photo by Darkhunter
- Ready In:
- 1hr 12mins
- 1 cup butter (NEVER use margarine for this!)
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 24 whole almonds, skin removed
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place butter in a large, heavy skillet. Cook over medium-low heat without stirring, about 15 minutes, or until butter becomes a light tan color. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool in a very cool place so butter can become solid again. I will put it out on the covered back porch or inside of the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes, checking often until it solidifies.
- Break up the hardened brown butter with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- In a separate bowl add sugar, flour, baking powder, and cardamom. Mix well and add the browned butter, stirring well with a pastry blender to combine all ingredients. Add vanilla and almond extract.
- NOTE: The dough will be very, very granular. Initially, it will feel like it will not combine but it always does. Scoop enough dough into your hands to form a 1 inch ball and roll it around, allowing the heat from your hands to melt the butter. The dough feels gritty and when each ball is done, it will hold together beautifully and feel less gritty.
- Shape dough into 1" balls. Place each ball 1" apart from other cookies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Top each with an almond; press down slightly so it lays flat on ball.
- NOTE: If you can not find whole almonds without their skin, place almonds in a small deep pan or bowl that is heat proof. Boil enough water in a kettle to cover almonds; allow to sit for 3-5 minutes. Drain off the water and the almonds slip out of their skin very easily. Just pinch the almond between two fingers and out pops the clean almond.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Slide parchment paper with cookies attached to a flat surface to cool. ALLOW COOKIES TO COOL ON THE PARCHMENT UNTIL COMPLETELY COLD! They fall apart if taken off too soon! (I allow them a good hour to sit on the parchment paper and then move them to a rack.).
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The further I got in to this recipe the more skeptical I got. I never thought I would be able to get that mixture to form into a ball, but, I did!!! Wow, from a gritty flour/butter mixture to a luxurious creamy ball in a few seconds, just with the warmth of my hands. I didn't take the time to remove the skin from the almonds, didn't have the patience to do that, lol. I am NOT a baker so I am very surprised these turned out for me. That is thanks to your perfect instructions and wonderful photo series. If it was not for those photos, I don't think I would of done the butter properly. That stuff is good, I could of ate the butter alone, teehee.... Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful recipe.
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