Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The hollydays wouldn't be complete without cookies...

I'm usually not a big one for sweets, but around the holidays, there are certain treats that call back such nostalgic memories, it is incumbent upon me to recreate them -- waistline be damned.

These are my favorite Christmas cookies, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that they are devoid of color, bits of sugary frosting, or cutesy designs... my mother made them for us every year, and her mother before that, and her mother before that, so there's a history in there that makes them taste even better. Not that any of us is even remotely Swedish, but there ya go.

Swedish Butter Crescents

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder (optional)
1 1/2 cups ground almonds
1 tbs vanilla extract

1/2 cup powdered sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon for dusting

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. Cream room temperature butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.
  3. Add ground almonds and blend until mixed.
  4. Slowly blend flour, baking powder and salt into the mixture.
  5. Finish by kneading any unmixed dry ingredients until the whole is a firm, slightly crumbly ball.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 10-15 mins.
  7. Roll out appoximately 1 tbs of dough into balls, then shape into crescents, leave as is, or garnish with a candied cherry.
  8. Bake for 18-20 mins. or until light golden brown.
  9. Upon removing from the oven, carefully roll warm crescents in powdered sugar/cinnamon mixture, or use a sifter to dust.
  10. Enjoy!