Happy Year of the Dragon!
My earliest memories of baking come from helping my mother make these Chinese almond cookies. As a young girl, my job was to help roll the dough into walnut-sized balls, flatten them with the bottom of a glass, and put the finishing touch of the little red dot on each cookie’s center. These cookies were my mother’s specialty, and she was once asked to bake 500 cookies for a non-profit fundraiser event.
These cookies are much like a light shortbread or pie crust. They are buttery, and almost melt in your mouth when you bite into them. The almond flavor of the extract give them a distinctly Chinese taste, making them a wonderful treat. Set out a plate of these for Chinese New Year. Gung hay fat choy!
Chinese Almond Cookies
1 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon almond extract
Almond slivers (optional)
Red food coloring
Sift together flour, salt and baking soda; set aside. Cream the shortening and gradually add sugar, egg, sifted dry ingredients, and almond extract. Make into balls the size of small walnuts, and flatten with a glass dipped in flour. Press a sliver of almond in the center or dot the center with red food coloring. Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes until golden brown.
7 thoughts on “Chinese Almond Cookies”
What does the red dog symbolize?
The color red in Chinese culture symbolizes good luck. Sometimes the cookies have an almond sliver instead, but my family always liked the look of the red against the cookie.
I lived on the North Shore in the 70s and Kammies Market sold almond cookies that looked very similar to yours. They were the best! I have been looking for a recipe to approximate, if not duplicate, them FOR YEARS. I can’t wait to make these. Fingers crossed.🤙
What shortening is best. Oil or butter.