Heat oven to 350°F.
Combine butter and sugar in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add egg and almond flavoring; beat until well mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt; beat at low speed until well mixed.
Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly; press almond into center of each cookie.
Beat egg yolk with water in bowl; brush cookies evenly with egg mixture. Bake for 11-15 minutes or until just set.
- These cookies were traditionally made with lard in China because pork is plentiful. We've changed to butter instead for a richer flavor and slightly crisper texture. Far more flavorful than the fortune cookie, keep them on hand, baked and ready, in your freezer.
- To blanch almonds for easy skin removal, place almonds in bowl; cover with boiling water. Let stand 1-2 minutes; drain. Cool; remove skins by rubbing.