Prep 15 mins
Cook 25 mins
This came from a co-worker in Hawaii.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄4 cups white sugar
- 1 1⁄4 cups shortening
- 1⁄4 cup peanut butter
- 1⁄2 small egg
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lye water (if available)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- red food coloring (optional)
- Cream shortening, peanut butter, and sugar in a large bowl.
- Add flour.
- Make three wells in the mixture, add the egg to one well, the lye wter, water, baking powder and baking soda to the second, making sure that the mixture bubbles as these ingredients are added.
- Add the almond extract to the third well.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Knead for several minutes, roll into 3/4" balls.
- Press with forefinger and color indentation with red food coloring.
- Bake at 300° for 25 minutes.
This recipe made cookies just like ones from a Chinese bakery. Being in Japan, I recognized the ingredient "lye water", as a direct translation of "kansui", which is not liquid at all, but a type of powdered edible lye, used in Chinese cooking in Japan. I happened to have some, so was able to try out this recipe. (I would be very cautious of substitutions, however, lye scares me.) Between the lye water, and the unusual step of kneading the dough (I needed a little extra flour on my work surface for this), you get the characteristic crumbly or grainy texture of Chinese cookies. I followed the recipe exactly, but made only half a batch, using 10 g egg. Half of the recipe yielded 23, approximately 20 g cookies for me. Next time I'll definitely make a full batch, and maybe try almonds on top, instead of the red mark (which I applied with a tiny sponge and chopsticks, after making holes in the dough balls with my finger.) Thank you very much for this recipe.