Almond cookies have multiple variations all over the globe. From Italy to the Far East, these delicious cookies have been made for generations. One of my favorite types is Chinese almond cookies.
These cookies have the ability to provide a subtle crunch and melt in your mouth all at the same time. They are given as gifts around the Chinese New Year as a way to bring good fortune, but you can find them all year round throughout the world.
To carry on with the almond theme, try pretty as a picture almond cookie recipe, almond crescent cookies or melt in your mouth almond shortbread cookies. They’re all fantastic and compliment any occasion.
Let’s head to the kitchen and bake up a batch!
I love the simple elegance of this recipe, but my list doesn’t stop there!
- Makes a big batch
- Super simple to make
- Lovely presentation
- The melt in your mouth texture
How To Make Chinese Almond Cookies Recipe
To create these buttery little nuggets, you’ll start by sifting flour. Whisk in sugar, baking soda, and salt. Cut in lard until you have a nice crumble. Once that happens, add one egg, almond extract and mix it all up.
Roll into balls (preferably 1 inch), transfer to a cookie sheet, flatten, press an almond into the middle and brush with egg wash. Bake!
The almond cookies Chinese New Year tradition dates back to somewhere around the 16th century when they were served to the Emperor during the New Year’s celebration. Since then, these humble cookies have become a symbol of good luck and prosperity for the New Year. Here are a few suggestions to make your cookies the best they can be!
Cutting in Lard: The technique called ‘cutting in’ is typically called for in pie crusts, pastries, and sometimes cookies. The goal is to mix the lard or sometimes butter with the dry ingredients. You do this by using a pastry cutter, fork, or two knives to gradually cut the lard into smaller and smaller pieces while combining it with the flour mixture.
It’s best to use chilled or frozen fat and start by cutting the big chunk of lard into several smaller cubes. Also, don’t overwork the mixture. Stop when it gets crumbly; otherwise, your cookies will be dense and chewy.
Bake Time: These cookies won’t be golden when they’re done baking. Be sure to follow recipe bake times so you don’t burn them.
Lard: So many people shy away from using lard in their baked goods. I’m telling you, they are missing out! Lard is rendered from pork, but I promise you won’t taste it in your cookies! It gets a bad reputation for being high in fat. However, pure lard has no trans fat and is higher in ‘good’ fat than butter. Unfortunately, a lot of lard on grocery store shelves is hydrogenated to increase its shelf life. This process adds lots of nasty stuff.
When shopping for lard, read the labels and look for words like non-hydrogenated and minimally processed. These products have the highest nutritional qualities and the best baking results. Nothing else can give you the texture that lard brings to cookies and pastries.
Egg Wash: Don’t skip the egg wash just before putting the cookies in the oven. It gives them a lovely shine and crisps the outside. It is definitely worth the extra step!
Like most cookies, this recipe is best stored in a well-sealed container. Be sure to allow them to cool completely before tucking them away.
Can You Freeze This?
When I freeze this almond cookie recipe, I wait for them to cool and then place what I want to freeze in a gallon Ziploc freezer bag. You can freeze the unbaked dough in a freezer-safe bag as well. Baked cookies will last 3-4 weeks in the fridge, while dough can hang in the freezer for around 3 months.
Make Ahead Tips
The best way to make these cookies ahead of time is to freeze them. You can also make the dough a day or two ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for freshly baked cookies!
How Long Can You Keep This?
This will hold well for 4-5 days in a well-sealed container. According to food handling guidelines, you can keep the cookies in the freezer for up to 6- 12 months.
Since Almond Cookies are so popular all over the world, there are many variations on the theme. Here are some ideas on different adaptations of the recipe and it’s star flavor, almonds!
Can I Use Other Nuts For This Recipe
What Other Desserts Can I Make With Almonds?
Almonds bring a pleasant sweetness and crunch to all kinds of food, so it’s no wonder they’re such a popular addition to candy bars! My favorite confection starring this delicious nut is Almond Joy candy bars. It turns out that they’re really easy to make at home, and my almond joy bars and almond joy cookies taste just like the iconic candy bar!
If you want a little less chocolate and a little more almond, try almond butter cookies. Their delicate almond flavor and buttery richness are the perfect finale to any meal.
Can I Make This Recipe With Italian Twist?
The Chinese weren’t the only ones who created a traditional cookie with almonds. Italian almond cookies, also known as Italian wedding cookies, are made with ground almonds, which bring out the flavor of the nut. To combine a bit of Italy to this cookie, you could substitute almond flour for part of the all-purpose flour.
Another favorite Italian almond dessert is almond biscotti. These crunchy biscuits are absolutely perfect with a cup of coffee or tea where ever you are in the world.
Chinese Almond Cookies
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup lard
- 3 large eggs, divided
- 2 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- 24 almonds
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
- Cut in the lard, with 2 knives or a pastry blender, until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add 2 egg and almond extract and combine well.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Flatten cookies then press an almond in the center.
- Beat the remaining egg and 2 Tablespoons water in a small bowl. Brush over the tops of cookies.
- Bake in preheated oven 15-20 minutes, or until the dough in the center of the cookies no longer looks wet. Cookies will not brown.
- Remove to a wire baking rack and cool.
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I have no doubt this Chinese Almond Cookies recipe will be a hit wherever you serve it. They look lovely with their simple, glossy outside and taste divine with their almond flavor and melt in your mouth texture. I know you’re going to love them! I look forward to hearing about how they work for you.
Be sure to leave me a comment!