Traditional Macau’s Almond Cookies ~ 澳門杏仁餅
In my memory (actually not very good! :p), I haven’t made these cookies for a year since then. I think it was last year, it gave me a shock result (you can find out later), doesn’t matter now, because I’m going to have one more try!
Have you heard of or been to Macau 澳門? That is an island just next to Hong Kong, if you get the speedboat or ferry, about an hour to be at that place. Although, it is only a small island, it has so many special and traditional foods over there, but the most famous and popular is their ‘casinos‘, yes, just similar as ‘Las Vegas’ ~ U.S. It attracts lots and lots of tourist all over the world.
But I went there, of course not for the casino, I only go there for their nice hotel that I can have a relaxing break and the nice old fashion food and snacks.
One of my favourite cookies was this one: Almond Cookies, they are so light and crunchy, or you can say ‘fragile’, because it will come apart in your mouth straight away!
They are vegan cookie without any egg nor dairy to create with. It only has few ingredients: Green bean flour (or Moong flour from Asian shop), shortening, icing sugar, roasted almond and almond meal, that’s all!
Moong or green bean is a small ¼-inch, round, olive-green bean that is mustard or off-white coloured inside. The beans have a sweet flavour, soft texture, and are easy to digest. Green bean is available in many forms, including whole, split, de-husked (yellow) and ground. Split moong beans or green moong dal is green gram that has been split but not skinned. Since the husk is not removed completely, the green colour is retained. The splitting is done on a mill.
Ok, why did I distinguish you all this about moong dal, because it referred to my shock experience that I made from last year. The story started since I bought a bag of moong flour from an Asian food store, I was over the moon because it was so rare to find green bean flour in the market. I knew I couldn’t wait to make this almond cookie with it.
What’s the dispute of this almond cookie with the western almond cookies, this one is made with almond meal and green bean flour, it is the traditional way for the generations. But you can use all with almond meal instead of the green bean flour if you can’t buy it, or you can try to substitute the green bean flour to soya flour.
But when I took the cookies out from the oven, I got shock to them!! Why are they all greenish colour but not the almond or beige colour? All the ingredients were right, but why with this strange colour? Then, I found out it was the moong flour that I bought was milled with the husk, that’s why the cookies were greenish. It made me upset for a while. Only a while, because they still taste good though, so I forgot about it!
It only have few ingredients, with a lot less liquid compare with other cookies! But don’t worry, that is the secret of these cookies! You only use your fingertips to rub all the ingredients together like the way to make fruit crumble toppings. It ought to be handle all the ingredients lightly, then stuff the mixture into the cookie stamp or mould and press down with a certain power, but you need to bang the mould onto the table to release the cookie. Then bake in the preheat oven without the oven door close. That is all the tricks and tips, I deeply wish, you can get all my meaning! 🙂
Only I can tell you, although it sounds so complicate. But worth it, the cookies are so yummy, crunchy and smell so good!
Traditional Macau’s Almond Cookies 澳門中式杏仁餅
Ingredient: ( 2 1/2″ cookies mould ~ 12 cookies)
- 1/4 cup or 40g Whole Almond 杏仁原粒
- 100g Yellow Mung Bean flour 綠豆粉 (I use soya flour because I can’t find the husked mung bean flour)
- 1/2cup or 48g Almond meal 杏仁粉
- 1/2 cup or 45g Icing sugar
- 1/2 cup or 50g Vegetable shortening, room temperature
- 8 – 10ml water
- Two drops Almond extract (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C/130°C (fan oven), or gas mark 2.
- Use a rolling pin to bash the almonds into small objects but not powdered. But I like to roast the raw almond in the oven first and bash into small pieces in a plastic bag for mess-free job. Set aside.
- Whisk all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, add the vegetable shortening and water a little bit at a time, and use your fingertips to rub all the ingredients until it forms the bread crumbs like evenly (same way to prepare the crumble topping).
- Sprinkle a touch of icing sugar in the cookie mould, shake away the excess sugar, slightly and evenly fill the mix into the mould (too much force to press the mixture into the mould, will make the cookies harder, less strength will make the cookies too crumbly). Scrape off the excess mixture with the dough scraper.
- Turn the mould up-side down and bang on the table to allow the cookies come out, place on the baking tray and in the bottom shelf of the hot oven, leave a few inches gap of the door open and bake for 35, then switch off the heat and close the oven door, keep the cookies in the hot oven for another 5 minutes to make it more crunchier.
- Cool down on a wire rack, but I can’t wait to taste it straight away because they smell so good!
- You should modify all the yellow split mung bean flour into all almond flour to make these cookies.
- Remember to add the water into the mixture a little bit at a time, to prevent the mixture stick together, because the mixture should be like breadcrumbs.
- Carefully bang the cookie mould on the table to release the whole cookie out. When the cookie comes off, it should be a whole and complete cookie, but not crack or break. If it is, do it again and press a little bit harder, it should be ok, just need a bit of time to practice.