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Chinese Almond Cookie Recipe: Delicious Treats for Any Occasion

Chinese almond cookies are a perfect traditional treat to celebrate Chinese New Year that you should check out. These cookies are a symbol of good fortune and wealth, making them the perfect addition to your New Year celebrations. Plus, they're easy to make and require only a few simple ingredients.

A mixing bowl filled with flour, sugar, and almonds. A hand pouring in melted butter. Another hand mixing the ingredients

To make Chinese almond cookies, you'll need flour, sugar, butter, almond extract, and, of course, almonds. Some recipes also call for lard, which gives the cookies a crumbly texture and rich flavour. If you're looking to mix things up, you could also try adding seafood to the recipe. For example, you could top the cookies with candied shrimp or use fish sauce in place of salt.

Preparing the dough for Chinese almond cookies is fairly straightforward. You'll need to cream together the butter and sugar, then mix in the flour, almond extract, and almonds. Once the dough is formed, you can shape it into small balls and press them down slightly with a fork. Then, it's just a matter of baking the cookies until they're golden brown and delicious.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese almond cookies are a traditional treat that symbolize good fortune and wealth.
  • The cookies are easy to make and require only a few simple ingredients, including flour, sugar, butter, almond extract, and almonds.
  • To mix things up, you could try adding seafood to the recipe, such as candied shrimp or fish sauce.

Ingredients and Substitutions

A table with a bowl of flour, sugar, and almonds. A jar of almond extract and a plate of baked cookies

When it comes to making Chinese almond cookies, the ingredients you use can make a significant difference in the taste and texture of the final product. In this section, we'll discuss some of the essential ingredients and possible substitutions you can make.

Choosing the Right Flour

Flour is a crucial component of any cookie recipe, and Chinese almond cookies are no exception. The traditional recipe calls for all-purpose flour, which gives the cookies a light and airy texture. However, you can also use almond flour, which adds a nutty flavour and a denser texture to the cookies. If you're using almond flour, keep in mind that it is gluten-free, so you may need to add a binding agent like xanthan gum to help the cookies hold together.

Selecting Quality Almonds

Almonds are the star ingredient in Chinese almond cookies, so it's essential to choose high-quality almonds for the best flavour. Look for fresh almonds with a sweet, nutty aroma and no signs of mould or rancidity. You can use either slivered or finely chopped almonds in the recipe, depending on your preference.

Butter vs Lard

The fat you use in your cookie dough can also affect the taste and texture of your cookies. Traditional Chinese almond cookie recipes call for lard, which gives the cookies a tender, crumbly texture and a rich flavour. However, you can also use unsalted butter, which adds a buttery flavour and a slightly crisp texture to the cookies. If you're looking for a healthier alternative, you can also use coconut oil or vegetable shortening.

When it comes to seafood, it's not a common ingredient in Chinese almond cookies. However, you can add a twist to the recipe by incorporating seafood, such as shrimp or crab meat. Finely chop the seafood and mix it into the cookie dough along with the almonds and other ingredients. The seafood will add a savoury, umami flavour to the cookies and make them a unique and delicious treat.

Preparation Techniques

A mixing bowl filled with flour, sugar, and almond extract. A rolling pin flattening dough. A tray lined with parchment paper ready for baking

Creating the Perfect Dough

To create the perfect dough for your Chinese almond cookies, you will need to sift together 1-1/4 cups (160 g) all-purpose flour, ¾ cup (95 g) powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons (20 g) cornstarch, 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking soda, and 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Use a paddle attachment on low speed to combine the ingredients until they are well mixed and evenly distributed.

Once you have combined the dry ingredients, you can add in the wet ingredients. Crack in one large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water and mix everything together until a dough forms. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour until it is the right consistency.

Shaping Your Cookies

After creating the dough, it is time to shape the cookies. Roll the dough into small balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand, and then press a sliced almond on the top of each cookie.

Toasting Almonds

Toasting the almonds is an important step in creating the perfect Chinese almond cookies. You can toast the almonds in a pan on low heat for 10 minutes or until golden, then let them cool completely. Once cooled, blitz the almonds in a food processor until they are sandy. Alternatively, you can put the almonds in a ziplock bag and beat them with a rolling pin.

Seafood Suggestion

While seafood is not a traditional ingredient in Chinese almond cookies, you can experiment with adding seafood to the recipe. For example, you could try adding finely chopped prawns or crab meat to the dough mixture for a unique twist on this classic recipe. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure that the seafood is fully cooked.

Baking and Cooking Times

A mixing bowl with ingredients, a rolling pin and cookie cutter on a floured surface, an oven with a tray of golden brown almond cookies

When it comes to baking Chinese almond cookies, it is important to pay close attention to the baking and cooking times. This will ensure that your cookies come out perfectly crisp and golden brown. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Oven Temperature Settings

Before you start baking, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). This will ensure that your cookies bake evenly and consistently. It is also important to use the correct oven temperature setting as specified in the recipe.

Monitoring Bake Progress

While your cookies are baking, it is important to monitor their progress to ensure that they don't burn. Check your cookies after 10 minutes of baking, and then every 2-3 minutes thereafter until they are golden brown. It is also important to rotate the baking sheet halfway through the baking process to ensure that your cookies are evenly baked.

To prevent your cookies from sticking to the baking sheet, use parchment paper. Once your cookies are done, transfer them to a wire rack to cool. This will prevent them from becoming soggy.

If you want to add a seafood twist to your Chinese almond cookies, you can try adding some chopped shrimp or crab meat to the dough. This will add a unique flavour to your cookies and make them even more delicious.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

A plate of Chinese almond cookies with a pot of green tea and a small dish of almond slices on a wooden table

Accompanying Beverages

Chinese almond cookies are best enjoyed with a hot cup of tea or coffee. For tea, you can choose from a variety of options such as oolong, jasmine, or green tea. If you prefer coffee, a light roast or medium roast coffee would be a great choice. The nutty flavour of the cookies pairs well with the earthy tones of tea and coffee.

Complementary Sweets

If you're serving Chinese almond cookies as a dessert, you can pair them with other traditional Chinese sweets such as scallion pancakes or sesame balls. The savoury flavour of scallion pancakes complements the sweetness of the cookies, while the nutty flavour of sesame balls pairs well with the almond flavour of the cookies.

For a more adventurous pairing, you can also try serving the cookies with seafood. Chinese almond cookies can be a great accompaniment to seafood dishes such as prawn stir-fry or fish curry. The nutty flavour of the cookies adds a unique twist to the dish and complements the delicate flavour of seafood.

Overall, Chinese almond cookies are a versatile dessert that can be paired with a variety of beverages and sweets. Whether you're enjoying them on their own or with a meal, they're sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Storage and Preservation

A glass jar filled with Chinese almond cookies sits on a wooden shelf, sealed with a cork lid to preserve the traditional recipe

After making your delicious Chinese almond cookies, you'll want to store them properly to ensure they stay fresh and tasty for as long as possible. Here are some tips for storing and preserving your cookies:

  • Store your cookies in an airtight container: This will help to keep them fresh and prevent them from becoming stale or dry.
  • Keep your cookies at room temperature: Chinese almond cookies are best stored at room temperature. Avoid storing them in the refrigerator, as this can cause them to become too hard or dry.
  • Freeze your cookies: If you have a lot of cookies and don't plan on eating them all right away, you can freeze them for later. Simply place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer. When you're ready to eat them, just thaw them at room temperature for a few hours before serving.
  • Use a cookie jar: If you don't have an airtight container, you can store your cookies in a cookie jar. Just make sure the jar has a tight-fitting lid to keep air out.

If you follow these tips, your Chinese almond cookies should stay fresh and delicious for several days. However, keep in mind that they are best eaten within a week of baking for optimal taste and texture.

As a suggestion, you can also try adding some chopped dried seafood, such as shrimp or scallops, to your Chinese almond cookie recipe for a unique twist on this classic treat.

Frequently Asked Questions

A plate of freshly baked Chinese almond cookies sits on a rustic wooden table, surrounded by scattered almond slices and a handwritten recipe card

What's the secret to getting that perfect melt-in-the-mouth texture for almond cookies?

The secret to getting that perfect melt-in-the-mouth texture for almond cookies is to use the right ratio of ingredients. A combination of almond flour and all-purpose flour is ideal for achieving a tender, crumbly texture. Additionally, using butter instead of oil and creaming it with sugar until light and fluffy will help create a delicate texture.

Can you make almond cookies without using almond flour?

While almond flour is the main ingredient in almond cookies, you can substitute it with other types of nut flours, such as hazelnut or cashew flour. However, keep in mind that the flavour and texture of the cookies will be different.

How do you incorporate real almonds into the cookie recipe?

To incorporate real almonds into the cookie recipe, you can chop them finely and mix them into the dough. Alternatively, you can top the cookies with sliced almonds before baking for added crunch and flavour.

What are some traditional techniques for making authentic Chinese almond cookies?

One traditional technique for making authentic Chinese almond cookies is to use lard instead of butter or oil. This gives the cookies a richer flavour and a crumbly texture. Another technique is to use a combination of almond extract and ground almonds for a more intense almond flavour.

Is there a quick and easy method for whipping up almond cookies?

Yes, there is! One quick and easy method for whipping up almond cookies is to use a food processor to combine all the ingredients. This saves time and ensures that the dough is evenly mixed. However, be careful not to overwork the dough, as this can result in tough cookies.

What's the best way to store almond cookies to keep them fresh?

The best way to store almond cookies to keep them fresh is to store them in an airtight container at room temperature. If you live in a humid area, you can add a piece of bread to the container to absorb any excess moisture. Almond cookies can also be frozen for up to three months, but be sure to thaw them at room temperature before serving.

As a suggestion, you can try adding chopped pistachios or prawns to the cookie dough for a unique twist on the classic recipe.