How to Make It
Draw a 10" circle on a piece of wax paper, using a 10" tube pan as a guide. Cut out circle. Set tube pan insert in center of circle, and draw around inside of tube; cut out smaller circle. Grease bottom of pan, and line with wax paper cutout; heavily grease and flour wax paper and sides of pan. Set aside.
Position knife blade in food processor bowl; add almonds. Pulse 4 to 5 times or until almonds are coarsely ground. (Be careful not to overprocess, as this releases oil from the almonds.)
Beat butter at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 2 cups sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Combine cookie crumbs and flour; add to butter mixture alternately with half-and-half, beginning and ending with crumb mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in ground almonds and vanilla.
Spoon batter into prepared pan. (Batter will fill pan only half full.) Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (Torte rises only slightly.) Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
Run a sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen torte. Carefully invert torte onto a serving plate; peel off wax paper. Invert torte again. Sift powdered sugar over torte, if desired.
Note: We used Pepperidge Farm sugar cookies, but other brands of sugar cookies would work as well in this torte.
Christmas with Southern Living 1997