Two years ago, my friend Shenny, gave me a few pieces of cookies that she got from Hong Kong. They were tasty. She asked me if I will be able to crack the recipe. Well.... It's not an easy feat, not if we want to use natural coffee (instant is better than emulco, I guess) and avoid certain ingredients.
Because it's a replication.... it's not easy compared to baking anything I like or think of. It has to be something like it, look almost like it, taste almost like it.
It's a challenge. Sliced cookies tend to go out of shape, unless it contains a good amount of flour. But I also wanted to retain a good flavour of butter, so I won't want to use too much flour. The dough must be strong enough to hold the almonds without sliding down. Due to the use of instant coffee, of which is bitter, I had to use quite a lot of sugar as well, and sugar promotes spreading....Headache. If I will just resort to coffee emulco... then life is a lot easier. But what's life without challenges?
Finally after 4 attempts, I settle for one that doesn't spread too much but yet, still taste quite good. I won't say it's an exact replica, but it should be quite near. I only had 1 slice of that coffee almond cookie, so this is the best that I can remember of it. LOL
Although I made this 4 times, of which once was in 2015 and 3 times in 2016, the family didn't complain of having too much as they really enjoyed this cookie.
Coffee Almond CookiesRecipe by WendyinKK
2 tsp Nescafé instant coffee
1 tsp boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract
150gm salted butter
50gm brown sugar
1 egg (55g, grade C)
200gm plain flour
100gm icing sugar*
30gm full cream milk powder
100gm almond flakes, lightly crushed
1. Bring some water to boil. Put Nescafe into a small cup. When water has boiled, measure one tsp (5ml) and pour it onto the coffee granules. Stir to dissolve, add in vanilla extract.
2. Sift plain flour, cornstarch and icing sugar together. Then mix in full cream milk powder. Set aside.
3. Cream butter with brown sugar for about a minute on medium speed. Add in egg and beat until combined. Pour in the coffee mixture and beat until combined.
4. Add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Put in almond flakes and mix until combined.
5. Spoon the dough into a full lined 8 inch square pan. Press down the dough and cover with another piece of baking paper. Fold down the overlaps and apply some pressure to level the dough. To have an idea of how to line and wrap, see this picture
6. Chill for 2 to 3 hours.
7. Preheat oven to 160(fan)/180C. Line 2 large baking trays with non stick baking paper
8. Remove chilled dough from fridge and cut into 4 long bars. Cut each bar into 6-7mm thick slices.
9. Arrange the dough slices with some space allocated for expansion. Keep balance of dough in fridge if not baked immediately
10 Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the edges take some some colour.
11. Let the cookies cool down and store them in air tight containers.
*Update 12/3/2016: After keeping the cookies for 3-4 weeks, the sweetness seem to have intensified. I think the icing sugar can be reduced to 70 or 80g if you prefer it less sweet, and it will look more matte.