Friday, January 15, 2010

Almond Cookies Macau-Style

Months before the Chinese New Year, the asian stores here and supermarkets in Malaysia, will display all sorts of goodies and Almond Cookies will be one of the most popular.  I remember, these cookies come in a funky pink color round tin and has a handle like a bucket.  These cookies will crumble and melt at the slightest bite.  I am trying to make cookies like these, i have the texture but do not get the taste right.  I think i have figured out why.  Why?  Cos i used Almond meal, i must try again with Chinese Almond powder.  Chinese Almond powder has a very strong aroma which you will either like it or hate it.  Anyway, if you do not like the strong aroma of Chinese Almond, please do try this recipe.  While you are making these cookies, put on some beach music, as the dough is exactly like the sand on the beach and you will feel like as though you are there and having fun, playing with the sand.


Makes 42 cookies

1 cup mung/green bean flour
1/2 cup almond meal (alternatively 1/4 cup almond meal and 1/4 cup almond nibs - very fine nibs)
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
5 - 6 tbsp lard/shortening
1 tbsp water
A drop of Almond essence


Preheat oven to 300f.

Mix mung/green bean flour and almond meal and microwave on high for 3 - 5 minutes, one minute at a time and stirring after every minute.  This is to dry out the flour and roast it for fragrance.
In a food processor, put in the mung/green bean flour and almond meal mixture, the confectioners' sugar and baking powder.  Give it a couple of pulses to mix.

Add in the lard/shortening and pulse, to cut in the lard/shortening into the flour.

Add almond essence to 1 tbsp of water, then add into flour mixture, and pulse to combine.  The texture of dough will be like 'the sand on the beach'.  Give a little a squeeze and it can comes together, then the dough is right.

Spoon the mixture into the mould and press gently until the mixture is just compacted in the mould  Level the edges with an icing spatula or a knife and knock gently out from the mould and place on a lined baking sheet. If the mixture breaks apart when it is knocked out from the mould, then press it in a little harder the next time.

4. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes with oven door slightly ajar. When dried, remove gently from the tray and place on wire rack to cool


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