Chinese Almond Cookies Recipe
adapted from Canadian Living Magazine, makes about 70 cookies
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup home rendered lard (recipe here) or shortening
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
70 blanched whole almonds (about 2/3 cup)
egg wash: 1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tsp water
Preheat the oven to 350 F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, lard or shortening and sugar until fluffy and creamy. Then beat in the whole egg, almond extract and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds and baking powder. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients until just combined and you’ve achieved a stiff dough.
Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on a silpat (silicone) mat lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the cookies with the egg wash. Then press an almond into the centre of each cookie, flattening the cookies slightly at the same time. The dough will crack slightly. Bake until the cookies are lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely before serving. Store at room temperature, loosely covered. These cookies also freeze well.