Chinese New Year: Almond Cookies
Chinese New Year is this coming Sunday (the year of the snake!) so I thought I’d share with you all a traditional Chinese cookie. These little almond cookies symbolize coins and will give you good fortune in the new year :)
Growing up, we would have these almond cookies when they were gifted to us from having family friends over or whenever my parents just happened to buy them at the grocery store. I remember the very distinct almond flavor and the crunch of these cookies. They were probably one of my favorite Asian snacks as a child. What an American would have as their sugar cookie is what I would have with this almond cookie.
Years went by (haha, I make myself sound like I’m 60 and telling my grandkids a story) and I completely forgot about these cookies until a few weeks ago I was browsing Pinterest and I saw that someone pinned almond cookies. Nostalgia definitely struck me and I knew I had to make some immediately. The recipe made quite a few dozen and I gave several to my parents that weekend. I think they really enjoyed the homemade version. They hadn’t had them in a while either because they used to buy them for us when we were kids. It was definitely a memorable moment while we were sipping on tea and catching up.
If you’ve never had these cookies before, they remind me of shortbread cookies. They’re more crunchy and less flakey than a shortbread cookie, though. The almond flavoring is just right and I love that it’s not a hint of almond, but it’s like a burst of almond because of all the almond ingredients involved (not just the almond extract). I love that flavor. The buttery-ness rounds it all out. I love this crispy cookie! It’s SO easy to put together and it makes a bunch. If you’re going to a Chinese New Year celebration this weekend, I’m sure these will be a hit :)
- Place the almond flour, butter, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes. The mixture will be coarse and chunky looking.
- Add one of the eggs, reserving one for later, and the almond extract. Beat together until just incorporated.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, and baking soda in a medium bowl and add to the stand mixer. Mix until just combined.
- Pour mixture out onto saran wrap and form into a disc. Wrap it up and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Beat the egg you saved in a small bowl and have a pastry brush ready.
- Take pieces of dough and roll them into balls, about 1 inch wide. Place on the prepared baking sheet and gently press them down with your palms to flatten into coin shapes.
- Take your pastry brush and brush the tops of the cookies generously with the egg wash then place a sliced almond on top, pressing gently to keep it in place.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the cookies start to turn a dark golden color on top.
- Remove and let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
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