National Chinese Almond Cookie Day
I could not find blanched almonds, so I bought plain, whole almonds. Blanching them yourself is very easy – put a little bit of water in a microwave-safe cup, add your almonds and put the microwave on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove the almonds from the water and remove the skins.
Chinese Almond Cookies
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk
1/3 cup blanched whole almonds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add whole egg and almond extract and beat until well blended. Stir or beat in flour and baking powder until well blended. Cover bowl and chill until dough is firm, about 1 hour.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls, flatten each slightly, and place each about 1 inch apart on buttered or cooking parchment-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.
- In a small bowl, beat egg yolk with milk to blend. Brush cookies lightly with egg mixture; discard any remaining. Press an almond into the center of each cookie and sprinkle each with about 1/8 teaspoon sesame seeds.
- Bake cookies in a 325° oven until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.