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Holiday Cookies 
18th-Dec-2007 10:51 am
Zooey face
Yesterday I baked two kinds of cookies: Almond Buttons and Coconut-Lime Thai Snowballs. Yum!

Tonight, I'll be baking Espresso Bean Chocolate cookies, Cashew butter cookies, and Brittany butter cookies.

Almond Buttons


* • 2 cups whole, skin-on almonds, toasted (see NOTE)
* • 2 cups flour
* • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
* • 1/4 teaspoon salt
* • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
* • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
* • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate


Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Finely grind 1 cup of the almonds in a food processor or blender and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt. Use your hands to thoroughly work in 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) of the butter and the vanilla and almond extracts until a soft dough forms (it should not crumble). Transfer to a resealable plastic food storage bag and refrigerate until well chilled (at least 20 minutes) or up to 5 days. Use the palms of your hands to roll the dough into 1/2-inch balls. Place on the baking sheets; spray the back of a small-size melon baller with nonstick cooking oil spray and use it to indent the top of each ball, holding the edges of the dough together as you work (if the edges crack, blend them back together). Bake 1 sheet at a time for about 15 minutes, until the cookies begin to brown. Transfer them carefully to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, place the chocolate and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a small metal mixing bowl and suspend the bowl over a saucepan containing an inch or two of very hot water over medium heat. When the chocolate and butter have melted, stir to combine. Use a spoon to drizzle a small amount of chocolate into the indentation of each cookie. Top each with one of the remaining whole almonds. Let set completely before storing.

NOTE: To toast almonds:

Cook them in a heavy, dry skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are lightly browned and begin to smell toasty. Watch carefully; nuts can burn quickly. Transfer to a dish to cool.
Recipe Source:

Adapted from "New Almond Cookery," by Michelle Schmidt (Simon and Schuster, 1984).

72 calories, 5g fat, 2g saturated fat, 7mg cholesterol, 9mg sodium, 5g carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 1g protein.


Coconut-Lime Thai Snowballs

For the dough

* • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
* • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
* • 1/4 teaspoon salt
* • 2 cups flour
* • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (medium shred)

For the coating

* • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (medium shred)
* • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
* • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
* • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted


Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

For the dough: Combine the butter and sugar in the large bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand-held electric mixer); beat on medium speed for about 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the lime juice and beat to combine. Stop the motor and fold in the lime zest, salt, flour and coconut, mixing well.

Lightly flour your hands and roll the dough between your palms into 1-inch balls. Place the balls about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets (the cookies will spread slightly); bake for about 15 minutes or until the cookies are puffy but not browned; the bottoms will be just golden. Cool on the baking sheets for no more than 5 minutes.

For the coating: Meanwhile, combine the coconut, confectioners' sugar, lime zest and sifted cornstarch in a quart- or gallon-size resealable plastic food storage bag. While the cookies are still warm, add 3 to 4 to the bag at a time and toss to coat evenly. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

When ready to serve, sprinkle additional confectioners' sugar and lime zest atop each cookie, if desired.

Recipe Source:

Adapted from "The Great Big Butter Cookbook," edited by Diana von Glahn (Running Press, 2007).

82 calories, 5g fat, 3g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 13mg sodium, 9g carbohydrates, n/a dietary fiber, 1g protein.



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