Chinese Almond Cookies To Prepare For Chinese New Year (7000 Miles Away From Home)

I’ve actually wanted to make peanut cookies, because I personally savour the fragrance of peanuts more than that of almond. But! Surprise! Surprise! The lack of ground peanuts here, plus a reluctance on my part to grind the nuts myself with a pestle and mortar, has allowed us to enjoy 2 other types of lip-smacking cookies which we would otherwise not have thought of making. How I love life’s little surprises and the blessings in disguise.

I went over to a friend’s house last Tuesday for a baking session to try out the almond cookies. It was a little over-baked, I think, but tasty nevertheless. This batch today is supposed to be an improved version of that first attempt.

Baking alone by oneself can never be as fun as when somebody is around while one bakes. At least there is somebody to talk to, to give your fare a go after the oven pops, or at least sop up the redolence of freshly-baked delights. It makes me recall the time when I was baking mooncakes with my mum. By this time of the year, she would most probably have made her purchases of Chinese New Year goodies, but how I wish I could send some of these back home to let her try.

Ingredients:

  • Ground almond powder: 300g (2.5 cups)
  • Castor sugar: 180g (3/4 cup)
  • Plain flour: 250g (2.5 cups), sifted
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Vanilla essence: 1 tsp
  • Vegetable oil: 250ml (1 cup)
  • Egg: 1, beaten with 3 tbsp water

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 deg. Prepare a greased baking tray and set aside.
  2. Mix almond powder, sugar, flour and salt together.
  3. Add vanilla essence. Then gradually add oil into flour while kneading the mixture.
  4. Knead till sugar has mostly melted and mixture does not crumble anymore.
  5. Knead mixture into small round balls and place on baking tray.
  6. Glaze top of balls with beaten egg.
  7. Poke a hole in the middle with a straw (or end of ballpoint pen) and bake for 15min.
  8. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 15min before serving.

Tricks:

  • Knead the dough as much as you can before forming them into balls, so that the sugar melts completely.
  • I used less sugar than was originally recommended by a recipe, and it turned out sweet enough, so diabetics could still consider cutting the sugar down by 30g or so.
  • This recipe was adapted from a peanut cookie recipe, so if you replace the ground almond with ground peanut powder, it would work perfectly well too.
  • For a varied twist to this cookie, please refer to the ‘Coconut Cookies‘ recipe.

Serving:
Makes about 40 medium-sized cookies

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