Monday, December 7, 2009
These cookies may not be the showiest cookies on the table. No sparkles or glittering red and green sugar. But one bite...
They are delicate and melt in the mouth. I wish I had one right now.
After baking they do a little roll in a bowl of superfine sugar with a hint of cinnamon is perfect. I had thought about adding a bit of freshly grated nutmeg to the mixture but didn't; the first time I make a recipe I like to go exactly by the directions before I add my own touches and twists. I'm glad I didn't add anything else - it was just right.
Recipe from Rose's Christmas Cookies, a fabulous cookbook.
2/3 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/3 cup sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) softened unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups of flour
1/2 cup superfine sugar*
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
*Make your own superfine sugar by whirling granulated sugar in the food processor a bit.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl and set aside.
Soften the butter. Grind the almonds very finely. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almonds, butter, and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour and salt and beat them into the mixture on low speed until incorporated.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Divide the dough into 8 portions. Work with 1 section at a time, keeping the remainder of the dough refrigerated. Knead the dough between floured hands until malleable. Pinch off a portion and roll it into a 3/4-inch round ball. On a lightly floured surface roll each ball into a cylinder with tapered ends, about 3 inches long by 1/2-inch thick. Form each cylinder into a crescent shape and place on a cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.
Bake cookies for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating cookie sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.
Cool the cookies on sheets for 10 minutes. While still warm, lift cookies from the baking sheet and dip them, one at a time, in the cinnamon mixture, turning gently to coat all over. Finish cooling the cookies on wire racks.
Cookies keep 1 month at room temperature, 1 month refrigerated, or several months frozen.
Makes 5 dozen.