These Chinese almond cookies are a traditional cookie said to bring good fortune in the New Year. They’re also fragrant and buttery, with the most irresistible almond flavor!
Chinese New Year is coming up, so I thought I’d share a traditional Chinese cookie with you. These little almond cookies symbolize coins, so they’re often enjoyed during the New Year to bring good fortune. But they’re eaten year-round too!
Growing up, we would have these almond cookies when they were gifted to us or whenever my parents just happened to buy them at the grocery store. They have a distinct almond flavor and a satisfying crunch, which made them one of my favorite Asian snacks as a child.
If you’ve never had these cookies before, they remind me of shortbread. They’re more crunchy and less crumbly than shortbread cookies, though, and of course, they have loads of almond flavor because they’re made with almond extract, flour, and sliced almonds. (All of these almond ingredients also make these cookies smell amazing!)
What You’ll Need
As you can see from the ingredient list below, almonds are the star of the show here, but butter is definitely a supporting player! It makes these almond cookies rich and, well, buttery!
- Almond flour – Be sure to buy almond flour, not almond meal. Almond meal is not as finely ground.
- Unsalted butter
- Kosher salt
- Almond extract – Almond extract is magic. Don’t skip it and don’t substitute it with vanilla! It’s key to the flavor in these almond cookies.
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking soda
- Sliced almonds
How to Make Chinese Almond Cookies
This recipe doesn’t require all that much active time, but you will need to include 2 hours of inactive time for the dough to chill.
Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, sugar, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
Make the dough. Combine the almond flour, butter, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low for 3 minutes, then beat in one of the eggs and the almond extract. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
Chill the dough. Turn the dough out onto plastic wrap and pat it into a disc. Wrap well and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 325ºF and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Beat the reserved egg in a small bowl.
Form the cookies. Take pieces of dough and roll them into one-inch wide balls. Place these balls on the prepared baking sheet and gently press them down with your palm to flatten them into coin shapes. Brush the tops with egg wash, then press a sliced almond into the center.
Bake. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the almond cookies are golden. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then finish cooling on wire racks before storing or serving.
Tips for Success
Here are some tips and tricks for making Chinese almond cookies.
- Getting a head start. You can keep the dough in the fridge for a day or two before you bake these cookies. The dough can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
- Don’t make a lot of tweaks. Normally, I encourage you to change things up to your tastes, but this is a recipe that depends on these specific ingredients. If you swap the almonds for pecans or the almond extract for vanilla, it’s not going to taste like almond cookies!
- About the almonds. You can use either blanched almonds, which have the skin removed before slicing, or natural sliced almonds, which still have the skin on. I don’t recommend using whole almonds because they kind of dominate and distract, rather than complementing the other ingredients.
How to Store Chinese Almond Cookies
Store these cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
Yes, you can place almond cookies in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months. Let them thaw at room temperature before you eat them.
Chinese Almond Cookies
- 1 ⅓ cup (149 g) almond flour, lightly packed
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 ¾ cup (219 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (200 g) + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Sliced almonds
- 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 °F (163 °C) 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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