Chinese Almond Cookies

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shortening
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon almond extract
red food coloring

Preheat electric oven to 350 degrees F. Sift flour with sugar, soda and salt into a large bowl. Mix in shortening and knead thoroughly (8 to 10 minutes). Combine egg and almond extract; stir into flour mixture. Mix well. Shape into balls using 1 tablespoon of dough. Place on ungreased baking sheets and make a depression in the top with the thumb. Dip the blunt end of a chopstick in red food coloring and press into the top of each cookie. A blanchend almond may be pressed into the center of each instead of red coloring. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Makes six dozen.

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