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Adapted from a recipe I found in Rodale's 'All Occasion Cookies: 100 Fast and Fabulous Treats', and which I have posted for the 2005 Zaar World Tour. I deliberated for some time over whether or not to post this recipe - there are a handful of similar recipes already posted - but so often it's the small differences between recipes, be it in the ingredients or in the instructions, that make the end results very different. Serve after a Chinese meal, as part of a Chinese New Year Banquet or at any time as a dessert or snack.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and mix the first four ingredients - the flour, baking powder, salt and chopped slivered almonds - in a medium-sized bowl.
- With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy; add the egg and almond extract and beat until the ingredients are all well-combined.
- Reduce the electric mixer speed to low and blend in the flour mixture.
- Roll the dough into 11/4-inch balls, and place the balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten the balls slightly and press an almond into the centre of each cookie.
- Whisk the egg yolk and water together in a cup and lightly brush over the cookies.
- Bake the cookies for 11-15 minutes, until just set, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
- Notes: If you prefer, in step four, use several slivered almonds instead of the blanched whole almonds.