My mom makes these buttery rich cookies every Christmas. For years I would watch her roll out the dough and cut it into angel and tree shapes. It is not an easy dough to work with because essentially, it is butter and ground almonds. It can get a little crumbly – especially the second and third time you roll it out. This year I decided to try a little twist on mom’s classic recipe. I rolled the dough into balls, and flattened them slightly. Same great taste – much less hassle. I kind of miss the snowy angels though.
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 large vanilla beans
1 1/2 C blanched almonds, ground fine
1/2 C flour + 2 1/2 C more flour
14 oz (3 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 C granulated sugar
Powdered Sugar (for dipping):
Mix powdered sugar and vanilla beans. Slice open beans, scrape innards into the sugar and place the bean pods in the powdered sugar too. Cover and allow to sit for a couple of hours until sugar takes on flavor of the vanilla beans.
1. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add 1/2 C flour to the ground almonds and mix into the butter mixture.
3. Add more flour to consistency of putty (approx 2 1/2 C additional flour) – Chill for 30 minutes.
4. Roll thinly and cut with cookie cutters, or shape into balls and flatten slightly with palm or bottom of a glass.
5. Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350° on parchment lined cookie sheets. Cool slightly then dip in powdered sugar.
6. Dip a second time in powdered sugar just before serving.