Almond Cookies-Bánh Hạnh Nhân

Vietnamese food

   

I forgot egg wash but they still looking good, right?  

Almond (hạnh nhân) cookies is popular in Vietnam.  When I looked it up in Vietnamese-I found some borrowers ( eva and taymayvn, etc.) use beautiful images from userealbutter.com without giving her any credit.  I am so sad because Jennifer Yu, the creator of the blog, works really hard and uses her talent in photography giving free lessons by detail powerful images to help who willing to learn.  I am nowhere near her skill but I learn, cook, bake and take my own pictures for all my posts in this site too.

I found different versions of Almond cookies:  Lard/butter; baking soda/baking powder; with/without almond flour.  I tried Pichet Ong’s which uses butter, baking soda and has the highest ratio of almond flour to all-purpose flour and Rose Cheng’s which uses baking powder and less almond flour. They are all good but my daughter likes Rose Cheng’s better.  Now roll your sleeves up, make and take your own pictures to share your new achievement if you want too.

This recipe adapted from Rose Cheng’s almond cookies, make 40-44 cookies (1 Tbs dough each)

1 cup (8 oz) butter, or lard, or shortening, cold from the fridge
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup ground almond (almond flour)
2½ cups all purpose flour, stir flour and spoon into measuring cups
1/2 tsp salt
1½ tsp baking powder
44 blanched almond halves or whole
1 egg white or yolk
1 Tbs water

  1. Sift flours, baking powder, salt and set aside.
  2. Cut butter into small cubes and place in a mixing bowl with sugar.  Beat with paddle (standing mixer) or beaters (hand held mixer) attacked on medium speed until smooth.  Add egg, ground almong and almond extract, beat until well blend. Turn speed down to low, add flour mixture and mix just until no trace of flour remain. It should be a soft but not sticky dough.  Cookie dough can be wrap tightly in 1-inch disc and store in the fridge overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 oF with 2 racks at middle and upper third position.  Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicon.
  4. Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball.  Place balls on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper or silicon pad) 2 inch apart.  Place an almond half/whole on each ball and press the ball down to make 2-inch round with your palm or fingers.  Mix an egg white or egg yolk with water in a small bowl and brush mixture over top of each cookie.  Egg yolk wash give cookies more yellow shine while egg white wash is clear shiny shine.  I like the look of egg white wash more.  
  5. Cookie can be  baked right away in preheated oven at 350 oF until lightly browned at the edge about 15 minutes.  Remove baking sheets from oven and put them on wire cooling racks.  Cool cookies in baking sheet/tray completely and store in air tight containers. If you bake two sheets at the same times, switch their positions halfway and may need to bake  a few more minutes longer.  If baking one pan at a time, put it on the center rack.  Unbaked cookies can be chilled in the fridge 30 minutes or 1 hours to prevent spreading while baking.  Remember to transfer cold unbaked cookies to another baking sheet before baking and bake until lightly brown at the edge about 20 minutes.

*Note:

  • If you can not find blanched almonds, buy whole almonds with skin.  Put them in a bowl, pour boiling water to cover all almond.  Let they sit for 1 minute; drain; rinse with cold water and drain again. Squeeze and slip the skin off, pat dry.  Then hold one almond on its size and use a knife to split it in half.  
  • I like to toast bland whole almonds 5 minutes at 350 oF and let them cool before place them on cookies.
  • The recipe yields 36-38 cookies with a small Farberware All-purpose scoop (1 heap Tbs)

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