A few months ago when we were up in Rockland visiting his sister, J-Cat and I went into one of our favorite bagel places from when we were growing up. He pointed out something called a Chinese cookie, which for some reason I have never had. I had no idea that it was called that. It was always in the cookie case at every Jewish deli right next to the giant cookie with the chocolate chips stuck in the top, which was what I always got. Great big yellow cookie with a dollop of chocolate right in the middle. "What is remotely Chinese about that?" I asked. He had no idea. Until he tasted the Chinese Almond Cookies we made this weekend. I took a bite and said "My childhood!". And J-Cat took a bite and said "What? That's my childhood, too!". And there you have it, a surprise Jinese food.
I had found this recipe on Simply Recipes a couple of weeks ago, in anticipation of Chinese New Year. I took one look and said "I want that". And J-Cat said "I want to make those for you". And let me say, I wasn't sure they'd really come out like the Chinatown cookie I grew up on, but they really did. It completely surpassed my expectations. And they are incredibly addictive.
For most of the batch, J-Cat made the traditional sized cookie, but he also really wanted to recreate that Jewish Deli Chinese Cookie. So here he is sitting on the floor staring into the oven watching his giant almond cookie bake. Recipe after the jump:
CHINESE ALMOND COOKIES
From Simply Recipes
1 1/3 cups of almond flour, lightly packed
1 cup of unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
Pinch of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of almond extract
1 3/4 cups of flour
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
Thinly sliced almonds
Place the almond flour, salt, and butter into an electric beater with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for three minutes. The mixture will become course and chunky looking.
Add one of the eggs, reserving the other for later, and the almond extract. Mix on low speed until just incorporated.
Sift together the flour, sugar, and baking soda then add to the butter mixture at low speed. Mix until just combined.
Take the dough and flatten it into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator for two hours to chill.
Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the other egg into a bowl and beat it.
Take pieces of dough and roll them into balls about a half-inch wide. Place them on the sheet about and inch apart and then press them down slightly with your palm to make a coin shape.
Place a slivered almond onto each cookie and lightly press it into place, then paint the surface of the cookie with some of the beaten egg using a pastry brush or your finger (this will give the cookie a lacquered appearance once it bakes).
Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the edges just being to tan. Cool on the sheet on a wire rack.
Makes 5 dozen.