Friday, December 19, 2008

almond flavor = holidays

Maybe it's just me, but something about almond flavoring always reminds me of the holiday season. It's probably because I love the flavor, and many of my favorite holiday recipes call for it! With only 6 days left to prepare and bake for your holiday feast, we thought we better share some delicious almond flavored recipes.

The first recipe comes from one of our favorites, When I got an email with this recipe inside, it went straight to the top of my "must try recipes" list. These cookies look divine!

Amaretto Butter Cookies

  • About 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 3 tablespoons almond-flavored liqueur, such as amaretto, or 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • About 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sliced almonds


1. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1 cup butter and sugar until smooth. Add egg yolk, liqueur, and orange peel and beat until well blended.

2. In another bowl, mix 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture; stir to mix, then beat until well blended. Gather dough into a ball, divide in half, and flatten each portion into a disk; wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until firm enough to roll without sticking, about 30 minutes.

3. Unwrap dough. On a lightly floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll one disk at a time to about 1/4 inch thick. With a floured, 2-inch round cutter, cut out cookies. Place about 2 inches apart on buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. Gather excess dough into a ball, reroll, and cut out remaining cookies.

4. In a small bowl, beat egg white with 1 teaspoon water to blend. Brush cookies with mixture and sprinkle or arrange about 1/2 teaspoon sliced almonds on each.

5. Bake cookies in a 325ยบ regular or convection oven until lightly browned, about 15 minutes; if baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through cooking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.

The next recipe first came to my attention when I had it at fellow birdie Mandy's house. I was raving over it and once she told me how simple it went on my "must try recipes" list. Since I haven't started in on my holiday treats yet, I have no pictures to offer for these last 2 recipes. You will just have to make them yourself to see how wonderful they look, and more importantly, taste!

Swedish Almond Cake

Combine, mixing as little as possible:
1 c. sugar
1 c. flour
2 beaten eggs
1 cube of butter, melted
1 tsp. almond extract
Pour into greased and floured pie plate. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top to nicely cover (it's still delicious without these if you don't like nuts!). Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely. Can be refrigerated or frozen.

This last recipe is a special tradition in my family. My mom made this cake every Christmas. We were too excited about our new presents to eat a major breakfast, so we ate a slice of this cake washed down with some hot chocolate. My mom knew she could get us to at least eat that! I have continued the tradition with my own little family and we all love it.

Swedish Coffee Cake

Cream together:
1 c. butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract

Stir in:
2 c. flour
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 T. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans

Layer into a greased and floured bundt pan in this order: cake batter, sugar mixture, cake batter, sugar mixture, cake batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 min. Flip cake out onto platter. Frost with: 1 tsp. almond, 1 T. milk and 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar. If you're like me, and prefer a thicker frosting, you can increase powdered sugar until desired thickness. This cake can also be made in large loaf pans if desired.

We hope you enjoy these holiday recipes as much as we do. Happy Baking!

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7 Responses to “almond flavor = holidays”

courtneyb said...

YUM-O!!! I love almond flavor

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog...and I'm in love!! You will see me more!

Anonymous said...

in the second recipe, how much is a cube of butter? 1/4 cup? sounds yummy and easy! i would love to try it...

Little Birdie Secrets said...

A cube of butter is 1/2 cup. Happy Baking!

Cara said...

Yum! I can't wait to try those cookies at the top!

-Sydney- said...

Those look BEAUTIFUL. Kevin, you're crazy. Almonds are the best!

mamma of 2 said...

Just discovered your blog, I made those yummy butter amaretto cookies for a cookie exchange and they were a hit! Can't wait to have more time to browse your stuff!!

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