How many days and ways can I tell you how much I love Christmas baking? Not only do I love the way the kitchen smells, but I love giving my baking efforts to friends and family for Christmas. As a matter of fact, it’s gotten to the point that friends will start asking me in October if they are on the cookie list! Yes, you know who you are…. 😉
Today it is Almond Stars. You can call them Christmas Stars, or Winter Solstice Stars, or heck, get a six pointed star cookie cutter and you’ve got Hanukkah Stars. Of course, you don’t have to cut them out in stars at all – I just like the shape and thought they would be festive. I love these cookies. They are so crisp and light on the outside, with a bit of chewiness on the inside. I think that is due to the ground almonds, which lend a nutty, almost candy-like quality to these lovely little bites. Ice them with a quick royal icing and holiday sprinkles. Enjoy with a coffee, tea, or big glass of milk. And don’t forget to leave some for Santa!
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
In a food processor, finely grind toasted almonds with a pulsing action. Combine in a small bowl with flour and salt; set aside.
Beat butter ans sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla, and almond extract, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the flour mixture. Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours or up to two days.
On a lighting floured surface, roll dough to a 1/4 inch thickness and cut into stars or other desired shapes. Place one inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 8-12 minutes or until edges are light brown and centers are set. Cool for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Decorate with your favorite icing.