I have a confession. I’m not a fan of those frosted Christmas cookies that somehow became the center of so many Christmas kitchen festivities. Don’t get me wrong, I did line up at grandma’s kitchen counter in front of the bowls full of brightly colored frosting all those years. If I am honest, though, even back then I preferred frosting the cookie to actually eating it.
So far, with R being quite young, I’ve been able to avoid addressing my dislike for this very symbol of Christmas baking. We’ve still made merry with holiday treats, but we’ve filled up cookie tins for friends with our chewy molasses ginger cookies, assorted biscotti, and homemade peanut butter cups (yum). Until this year, anyway, when our astute little cookie eater announced, with a mouthful of ginger molasses goodness, that she wanted to make cut-out cookies, too. I knew it was coming one of these years, but I did not have a plan. So my recipe wheels got turning and turning…
Rewinding all the way to over a year ago when I was pretty hooked on these buckwheat butter cookies. I like the faint sweetness of butter cookies, rather than that knock-you-over-the-head sweet. That way, it can be dessert or a side to your morning coffee, and that crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth texture keeps me grabbing for another.
So I reasoned, what if the Christmas cut-outs were in butter cookie form, rather than sugar cookie form? The results were scooped up so fast that I didn’t even get to take a picture. So we made another batch. Butter cookies don’t rise and expand, so I love that this dough really holds the shape of the cut-outs. These will be in our Christmas cookie tins forevermore!
Almond butter cookies
- 2 c. all purpose flour
- 2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 1/2 c. butter at room temperature (I prefer salted as unsalted usually has flavor in it)
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 2 t. almond extract*
- 1 large egg
- Beat together butter and sugar until mixed. Mix in the egg and almond extract.
- In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients: both flours, and the salt.
- Gradually add the dry mix to the wet mix until incorporated into a solid ball of dough.
- Refrigerate the dough in an airtight container for one hour.
- If you’re cutting these out to different shapes, roll the dough out to a 1/4 inch thick slab. For a more simple cookie, roll the dough into a log, and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices.
- Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.
*Almond pastries are my favorite. If they’re not your thing, just sub the almond extract for vanilla extract.