Although the fun fortune cookies that are so popular at Chinese restaurants in the US are not a Chinese invention or tradition, Chinese Almond Cookies are authentic, however, and are traditionally served on Chinese holidays and at Chinese celebrations. Homemade Chinese Almond Cookies are much tastier, too, especially when made with the following recipe which was adapted from a favorite authentic Chinese Cookbook, “Chopsticks Recipes: Dim Sum” by Cecilia J. Au Yeung.
Unfortunately, the book is out of print (mine is from 1976), but is sometimes available through Amazon: Chopsticks Recipes Dim Sum (Chinese & English Text) or on eBay.
These cookies have the essential sandy texture, along with a bit of chewiness – they are perfect for snacks or as an accompaniment to something like vanilla pudding with Mandarin oranges (not Chinese, but a delicious quick and easy finish to a Chinese meal). Using half butter in the cookies adds flavor, but takes a little away from the sandy texture. Lard, which is what the original recipe calls for) adds lots of cholesterol and is not very healthy, but adds to the sandy texture. You can use whatever your conscience directs.
About 6 dozen small cookies
1 1/2 cups shortening, or lard
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
72 blanched almonds
3 egg yolks, well beaten
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- Cream the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy; add the eggs and almond extract, beating well.
- Turn the mixture to low and mix in the flour, baking powder, salt, and soda.
- Scoop teaspoon-size balls of dough; roll each into a ball and place on parchment-line baking sheets about 1" apart.
- Press an almond into the center of each cookie - don't press all the way down since the cookies will spread while baking.
- Brush the cookies with the beaten egg yolks.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges.
- Cool on racks and store in an airtight container.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 85 Calories from Fat 51
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 60% Protein 4% Carb. 36%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 6 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 14 mg
Sodium 18 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 1 g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 1%