Luane’s Almond Cookies

These light, crisp almond cookies are among my favorite holiday cookies. I like them plain, but they are also delicious with a vanilla glaze and a few almond slices added as décor.

Luane’s Almond Cookies
Makes about 48 cookies

4 ounces blanched almonds, chopped very fine (3/4 cup chopped)
1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons boiling water (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1/2 cup almond slices (optional)
gold or silver dragees (optional)

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Whisk in finely chopped almonds. Set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Set mixer speed on high and beat about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Gather dough together. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Line cookie sheets with parchment.

Roll dough, between wax paper, to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut dough with 1-inch round shapes. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake about 8 to 10 minutes, until edges are golden. Transfer cookies, still on the parchment, to wire racks to cool completely.

If glazing, mix powdered sugar, boiling water, and vanilla together in small bowl. Brush on cookies, and decorate with sliced almonds and dragees.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 5 days.