When I was a little girl, I had the pleasure of living in a house with lots of Aunts and Uncles that had a love for all kinds of different cuisines. For example, my Uncle Luke was really into Mexican food. My Uncle Robert was obsessed with Italian. My Aunt Hope liked any food with cheese. My Tio Ron was a California Cuisine kind of guy. My Mom couldn’t get enough Chinese. She and I would always go to her
favorite little Chinese spot in downtown Los Angeles called The Red Dragon Noodle House (it isn’t there anymore…sad face).
I vividly remember the first time I ate there because the food was amazing. It totally blew me away at the tender age of 5. What also sticks out in my mind is at the end the meal, a little Chinese girl, about my age, came to our table and brought us almond cookies to enjoy as a dessert. She was extremely sweet and said, “Here you go friend, taste my mom’s almond cookies!” I thought it was the nicest gesture and I was super curious as to what this strange cookie was that she had just offered. I smelled it for about a minute before I decided it needed to be in my belly. From the first bite, I was smitten over this delectable sweet treat.
Every year around this time, because of that charming little girl, I always make Chinese New Year almond cookies to celebrate my Chinese friends!
Happy Chinese New Year everyone!!
Ingredients for Chinese New Year Almond Cookies:
- 3 – cups unbleached flour
- 1 – cup sugar
- 1/2 – teaspoon salt
- 1/2 – teaspoon baking soda
- 2 – sticks unsalted butter (cold)
- 1 – large egg
- 2 – teaspoons almond extract
- 24 to 30 – whole almonds
- 1 – egg yolk
- 1 – tablespoon milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda to a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Add in butter, and pulse until flour and butter combine. It will look like course meal.
- In a separate bowl whisk egg and almond extract together. Then pour the egg mixture into butter/flour.
- Pulse until dough comes together and forms a ball.
- Remove the dough from food processor and place on a lightly floured work surface.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with nonstick baking mat about 3 inches apart.
- Using the palm of your hand smash dough down to make discs.
- Place a almond in the middle of each cookie.
- In a little bowl whisk egg yolk and milk together. Lightly brush the top of each cookie with egg milk mixture.
- Bake for 15 minutes.