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+ servings
chinese new year cookies decorated as red envelopes, mandarin oranges, and coins

Chinese New Year Cookies

Author: Gail Ng
Soft Chinese New Year sugar cookies made with almond flour and decorated with a simple icing in cute designs symbolizing good fortune and good luck
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 32 minutes
Yield 24 cookies
Category Dessert
Cuisine Chinese


Sugar Cookies

  • 115 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 150 g granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 400 g almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 280 g powdered sugar
  • 48 g milk, dairy or non-dairy
  • gel food colouring
  • edible gold leaf, optional


Sugar Cookies

  • In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat softened butter until creamy. Add granulated sugar and beat until combined.
  • Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.
  • Add in the almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat on low speed until it forms a soft dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Use your hands to press the dough into a flattened disc shape. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Place the chilled dough on a well-floured surface. Roll out with a rolling pin until about ⅛” thick. Cut out your cookies with cookie cutters of your choice and transfer cut outs to baking sheet. Re-roll the dough scraps and repeat.
  • Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes until they’re firm enough to handle. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and milk. It should be a thick paste when stirring around but looks smooth and glossy if you leave it undisturbed. Let the icing drizzle off the spoon - it should be thick enough for the drizzles to hold their shape for several seconds and then “melt” back into the icing.
  • Divide the icing into several smaller bowls and mix in gel food colouring into each bowl, depending on your designs. Note that adding a lot of gel colouring to the icing may make it thinner so add more powdered sugar as needed to maintain the thick consistency.
  • Transfer icing to small piping bags and cut off the tips to make a small opening. Cover any icing that isn’t being used so that it doesn’t dry out.
  • Pipe an outline of icing onto a cookie and fill it in with icing. Use a toothpick to move the icing aorund any gaps until it smooths out by itself. Repeat with all cookies and let them dry for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before applying the second layer of your design.
  • Let iced cookies dry completely for 6-8 hours or overnight, preferably.
  • If applying gold leaf to cookies, dab a paintbrush in water and dab off the excess on a paper towel. Apply a very thin layer of water to the areas of the cookie where you want the gold leaf to stick.
  • Dry off the paintbrush and very gently dab onto the sheet of gold leaf to lift a small piece off. Touch the gold leaf to the wet areas to apply.


Calories: 4859kcal | Carbohydrates: 518g | Protein: 93g | Fat: 297g | Saturated Fat: 75g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 416mg | Sodium: 1478mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 42g | Sugar: 441g | Vitamin A: 3189IU | Calcium: 1069mg | Iron: 16mg
Keywords almond flour sugar cookies, chinese new year, chinese new year cookies, lunar new year, sugar cookies
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