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Almond Cookies Recipe From Kristina Cho

Meals is about a lot greater than diet—it’s probably the most private expressions of our cultures, values, and traditions. Our sequence, Behind the Recipe, profiles a special wholesome cook dinner each month to discover the non-public, untold tales of their favourite dishes. This month, Eat Cho Food creator Kristina Cho shares a really particular almond cookie recipe, impressed by what her goong goong (maternal grandpa) used to make. The recipe is excerpted from her new e book, Mooncakes and Milk Bread, out this month. 

Although I grew up in a really food-centric home, nobody in my household actually baked. My grandparents moved to the U.S. from Hong Kong within the late Sixties and my goong goong (or maternal grandpa, in English) began working in eating places. Finally, he opened his personal eating places and that grew to become the household enterprise. Due to this, I used to be at all times surrounded by actually unbelievable cooks, however baking wasn’t precisely a part of our household culinary historical past. If there have been pastries at residence, they got here from a field combine.

I used to be in center faculty after I determined to attempt baking myself. I watched a variety of Meals Community and would virtually be drooling after I noticed the bakers on TV chew right into a gooey chocolate chip cookie or plunge a fork right into a moist chocolate cake. I feel a part of why it additionally appealed to me was that a variety of the desserts I noticed on TV have been so basic American. Rising up in a Chinese language American household, we did not eat a variety of chocolate chip cookies or pie.

One of many first baked items I made was cheesecake. My mother used to purchase frozen cheesecakes at Costco that I simply beloved (truthfully, something with cream cheese had my coronary heart), so I made a decision to attempt making a home made one. And you recognize what, it was fairly good! I began to bake much more and my household was all about it. In any case, who would complain about home made dessert?

It wasn’t till I obtained a bit older that I began to discover Chinese language baking extra. What I’ve discovered is that Chinese language baking would not essentially imply a baked good. Typically, it is one thing steamed or fried. Just like Western baked items, Chinese language baked items nonetheless embrace meals like breads, cookies, and desserts. What units Chinese language baking aside are the distinct textures and flavors. Milk bread is further fluffy, tarts are further flaky. No matter pure taste the dessert facilities round (resembling a fruit), the opposite substances play up that taste much more.

kristina cho
Picture: Supplied; Artwork: W+G Inventive

Since my household is so full of cooks relatively than bakers, nearly all of the time I baked alone. However I do keep in mind making almond cookies with my goong goong. Again in Hong Kong, my grandfather was a instructor. He taught studying and writing to elementary faculty children. It was a job that he actually beloved, however wasn’t one he was ready do within the U.S. That is when he began working in eating places. One in all his first restaurant jobs was baking almond cookies, which have been served for dessert within the restaurant the place he labored. Since he made almond cookies each single day, he obtained actually nice at it. Goong goong’s almond cookies actually have been the perfect.

One time, we made the almond cookies collectively at residence. It was really the one time we made them collectively. By this time, goong goong had his personal restaurant and he wasn’t making almond cookies anymore. The truth is, they simply served fortune cookies as an alternative as a result of they did not have time to make recent almond cookies day-after-day. For a really very long time, goong goong did not make any almond cookies. That’s, till this present day, proper earlier than I left for school, after I requested him to make them with me. It is such a candy reminiscence for me, making almond cookies with my goong goong and having fun with them with the entire household afterward.

Once I began excited about what recipes I needed to incorporate in my cookbook, I knew I needed to embrace them. The issue was, I did not have the recipe; goong goong by no means wrote it down and he handed away in 2009. All I needed to go off of was a crumpled piece of paper with ingredient measurements for a restaurant amount of cookies. I needed to determine it out by myself, simply going by the reminiscence of what it tasted like. I enlisted my different relations to assist. “What do you assume, a bit extra sugar? A bit extra salt?” I would ask my mother, after whipping up a check batch. I needed it to be as near his recipe as attainable. After just a few tries, I feel I obtained it proper.

It is so particular to me, seeing individuals make my goong goong’s almond cookies now. I ponder what he would consider it. My goong goong was such a humble man that he would most likely simply blush and smile. He may say one thing like, “wow, that is loopy!” however I feel it could be very sentimental to him. In any case, making almond cookies was by no means actually a part of his plan. He was a instructor. However like many immigrant dad and mom, my goong goong got here to the U.S. to create a greater life for his children, grandkids, and everybody who got here after. By some means, making almond cookies grew to become a small a part of that. And I am so glad it did.

almond cookies recipe card
Artwork: W+G Inventive

Kristina Cho’s goong goong’s almond cookies recipe

Makes 15

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 giant egg
3/4 tsp pure almond extract
1 giant egg yolk
15 sliced almonds
Flaky salt, for topping

1. In a medium bowl, whisk to mix the flour, baking soda, and salt.

2. In one other medium bowl, combine to mix the butter and sugar with a versatile spatula till easy. Add the egg and almond extract and proceed to combine till absolutely included. Add the dry substances and blend till a thick dough is fashioned (it is going to be sticky). Cowl the bowl with plastic wrap and chill till barely agency however scoopable, about one hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two giant rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Utilizing a 1 1/2-tablespoon cookie scoop, measure out 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and place on the ready sheet. (Or use a spoon to scoop and roll the dough right into a easy ball, wetting your fingers if the dough remains to be sticky.) Repeat with remaining dough, spacing them 3 inches aside. Moist your fingers with water to forestall dough from sticking and gently press down on the dough balls together with your fingers till they’re a half-inch thick.

4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and use to frivolously brush the tops of the cookies. Place an almond slice on every cookie.

5. Bake till cookies are golden brown and crisp across the edges, 16 to 18 minutes. Switch the sheets to a wire rack, sprinkle with flaky salt, and permit cookies to chill on the sheets for 5 minutes. Switch cookies to the rack to chill. Serve heat or at room temperature.

As instructed to Emily Laurence

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