Here’s another cookie to file away for holiday gift baking, they’ll balance out the lineup with a sophisticated crunch. Or just make them for yourself to stash away and have with tea.
These cookies aren’t shy with the almond flavor or the poppy seeds. I made sure of it with almond flour, almond paste, almond extract, and a whopping 1/2 cup of poppy seeds. I don’t see the point of recipes that call for 1 or 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds. I say go big or go home, and these cookies have more poppy seeds than sugar.
These are a little crunchier than a lot of my shortbread based cookies. I think that’s partly because I sliced them a little thinner, and partly because of all those poppy seeds. Cut the slices a little thicker if you like a softer cookie.
These follow the classic and convenient slice and bake method, my favorite. The soft dough gets formed into a log, rolled in parchment paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerated for at least a couple of hours to give the dough a chance to firm up enough to slice.
There are lots of ways to package cookie gifts, but one of the simplest is cellophane bags. Use a large baking cup or a doily at the bottom to anchor the cookies and then stack them as high as you want.
A twist tie, a bow and a tag is all you need to finish it off.
One thing, though…give your cookies when they are fresh. Nobody wants stale cookies. If you aren’t ready to gift them right away, freeze the cookies, or, better yet, freeze the dough and bake it when you need it.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 tube (or 3.5 oz) almond paste
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 cup poppy seeds
- 1 tsp almond extract
- Preheat your oven to 325F.
- Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until creamy. Then crumble in the almond paste, as finely as you can, and continue beating until the almond paste and butter are thoroughly combined. You will still have some small lumps of almond paste, and that's ok.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together and add to the bowl, along with the almond extract. Mix on low until the dough comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper, and form the soft dough into a rough log about 8 inches long.
- Wrap the log in the paper, smoothing and shaping as you roll. Twist the ends securely and refrigerate for at least two hours until the dough is firm.
- Slice the dough into 1/4-1/3 inch slices and place on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
- Bake for about 12 minutes until just barely firm and a hint of browning at the bottom. Don't over bake. The cookies will be soft upon leaving the oven but will firm up as they cool.
- Cool for 2 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack.