These are another classic treat that we never do without at Christmas. We use fresh Rancho Vignola unsprayed almonds, blanching and skinning them before turning them into crumbs. There's not a lot of sugar in these, but there's more than enough butter to make up for that!
2 cups whole blanched almonds
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
pinch of salt
2 cups flour
an extra 3/4 cup of icing sugar for dusting / dredging
Finely chop almonds; a food processor works best. In a bowl, beat together butter, 1/4 cup of icing sugar, almond and vanilla extracts and salt. Mix in flour and almonds, using hands as necessary. Refrigerate one hour.
With 10-15 mL (two or three tsp. worth) of dough, shape into a ball, roll gently into a log, and then form into crescent shape. Place crescents an inch or two apart on baking parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake cookies in 350F oven for 18 minutes, rotating trays partway through baking. Cookies should be firm to touch and barely golden on the bottom.
Cool slightly, until cookies can be handled easily but are still warm. Dredge in remaining sugar. Place on racks to cool fully. Makes about 4 dozen.