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Chinese Almond Cakes

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 cup lard
1/2 vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons beaten egg
30 blanched whole almonds for garnish

Into a bowl sift together the flour and the baking powder and blend
in the lard, the vegetable shortening, and the sugar until the
mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the almond extract, the
egg, and 1 tablespoon water, or enough to form the mixture into a
soft dough, knead the dough several times, and let it stand in a
cool place for 5 minutes. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and
press them down with the palm of the hand to form cakes about 1/2
inch thick. Press an almond into the center of each cake and bake
the cakes in batches on floured baking sheets in the middle of a
preheated 375F oven for 5 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 300F
and bake the cakes for 8 to 10 minutes more, or until they are
light golden brown.

Makes 30 cakes.

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