The Ultimate Chinese Almond Cookie
|Lard||1 Cup (16 tbs), divided (Top Qualify)|
|Almond paste||7 Ounce, cut in 6 to 8 piece|
|Sugar||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Almond extract||1 1⁄2 Tablespoon|
|Baking soda||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Yellow food coloring||10 Drop|
|Chopped toasted blanched almonds||1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)|
|Sifted whole wheat flour||3 1⁄2 Cup (56 tbs), spooned lightly into cup|
|Sifted whole wheat flour||3 1⁄2 Cup (56 tbs) (Spooned Lightly Into Cup)|
In a large bowl, beat lard and almond paste until soft and creamy with an electric mixer.
Add sugar; continue beating until smooth.
Add 2 eggs, beating well after each addition.
Beat in almond extract, baking soda and food coloring, if desired.
Add chopped almonds.
Sprinkle in 1 cup of flour.
Mix at lowest speed until flour begins to disappear.
Add remaining flour by cupful.
When ingredients are blended, cover dough and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 250F (120C).
Line baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper.
Divide dough in 16 to 18 (1/4-cup) pieces.
Roll each piece in a ball.
Place balls on prepared baking sheets, allowing at least 1 inch between each ball for expansion.
Oil bottom of a 1-cup dry measure or flat-bottom glass; press on a plate of additonal sugar.
Using bottom of sugared cup as a cookie press, flatten each ball to a 3-inch circle.
To prevent sticking, coat bottom of cup with sugar each time before pressing.
In a small bowl, beat remaining egg.
Brush surface of each cookie with beaten egg.
Press a whole almond into center of each cookie.
Bake in preheated oven 45 minutes or until crispy and dry.
If cookies brown too quickly, reduce heat to 225F (105C).
Cookies can baked in oven with heat reduced to 200F (95C) 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until crispy and dry.
Remove cookies from baking sheets; cool completely.
Cookies become slightly crisper when cool.
Store up to 4 weeks in an airtight container.
Flavor improves with age.