Almond Cookies (Dim Sum Variety)

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red food coloring
1 cup vegetable shortening, plus
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Pour a few drops of red food coloring into a small bowl, and set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat the shortening together with the sugar in a mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in the egg and almond extract.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir the flour mixture into the sugar-shortening mixture, and mix well.

Scoop up a scant tablespoon of dough with a spoon, and form into a walnut-sized ball. Place the ball onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and press the ball slightly with your thumb to create a flat spot on top (don't flatten the cookie). Dip the end of a bamboo chopstick into the red food coloring, and touch the center of each cookie to make a red dot.

Bake in the preheated oven until slightly browned, 15 to 18 minutes.

Cool on a rack.