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Chinese almond cookies are believed to bring good luck in the New Year. These little cookies are crunchy, fragrant, buttery, and exploding with almond flavor.
Almond cookies symbolize coins, so they’re traditionally eaten during the Chinese Lunar New Year to bring good fortune. But they’re enjoyed year-round.
Why You Should Make These Chinese Almond Cookies
They’re rich in almond goodness and super buttery. Almonds are the star of this recipe, but butter plays a key role too. We’ve also used egg yolks instead of whole eggs for a richer flavor and irresistible crunch.
This is the best Chinese almond cookie recipe ever because every ingredient is carefully measured to the gram. These cookies are not for winging it and it’s crucial to get every amount just right.
Making authentic Chinese almond cookies is fun and easy. You only need one bowl and a mixer. And you get to play with the dough and shape it with your hands which takes me back to my childhood play-dough times.
What Are Chinese Almond Cookies Made Of?
As you can see, there are a lot of almond ingredients in here, but each component is important to make the best Chinese almond cookies ever.
- ½ cup softened unsalted butter (113 grams)
- ¾ cups granulated sugar (150 grams)
- 2 tsp. almond extract (43 grams)
- 2 egg yolks, room temperature (+ 1 egg yolk for brushing the cookies)
- 1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour (160 grams)
- ¼ cup almond flour (32 grams)
- 3 Tbsp. corn starch (43 grams)
- 1 tsp. baking powder (5 grams)
- 1 tsp. baking soda (5 grams)
- 8 almonds, sliced in half
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
How To Make Chinese Almond Cookies
Step 1: Beat wet ingredients
Set up your stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add soft butter and sugar to the bowl and mix on medium until creamy and fluffy. Scrape the sides as needed.
Step 2: Blend in Egg Yolks, Almond Extract & Salt for a Silky Yellow Texture
Once the butter and sugar are creamy and fluffy, add 2 room-temperature egg yolks, almond extract, and salt, and beat until smooth and a luscious even yellow color.
Step 3: Incorporate Dry Ingredients for a Uniform Dough
Now, sift the flour, cornstarch, and almond flour into the mixer’s bowl. Add the measured baking powder and baking soda. Mix on low speed until combined. Remove the paddle attachment and scrape it clean to get all the batter (don’t leave any batter behind).
Step 4: Form the Dough into a Ball
Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and then knead the dough with your hands to form a ball (but don’t knead it for too long).
Step 5: Shape and Wrap the Cookie Dough in Plastic Wrap
Roll out a sheet of plastic wrap and place the cookie dough on it. Shape it into a nice even rectangle with your hands and cover it in plastic wrap.
This will prevent the dough from forming a hard layer on the surface.
Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Step 6: Slice Chilled Cookie Dough into 16 Equal Squares
While your dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 375°F/190C. Remove the cookie dough from the fridge, take off the plastic wrap, and cut the dough into 16 equal squares.
Step 7: Roll Squares into Balls and Space Them on a Parchment-Lined Tray
Using the palms of your hands, form each square into a ball. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper 1.5-2 inches apart from each other.
I had to use 2 baking trays. You can also chill the remaining balls covered in the fridge and then bake them whenever you want fresh Chinese almond cookies. The dough lasts up to 5 days.
Step 8: Flatten the Balls and Brush with Egg Yolk Mixture for a Glossy Finish
Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand. Brush them with an egg yolk whisked with a splash of water. This creates a beautiful glistening surface.
Step 9: Adorn with Almond and Bake Until Golden Brown
Press 1 almond half into the center of each cookie. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Each oven is different.
Step 10: Allow Cookies to Cool on Tray, then Transfer to Wire Rack
Let the cookies cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 11: Enjoy your Crunchy Chinese Almond Cookies!
They’re perfect with a cup of tea or coffee!
Notes & Tips
- Make sure you’re using almond flour and not almond meal. Almond meal isn’t as finely ground and won’t work for these cookies.
- Don’t skip the almond extract. This is the magic ingredient that gives Chinese almond cookies that gorgeous almond fragrance.
- Weigh your ingredients on a digital scale for the best result. Baking is like chemistry, everything has to be measured to the milligram for a flawless result.
- Use unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt. This ensures your cookies will have just the right amount of salt to bring out the rest of the flavors.
- For a shortcut, chill the cookie dough in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- For a dairy-free version, make this Chinese almond cookie recipe using shortening or vegan butter. The taste won’t be the same, but the almond extract will still shine through.
- You can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Simply let it thaw in the fridge until pliable and you can bake these cookies in a jiff.
- Store cooled cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (that’s if they’ll last that long).
- You can also freeze baked almond cookies in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Let them thaw at room temperature before devouring them.
- I haven’t tried making these Chinese almond cookies vegan, but I’m guessing using almond butter or almond paste instead of egg yolks could work. If you try it, leave a comment to let me know how they turn out!
- Now, let’s make these delectable Chinese almond cookies!
- ½ cup softened unsalted butter 113 grams
- ¾ cups granulated sugar 150 grams
- 2 tsp. almond extract 43 grams
- 2 egg yolks room temperature (+ 1 egg yolk for brushing the cookies)
- 1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour 160 grams
- ¼ cup almond flour 32 grams
- 3 Tbsp. corn starch 43 grams
- 1 tsp. each baking powder and baking soda 5 grams each
- 8 almonds sliced in half
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- Mix the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until creamy and fluffy. Add egg yolks, almond extract, salt, & beat until smooth.
- Sift the flour, cornstarch, and almond flour into the mixer’s bowl. Add the measured baking powder and baking soda. Mix on low speed until combined.
- Remove the paddle attachment and scrape it clean to get all the batter.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and gently knead the dough to form a ball.
- Shape the dough into a nice even rectangle and wrap it in plastic wrap.
- Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375°F/190C.
- Take cookie dough out and remove the plastic wrap. Cut into 16 equal squares.
- Using the palms of your hands, form each square into a ball. Place on a baking tray/s lined with parchment paper 1.5-2 inches apart from each other.
- Flatten each ball with your hand. Brush them with egg yolk wash.
- Press 1 almond into the center of each cookie. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes.
- Let cool for 5 minutes, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!