Have you ever had those crispy crunchy Chinese Almond Cookies in a Chinese restaurant? I have been in love with them since my childhood when I use to get some at the grocery store in “a little pink box tied with string”. Crunchy and almond-y and highly addicting. And they are so easy to make at home.
Years ago I was given a signed copy of Martin Yan’s Feast (affiliate link!).
As I lovingly perused this book when I received it, carefully marking pages of recipes to try I was beyond thrilled to find the recipe for my favorite cookies on the very last page! I could make them myself. And then I forgot about it for 15 years. Ooops! Seriously, I have made more than a few other recipes from this book (the Char-siu, Chinese Barbecued Pork, is one of my favorites), but somehow I never got around to these.
Now these are not exactly like the ones you find in the store or a restaurant. He uses butter and shortening instead of lard. And he also adds brown sugar. I borrowed the egg yolk wash from another recipe I discovered when I was looking for the name of these.
If you want them to look more “copycat” like, swap the brown sugar for more granulated sugar and maybe add a drop or two of yellow and red food coloring to make them a bit more pale orange.
If you cannot find blanched almonds in the store, fear not, it is so easy to do at home. Put the raw almonds (not salted, or flavored) in a bowl and cover with bowling water just until the skin begins to pucker, about 30-45 seconds.
Don’t let it go any longer or the almonds will lose their crispness!
Quickly drain them and cover in ice water. Drain again and the skin should slide right off.
Chinese Almond Cookies
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter (softened)
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1 egg (lightly beaten)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoons almond extract
- 40 blanched almonds
- 1 egg yolk (optional)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening, granulated sugar and brown sugar until fluffy.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and mix until a dough forms.
- Shape dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to two days).
- Preheat oven to 350degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Divide dough into 4 parts, then each part into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Slightly flatten each ball into a disk and press an almond in the center. Brush with beaten egg yolk if desired.
- Bake until lightly brown about 12 - 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Until next time, happy eating.