Dining Experiences

Chinese Cooking 101 at Sur La Table

By Anne Marie Panoringan

 

Throughout the hands-on Chinese Cooking 101 session by chef Kim Mital at Sur La Table, everyone had opportunities to prep ingredients and use the stove during the cooking process. First-timers received useful practice with knife skills; seasoned students used the class time for inspiration in their own kitchen. Sur La Table’s recipe packets also included an ingredients glossary describing common terms in-depth.

We helped ourselves to all the dishes at the end of class and especially enjoyed the sweet almond cookies (see recipe below), a few of which may have jumped into our handbag. Attendees were given the option to avail of a same-day discount toward food and equipment. Click here for class schedules and online registration.

 


Sparkling sugar, Nordic Ware Naturals half sheet pan, Silpat half sheet baking mat, stainless steel turner by Sur la Table. Cabana striped towel by Anthropologie.

  
Sweet Almond Cookies Recipe
Yield:  about 40 cookies

These cookies are commonly served around the Chinese New Year and thought to bring good luck to those who eat them. The best almond cookies we’ve ever had!

 

Ingredients:
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ⅓ cup almond flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, divided
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons water
Whole blanched almonds, for topping cookies (not Marcona)
Sparkling sugar, for garnish

 

Directions:

  1. Line two rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  2. To a medium bowl, add flour, baking soda, almond flour, and salt; whisk to combine.
  3. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 1 egg, almond extract, and water and beat until well combined.
  4. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until the dough clumps together, about 1 minute. Gather the dough together to form a ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, cover in plastic wrap, and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
  5. While the dough is chilling, whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl for egg wash and set aside. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
  6. Using a tablespoon, portion the chilled dough and roll the dough between your palms into 1 ½ inch balls.
  7. Place the balls 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Flatten each dough ball slightly and press a blanched almond into the middle. Brush the cookies with egg wash and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Transfer the cookie sheets to the oven to bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool to the touch on baking sheets before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.