updated post on 28-12-2016
I just recently realized that this recipe is exactly the same as the “White Almond Cookies 白色杏仁饼“ which is very common in Chinese Facebook Group. Therefore, I have decided to shape the biscuits into normal Chinese New Year Cookies shape.
This cookies is supposed to be sandy and melt in the mouth if not over baked. If you preferred, you can add roasted almond bits to the dough. However, I prefer it to have a sandier texture without the need to bite the cookies .
After 2 weeks of preparation, I am still enjoying this cookie very much, the Chinese style of almond cookies.
What I wanted to blog is the cookie that was commonly sold in Macau as hand gifts, a slight yellowish cookies that melt in the mouth. I searched in the Chinese websites for such recipes and I finally chose one to try out.
I followed the recipe rather closely but what I get is rather different from the commercial sold cookies. Homemade version is full of almond aroma but the commercial version has different aroma that I do not know how to describe precisely. i have analysed the probable reasons and I think one of the reasons could possibly due to usage of almond flavouring in the commercial version. I believed that most readers will know that almond flavouring does not smell like real toasted almond.. Don’t ask me why, that unique almond artificial flavour is not my cup of tea.. I usually rejected foods that have such flavouring such as commercially sold almond jelly , almond sweets etc.. To me, I will definitely not prefer to have that flavour in my cookies.
The second probable reason is the usage of apricot kernel (南杏北杏）instead of 100% using pure almond (杏仁）. Apricot kernel has a very unique flavour and that flavour is very similar to the commercially sold biscuits. I am not saying that manufacturer is cheating customer of using such kernel . This is because it could have been traditionally these apricot kernel were used instead of pure almonds. Though the taste is different, I like it much better than the commercial Chinese almond biscuits. Therefore, I have decided to share this recipe with readers.
For this recipe, a mould is required. Of course manufacturer has the unique mould. I have some wooden moulds imported from China but I really dislike the imprints. It is crafted very shallow and the design is too simple. Therefore, I have decided to use the moon cake mould which I like it and had been appearing in a number of my moon cake and cookies recipes.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: About 25 almond cookies depend on size of mould
50 grams of whole almond or almond flour or grounded almond
100 grams of mung bean flour (绿豆粉）or potatoes starch (土豆淀粉）
80 grams of icing sugar
60 grams of vegetable shortening or lard
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
10 ml or grams of water
Biscuit mould of your choice
STEPS OF PREPARATION
Pre-heat the oven to 150 degree Celsius
Toast the almond at 150 degree Celsius for about 10-15 minutes until fragrant.
Put the almond in a food processor, blend until as fine as you can. Alternatively, you can use a mortal and pastel to grind the almond. Add the flour, icing sugar and gradually add the vegetable shortening or lard. Pause blend until it forms a pliable dough.
If you are using a moon cake mould, transfer some of the dough to a flat surface. Use a rolling pin to lightly roll it flat with a thickness of about 0.5-0.8 cm. Put the moon cake mould on top of the cookies. Press hard to ensure there are imprint. Dislodge the cookie carefully and transfer to a baking tray. The cookies need to be pressed as hard as possible. Otherwise, it will be very fragile during handling.
If you are using a wooden mould, put some dough into the wooden mould, press hard and use something sharp to scrap off the excess. Knock the wooden mould against the table top to dislodge the cookies.
With the door of the oven open, bake the cookies for 30 minutes or until the cookies have dries up.
Again, I am very happy with this cookie even though it does not taste exactly like the commercial version. Possibly if you add almond extract, the taste will be similar.
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