Almond Angel Cookies

3/4 cup toasted slivered almonds, cooled 
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
3/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 cup butter, softened 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 egg 
1 teaspoon almond extract 
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
2 to 3 tablespoons water 
Toasted sliced almonds and additional toasted slivered almonds

With electric blender, very finely chop almonds, pulsing on and off and being careful not to over blend; set aside. In medium bowl thoroughly mix flour, baking powder and salt. In mixer bowl beat butter 2 minutes, then add granulated sugar and beat until well mixed and creamy. Beat in egg and extract to blend thoroughly. Gradually beat in almonds and flour mixture to blend thoroughly. 

Gather dough into a ball and divide into 3 equal balls. Pat into 3, 1/2-inch-thick circles and refrigerate 30 minutes between sheets of wax paper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees 15 minutes before rolling out dough. Coat baking sheets with vegetable cooking spray. On lightly floured surface roll out dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut with 2- to 3-inch angel shape or other cookie cutters. Place angels on baking sheets 1 inch apart. Bake in center of oven 10 to 12 minutes just until bottoms of cookies begin to turn golden. Let cool 5 minutes; remove to racks to cool completely. 

In small bowl whisk powdered sugar with enough of the water to make a thin spreadable glaze. With a table knife or the back of a spoon cover each cookie with glaze. Arrange sliced or slivered almonds on wings, then return to rack; dry glaze completely, then decorate, if you wish, with colored icing in tubes and colored sprinkles. Allow to dry, then carefully place on tray in a single layer and cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap; store up to 2 days. Or freeze and bring to room temperature before serving.

Servings: Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies, depending on size of cutter.

*To toast almonds, spread in an ungreased baking pan. Place in 350-degree oven and bake 5 to 10 minutes or until almonds are light golden brown; stir once or twice to ensure even browning. Note that almonds will continue to brown slightly after removing from oven.

Copyright 2001 Almond Board of California

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