It is time to Fill the Cookie Jar with New Year’s Cookies. Be sure to scroll past the recipe to see the recipes from the other FTCJ Bloggers.
Since our posting date for this month’s challenge is a week after the start of 2016, I decided to pick a cookie for Chinese New Year (February 8 this year). Nope, not Fortune Cookie or the Feng Li Su (Pineapple Cakes) which I adore and could use some updated photos.
Instead I chose these crispy crunchy Chinese Almond Cookies.
Have you ever had these in a Chinese restaurant? I have been in love with them since my childhood when I use to get some at the grocery store in “a little pink box tied with string”. Crunchy and almond-y and highly addicting.
Years ago I was given a signed copy of Martin Yan’s Feast (affiliate link!).
As I lovingly perused this book when I received it, carefully marking pages of recipes to try I was beyond thrilled to find the recipe for my favorite cookies on the very last page! I could make them myself. And then I forgot about it for 15 years. Ooops! Seriously, I have made more than a few other recipes from this book (the Char-siu, Chinese Barbecued Pork, is one of my favorites), but somehow I never got around to these.
Now these are not exactly like the ones you find in the store or a restaurant. He uses butter and shortening instead of lard. And he also adds brown sugar. I borrowed the egg yolk wash from another recipe I discovered when I was looking for the name of these.
If you want them to look more “copycat” like, swap the brown sugar for more granulated sugar and maybe add a drop or two of yellow and red food coloring to make them a bit more pale orange.
If you cannot find blanched almonds in the store, fear not, it is so easy to do at home. Put the raw almonds (not salted, or flavored) in a bowl and cover with bowling water just until the skin begins to pucker, about 30-45 seconds.
Don’t let it go any longer or the almonds will lose their crispness!
Quickly drain them and cover in ice water. Drain again and the skin should slide right off.
Until next time, happy eating.