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Almond Shortbread

Yield 17 cookies
Ground natural almonds and almond extract pump up this shortbread with nutty goodness.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup natural almonds, toasted (see Note)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

How to Make It

  1. Place almonds in a food processor; process until finely ground. Set aside.

  2. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Stir in almond extract.

  3. Combine ground almonds, flour, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

  4. Roll dough to 1/2" thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut with a 2 1/2" round cutter or Christmas cookie cutter. Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheets.

  5. Bake at 275° for 45 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks to cool.

  6. Note: Toast natural almonds on a baking sheet at 350° for 6 to 8 minutes or until they smell fragrant. Then cool and grind almonds in a food processor until almost a powder consistency. We found that leaving the skins on the nuts adds a pleasing speckled appearance and rich flavor to the shortbread.

Christmas with Southern Living 2002