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

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

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


Cheers, Annie

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

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51 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Pat says:

    I made almond, gingerbread, sugar, oatmeal chocolate chip, and snicker doodles cookies. Your receipe is a little bit different from mine but I will try this receipe. Thanks for the receipe.

  2. Ka'ipolani says:

    Can we use butter flavored Crisco? Will the taste of the cookie change?

  3. Karen Meredith says:

    Can’t wait to try these out. I had a great recipe at one time and I think it called for 3 tsp of almond extract. I remember them saying you needed a lot to make the cookie taste good. But I am anxious to try your recipe out. Born and raised in Hawaii, now in Texas and when I get to the Chinese market I usually buy a box but they are not the same as homemade.
    Have a question about pressing down with the chopstick. Is that going to press the cookie down enough so that it flattens out more? I usually use the bottom of a glass. Mahalo!

    • Nate says:


      thanks for your comment and question!

      You don’t need to flatten cookie dough balls before baking. They will spread out during the baking process.

      Aloha, Nate

  4. Linda says:

    Thank you so much for taking me back to my childhood in Honolulu. Our family had lost the recipe and I just made these and that are just what I remember, red dot in the center and all.

  5. Judy Schmidt says:

    I made these and they just crumble in your hand. What went wrong.

  6. Lilikoi Chandni says:

    What can I substitute Crisco or shortening with since I can’t find or buy them in Europe?

    • Nate says:


      (love the name, btw)

      thanks for your question. Where are you living Europe? In England, shortening is called “white vegetable fat”.

  7. tina says:

    I made this tonight it was awesome! !!!!!

  8. JozieLee says:

    These cookies are the BOMB! I’ve never tasted a better almond cookie outside of Hawaii. My aunty used to make them for Christmas. So for my family, this year I made them. Thank you for the recipe, Annie. My family flipped. My daughter said these must be my signature cookie for the holidays. BTW, I kept half the dough in my fridge to make a few days later and they are just as yummy and tender.

  9. Paula Hazard says:

    Just wanted to thank you for posting this wonderful recipe. I found it a few years ago when looking for an Almond Cookie recipe for Chinese New Year. I’ve made them every year since…everyone loves them. My granddaughter has requested them for her birthday, too! Thanks!

  10. Prema Hoffman says:

    Lovely and easy recipe . Took me back to my childhood of eating this bcookie with a cup of coffee at the kopi Tiamat, local Chinese coffee shop . I rolled it in sugar before baking for my American husband’s palate .
    Thank you for sharing the recipe, House of Annie.

  11. Deb says:

    Crisco comes butter flavor too!

  12. Amanda says:

    I tried Chinese almond cookies at a cookie competition one Christmas, and they were the winning cookies. I didn’t get the recipe then, but I found yours and made these cookies last year around Thanksgiving. My husband was so annoyed I was making almond flavor cookies (“I hate almond flavor!!”) and then he tried one because he can’t resist trying cookies, and what do you know, he LOVED them. I made them again this year and these are his new favorite cookies. We love the crispy, crumbly texture and the not-tooooo-sweetness of them. Great cookies, thanks for sharing the recipe!

  13. linda rodrigues says:

    in your comments you said you used a mixer…is that correct…dump all in mixer and mix till you form a dough? Thank you.

  14. Raquel Wall says:

    Made these for my hubby’s ohana. Used1 1/2 c almond flour and these rest was regular flour. Butter favor Crisco and used almond paste and topped with an almond.
    Came out with the texture a bit different yet keep telling myself it’s more nutritious LOL
    Will be making this again. Next time with more almond paste. Mahalo for the new favorite recipe!

  15. Becky Turner says:

    Just baked these up for a special dinner to celebrate the new year of the ox.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to store them for a couple of days?
    Can they be frozen?

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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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