But I couldn't let the season slip by without any kitchen time, so I made D's favorite Christmas cookies for New Year's Eve. This is a family recipe and we call them almond crescents but they are very similar to Mexican wedding cookies. They are not terribly sweet and they have a wonderful, crumbly texture. I think you are supposed to add almond extract, but I have a violent opposition to it and I don't see why it's necessary when the dough is largely composed of actual almonds.
The dough is a cinch, but shaping the crescents is a bit time consuming, so make sure you have some music on before you start working. These also freeze beautifully (after being baked), so you can make them ahead of time and then just let them defrost when you want them.
Beat until soft:
1 cup unsalted butter
Add gradually until light and fluffy:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 - 1/2 lb ground almonds (I buy the almond meal from TJs to save time)
Roll into crescents by hand and place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 until the bottoms are just golden brown.
Cool slightly, then roll in powdered sugar (per the original recipe) or superfine bakers sugar (our modern preference).
To freeze, let them cool completely and then seal tightly in freezer bags, pressing out as much excess air as possible. Remove cookies from the bag and place them on a plate to defrost before serving.