It seems the holidays were not too long ago and I was baking up a storm. Cookies, cheesecake, chocolate mousse, I even made an ice cream cake. I didn't think it was possible, but I was kind of over desserts and baking by the time January rolled around. Well now it's been over a month since I've made anything and I'm ready to get my cookie back on!
With Chinese New Year coming up, I've been thinking about what to bring to my family celebrations later this month and these almond cookies are definitely on the list!
First off, these are not your typical Chinese almond cookies. Traditional Chinese almond cookies are crisp and buttery with a crumbly texture. They're delicious and I love them, but I decided to play around a bit with the ingredients and come up with a soft and chewy version. Soft and chewy cookies are my weakness. When it's cold and snowy outside and you have nothing to do but watch movies in bed, these make the perfect snack with a cup of hot cocoa. Also since they're soft and chewy, there's minimal crumbs while you stuff your face. Crisp cookies = crumb city, fact of life right there.
The recipe is pretty simple, with all your typical cookie ingredients and of course almonds. Using toasted almonds is important because it really helps boost the almond flavor. The cookies will still be good even if you don't toast your almonds, but taking that extra step really makes a difference. To toast the almonds, spread them out onto a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes, stirring the nuts occasionally until they're slightly darker brown in color and you can smell a nutty aroma coming from the oven.
These cookies are a huge hit whenever I make them for parties and I always end making multiple batches. Whenever my aunt sees them, she immediately hides a bunch to eat later at home. In fact, I think she brings her own ziplock baggies to family gatherings just so she can hoard cookies for herself!
If you're feeling up to it, you can even dip the cookies in some melted dark chocolate. Either way, they're delicious and you should give this recipe a try, I'd love to hear what you think! Enjoy!
Chewy Almond Cookies
Makes about 40 cookies
1-1/2 cups (190g) all purpose flour
1 cup (150g) almonds, toasted
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp (113g) unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup + 2 tbsp (138g) light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup (69g) white sugar
1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
1-1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, ground almonds, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt together and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, light brown and white sugars together until well combined and the mixture is smooth. Add in the egg, egg yolk, almond extract, and vanilla extract and mix well. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Scoop 2 teaspoon portions of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 8-12 minutes, until the edges start browning slightly. Remove and allow to cool.