August Baking Partners Challenge is "World Cookies"
We had our choice of making one or more of the following cookies - Speculoos from Dutch, Kourabeithes from Greece, Biscotti from Italy and Chinese Almond Cookies from China.
I make Biscotti often so I thought best that I stay away from something I am already familiar with my choice was to go with one of my favorite cookies and that was the Chinese Almond Cookies. The only time I have them is when I go out for Chinese food.
I must say I didn't expect them to be so easy to make although I do need to work on getting the dough more round, mine came out oblong. I don't usually have a problem with high altitude with cookies but with this recipe I did. There was not enough moisture since this is a learning experience I went with adding a little more Amaretto. It did add the moisture however my cookies did not puff up they are more like a biscuit. I have no problem with that they are great dipping in my hot tea and coffee and the flavor is delicious.
I want to thank Suja of Kitchen Corner Try It for suggesting Chinese Almond Cookies and finding the recipe from The Secrets of Baking-Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts by Sherry Yard
Chinese Almond Cookies
Yield 3 dozen
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
6 ounce (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup for rolling
1/2 cup almond paste
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Amaretto or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white lightly beaten
1/2 cup almonds (I chose almond slivers I had them on hand)
Sift together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside. Using a standing mixer or a hand mixer cream the butter until it is a pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup sugar, almond paste, orange zest, salt and Amaretto. Cream together on medium speed until it is smooth and lump free for about one minute. Add egg and beat at low speed for 30 seconds or until fully incorporated. Add flour a little at a time until all flour is incorporated and forms a ball. Remove small handfuls of dough from the mixer and plop them down the middle of a sheet of parchment paper, creating a log about 2 inches wide and twelve inches long. Fold the parchment over creating a sausage. Chill for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and adjust the rack to the lower third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. When the dough has chilled remove it from the parchment, pour the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar onto your work surface and roll the log in the sugar. Using a sharp knife cut 1/3 inch rounds off the log. Place the cookies two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Brush each cookie lightly with the beaten egg white and press almond into the center of each cookie. Bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully slide the parchment directly on your work surface and allow to cool to room temperature.
In the next day or so I will be posting a link to this blog post where you will be able to view the other cookie recipes that other members of Baking Partners blogs. If you would like to become a member of the Baking Partners please click on this Link to our Facebook Page
Until Next Time,