Happy Chinese New Year: Orange almond cookies

February 19, 2011 § 1 Comment

So, as you can tell, I’m behind on my blogging.  Not really sure what happened, but it’s time to catch up!  Chinese New Year dinner with friends called for a cookie, so to the Internets we went.  I found a really great recipe for Almond Cookies that sounded pretty traditional here.  The recipe sounded easy and is a great example of things you can do with stuff you probably already have in your cabinet.

I actually am not the biggest almond extract fan–something about it is too sweet for me, so I put my own spin on this one and substituted orange extract where she used almond.

1 cup + 3 tablespoons shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons orange extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

You’ll also need some almonds.  Start out by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and lining your cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Toast your almonds in a single layer for about 8 minutes to bring out their flavor.

Mix your shortening and sugar in the mixer until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, and orange extract.  (I actually wish that I had some oranges, because a little zest would have been great).

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, and then gradually add this to your wet ingredients.  I did this about 1/2 cup at a time.  The mixture will start pulling together, but this will be a very dense dough and a little drier than most cookies, typical for shortbread recipes.

Now for the fun part–forming the cookies.  I took a little liberty with this, and formed mine like you would a hamburger patty, flattening around the edges and kind of smoothing down the top and bottom after you form the ball.  Place an almond on the top of each one.  Isn’t this the most perfect cookie you’ve ever seen?  So pretty.

Bake for 15-18 minutes like the original recipe advises and then let them cool on a cooling rack.  These are really great right out of the oven!

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