It's January, time for many to start anew with resolutions and good intentions. This month is a special month for the Chinese as January 31 is Chinese New Year's.
The Chinese celebrate this time with lots of foods each symbolic of something auspicious. Oranges and tangerines are said to bring wealth and good luck. Noodles are long and reminds everyone to hope for a long life. I always make gau which is a sticky mochi. Gau is said to keep (stick) the family together.
The Chinese almond cookie is not on the top ten list of Chinese New Year foods. However, I read somewhere that the cookie symbolizes coins, which will assure good fortune in the year. Here in Hawaii, Chinese Almond Cookies are a welcome treat anytime. This recipe below comes from a friend who shared it with me some 30 years ago. The cookie is very light and is not too sweet. Perfect with hot tea or coffee!
Chinese Almond Cookies
2 blocks butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp almond extract
4 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
Whisk dry ingredients together. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Drizzle oil into butter mixture and mix well. Add almond extract. Add dry ingredients and mix. (I use my trusty Kitchen Aide. So easy and fast.)
Scoop (I use a 1 3/8 inch scoop) cookie dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Press slight with the heel of your hand. Add one dot of red coloring for good luck. Bake at 350 degrees for about 17 minutes.
I place cookie sheet on middle shelf of the oven for 10 minutes then on the top shelf for 7 minutes.