Chinese Almond Cookies

Fun fact – although we are not Chinese, by grandmother was actually born in China and lived there for the first 7 or so years of her life.  She was an amazing person with incredible stories (though admittedly she wasn’t above making things up to suit her narrative – but that was part of the fun).

So in remembrance of her and in honor of the Chinese New Year, I decided to dig into some interesting traditional Chinese New Years treats.  These are pretty simple, and I remember seeing them in Chinese restaurants when I was a kid (in NJ…not China).


    • ½ cup butter, brought to room temperature
    • ½ cup sugar
    • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
    • 4 egg yolks + 1 full egg, separated
    • 1 ½ t almond extract
    • 1 ½ t + 1/8 t vanilla, separated
    • 1/8 t salt
    • ¾ cup almond or oat flour*
    • 1 t baking powder
    • 1 cup flour
    • 36 almonds
  • Either of these works.  Almond, because these are almond cookies (duh).  But you might not have it at home and it’s probably not worth buying a whole bag for just one recipe.  So instead, you can do what I did.  I have quick oats in my pantry.  Just throw the oats into your blender or food processor and turn on high until the oats come out the consistency of, well, flour.
  • It’s an almost 1-to-1 ratio, meaning you’ll need about ¾ cup of oats (maybe just a little more) to make ¾ a cup of oat flour.  And the beauty of it is, you can make only as much as you need.


, on to the recipe.

Mix the butter and both sugars until nice and fluffy.

Add in the four egg yolks and mix again until just combined.  You’re done with the “mixing” portion now – you’re still going to add more ingredients, but just fold them in with a wooden spoon until combined, don’t overmix them.

Add in the almond extract, 1 ½ t vanilla and salt and stir until combined.

Since I didn’t have almond flour I made some oat flour (see simple directions above).

Stir in your almond or oat flour along with the baking powder until just combined.  Then add in the regular flour and do the same.  Remember – you’re getting this to a point where it’s just barely combined, not super mixed.

Lightly cover it and put the dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes (though it can be up to a few hours).  Clean up your workspace while you’re waiting.

Next, spread the almonds on an unlined cookie sheet and toast them at 350 for about 5 minutes.  When they’re done, take them out of the oven and set them aside.

Line your cookie sheets and cover them with parchment paper and take your dough out of the fridge.

Roll the dough into balls about ¾ the size of a ping pong ball and place them on the sheets, 8 to a sheet.  Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand.

In a small bowl whisk together your remaining single egg and the remaining 1/8 t vanilla.  Brush this egg wash onto each cookie and press one almond into the center (it’s ok if the almond is still warm, and it’s ok if it’s not).

Bake the cookies at 350 for about 10-12 minutes or until they are a nice golden brown on the edges and bottoms.  Remove them from the oven, let them cool on the sheets for a couple minutes and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.IMG_5216

Makes about 30 cookies.  Gong hei fat choi!IMG_5221

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