Last weekend our family celebrated the Lunar New Year with a Chinese feast. My contribution to most family gatherings is a homemade dessert, and this year I made a batch of almond cookies, adapted from a recipe in The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook.
My family loved these cookies. They’re nutty, light, and not too sweet. So much better than the stale, mass-produced almond cookies you sometimes get at Chinese restaurants — and if you use a vegan butter like Earth Balance, they’re totally dairy-free. No eggs, no milk, no animal products whatsoever.
Tip: Rather than buying ground almonds, start with whole raw almonds and grind them in a mini food processor. They’ll taste fresher.
VEGAN ALMOND COOKIES RECIPE
Adapted from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
1 cup vegan butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup finely ground almonds
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
powdered sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
In a large bowl, cream the vegan butter and the sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, the almond extract, and the ground almonds; mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Slowly mix in the flour.
Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving a few inches between for expansion. Gently flatten the balls with your palm. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned.
Cool the cookies on the sheet for 1 minute, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. When cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.