These simple almond and spiced cookies can be made in less than an hour. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes for a party or cookie swap.
Sunset NOVEMBER 2003
1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in milk. In another bowl, mix flour, almonds, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and baking powder; stir or beat into butter mixture until well blended (if mixture is crumbly, squeeze into a smooth, compact ball).
2. Divide dough in half. Flatten each portion into a 1-inch-thick disk. On a lightly floured board, with a floured rolling pin, roll dough, a portion at a time, to 1/8 inch thick. With a floured 2- to 3-inch cutter, cut dough into rounds (if dough becomes too soft to handle, freeze briefly until firm).
3. With a wide spatula or your fingers, transfer cookies to buttered or cooking parchment-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Gather scraps, pat into a ball, and repeat rolling and cutting.
4. Bake cookies in a 300° oven until slightly darker brown, about 15 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.
5. With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release, let stand on sheets to firm up, about 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
Nutritional analysis is per cookie.
To grind the almonds for these spice cookies, whirl in a blender or food processor. You can store the cookies airtight for up to 1 week.
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