baking trays. Flatten them with the bottom of a glass then press a whole almond into each cookie.
Mix the remaining tablespoon of egg with a teaspoon of water then brush each cookie with the mixture. Place your cookies in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes. They are ready when the cookies are just golden, firm and smelling amazing. Leave to cool on the tray before devouring, or storing in an airtight tin.