These cookies are an absolute must every year at my family's Christmas gathering! They are not decorated or fancy, but they are molded into lovely shapes and have a rich, addictive almond flavor. My daughter-in-law, Lainie, insists that they are best when consumed with Hot Spiced Cider (Wassail)! I make sure to have LOTS of these, as the kids and grand kids always request some to take home. They do take a while to make (especially when you have many to make!), but it takes no longer than baking and decorating traditional cookies. If you can't find clay cookie molds, cookie stamps will work, just roll out the dough, cut into circles, and stamp. This is the original recipe from Brown Bag, the maker of my cookie molds. Love these!
2 sticks softened butter
4 ounces almond paste (marzipan)
1 cup sugar
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups flour
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Place the butter, almond paste and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. (Alternately, you can mash together the sugar and almond paste until smooth, then add the butter and beat until very smooth by hand.) Add the egg and almond extract and beat until thoroughly combined. Add the flour and salt and mix until smooth.
Brush the cookie molds very lightly with oil, making sure the entire surface is coated, but wipe out any excess with a paper towel, if needed. Sprinkle liberally with flour and shake and rotate the mold to make sure the flour coats then entire mold(See the video above!)
Press the dough into the mold firmly, then firmly tap the mold onto a cutting board until the cookie releases. Carefully transfer to a cookie sheet.
Repeat, only flour may be needed once the mold is well "seasoned".
(Alternately, roll out the dough on a lightly floured board, cut into rounds or with cookie cutters. Use a cookie stamp on the rounds.)
Bake the cookies from 10-15 minutes, depending on size and thickness. Rotate the pan after 7 minutes. The cookies should be slightly brown around the edges and the cookies are firm in the center. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or wrap individually and freeze.
Yield depends on the size of the molds. I usually get 9-12 from this recipe.