Lunar New Year Hello Kitty Tiger Almond Surprise Cookie

Hello friends! Lunar New Year is upon us! It is time to celebrate and wish for happiness and prosperity in the upcoming year. During this time of new beginnings, it is common to put up decorations, have elaborate feasts, and wish good fortune to those around you. 2022 is the Year of the Tiger so Hello Kitty is dressing up accordingly! To prepare for the holiday, let’s make her into decorated almond surprise cookies!

About the Guest Blogger

Anabelle Brown is a baker based out of Southern California. Anabelle’s favorite subject in school was art, and similar to Hello Kitty she enjoys homemade apple pie and of course, loves to bake cookies! She shares her baking creations on her Instagram page (@bananabellebrown).

About the Recipe

This recipe is an adaptation of the classic Chinese almond cookie which symbolizes coins and is often enjoyed during the New Year to bring good fortune. A thick 3 layered cookie is assembled to look like one and contains a sprinkle surprise inside! By incorporating almond flour and almond extract, we yield a fragrant and nutty flavor for our festive bake! With this as our canvas, we transform this cookie into our dear friend: Hello Kitty!

Lunar New Year Almond Surprise Cookies

{Makes 9 assembled cookies}



{Almond Cookies}

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (94g) almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cup (200g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

{Almond Royal Icing}

  • 2 cups (240g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons room temperature water
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Gel color: yellow, red, black

Supplies & Tools: 

  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper or silicone mat
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Kitchen scale
  • Mixing bowls
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Rolling pin
  • Plastic wrap
  • Scribe or toothpicks
  • Flat edge spatula or spoon
  • Piping bags
  • Small circle cookie cutter, optional
  • 2 oz (60g) sprinkles
  • Hello Kitty template, cut out 

Step-by-step instructions:

Almond Cookies

1. Whisk all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the almond flour, butter, and sugar together on medium speed at first and progress to high speed as ingredients combine, about 3 minutes. With a spatula, scrape down the bowl then add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract and beat on high for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Be careful not to over mix!

4. Scrape down the bowl and form one mass with a spatula.

5. Divide in half and place each half onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper or lightly floured silicone mat. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4 thickness. Dust the dough and rolling pin with flour as needed.

6. Place parchment paper or silicone mat with the rolled out dough onto a baking sheet. Place parchment paper or silicone mat with the second half of the rolled out dough onto the same baking sheet so they are stacked. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours and for up to 2 days.

7. Once chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove baking sheet with cookie dough from the fridge. Work with one piece of rolled out dough at a time while keeping the other half refrigerated. Carefully run your hand under the dough to make sure the dough is not sticking to the parchment paper or silicone mat.

8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Take your Hello Kitty template and make general cuts of the shape with a knife. Place the general shapes on the prepared baking sheet in the fridge and work with 2-3 shapes at a time on the work surface so the remainder of the dough does not become too soft. Hand cut the shape, following the outline of the template. Lift up the cut out shape and remove any excess dough and lightly press the edges to smooth the dough. Place hand cut cookies back onto the baking sheet in the fridge and repeat with remaining general shapes. Gather scraps and roll them out, refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm and repeat process until your dough is nearly used up and you have yielded as many Hello Kitty’s as possible!

9. Arrange a third of the cookies on a prepared baking sheet 3 inches apart. Using a knife or a small circle cutter, cut out the center. These will be your middle layer cookies that will create the well for the sprinkles. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

10. Arrange remaining cookies on a prepared baking sheet 3 inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

Almond Royal Icing

1. In a large bowl using a whisk, mix the powdered sugar, meringue powder, water, and almond extract until the ingredients are fully incorporated.

2. Take a flat edge spatula or spoon and run it through the icing. The line should disappear in 20 seconds. If it is too thick, add a little more water. If it is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.

3. Measure out royal icing for the different colors. You will need 150 grams for white, 15 grams for yellow, 80 grams for orange, 15 grams for red, 15 grams for pink, and 30 grams for black. When achieving light colors, a little bit of gel color goes a long way!

Decorating and Assembling Time!

1. Pair one hollow cookie with two regular cookies to ensure your cookies match in size well as this is easier to do pre-decorating. Be sure to place the hollow cookie in between the regular cookies since this layer will be the well for the sprinkles later on.

2. Begin decorating the top cookies! Outline the tiger costume with orange icing. Fill in the outlined space and use a scribe or toothpick to smooth out imperfections. Right after, pipe the four black stripes onto the orange icing. This is called the wet-on-wet technique as the black will settle into the orange icing, leaving a smooth, flat surface. Allow the iced sections to dry before applying the next steps, roughly 15 minutes. Having a fan nearby for air circulations helps to speed up the process.

3. Outline Hello Kitty’s white face and fill it in. Pipe the tiger’s snout in white and the tiger’s ear outline in black. Allow icing to dry.

4. Pipe the red outer detail of Hello Kitty’s bow. Pipe her yellow nose and the inside of the tiger’s ears in pink. Allow icing to dry.

5. Pipe the small red inner detail of Hello Kitty’s bow. Pipe the tiger’s white fangs and white inner ear detail followed by all the black facial details of the tiger and Hello Kitty. Lastly, pipe the circle center of Hello Kitty’s bow.

6. Time to assemble! Outline the bottom cookie with white icing then place the cutout cookie on top, applying light pressure. Fill the center with sprinkles then ice the outline of the cutout cookie. Carefully place the decorated cookie on top and apply light pressure on the edges of the cookie so the icing on the decorated cookie stays intact. Woohoo, you did it!! Our festive Hello Kitty is ready to spread happiness and prosperity!

7. Storage: allow the cookies to dry for at least 5 hours after completion. Store them in an airtight container. They will keep for 2 weeks at room temperature in a cool, dry place.

To celebrate Lunar New Year 2022 with Hello Kitty and Friends, you can download the FREE Sanrio Lunar New Year Red Envelope HERE. 

And can also purchase your very own supercute Hello Kitty Year of the Tiger 2022 Plush HERE.

Please note: Sanrio has invited, but does not necessarily endorse, the comments of this guest blogger. Any ideas or instructions for homemade products featuring Hello Kitty or other Sanrio characters are authorized for personal use only. A separate license from Sanrio is always required to sell or distribute any products featuring Hello Kitty or other Sanrio characters. The contents of this blog are the copyrighted works of Sanrio.