Chinese Almond Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup softened unsalted butter
1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
½ cup sliced almonds for decoration
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
1. Sift flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside
2. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth.
3. Add the egg and almond extract, and mix until combined.
4. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined
5. Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and form into a disk. Cover dough and refrigerate for about 20 minutes until firm.
6. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease several cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.
7. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on sheets about 1-inch apart. Flatten them with the palm of your hand.
8. Place a sliced almond in the center of each ball of dough. Brush a little of the egg wash over the top of each cookie. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating cookie sheets halfway through; the cookies will start to turn golden at the edges when done. Cool sheets on wire racks for a few minutes before transferring cookies to wire racks to finish cooling.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Recipe excerpted with permission from The Field Guide to Cookies: How to Identify and Bake Virtually Every Cookie Imaginable (Quirk Books, 2008) by Anita Chu.