Almond Cookies Recipe

The almond has an interesting history in China. The sweet almond was already in cultivation in the late Tang dynasty (AD 618-906), having been brought to China from Russian Turkestan and Central Asia.

Almond Cookies Recipe
Almond Cookies Recipe

The bitter almond is a local nut, which is actually the kernel of the native apricot. It is used extensively in Chinese herbal medicine for respiratory dysfunctions and is also added in carefully prescribed quantity (because of its slightly toxic properties in its raw state and its strong bitter taste) to "superior" soups such as double-boiled quail and ginseng soup.

In desserts, it is often ground and combined with milk. The technique of baking, as in the following recipe, is borrowed from the Wes


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Sesame seeds
  • 24 blanched almonds (halves)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cream the sugars with the margarine. Add the egg and almond extract and beat until fluffy.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder together and fold into the mixture a little at a time. Beat lightly to make a smooth dough. Do not knead the mixture too much, or the cookies will be hard.
  3. Shape the dough into balls the size of a walnut. Dip the tops of the cookies into the sesame seeds. (You may need to slightly dampen the top of each with a little water.) Lightly press half an almond into the center and flatten a little.
  4. Place the cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Store in airtight containers.