Chinese Almond Cookies

A northern China variation of this cookie uses pine nuts instead of almonds.

1 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose floor
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
5 dozen whole blanched almonds
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat shortening with granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Add whole egg and almond extract; beat until well blended. In another bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking powder; add to creamed mixture, blending thoroughly. To shape each cookie, roll about 1 tablespoon dough into a ball. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets, then flatten each slightly to make a 2" round. Gently press an almond into center of each round. Place egg yolk and water in a small bowl; beat together lightly with a fork. Brush mixture over top of each cookie with a pastry brush. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to racks and let cool. Store airtight.

Servings: 60
Country of Origin: China

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