Chinese Lunar New Year almond cookies recipe


Here is a recipe for THE almond cookie – widely baked and eaten around Lunar or Chinese New Year. This wonderful recipe has been kindly donated to us by an old colleague, Rachel Fang. Over to Rachel for this traditional recipe. JC x


Lunar New Year Almond Cookies
Makes 50-60


Apparently the history of the cookie is unclear, however appears to have originated after the first wave of Chinese migrants to the US in the mid 1800s. Some say it was adapted from the walnut cookie which was thought to bring good luck.These days, you’ll find heaps of variations made with different types of ground nuts. Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews. And mostly, well, in S.E.A, they make an appearance especially around Lunar New Year. To make a nice little batch of about 50-60 cookies depending on size – you can do these as balls or rolled out and cut with cutters.


200g Almond meal / Ground almonds (same ones you use for Macarons) 
300g Plain flour / All-purpose flour 
150g Castor sugar 
2 pinches of salt
1.5 tsp Baking powder
1.5 tsp Baking soda / Bicarbonate Soda 
200 ml oil (user any light tasting oil like corn or you can use peanut cause of the nut theme) 
1 egg yolk (for brushing the tops of cookies) 
1/4 cup Almond slivers (for decorating)


Sift the flour, castor, salt, baking powder and bicarb soda – this is to aerate it all and break up the lumps.


Stir in your almond meal to the flour mix – you can use a cake mixing stand machine with the mixer paddle attachment (so not your dough hook or your whisk, the other one).


With your machine on lowest speed, trickle in your oil to bind the dry ingredients.Once the ingredients are combined, you can either make little balls, or roll your dough out between sheets of parchment paper and use cookie cutters.


Place cookies on a tray (they can be fairly close to each other as they don’t spread and only “grow” a little), brush with egg yolk, decorate with almond slivers.


Bake in a 180° oven for 15-20 mins until tops are golden. There will be cracks in your cookie, fear not, it’s supposed to be like that. If you don’t see cracks, that usually indicates a dense cookie.


These should turn out with a bit of crunch on the out side and a crumbly inside, not dissimilar to shortbread. Happy Lunar New Year!


Notes:  Amount of oil and the weather. Depending on the weather and your humidity levels, you will have to use different amounts of oil. If you’re in high humidity areas, you’ll need less. If it’s really dry and hot, you may find you need more. What you want to achieve is a crumbly dough that has enough wetness for you to handle it and quickly make your shapes.

For a crunchier cookie. Dry fry or toast your almond meal before using. Make sure it’s cool before you mix it in with all the ingredients.


Do not over mix your dough. You don’t want to stretch the gluten in your flour cause your cookie will come out tough. Similar concept when you’re making short crust pastry for your pies.

Rachel is a fabulous cook/baker and also a huge  food lover, to see her food adventures and baking prowess, follow her @rachelfang on Instagram.