Cookies For Dummies
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Get out your rolling pin! Almond-cinnamon stars are delicious and fun-shaped rolled cookies-perfect for holiday gatherings and cookie exchanges. Try this recipe for festive cookies that taste great!

If you can’t find ground almonds in the store. you can grind your own using the steel blade of a food processor. Use whole, slivered, sliced, or chopped almonds and, for each cup of nuts, include 1 tablespoon of sugar to absorb the natural oil that’s released when they’re ground. Pulse using the on/off switch until the almonds are finely ground, about 1 minute.

Specialty tools: Rolling pin, 2-1/2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter

Preparation time: 3-1/4 hours; includes chilling

Baking time: 12 minutes

Yield: 4 dozen

1/2 cup plus 2-1/2 tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup finely ground almonds

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 cups all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

Confectioners' sugar for garnish

  1. Using a mixer, beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

    Add the sugar and blend the mixture until smooth, about 2 more minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a long-handled rubber spatula. Add the almonds in two stages, blending well after each addition. Beat in the cinnamon and vanilla and then add the egg and blend well.

  2. Combine the flour and salt and add to the almond mixture in three stages, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl often.

    Beat the dough until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gather the dough together, wrap in plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or until firm, before using. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 days, or it can be frozen. If frozen, defrost it overnight before using.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Using a 2-1/2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out stars from the dough.

  4. Place the stars on the cookie sheets, leaving 1 inch between the cookies.

    Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the cookies are golden and set. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and transfer the cookies from the parchment to cooling racks. Lightly dust the tops of the cookies with confectioners' sugar. Store between layers of wax paper in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Per serving: Calories 67 (From Fat 36); Fat 4g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 11mg; Sodium 2mg; Carbohydrate 7g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 1g.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Carole Bloom, CCP, is a baking instructor, spokesperson, and the author of six cookbooks. She has written for Bon Appétit, Gourmet, and Chocolatier and has appeared on The Today Show and ABC News.

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