lemon thumbprint cookies

1 c butter, room temperature
1/2 c sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornmeal
2 1/2 AP flour
4 tbsp pistachios or walnuts, finely chopped
1/3 c lemon marmalade

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add yolks, then lemon zest and juice. Combine salt, cornmeal and flour, then add to the butter mixture. Form teaspoonfuls into balls, then dip into the choppednuts. On a parchment lined sheet, press cookies with your thumb. Bake at 350F for 15-18 min. While still warm, fill thumbprints with lemon marmalade.

almond crescents    

1 c butter
1/2 c sifted XXX sugar                    
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond flavouring
1 tbsp water
1 3/4 c AP flour
3/4 c very finely chopped blanched almonds
XXX sugar

Cream butter with sugar.  Beat in flavourings & water.  Blend in flour & almonds.  Chill.  Shape dough into small crescents.  Place on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 300F for about 25 min or until very lightly browned.  Roll in XXX sugar. Makes 3 - 4 dozen

almond chews

2 c whole almonds, toasted
1 1/4 c sugar
2 1/2 tbsp AP flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 egg whites, room temperature

Toast almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet at 350F for a few minutes or until they turn golden and fragrant. Rub skins off if that's the kind you bought. In a food processor combine almonds, sugar, flour and salt. Process until mixture forms fine, powdery crumbs.

Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Fold in almond mixture until well blended, but be gentle. Drop by rounded teaspoonfulls onto parchment lined cookie sheets 2" apart. Don't try these without parchment or waxed paper.

Bake at 325F for 20 minutes or until golden. Cool on sheet slightly before transferring to a rack. Store airtight.

almond shortbread cookies with pepper

1 c AP flour
1 c cornstarch
1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1 c unsalted butter, room temp
2 1/2 c XXX sugar, sifted
1 tsp pure almond extract
1 large egg white
3 oz whole blanched almonds
  1. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, pepper, cardamom and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and 1 c XXX sugar until light and fluffy. Add almond extract and beat to combine. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture until it comes together to form a dough, scraping sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Turn out onto clean work surface. Pinch off tablespoons of the dough and roll into 1 1/2" balls. Place on two baking sheets, 2" apart. Flatten slightly. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, lightly whisk egg white. Add blanched almonds and toss to coat. Remove dough from fridge; press 2 almonds on top of each ball.
  5. Bake at 325F until slightly golden, about 18 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack.
  6. Place remaining 1 1/2 c XXX sugar in a medium bowl. Roll warm cookies in the sugar, then return to baking sheets; let cool 15 minutes, then roll again in sugar.
  7. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

hsing jen ping (almond crisps)

1 1/4 c AP flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c lard or shortening, softened
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp almond extract
1 c chopped blanched almonds
1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tbsp water
36 whole blanched almonds
  1. Sift together the flour, soda and salt. Cream together the sugar and lard until the mixture is light. Beat in the egg and extract. Beat the flour mixture in a little at a time to form a soft dough. Add chopped almonds and stir mixture just until the almonds are evenly distributed.
  2. On floured surface form the dough into an 18" log. Cut into 36 pieces and roll each into a ball. On a lightly greased baking sheet, flatten the balls into rounds 1/4" thick, leaving 1/2" between them.  If the dough is too soft to be formed, drop it by tbsps 1" apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Do not add more flour. 
  3. Make an indentation in the centre of each cookie with a floured knuckle. Brush lightly with the egg yolk mixed with water and put an almond in each indentation.
  4. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Cool on rack. 36 cookies

almond cookies

1 c lard
1 c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 c AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (somewhat less)
Red food colouring OR
Whole blanched almonds

Cream lard with sugar until light. Add egg and mix well. Add almond extract. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Shape into 1" balls and put on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten lightly by pressing centre with thumb. Dip end of chopstick in colouring and touch the centre of each cookie or press an almond into the centre of each. Bake at 375F for 10-12 minutes.

chocolate almond meringues

1 c sliced, blanched almonds
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c AP flour
1 tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp almond extract
  1. Reserve approximately 48 almond slices for garnish. In blender, finely grind almonds. 
  2. Beat whites, salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in brown sugar, 2 tbsp at a time, beating well after each addition until sugar is completely dissolved. Fold in flour, cocoa, almond extract and ground almonds.
  3. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 1/2" onto greased sheets. Top each with almond slice. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Store in tightly covered tin to use within 1 week. Makes 48

pecan sour cream cookies

1/2 c pecans
2 1/4 c AP flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c butter
1/3 c shortening
3/4 c sugar
Halved pecans or pistachios
1 egg
1/2 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

lemon glaze

1 egg white until frothy and add
1 1/2 c sifted XXX sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
dash of salt
food colouring (opt)

Grind the 1/2 c pecans in grinder and stir together ground nuts,, flour and  baking powder.  In large  bowl beat butter & shortening with electric mixer for 30 seconds.  Add sugar and beat until fluffy.   Add egg, sour cream and vanilla; beat well.  Add dry  ingredients and beat until well combined.  Divide dough in half.  Cover and chill at least 3 hours.  Working with half the dough at a time, roll out to an 1/8" thickness on a lightly floured surface.  Cut with a cookie cutter or shape into 1" balls.  Bake on ungreased sheets at 375F (7-8 min for cutouts and 10 min for balls).   Remove to rack and cool.  

To make the lemon glaze, beat the egg white until frothy, then add XXX sugar, lemon juice and salt.  Beat well.  Add a few drops of food colouring if desired  to all or a portion of the glaze. 

Spread the cooled cookies with lemon glaze and sprinkle with nuts.

pecan logs

1 c butter or margarine, room temp
1 c XXX sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp water
2 c AP flour
2 c pecans, chopped fine

Beat butter, 1/4 c XXX sugar, salt, vanilla and water until fluffy. Stir in flour and nuts until blended. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls into logs about 1 1/2" x 1/2" diameter. Place 1/2" apart on ungreased sheets. Bake at 350F for 122-15 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to rack and cool completely. Roll in remaining XXX sugar to coat.

pecan shortbread rounds

1 c flour
1/2 c cornstarch
1/2 c XXX sugar
3/4 c finely chopped pecans
3/4 c soft unsalted butter

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, icing sugar and pecans. Blend in butter using your hands until a soft dough forms. Shape into a 1 1/2" thick roll. Wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight. Cut into thin slices - about 3 dozen. Bake on an ungreased sheet (parchment paper works best) at 375 for 9-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Let stand 2 minutes then cool on rack.

pecan balls

1 c butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp grated orange rind
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 c AP flour   
1 1/2 c finely chopped pecans
30 red glac cherries, halved

Beat together butter and sugar until well mixed. Beat in egg yolks, orange rind and vanilla. Stir in flour until well blended. Chill dough if necessary to handle. Form dough into balls about 3/4" in diameter. Lightly beat egg whites in small bowl. Dip cookies first in egg white, then in chopped nuts, coat about 3/4's of each ball. Place, uncoated side down, 2" apart on greased sheets. Press cherry half on top of each. Bake at 325F about 25 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on racks. Store in tightly covered container.         Makes 60

pine nut crescents

1 1/2 c pine nuts
1 3/4 c AP flour
3/4 c butter, soft
1/2 c XXX sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg white, beaten

In blender, finely grind 3/4 c pine nuts. Mix together the ground nuts and the rest of the ingredients except the egg white. Knead mixture together with hand until well blended and holds together. Shape 1 rounded tsp dough into 2" crescent. Lightly brush with egg white and gently press remaining pine nuts into crescents. Place 1" apart on ungreased sheets. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Remove to racks to cool. Store in tightly covered container to use within 1 week. Makes about 48

walnut mexican wedding cakes

2 1/4 c AP flour
1 c butter, soft
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
XXX sugar
1 c walnuts, finely chopped
2 tbsp apple jelly

Knead together the flour, butter, vanilla, salt and 1/2 XXX sugar until blended. Stir in 3/4 c walnuts. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour.

Stir together the jelly and 1/4 c walnuts. With hand, shape 2 tsp of the dough around 1/4 tsp of the walnut mixture to form a ball.

Bake on ungreased sheets about 1" apart at 400F for 10-12 minutes. Remove to racks to cool.

On a sheet of waxed paper measure 1/2 c XXX sugar. Roll cookies to coat. Store in tightly covered container to use within a week. Makes about 48

walnut cookies

1 c butter, soft
2 tbsp XXX sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/3 c AP flour, sifted
1 1/2 c finely chopped walnuts
1 c XXX sugar

Cream together butter and the 2 tbsp XXX sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Stir in flour, about 1/2 c at a time, and blend in walnuts. Form into 1/2" balls and arrange 2" apart on baking sheets.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until they are firm. Sift the 1 c XXX sugar onto a sheet of waxed paper and roll hot cookies in the sugar. Transfer to racks and cool completely.

arabian crescent cookies


1 c walnuts
1/2 c almonds
1/3 c sugar
1 small egg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves


1/3 c oil
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp dry white wine
2 1/2 tbsp water


1 1/2 c AP flour
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder


1/4 c sugar
1/2 c honey
3 tbsp water


1/3 c lightly toasted sesame seeds

Grind together walnuts and almonds. Combine (i) until mixture forms a paste. In another bowl, combine (ii). Sift (iii) and stir into (ii) a little at a time, combining until it forms a dough. Break off a walnut sized piece of dough and flatten it into a round; put 1 tsp of (i) in centre. Wrap dough around filling to enclose it, pressing edges together. Shape dough into a crescent. Transfer it to a baking sheet. Bake crescents at 425F for 18-20 min or until they are golden.
In a saucepan mix (iv); bring to a boil over moderate heat and skim the froth that rises. Reduce heat to low and simmer the syrup for 10 min. Drop cookies in batches into syrup and simmer them, turning, for 2 min, or until they are well glazed. Transfer with a slotted spoon to rack; sprinkle with sesame seeds and let them cool. Makes 30


1 c AP flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c butter, soft
3/4 c sugar
3 eggs
1/4 c milk
1 c finely chopped pecans
1 1/2 tsp grated orange rind

rum syrup

2/3 c sugar
2/3 c mild honey
1/3 c water
4 tsp dark rum
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix well flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Cream butter and sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Gradually stir in flour mixture alternately with milk, starting and ending with dries. Stir in nuts and rind. Spread in greased 8x8" pan and bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes or until cake springs back. Cut cake into diamonds while not by making 4 lengthwise cuts, then cutting diagonally from corner to corner and making parallel cuts aobut 1 1/4" apart. Slowly pour rum syrup over hot cake. Cool in pan on rack.  Makes 20

Rum syrup: In medium saucepan bring to boil sugar, honey and water. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Skim off white foam. Stir in rum, lemon juice and cinnamon. Simmer 2 minutes. Cool.