Chinese tradition upholds the belief that your temperament and actions, and everything you eat during the first week of the new year sets the tone for the rest of the year. Therefore festivities and meals are filled with symbolic foods for the Lunar New Year like Vegetarian Dumplings. Almond cookies are also a symbolic sweet treat. They symbolize ancient coins, thus "giving" you good fortune for the year. I googled a traditional recipe and, of course, the only almond to be found in these cookies was the almond on the top and some almond extract (full or white sugar, white flour, and shortening). Then I searched some healthier versions and came up with the following recipe. I used coconut/palm sugar, which is low-glycemic, and coconut oil (coconut symbolizes promoting togetherness, another good New Year food!)
1 Tbsp white chia seeds
3 Tbsp water
1/2 coconut sugar
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups almond flour/meal
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened
20 whole almonds
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, add water to the chia seeds, stir to combine and set aside for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat the coconut sugar and oil together.
Beat in the chia seed- water mixture ("chia egg") and the extracts.
Next, add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt, mixing to combine.
Beat in the almond milk until you have a nice, moist batter.
Roll into 20 balls and place them onto lined baking sheets about 2" apart.
Flatten each one gently with a fork. Press an almond into each one, reshaping the cookie if it has cracked too much.
Bake for 15-17 minutes. Let cool completely before storing.