Today marks the first snow day in the District. Luckily I had the day off, so I slept in a little and didn't mind waking up to a sky full of flurries. I tucked myself into an extra layer and laid on the couch watching Love Actually before everyone else woke up. I will never under-appreciate the joy of lazy, quiet mornings. After I was moved to tears a few times even though I have the seen movie roughly nine hundred times, I decided it was time to start baking cookies. What better treat for the first snow then a powdered sugar dusted almond crescent cookie?!
I only had a handful of almonds on hand, and there's no way I was trudging out into the slippery streets or taking off my pajamas, so I used almond meal for the majority of the almonds in the cookies. Most recipes you will look out call for coursely ground almonds, and almond meal is quite a bit finer than that. That means my dough is a little more crumbly than you might expect from another recipe, but it still has the melt in your mouth almond flavor and a bit of a smoother texture.
Almond Crescent Cookies
Approximately 30 medium sized cookies
1 cup Earth Balance margarine
1 cup sugar
2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1/3 cup almonds, ground into small pieces
1/2-1 cup powdered sugar, for dusting the cookies
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cream the margarine and sugar together. Add extracts and beat until fluffy, approximately 2 minutes. Add flour and almond meal and beat until dough forms. Fold in the ground almonds. The dough will be crumbly, but should hold together when squeezed in your palm. Taking roughly 1 tablespoon of dough, roll it in your hands to form a log while applying more pressure to the ends so they are slightly tapered. Curve the dough into an exaggerated crescent moon shape, as it will be less apparent after the cookies are baked. Bake on parchment covered trays for 14-16 minutes until the edges are slightly golden but the middles of the cookies are still soft to the tough. Allow to cool before either rolling in powdered sugar (more traditional) or dusting with sugar(prettier).
Is there a Christmas movie you watch repeatedly every year? Love Actually is the only one I consistently stick with, but let's be honest, it's the only one I truly need. I adore all of the story lines, but Natalie & the Prime Minister are my favorites. Natalie's got a foul mouth, big thighs, & a sweet disposition. A lady after my own heart. If I was really being true to the movie, I wouldn't have let the snow steer me towards crescent cookies, but would have instead made chocolate biscuits. Good thing there's two more weeks before Christmas, so I can probably watch the movie at least four or five more times by then.