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Almond Cookies

By using vegetable shortening instead of the traditional lard in these almond cookies, this recipe creates almond cookies that are a little bit crispier — and with a lot less cholesterol.

[Credit: Michael Lamotte/Cole Group/PhotoDisc]
Credit: Michael Lamotte/Cole Group/PhotoDisc

Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour for the dough to rest

Cooking time: About 15 minutes per batch

Yield: About 32 cookies

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup solid vegetable shortening

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds

32 almond halves

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a bowl.

  2. In a large bowl, beat the shortening, sugar, brown sugar, and salt with an electric mixer until fluffy.

  3. Crack the egg and pour it into a small bowl, then beat it lightly with a whisk or fork.

  4. Add the egg, and the vanilla and almond extracts; beat until blended.

  5. Add the flour mixture; beat until fully incorporated.

  6. Add the chopped almonds and stir to mix well.

  7. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

    You need to refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour, and you can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days.

  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  9. Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls.

  10. Place the balls 2 to 3 inches apart on a baking sheet.

  11. Press an almond half into the center of each ball.

  12. Bake until golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes.

    Let cool on the baking sheet for 7 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Even desserts deserve garnishing. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds or even some finely chopped walnuts onto your almond cookies while they’re still warm — they’re the perfect accessory for these tempting treats.

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