Yelly Eats

How To Make Almond Buns

I’ve been fairly busy this weekend batch cooking and baking. I’ve made a meat sauce that I’m going to use to make lasagna for tonight’s supper and spaghetti meals for the week. I’ve made my version of my mom’s meatloaf as well. I’m really happy as the fridge is full and I won’t have to think of what to cook for the next few days.

I’ve attempted to make almond buns yesterday after Alan sent me a recipe for almond buns. The recipe looked fairly easy to follow but called for shop bought almond paste. Since I had ground almonds at home, I thought it would be easy to make almond paste at home. I googled recipes and found a relatively straightforward recipe that I thought I’d share with you.

You can opt to use my Chinese Milk Bread recipe, however for buns and loaves, I recommend Hazel’s recipe. I don’t know Hazel (Avellana) personally but I stumbled across her blog whilst I was searching for recipes for cinnamon buns. I was looking for a Cinnabon-like cinnamon bun and this was easy to do and yielded amazing results. I’ve been using the dough recipe for most of my enriched dough endeavours. You can find her recipe by clicking Perfect Cinnamon Buns. I’ve based the ingredients on her list but I’ve used my own (tried and tested) way of creating an enriched dough, which has always worked for me.

I apologise for the lack of photography, I’ll do better next time. My kitchen is a right bomb site! I’ve been overrun by multi-buy purchases (it’s cheaper on Amazon if you buy more than one item!) and I’ve allowed myself to be overwhelmed by an unwillingness to sort out my cupboards (you’ll be pleased to know this is now a work in progress thing and I’ve at least started the process of sorting things out!).


For the dough:

  • 250ml warm milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 x 7g sachet of dried, quick action yeast.
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 600g strong white flour
  • 1 tsp salt

For the almond paste: 

  • 250g ground almonds
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 75ml water
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp almond extract (optional)


  1. In a heatproof (microwaveable) container, place the milk and sugar and mix until the sugar is combined with the milk.  Place in the microwave and heat up for about 30 seconds until slightly warm to the touch.  This can also be done on the stove, but make sure that the milk doesn’t catch at the bottom of the pan.  NB If you are doing the pan method, make sure you keep stirring.  Remember you want the milk to be just warm.  Once the milk and sugar mixture has been warmed, add the 2 sachets of yeast and mix well.  Set aside in a warm place to allow the yeast to activate.  It should take about 10 to 15 minutes.  I usually place mine in my airing cupboard or if in a pinch a lukewarm oven (of course, switched off). 
  2. Whilst waiting for the yeast to activate, you can make the almond paste.  In a small pan, combine the water and the granulated sugar.  While stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a slow simmer.  Make sure you don’t take your eye off the sugar-water mix as it can burn quickly if unattended.  Once all the sugar is melted and the mixture is clear (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan), take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter.  Mix until the butter has completely melted and stir in the almond extract if using.  Add the ground almonds and mix until well combined.  The more you mix the paste, the smoother it gets.  I like the coarseness of the ground almonds but if you want a smoother paste, you can use a stick blender until you get to the consistency you prefer.  Set aside and allow to cool.  
  3. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl and set aside (do not refrigerate as you don’t want the paste to harden).
  4. You’ll know the yeast has activated when the bubbles are almost as much as the liquid.  In a mixing bowl, mix the melted butter and the 2 eggs until well-combined.  Pour in the yeast and milk mixture and mix well.  Add the flour and mix until well combined.  I use a free standing mixer and I beat the dough until it comes away from the sides.  Of course, if you don’t have a mixer this can all be done by hand. Once the dough was mixed well, turn out the dough on a floured surface and knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic.  If the dough feels wet and sticky, sprinkle a little flour over the surface and the dough and knead.  It should take about 10 minutes of kneading, if doing it by hand and about 4 to 5 minutes if doing this via the mixer. Once all combined pour about 1 tbsp of oil in the mixing bowl and place the dough in the oil, making sure the dough is well oiled. Cover the top of the bowl with cling film or a towel and place in a warm place to let the dough proof and rise.  Leave for about an hour.  
  5. Check on the dough after an hour.  It should be about twice the size of the original ball of dough.  If it is still slightly smaller, allow for another 30 minutes to an hour.  Once the dough is risen, whilst still in the bowl, punch the dough several times to release the air and deflate the dough.  Turn out into a floured surface and knead until smooth.  With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a rough rectangle of about 24 inches (60cm) in length and about 12 inches (30cm) in width.
  6. Once you have your sheet, spread the cooled almond paste all over the dough, leaving about an inch at the bottom of the sheet.  Roll the dough down towards you as tightly as you can and with a sharp knife, cut your buns from the long stick.  This should make about 16 buns.  
  7. Place the buns in a wax paper-lined (greaseproof) tray or large flat baking dish, about 2 inches apart, and allow to prove for another hour.  After the second proof, the dough should rise and grow to twice the size.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180C.  While waiting for the oven to heat, mix 50ml of milk and 2 heaping tablespoons of confectioners (icing) sugar, brush this all over the buns.  You can also use an egg wash (beat 1 egg and brush over the buns).  Place in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes (sometimes even up to 22), depending on the oven.  The buns should turn golden brown and rise some more.  Once they are lovely and golden, take theam out of the oven.  Allow to cool on the baking tin for 15 minutes before moving it to cooling racks.
  9. This is optional as it means adding more sugar, but if you’d like to add a glaze, mix 50ml milk, 4 heaping tablespoons of confectioners sugar and 1 teaspoon of almond extract and combine until smooth and lump free.  Drizzle over the buns.  Serve and enjoy!

Top tip: The recipe is quite substatial, so I decided to create buns and a plait loaf. But if you decide that you’d rather have buns, this makes 16 generously sized soft filled buns.

Yelly Eats

How To Make Chinese Almond Cookies

Almond cookies are a staple both in Chinese bakers and in Chinese kids’ childhood memories.  Everyone has an almond cookie experience that makes them smile (or at least that’s what I have been told).  Alan’s recipe is very similar to mine and this recipe was posted on our Pan-Asian Kitchen blog and I am sharing this with you on Yellywelly.  Text, photos and food fluffing all by Alan.


I always remember eating almond cookies in one form or another since I was young and even though I did like them, none of them were memorable until about 16 years ago when I got the opportunity to go over to Canada for 6 weeks (around the Christmas and New Year holidays) to spend some time visiting my aunts and uncles whom I had not seen since I was very young. A small issue I had was that I had started a new job a few weeks before the trip and had to explain to my boss (James) about the trip that was planned. As well as letting me go on the trip, he lent me a suitcase and gave me a lift to the airport on the day I flew out. Amongst the gifts that I brought back, I purchased several boxes of Chinese Almond Cookies from the Market Village Chinese Mall to say thank you to James for his help. I kept a box back for myself so that I could try the cookies and found that they were the most delicious almond cookies that I had tasted. Looking around Chinatown in London, I could not find almond cookies that looked like the ones I got from Canada. I even tried the ones from the Chinese bakeries but they did not look or taste the same as how I remembered them.

Several years had passed and I was teaching myself to bake new things and remembered back to the almond cookies that I purchased from Market Village. I had a look around for recipes for almond cookies and they all seem to have the same quantities of butter, flour and sugar but the almond flavour didn’t come through enough so have doubled the amount of ground almonds and added almond extract to give them an almondy boost. So after a few attempts of perfecting the recipe, here is my take on the Chinese Almond Cookie. This cookie is great for a treat or to give as a present to friends or family.

Chinese Almond Cookies
Ingredients (makes approx 24 cookies)

125g unsalted butter (softened)
170g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp almond extract (or 1 tbsp of amaretto)
1 egg

200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
150g ground almonds

24 blanched almonds or 24 pieces of sliced almonds
1 egg (beaten)


1. In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and salt.

2. Add the egg and almond extract and mix together.

3. Slowly add the flour, the baking powder and ground almonds into the mixture.

To do this, add a few dessert spoons of the dry ingredients at a time and combine together. Repeat the process until it is all mixed well.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/360°F (170°C/340°F if using a fan oven). Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper and then divide the mixture into 24 equal sized balls which are roughly walnut sized. To help potion off the mixture evenly, I used a sized 40 ice cream scoop and levelled it off with a spatula but you can do it by eye if you do not have a scoop.

5. Put the cookies dough balls on the baking trays (leave a 1” gap between the cookies as they do spread out slightly, you may need to bake in several batches if you use smaller baking trays) and use a round measuring spoon to press an indentation in the middle of the ball (in this case, I used a 1 tsp measuring spoon as the blanched almonds just about fit inside). By using the measuring spoon to press the indentation into the ball, it will also flatten the ball into a cookie shape. If you do not have a round measuring spoon, flatten the ball with your hand and make the indentation with your thumb. Put a blanched almond or a slice of almond into the indentation of each cookie.

6. Brush each cookie with the beaten egg.

7. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until the cookies are a lightly golden colour. Allow cookies to cool down for roughly 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 160°C/320°F (150°C/300°F if using a fan oven).

8. Brush the cookies with more beaten egg and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until they turn golden brown.

Allow to cool down completely before storing in an airtight container.

Yelly Eats

Almond cookies!

I love baking traybake bakes because of the ease that they present.  You mix the batter and you spread them on a greased and prepared pans, pop them in the oven, wait for the appropriate time, et voila!  You have cake!

photo © @the_yukistar

However, that being said, I do love the care and attention that’s required when making cookies, or as the Brits call them, biscuits.  I love the drop cookies and the cookies that require a bit more care and precision and a cookie cutter.  It’s the care and attention that is involved in making each biscuit that counts.  Each piece is individual.

One of my favourite cookies to bake (and eat) are almond cookies.  These cookies are Chinese bakery staples and most of my Chinese friends have a happy childhood memory involving an almond cookie.  So when Alan found a recipe and we perfected the recipe and cookie production, it became a staple for us.

photo © @the_yukistar

Sure, it’s a little more complicated than mixing the batter and dolloping them on a cookie sheet, but it’s the process that makes it special.  Because every time you scoop the mixture, press the almond into the centre and brush egg wash on each cookie, you are putting a little piece of you in the cookie.  Too sentimental?  Okay, here’s the recipe instead!


  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 200g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 24 blanched almonds
  • 1 egg (beaten for brushing)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Cream together the butter, sugar and salt.  Then add the almond extract and egg, and mix well.  Slowly add the flour, the baking powder and ground almonds and make sure it is all combined.
  2. Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper and then divide the mixture into 24 equal sized balls.   I use a small ice cream scooper to the balls uniform.  Lay the balls out on the baking trays and use a round measuring spoon to press an indentation in the middle of the ball.  This will also flatten the ball into a cookie shape.  If you do not have a round measuring spoon, flatten the ball with your hand and indent with your thumb.  Place a blanched almond into the indentation of each cookie and then brush with egg.
  3. Place into the oven for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden.  Allow cookies to cool down for 10 minutes.  Reduce the oven to 150°C.
  4. Brush the cookies with more beaten egg.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until they turn golden.  Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.
  5. This recipe makes approximately 24 cookies.  If you’re not making halal versions, you can also add about 1 generous tablespoon of Amaretto liqueur to make it even more almondy.  

Thank you to Yuki (she’s @the_yukistar on Instagram.  Have a look at her photos, they are blow-you-away amazing!) for the lovely photos of the almond cookies!  She made them look extra pretty!💖

Yelly Eats


I’ve always loved blondies but they’re not necessarily not something you see in most bakery stalls because it is more often overlookby it’s more popular cousin, the chocolate brownie.

This is my recipe for these gorgeous morsels.


  • 225g good white chocolate, chopped
  • 125g butter, cubed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanila
  • 160g plain flour
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 170ºC.
  2. In a heatproof bowl place the cubed butter, and the chopped white chocolate.  Place the bowl over slow boiling water, making sure that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of your bowl.  Allow the butter and chocolate to melt slowly, stirring it occasionally.  Once in a while, lift your bowl off the heat, rest on a towel and stir to help the chocolate to melt along with the butter.  This stops the butter-white chocolate mixture from getting too hot and the mixture won’t become grainy.  Once the white chocolate has completely melted, left the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. While the butter-white chocolate mixture is cooling, measure out the ground almonds and flour and mix with a balloon whisk to make sure they are well-combined.  Set aside.
  4. Beat the eggs and sugar until smooth, thick, moussey and a very pale yellow colour .  I use a free standing mixer and this usually takes about 10 minutes on medium speed.  It will take about 15-20 minutes if you’re doing this by hand (depending on your forearm muscle strength and endurance!).  Add the vanilla and mix for a few seconds to make sure the vanilla is completely incorporated.
  5. Add your almond-flour mixture in three parts, each time making sure everything is mixed thoroughly before adding more of the dry ingredients.
  6. Pour the batter into a tray bake tin foil or a rectangular pan (about 20×30 cm) that has been greased and lined with baking parchment. Bake for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven (this varies because of how hot your oven can actually get), until the top becomes firm and shiny and when tested and a toothpick or skewer is inserted in the centre of the bake and comes out clean (sometimes with a few sticky crumbs sticking to it).  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes (about 5 minutes during a cold winter!).  Once cool, gently lift from the pan and place on a cooling rack and allow the bake to get cold.
  7. Depending on how greedy you are, you can slice this into 18 to 24 squares.

Variations to flavours:

  • Raspberry and rose blondies – instead of the vanilla, add 3 tablespoons of rosewater to the eggs and sugar mixture (step 4). Wash your raspberries and dry thoroughly and roll them in flour.  The number of raspberries you add will be equal to how many blondie slices you want, i.e. for 24 slices, you add 24, etc.  Add 50g more of flour to your almond-flour mixture because the more fruit you want, the wetter the bake.  Bake for an extra 10 minutes, making sure you cover the top with foil when it browns too quickly.
  • Cardamom blondies – add 3 teaspoons of ground cardamom to the flour and almond mixture (step 3), instead of adding vanilla.

Let me know how you get on with the recipe or suggested variations and leave a comment please!