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Almonds and good luck beckon National Chinese Almond Cookie Day celebrations on April 9. The golden cookie, sometimes with special designs and, other times, plain, delivers scrumptiousness in its crunch and almond flavors. Also known as Chinese almond moon cakes, the cookies are traditionally made during Chinese New Year as they are believed to bring good luck to households. You can get special designs on your moon cakes by pressing the dough into a mold. But not having any designs on your cookies does not make them any less special or tasty. While it is unclear when exactly Chinese almond cookies were brought to the American shores, there are no mentions of it before the 1800s or the 1900s.
History of National Chinese Almond Cookie Day
Chinese almond cookies do not appear to have a set origin date or place. Some sources say that they have been adapted from the Chinese walnut cookies, which were invented in the 16th century during the Ming Dynasty. At first, the walnut cookies were considered a royal dish, however, as the years went by and the recipe was released to the public, the cookies were so popular and loved by everyone that they became quite common around the area. People adored the cookie so much that they considered it the national cookie.
Chinese almond cookies, which are native to southern- and southeastern China, were introduced in the U.S. after the first wave of Chinese immigrants came to the country. Thus, like fortune cookies and other popular Chinese dishes, Chinese almond cookies also became much desired by the masses. The cookie is made with a mixture of almond and mung powder. It also has an almond sliver in the middle, and it is believed that good luck comes from this piece.
Today, said cookies can be found in many Chinese restaurants and hotels. Due to its plain and subtly sweet taste, it is served as a palate cleanser after a meal of rich spices and flavors. The cookies can be found being sold in food stalls in Macao and Hong Kong. There are also several flavors of almond cookies, some with cultural twists. The Chinese almond cookie has a Turkish cousin called ‘acıbadem kurabiyesi,’ meaning bitter almond cookie. No matter the type, Chinese almond cookies are enjoyed by many all over the world.
National Chinese Almond Cookie Day FAQs
How can Chinese almond cookies be considered healthy when cookies are categorized as junk food items?
Chinese almond cookies are healthy because they contain almonds. Almonds, according to traditional Chinese medicine, are considered anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and energy boosters.
Would it be appropriate to give Chinese almond cookies to my friends and family on Chinese New Year?
Absolutely! In fact, people have been doing so for many years now. Special season Chinese almond cookies are also brought out by commercial brands just for Chinese New Year.
What other flavors are moon cakes available in apart from Chinese almond cookies?
A popular flavor in Asia for moon cakes is red bean. Red beans, processed into a smooth sweet paste, are stuffed into moon cake molds. Macha and walnuts are some other popular flavor variations.
How To Celebrate National Chinese Almond Cookie Day
Eat some Chinese almond cookies
Dig into the Chinese delicacy and savor its flavors to the fullest! There is not only a treat in it for you, but it also means supporting your local Chinese bakeries and restaurants.
Make some Chinese almond cookies
Get into the mix by bringing out your chef’s hat and apron. The Chinese almond cookie recipe is quite simple and easy to follow. You’ll have a chance to brush up on your cooking skills AND get to taste the delicious home-made cookie. Now that’s a win-win.
Read up on the rich history
China possesses a rich cultural history and heritage. There are many myths and legends associated with the country. Thus, it comes as no surprise that something as simple as an almond cookie will also have mystical elements attached to it. So, prepare a plate of those cookies and get started on your history lesson.
5 Facts About Cookies That Will Blow Your Mind
Cookies have Persian roots
Cookies were accidentally invented by Persians in the seventh century when bakers were testing oven temperatures by dropping small amounts of cake batter into them.
‘Cookie’ word from the Dutch
The word, ‘cookie,’ is derived from the Dutch’s ‘koekjes,’ which means ‘little cakes.’
Gingerbread cookies for husbands
English women used to eat gingerbread cookies to find good husbands.
Rice cakes for cookies on Sesame Street
The Cookie Monster from Sesame Street actually ate rice cakes painted like cookies because using real cookies would have damaged his plushy mouth.
National Sugar Cookie Day
We celebrate National Sugar Cookie Day on July 9 every year.
Why We Love National Chinese Almond Cookie Day
It’s a celebration of China’s diverse history
China is a vast country with many mystical legends. Its history spans the whole of Asia and the country’s food items are windows to bygone eras. The Chinese almond cookie is just one example and by celebrating the day dedicated to it, we are opening diverse doors to amazing cultures and traditions.
It’s a celebration of the cookie in different cultures
From the lands of the U.S. of A to Turkish shores and Middle Eastern countries, the almond cookie has quite an impressive amount of traveling stamps on its recipe passport. The Chinese almond cookie has cultural variations from all over the world.
It’s a celebration of globalization
Thanks to globalization, we are able to enjoy the tastes of other countries and their respective stories. Coming all the way from China with its culture infused into the recipe, the cookie has brought joy to people from different countries and continents.
National Chinese Almond Cookie Day dates