I clipped this tasty recipe out of the Star-Tribune back in the mid-90s and managed to keep track of the scrap of yellowing newsprint through two moves, but couldn’t locate it a few years ago when I wanted to make these again.
I was lucky enough to get assistance from the late Al Sicherman, former food writer extraordinaire for the Strib, in relocating this recipe. I never got to meet “Uncle Al” in person before his passing in August of this year, but he helped me track down many a recipe, so I share this one with you in his honor and memory. They are a delightful departure from the standard holiday cookies with their light texture and unique Scandinavian taste.
Please note: you definitely do not have to cut these into strips. I have cut these out with all kinds of cookie cutters, and they bake just fine! The parchment paper is a worthy investment for this recipe, too. You can find almond paste in the baking aisle. Lastly, make sure your cardamom is fresh!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners’ (aka powdered) sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup almond paste, crumbled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
⅓ cup water
3 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 tablespoons almonds, finely chopped
In a food processor, blend flour, confectioners’ sugar, cardamom, baking soda and salt. Add almond paste and butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.
In a glass measuring cup, combine water, oil and lemon juice. With the processor running, pour liquid through feed tube and process until dough just forms a ball. Do not overmix. Divide the dough into quarters; wrap each section in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll 1 piece of dough into a 3- by 12-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped almonds and press them in with the rolling pin. Cut dough crosswise into ½-inch-wide strips and place ½ inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and almonds.
Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, for 10 to 12 minutes or until very lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheets until crisp.