I was at home feeling under the weather over the rainy weekend and decided to bake some cookies to cheer me up. My mom gave me the recipes for two of my favorite holiday cookies: nut puffs and almond finger cookies. While I had the oven on, I also tried out a spiced nut recipe my neighbor had given me. It’s actually the Barefoot Contessa’s rosemary roasted cashew recipe, but all we had on hand was almonds.

All the baking made the house feel cozy and warm. It was just what I needed to battle the blahs and welcome the holiday season.

rosemary almonds

Rosemary roasted almonds, recipe from Barefoot Contessa

almond cookies

Almond finger cookies

Almond Finger Cookies (makes 2 dozen)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup finely chopped/ground almonds
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cold water
2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line cookie sheets with foil.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add almonds and vanilla. Beat in water, then flour and salt.
  3. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead thoroughly to combine all ingredients.
  4. Roll into logs the size of your index finger. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Place on cookie sheet with one inch between pieces.
  5. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
  6. Place powdered sugar into a sieve and shake over cookies. Store in airtight container lined with waxed paper.
nut puffs

Nut puffs

Nut Puffs (makes 2 dozen)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup finely chopped nuts (I use walnuts)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add nuts and vanilla, then flour and salt.
  3. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls or form into crescents.
  4. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Avoid letting cookies get too brown.
  5. Roll cookies in powdered sugar while still slightly warm.
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