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Chinese New Year Good Luck cookies!
(Makes about 5 dozen)
1 C solid vegetable shortening
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
about 5 dozen whole blanched almonds
1 egg yolk
2 T water
1. In large bowl of an electric mixer (or cuisinart) beat shortening with granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy.
2. Add whole egg and almond extract; beat until well blended.
3. In another bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking powder; add to creamed mixture, blending thoroughly. (If using a cuisinart do this by hand or the dough gets too tough).
4. To shape each cookie, roll about 1 Tablespoon dough into a ball. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets, then flatten each slightly to make a 2-inch round. Gently press an almond into center of each round.
5. Place egg yolk and water in a small bowl; beat together lightly with a fork.
6. Brush mixture over top of each cookie with a pastry brush.
Bake in a 350°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
7. Transfer to racks and let cool. Store airtight.