Mar 1, 2010

Almond crumbles

On Saturday morning at about 6am, I woke up to the siren blaring outside my window. I turned on the tv and realized it was a tsunami warning. How very scary!! After all the safety precautions were taken, I didn't know what else to do. I twiddled my thumbs and watched the news. After awhile, I got too agitated..there was still another 5 hours before the tsunami is expected to come. What to do? Bake of course!!

I grew up eating these almond cookies and I never thought I would be able to make them myself. Macau is known for this type of almond cookies and they're absolutely delicious.

They're really different from western cookies, so it's hard for me to describe them. I would say they're most similar to shortbread cookies in texture, but not nearly as buttery. They kinda fall apart when you bit into it and they're a bit powdery. These cookies came pretty close to the store bought ones. I think they were a bit too fragile, next time I will add a little more water. Overall a success!!

Here's a picture of the mold I used. I bought mine in Hong Kong, but I've seen them in Chinatown here in Honolulu. Here's the recipe:

Cantonese Almond Crumbles
from Corner Cafe

60g whole almonds, with brown skin attached *
250g premixed ground mung beans
150g icing sugar
60g almond meal (ground almond)
125g lard or shortening, softened at room temperature
25ml water, adjust as necessary

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Put the whole almonds in a plastic bag and pound into small pieces using a rolling pin. Alternatively chop roughly or blend roughly in a food processor.

2. Mix the ground mung beans, sugar and almond meal in a large mixing bowl. Add lard and rub in using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add pounded almonds and stir in. Gradually add just enough water and rub in until the mixture just manages to clump together when you squeeze together in your palm.

3. Spoon the mixture into the mold and press gently until the mixture is just compacted in the mold (you may need a few tries to get it right to the desired consistency). Level the edges with a knife and knock gently out from the mold and place on a baking tray. If the mixture breaks apart when it is knocked out from the mold, then press it in a little harder the next time.

4. Bake for about 30-45 minutes with the oven door slightly ajar. When dried, remove gently from the tray and place on wire rack to cool.

  • The original recipe calls for 1/2 tsp of almond extract to be mixed with the water. I decided to omit it because I only had imitation almond extract and I don't like the way it tastes.


Christine said...

These are beautiful and look delicious!!! I am glad you are safe. I have to admit I have been in a bit of a hole lately and owe you an email to catch up on everything. I just arrived in Santa Fe yesterday and hope to catch up over the weekend. :)

Anonymous said...

The recipe was great but too sweet for my family even after i reduced the icing sugar to 120g. Maybe i should just use 80g or 100g.

kk said...

I thought 150g was the perfect amount of sweetness for me and my family. You should try it with 100g to see if you like it better. I probably won't go much lower than that for fear that it might ruin the texture of the cookie. Good luck!


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