Strawberry-Almond Shortbread Cookies

I’ve started making Christmas cookies, thanks to some great inspirations on Pinterest.  I’ve already made a lot of keepers, which I definitely will have to make every year.  They are soo good! And that means we (and by we I mean I) are eating way too many cookies. But it’s Christmas time! I do get my veggies in too, so it works itself out.

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These little beauties taste so great. Very light but with great flavor. The almond flavoring really makes the cookie.  It takes a notch up from good to great. And they are not dry either. I did change a few things from the original recipe which I found from parentpretty.com, and they still turned out wonderfully.  And I’m hoping they last until Christmas day.

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Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract*
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 teaspoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract*

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the 2/3 cup sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon almond extract*. Beat until well combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with an electric mixer, then use a wooden spoon if necessary to stir in any remaining four. (Cover and chill for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.)**
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Using your thumb, press an indentation into the center of each ball. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the jam into each indentation and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to large cutting board or wire rack to cool.
  3. For icing, in a medium bowl combine the powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon water and 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract*. Add enough of the remaining water to make a drizzling consistency. Drizzle cookies with icing.  Allow the icing to firm up before storing in an air tight container.

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*I have some almond oil I brought with me from the States that I used for this recipe.  Since almond oil is a lot stronger I only used about a third of what the recipe calls for. Either one will work, but if using the oil, make sure to use a lot less.

**I left out the cover and chill step, since the consistency seemed normal and they didn’t even seem to need it.

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