For Lunar New Year this year, I decided to try my hand at making some childhood favorite recipes– in this case, almond cookies. Honestly, store-bought almond cookies were never my favorite– I remember them mostly being vaguely sandy and shortbread-y and only slightly almond flavored– but nostalgia compelled me to try making my own. And I’m so glad I did!
These almond cookies are crisp and buttery, melting away in your mouth and leaving behind a distinctive almond flavor (okay, that’s almond extract). I think I might try an egg-yolk-only wash on top next time for an extra-golden color, but aside from that they’re perfect. Also in their favor is the fact that you don’t need to soften your butter ahead of time, though chilling the dough is still necessary. And the shaping and decorating process is something the whole family can get involved in!
Crispy Almond Cookies (from Simply Recipes)
(makes about 4 dozen small cookies)
- 1 1/3 cups almond flour, lightly packed
- 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- Generous pinch kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, divided
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Thinly sliced almonds, for decoration
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine almond flour, butter, and salt and beat until combined. I will note that my mixture got soft and sticky, while the original recipe author described it as “crumbly,” which was definitely not the case for me. Seems to work either way, so don’t worry!
- Add one egg and almond extract to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking soda, then add to butter mixture and beat on low speed until it just comes together into a soft dough.
- Portion dough into 1″ balls and roll them until uniform. Chill balls in the refrigerator for about an hour, until firm but still indentable to the touch.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- When your oven is heated, line baking sheets with parchment paper and arrange your dough balls about 3-4″ apart. Gently flatten to about 1/2″ thickness. They will spread further once baked, so leave room on the sheet!
- Press a sliced almond (or more than one) into the top of each cookie. Beat the remaining egg and brush the egg wash over the top of each cookie.
- Bake cookies for about 16-18 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through if you’re baking more than one at a time, until they’re a nice golden-brown on top. If you’re unsure if they’re done, check the bottoms, which should also be golden brown rather than pale in color.
- Let cool on the sheets for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.