SOURCE: Almond Board of California

December 15, 2011 05:00 ET

Enjoy 12 Days of Holiday Cookies With the Perfect Almond Crunch

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Dec 15, 2011) - (Family Features) Oven-fresh cookies -- the very image evokes memories of childhood and favorite holiday traditions. Sugar, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, shortbread... the delicious spectrum seems endless.

With that familiar holiday spirit in the air, expand your baking expertise to include some new classics with Almond Board of California's new "Twelve Days of Cookies" Holiday Guide, a free downloadable guide packed with fresh almond recipes and tips that put a new spin on traditional favorites that will leave family and friends amazed.

"Every year, I give my family and friends little boxes of holiday treats I bake from scratch. And each year, I include a different cookie made from almonds," says pastry chef Jenny McCoy of Craft in New York City. "They are the perfect ingredient to use because of their versatility - in all their forms, almonds give my recipes a distinctly rich, nutty flavor and classic crunch that always pleases a crowd."

Created for seasoned foodies and first-time holiday bakers alike, the "Twelve Days of Cookies" Holiday Guide is the go-to source for cookie enthusiasts to add a little snap and crunch to their home-baking endeavors. The guide features brilliant color photos that depict each of the generous baker's dozen (14) cookie recipes, exploring a full gamut that ranges from the classic cookies we've come to know through years of tradition all the way to modern, gluten-free treats.

In addition to the flavorful recipes, the "Twelve Days of Cookies" Holiday Guide offers tips and tricks for successfully planning and executing a holiday cookie exchange party. Holiday bakers will learn how to plan their time, manage a menu of items to be brought by guests, and channel the perfect party atmosphere with creativity and style.

To check out the "Twelve Days of Cookies" Holiday Guide from Almond Board of California, please visit ( and prepare to be inspired. For more almond recipes, nutrition tips and the latest almond research visit

Almond Orange Cardamom Cookies
Servings: 28

1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
28 whole natural almonds

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread almonds onto an ungreased baking pan. Bake about 7 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant; stir once or twice to ensure even browning.

Place slivered almonds in food processor and process until finely ground. Set aside.

Stir together flour, cardamom and salt in small bowl. Set aside.

Place butter in medium bowl and beat at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar.

Beat in the egg yolk, orange zest and almond extract.

Add flour mixture and ground almonds and beat at low speed just until blended. Cover and chill.

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into balls; place 1-inch apart on prepared baking sheets.

Press a whole natural almond in the center of each ball.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the underside is lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Created by Almond Board of California

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