Chinese Almond Cookie Recipe

These Chinese almond cookies are way better than any restaurant cookie. Flaky-crumbly, yummy, and impossible to resist.

Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese Almond Cookies - copyright House of Annie

Updated 20 Dec 2009
Originally posted 14 March 2007

The first time I ever had these almond cookies was when I received them as a favor for my bridal shower. They were so delicious I literally inhaled those cookies! Aunty Charlene (sister to Aunty Marlene, who gave me that wonderful banana muffin recipe) told me that she got the recipe from her dad a long time ago. Thankfully, she was willing to share her recipe with me and since that time, I’ve made it for countless occasions. I even use them as favors at my kids’ birthday parties now (talk about coming full circle!).

Catching Up

It was through one of these birthday parties that our good friend J and her kids got to try my almond cookies. She has been asking me for the recipe for a long while and I kept meaning to put it up but somehow just never got around to it. The good news is we actually got to bake these almond cookies with J’s kids before we left San Jose. So even though that was a few months’ back and I still had not posted the recipe, at least she got a hard copy of it. (Sorry J for taking so long!)

This almond cookie recipe is very kid-friendly! You basically dump all the ingredients into your mixer, mix till you get a dough, roll them into balls and press down the center with some food coloring. Bake, and tadah! Beautiful cookies.

Beautiful, Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese almond cookies

What I love about this almond cookie is how flaky and yummy they are. The other almond cookie recipe we posted recently is also wonderful but they are chewy and quite sweet. This one is a Chinese Almond Cookie so if you have Asian tastebuds like me and like to have your sweets, well…less sweet, this is the cookie for you. Also, if you’re Chinese (read: pake) like me, this one is the cheaper cookie to bake up. Tee hee! ^_^

And here is the most amazing thing—even though this is an Almond cookie, you don’t actually need to put any almonds in it at all. If you use imitation almond essence (I can’t believe I’m saying this), for all the nut-allergy people in your midst, this could be totally friendly for them. I have a friend who is deathly allergic to nuts and I’ve served him this cookie with no problems (when I use that “fake” almond flavoring).

Of course, if you don’t have any allergy issues, I’d say go with the real almond extract and substitute some of the flour with almond meal. That would kick up the almond flavor big time.

Pure Almond Extract

Either ways, you can’t really go wrong. The cookie is super delicious and crumbly in texture. It reminds me of another Chinese cookie known as Hup Toh Soh (maybe it’s even the same one and this is just the name it’s known as here in Malaysia).

Try this Chinese almond cookie recipe and let me know if you can stop at just one. I’ve never been able to eat just one at a go. It’s that good.

Chinese Almond Cookie Recipe

makes about 5 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Crisco shortening (Crisco really is the best brand for this but if you cannot find it, just any shortening will do, and don’t substitute with butter or you will not get the texture right)
1 cup vegetable oil (I use canola but any vegetable oil will do)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
2. Sift flour, salt and baking soda (sometimes I get lazy and don’t do this step but it does help the cookie bake up better).
3. Combine all the ingredients and mix till it forms a dough.
4. Roll the dough into balls about the size of large marbles
5. Place them on cookie sheets about one and a half inches apart.
6. Indent the center of the cookie using the back of a chopstick that has been dipped into red food coloring. Press down about halfway through the thickness of the cookie. Alternately, you can put a half slice of almond in the center in place of the red food coloring.

Chinese Almond Cookies Ready to Bake

Chinese Almond Cookies ready to bake

7. Bake 10-15 minutes till the cookies are just lightly golden brown around the edges.
8. Transfer to wire rack and cool.

Chinese Almond Cookies Ready to Eat

Chinese Almond Cookies 2

Enjoy!

Cheers, Annie

What cookies are you baking up this holiday season? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

33 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Rachel Cotterill says:

    >They sound gorgeous, I've saved the recipe and will have a go in the new year :)

  2. Wendy says:

    >They look nice, very authentic!
    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  3. Bob says:

    >I love almond cookies, the ones I have seen always have the almond half in it.

  4. momgateway says:

    >Never had Chinese Almond Cookies before but they sure look so yummy… I'll try to make it when I get hold of Crisco.

  5. Janet @Gourmet Traveller 88 says:

    >Your Chinese Almond Cookies looks gorgeous, I have not baked Chinese Cookies myself. Gotta try one day too! Happy C'mas and New Year!

  6. Stephanie says:

    >They look awesome, but I am kind of concerned about the Crisco, as it is partially hydrogenated. Is there any other natural fat you can use in it aside from butter? Maybe coconut oil?

  7. Annie says:

    >stephanie–yeah, I understand the concern but that's the only way to get that really flaky, crumbly texture. I don't know but maybe palm oil might work too…but then there are concerns with that as well. I think coconut oil is too strongly flavored to work. Oh…lard is probably a good substitute if you don't mind the saturated fat!

  8. Carolyn Jung says:

    >Ahh, the chopstick trick! I was wondering how you got that red stamp in the center. Very clever.

  9. Ong says:

    >Thanks for the recipe will try to bake since Chinese New Year is round the corner. However, if would like to add some ground almond how much do you think I should put so that I still can enjoy the Flaky-crumbly texture.

  10. Dreamz says:

    >It feels so Chinese New Year :)

  11. Annie says:

    >Ong–I think if you are planning to incorporate almond meal, try replacing 1/3 of the flour with it. Let me know if that works for you.

  12. Nate @ House of Annie says:

    >@all – thanks for your comments!

    @Rachel – great! Let us know how they turn out for you!

    @Wendy – Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    @Bob – with or without almonds, I love these cookies.

    @momgateway – hope you get to try them soon!

    @Janet – Merry Christmas! Please do try making them.

    @Carolyn – is there any other way? ;-)

    @Dreamz – we'll have more baked goodies for CNY. Stay tuned!

  13. Jodes says:

    Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig mahalos to you for sharing this recipe!! I was craving chinese almond cookies yesterday so I googled a recipe & found your wonderful site! As I type, I’m waiting for my 3rd batch of cookies to finish baking…and yes I had several already & I must say its THE best chinese almond cookie I’ve had by far!!! I cant even explain how wonderful it is….anyway I just had to rush here & thank you for sharing the recipe! I’m adding this to my #1 favs…have a super day!

  14. Jodes says:

    Oh P.S. Mahalo plenny to your Aunty Charlene too! Yes these cookies are THAT good! & no I didn’t (well couldnt) stop at just 1 hehe :-D

  15. Farah says:

    These are delicious! I just made a batch and have already eaten five cookies. I put an egg wash on them.

    Highly recommend making these. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  16. divine says:

    hi!
    can i substitute almond nuts instead of almond extract?

  17. teru says:

    For almond extract,

    can use the almond powder?

    thanks

  18. Lynne says:

    This is a WONDERFUL cookie. It is tender, and the taste is slightly salty with a rich almond flavor. Very easy to make. Recommend doubling the recipe and freezing some to have ready when you need to bring a dessert.

  19. Thank you for this recipe, Annie! I made these for Chinese New Year, and they were also a hit with my coworkers. I’ve linked back to your blog here:

    http://evabakes.blogspot.com/2012/01/chinese-almond-cookies-happy-chinese.html

  20. val says:

    Hi..I’m gonna try out your recipe for our New Years dinner…but I was wondering…I’m from Hawaii where the almond cookies are huge…and your recipe says to roll the dough in the size of marbles..LoL..so I guess they’ll turn out pretty small and bite sized? Do you think if I rolled them bigger it wont be as flaky like yours or will it change the texture of the cookie..we’re polynesians..we like everything big..LoL..

    • Nate says:

      Hi Val,

      Aloha mai, and welcome to our blog! Thanks for the question.

      These cookies are not the same as those stiff bambucha ones seen in many Chinese restaurants. Our recipe makes a pretty tender cookie, about 2 inches in diameter if you start with a dough ball the size of a Gobstopper candy. They’re not bite-sized, more like a four-biter.

      If that’s still too small for you, you can make them slightly bigger by varying the size of your dough balls. Watch your baking time if you make them bigger.

      Good luck, and let us know how they turn out!

      • Val says:

        OMG!!! these cookies were..how we say in Hawaii..”BROKE DA MOUTh” LOL..they were just as you said they would be..tender, flaky and highly addictive…way better than the ones i grew up eating from the manapua trucks..LOL..how do i shoot a picture over to you? thank you so much for this recipe..I’ve been living in Alaska for more than 10 years now, so this recipes means alot to me..LOL..having these cookies on a cold night with some tea or milk just takes me back to the islands…Thank You soooo much!! ALOHA!

  21. val says:

    MAHALO NUI LOA && ALOHA

  22. Oh my goodness, thank you for sharing this easy recipe with us! I am so excited to use this recipe and make almond cookies. My family and I love almond cookies, my boyfriend and I normally buy boxes of them from Phoenix Bakery in LA and bring them home for our family! They go for $5 of 24 cookies in them, so they are pretty cheap. I have not yet found almond cookies that taste the same as the ones that they make in LA. We live in the bay area, so I am craving for them! Since we are so far away from LA, I want to try making them myself! Hopefully I will be able to try this recipe out some time this week! Again, thank you so much for sharing, and I can’t wait to try it out!

  23. Chrissy says:

    These were awesome! We had a party for my daughter, on NYE, because she was going to China for a year to teach. Well, we decorated for the Chinest New year, so these cookies matched perfectly, thank you! (At least two people have asked me for the recipe, and a lot of people are addicted to them)

    I must say, the dough is sooo easy to work with, a real pleasure.

    • Nate says:

      Chrissy,

      thanks for the compliments! Glad you and your guests liked them.

      Where will your daughter be teaching? I’m sure she’ll have lots of great experiences there.

  24. Tammy says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I just made them for Chinese New Years and they turned out great! The dough was so fun for me and my two young daughters to work with! I put an egg wash on the top before baking too. I will be checking out more of your recipes for sure. Thanks again for sharing your recipes :)

  25. Toni says:

    I followed the recipe exactly. OMG! These cookies are incredibly good! And the texture. . . I grew up in Hawaii, so it brought back so many memories. Except that these are even better than the ones we used to get in the bakeries.
    Thank you for the recipe!

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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