• 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Slivered almonds, optional

Some cookies are only made for special occasions. This weekend we are celebrating Chinese New Year. It is extra special because it is the year of the Snake — our son Nathaniel was born in 1989 which was also the year of the Snake.

We invited several close friends to celebrate with us. I spent the week making one or two recipes each day in preparation for the big event. This way I am not rushed and can enjoy making each recipe. Many recipes can be prepared in advance and some actually taste better as they sit.

These almond cookies can be made several days in advanced and frozen immediately. Once thawed, they will taste just as fresh as the day they were baked.

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix together the butter, sugar, egg, and extracts until they’re smooth.

3. Sift the dry ingredients together. Add the dry mixture to the wet egg mixture and stir just until a dough forms.

4. Roll the dough into small balls. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet or stone and press three or four slivered almonds on top.

5. TIP: One of my sons is allergic to nuts but can have almond extract so I omit the slivered almonds in some and use my thumb to press down. the cookies will bake up properly with just a little thumbprint on top.

6. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or until they’re golden brown–but remember, cookies harden as they cool so be sure to take them out before they are fully cooked.

Optional: a brushing of a little beaten egg and a sprinkling of almonds is very good as well.