Chinese Almond Cookies
PREP AND COOK TIME: About 45 minutes
MAKES: About 4 dozen
About 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk
1/3 cup blanched whole almonds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1 cup butter and sugar until smooth. Add whole egg and almond extract and beat until well blended. Add flour and baking powder; stir to mix, then beat until well blended.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls, flatten each slightly, and place about 1 inch apart on buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.
In a small bowl, beat egg yolk with milk to blend. Brush cookies lightly with egg mixture; discard any remaining. Press an almond into the center of each cookie and sprinkle with about 1/8 teaspoon sesame seeds.
Bake cookies in a 325° regular or convection oven until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes; if baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.
Sunset magazine 2001