Chinese Cookies

Passover is sort of like the visit from the grandchildren.

Both are joyous, thrilling and celebratory.

You love every precious moment.

It's also so nice when it's over. 

This is not a complaint. Just a statement of reality.

When the kids and grandkids leave after a visit, the house looks like the recycle guy made a mistake and dropped his truck full of stuff in your living room. Ah, the mess (despite your children's tidying up). But it's worth it. You wouldn't have it any other way and anyone who is a grandparent will tell you the same thing.

Besides, after they leave it's suddenly very calm and quiet and you can relax and sip a glass of leftover Passover wine.

When Passover is over you think over the hard work needed to get through the holiday. Cleaning the cabinets, the fridge. Getting out the dishes, setting the table, arranging the bridge chairs, making tons of food.  All the cooking, the matzo balls and chremslich, haroset and flourless chocolate cake were worth it. You wouldn't have it any other way and endless numbers of people will tell you it's worth it.

Besides, after it's over you can relax and sip a glass of leftover Passover wine.

And also, after Passover is over and you clean up from the visit and put away the new groceries, you can start to cook and eat all the foods you missed during the holiday. 

For me, that means cookies. Cookies are always what I miss most during Passover.

Like these almond cookies. When I was a kid these were known as Chinese cookies because they were served for dessert at so many Chinese restaurants in the New York Metropolitan area. Chinese cookies are tender and crumbly, redolent of almond, with a clump of sweet chocolate in the middle and a half almond in the very center.

This rich cookie, giver of childhood memories, is a perfect way to end a Passover diet.

“Chinese” Cookies

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • sliced or halved almonds


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the shortening, coconut oil and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer set at medium for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and well blended. Add the ground almonds, egg and almond extract and beat them in. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix for 1-2 minutes or until the dough is thoroughly blended and uniform. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/2-inch thick. Cut out circles with a 2-1/2-inch cookie cutter. Place the circles on (ungreased) cookie sheets. Bake for about 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the oven and use a rigid spatula to place each on a rack to cool. Melt the chocolate. Spoon a small amount of melted chocolate into the center and swirl the melted chocolate to form a small circle in the center of each cookie. Place an almond half or slice in the middle of the chocolate. Let dry.


Makes about 24