Chinese Almond Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen cookies. Recipe is from Love’n Bake and American Almond Products Co.

1 cup almond paste

2?3 cup sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 egg

1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the topping:

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Whole blanched or natural almonds as needed

1. Mix almond paste and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle until uniform in texture and crumbly like sand, usually about 2 minutes.

2. Add the butter and salt, mixing on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Add the egg, mixing on low speed until the dough is evenly moistened.

3. Add flour and baking soda, mixing on low speed until just mixed in.

4. Scrape the dough from the bowl, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

5. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

6. Divide the dough into generous tablespoon-sized portions and place the balls of dough two inches apart on the baking sheets. Press each ball of dough until slightly flattened.

7. Brush each cookie with egg wash and press an almond into the center.

8. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until the cookies spread evenly and the edges begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool.