For the Cookies
2 Sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 Cup whole blanched almonds
½ Cup Sugar
2 Cups Flour
¼ Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Almond extract
Powdered sugar, for dusting cookies
To Decorate (optional)
Powdered sugar for dusting
Various colors of sanding sugar
Luster pearl deco dots
Frosting for piping designs
Puree ½ cup of the whole blanched almonds in your food processor and set aside. Coarsely chop the remaining ½ cup of almonds and reserve for later.
In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour and salt together and set aside
In the bowl of your electric mixer cream the butter. Add in the pureed almonds and sugar. Blend together until well combined, remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add in your almond extract and mix until well combined. Next, add the flour mixture and beat until it is just incorporated.
Prepare a lightly floured surface and pour out the dough, divide your dough in half. Shape each half of the dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place the dough discs in your refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
While your dough is resting line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
After your dough has rested preheat your oven to 325°. (A great tip here is to use an in-oven thermometer to make sure that the temperature of your oven is accurate. Most ovens are 10-25° off of the actual temperature that you set.)
Lightly flour your work surface and roll out one disc of dough until it is about 1/4" thick. Cut out your shapes using various star cookie cutters. Sprinkle with the coarsely chopped almonds.
Place the cut cookies onto your lined cookie sheets and bake for 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on your first batch of cookies, you will know they are done when the edges start to turn golden brown. You now know how long each batch should take and can set your timer with no guess work.
Place your cookies on a wire rack to cool.
Once your cookies have cooled, dust them with the powdered sugar or with sanding sugar if you want more color. Another great option are luster pearl deco dots.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies. (Note: These cookies can be stored in airtight containers for about a week.)