Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chinese-Style Almond Cookies

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Almost everyone is familiar with the almond cookies that are served in Chinese restaurants. Did you know they are not Chinese? They originated in the West, and while they have been adopted by the Chinese, they are a creation of American-Chinese restaurants that spread, with affluence, back to the East. While they love sweetness, the Chinese are more likely to combine sweet with savory rather than serve a separate course of each. These days you will find Chinese bakeries and the desserts they sell are a testament to the ready acceptance of sweets by the Chinese people. The bakeries are important because most Chinese homes don't have an oven, so they can't do their own baking. I'm not the person you want to teach you the ins and outs of moon cakes, but I can walk you through the very simple steps required to make Chinese-style almond cookies. This is a lovely recipe to have in your arsenal and the cookies are truly simple to make. The recipe was created by Nancie McDermott. Here's how it's done.

Chinese Almond Cookies
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspooon salt
6 tablespoons butter, room temperatue
6 tablespoons shortening
1 large egg
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
16 to 32 whole almonds, with or without skins

1) Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk or sift to combine. Set aside.
2) Combine butter, shortening, egg, sugar and almond extract in another medium-sized bowl. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until all ingredients are combined, about 1 to 2 minutes.
3) Add flour mixture to butter mixture; stir with a wooden spoon until everything comes together into a smooth dough. Dough is easier to shape when cold. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.
4) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
5) Divide dough into two cylinders. If you opt to make 16 large cookies, roll each cylinder to a diameter of 2 inches. To make 32 smaller cookies, roll each cylinder to a diameter of 1-1/4 inches. Cut each cylinder into rounds and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet, positioning them about 2-inches apart. Press a whole almond into center of each cookie.
4) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cookies are firm and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheets. When completely cool transfer to a serving dish or an airtight container. Yield 16 large or 32 small cookies.

Other recipes for Chinese-style almond cookies can be found at:

About.Com: Chinese Food - Chinese Almond Cookies

Sunset: Chinese Almond Cookies

Appetite for China: Chinese Almond Cookies


Federica Simoni said...

questi biscotti devono essere buonissimi con il latte!! complimenti!!ciao!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Such pretty litle cookies--I really like almond cookies with a nice cup of tea.

Unknown said...

What a fun post, I enjoyed the story and the cookies are going to be a surprise for my family. On Christmas Eve, eighteen years ago, I was too tired to cook so our entire family (g-parents and all) decided to go out. The only restaurant open in our tiny town was a Chinese Buffet. We ran into 4 families that we knew - we've all been there every year since. This year we'll have cookies at home for dessert!

Coleens Recipes said...

Great classic cookie and a PERFECT photo.

Katy ~ said...

I made these a while back; yours look 100x better than mine. Great little cookie. I'm going to try these again as yours are so beautiful. I love the dish!

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

We love these Chinese Almond Cookies... thank you for sharing the recipe.

Carol at Serendipity said...

These look wonderful. We are back in Florida and I have a real kitchen here! Still getting organized with setting up a studio/office/guestroom. Almost all is planned and ordered. And while I am waiting, I will be cooking! Love your recipes.


Martha said...

Mary -- I love these! Here on the prairie, we only have Chinese buffet -- four things at every restaurant -- the soft serve ice cream and the bananas in red something (it's not jello but sort looks like it), these cookies and canned biscuit dough, fried and rolls in sugar (which goes really well with the ice cream!)

Cathy said...

Almond cookies are a favorite here where we don't have much of a sweet tooth. They are wonderful with a cup of afternoon tea.

Foley said...

Love almond cookies of any kind!!! These look good and even better, simple enough for me to make!

Claudia said...

I prefer my sweets to not always be super-sweet. Lovely with coffee or a spot of tea! Adore the almond taste. Splendid!

food with style said...

oh this brings back memories, my grandmother made these, she visited the orient and other exotic places, these cookies make all the memories flood back in~

bj said...

MARY....these look amazing and I can't believe how simple they sound. I can't wait to try them.
Thanks and hoping your day and coming week is blessed!
xo bj

sunnymama said...

They look lovely and I'm sure they are delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe, Sunnyboy would love these. :)

Lyndas recipe box said...

What lovely cookies! These would be perfect with a cup of tea and they will be a great addition to cookie trays that I make up for Christmas. Thanks Mary.

Vintage To Chic said...

thanks for sharing all the great recipes, hope you have a grand week,

Christy said...

Your cookies are so pretty sitting atop that beautiful dish!! Great background on the cookies too. :)

Anonymous said...

I love how you include history in your posts. This was very interesting. thank you. Tea with almond cookies sounds great ♥

Mimi said...

Growing up we made a smiliar cookie. My mother past away and we never found her recipe. Thanks for this recipe.

Justin said...

i don't think i've ever seen a recipe for these before, but i've got some extra almonds in the house right now!

My Little Space said...

Yeap, I think you're right about the cookie! Most of the cookie recipes are actually came from western country. Because there is no butter available in the east, in older days. They only used animals lard for making biscuit & pastry instead.

Jennifer (Savor) said...

My fav. cookie are almond cookies. I make a mean orange almond cookie

kirbie said...

I love these cookies. I've never tried making them myself though. I'm going to try these out!

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