My first memories of Chinese food were dinners out with my paternal grandparents. We were regulars at The Fortune Cookie, a restaurant long gone. My brother and I would split Shrimp Almond Ding and pick-out all the shrimp and almonds, leaving the veggies for my dad. After dinner there was a dessert plate with a fortune cookie and an almond cookie for each of us. The almond cookie tasted better, but the fortune was more fun.
Chinese almond cookies have been on my to-bake list for a while. They seem to have disappeared from restaurants presumably overtaken by the popular fortune cookies. I searched multiple groceries for blanched almonds, but I had no luck. I ended up preferring the look of the deep brown almond skin against the pale, crumbly cookies. An egg wash brushed on before baking added a subtle sheen to these almond-y bites.
Chinese Almond Cookies
Adapted from Sunset
Makes about 2-1/2 dozen
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk
1/3 cup whole almonds
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and almond extract. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Cover the bowl and transfer the dough to the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and milk. Shape the dough into 2-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on the prepared sheet pan. Slightly flatten the top of each ball and brush with the egg wash. Press an almond into the center of each cookie.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until light golden brown. Wait 5 minutes before using a spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Store in an airtight container.