Toasted Almond Button Cookies

The one-bite cookie

I saw this Holiday Cookie Guide in the Washington Post the other day and was totally impressed. I loved the clean, crisp look of the layout as well as the subject - 26 cookie recipes each with their own simple, appealing photo.

But, I did what I always do when browsing for cookie recipes; I skipped right over those that required rolling, cutting or decorating. I have something resembling a small panic attack, probably much like the one that some people get when they attempt to make pie pastry – it’s a combination of fear (of sticky, messy dough) and impatience (with anything requiring fussing with).

My kids still love me, I think. But I imagine they would love me more if I would make some decorated gingerbread people to hang from the tree. Maybe I’ll look into a 12-step program to move me through the process of my cookie dough anxiety.

In the meantime, these cute almond cookie buttons called out to me. They’re require nothing more complicated than the easy pinch and roll method, you can make the dough up to 5 days ahead and they contain lots of ground, toasted almonds. I love toasted almonds!

When I make these again, I'll use hazelnuts instead, and top them with some warm chocolate-hazelnut spread, like Nutella.

I was invited to a cookie swap at my friend Alanna’s and had to make 10 dozen cookies to share. How convenient for me. I made them.

I’m kind of on a cookie bender right now, so bear with me for a bit. This week I’ll be sharing some of my all-time favorite cookie recipes (no rolling required, promise).

Toasted Almond Buttons
makes about 60 cookies
from the Washington Post
  • 2 cups whole, skin-on almonds, toasted (see NOTE)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate

Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Finely grind 1 cup of the almonds in a food processor or blender and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt. Use your hands to thoroughly work in 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) of the butter and the vanilla and almond extracts until a soft dough forms (it should not crumble).

Transfer to a resealable plastic food storage bag and refrigerate until well chilled (at least 20 minutes) or up to 5 days. Use the palms of your hands to roll the dough into 1/2-inch balls. Place on the baking sheets; spray the back of a small-size melon baller with nonstick cooking oil spray and use it to indent the top of each ball, holding the edges of the dough together as you work (if the edges crack, blend them back together).

Bake 1 sheet at a time for about 15 minutes, until the cookies begin to brown. Transfer them carefully to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, place the chocolate and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a small metal mixing bowl and suspend the bowl over a saucepan containing an inch or two of very hot water over medium heat. When the chocolate and butter have melted, stir to combine. Use a spoon to drizzle a small amount of chocolate into the indentation of each cookie. Top each with one of the remaining whole almonds. Let set completely before storing.

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Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food


Emiline said...

These look so cute! I agree about cut-out cookies; they're just a huge mess. They stress me out.

Bellini Valli said...

I suffer from cookie making and pastry anxiety as well. Thank goodness our last day at work is on the 20th so I can attempt to make a few things...nothing like leaving it to the last minute!!These button look like they are right up my alley!

Tracy said...

Those look delicious!

I agree with you about cut-outs. I do make them but I find myself wanting to tell each person that eats one how much work it took to make!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Karen, they look beautiful! I'd love to grab one. Or 10. :)

Tks for the link to Holiday Cookie Guide - I'll take a look!

janelle said...

I LOVE no fuss cookies!

You live in the same town as Alanna? How cool:)

swirlingnotions said...

Huh . . . these actually look doable! I'd given up the thought of baking cookies for Christmas, but now I might actually resurrect the idea.

Great to see you again at Swirling Notions . . . you've now got my husband pining for popcorn and prosecco ;-).

Julie said...

Those look very good, I can't wait to try them.

Karen said...

Emiline, life is too short for stressful cookies, don't you think?

Bellini, these buttons are your last minute ticket! The dough does need time to chill, though.

Tracy, I know. I love those beautiful Martha Stewart cookies, but they look like so much work I'd probably slap the person who tried to eat one.

Thanks, Patricia. Yes, 10 would be no problem, at least not in my big mouth.

Janelle, I know. How lucky is that?

Lia, now I am pining for a little P & P! What can I say, I feel like celebrating.

Julie, I hope you'll like them.