My husband Allen absolutely loved these cookies. Most people like the additional sweetness of the almond flavored drizzle of icing, but not Allen, so I always had to make some sans drizzle. Over the years, I came to prefer them that way myself. The little bit of frosting does impart a little more almond flavoring and is also yummy.
UNUSUAL WAY TO FORM COOKIES
This cookie recipe is different than most due to the way the individual cookies are formed. There are about 8 different styles of cookies: bar, drop, fried, molded, no-bake, ice box, rolled, and sandwich cookies. I am not sure which category these cookies fit. The almond sticks cookies are formed into ropes, patted out, then cut after baking. It is such a quick, effortless way to get lots of cookies.
Start by making a somewhat soft, buttery dough. Use almond extract, not diluted almond flavoring, to give a hit of almond flavor to the dough. The cookie dough should come together nicely and start to clean the sides of the bowl. It should be the consistency of homemade playdough (sometimes I just can’t get away from my years of teaching and mothering): firm enough to make balls or ropes, but still soft and pliable.
You can see in the photos above how it changes from a fluffy buttery mixture to a soft dough after mixing in the flour. Remove from the bowl and push it together to make a thick rectangular log, then cut into fourths.
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO
Place two chunks on an ungreased cookie sheet, spacing them widely apart; roll each piece out to make a log about 11 inches long. I have used a silpat liner but find that the dough bakes best when place directly on a cookie sheet. Pat or roll each until they are about 3 inches wide, and 12 inches long. I love using a wooden pizza roller for this. It really helps spread the cookie dough evenly.
After brushing each flattened log with milk, sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes. I switch the cookie sheets around on the racks halfway through the cooking time to ensure even baking.
The cookies may not look completely baked but are done when they are just starting to show some color on the edges. They will firm up a bit after they are removed from the oven. If you want crispy cookies, instead of soft ones, let the cookies cook for about 20 minutes. It is important to cut the cookies into slices while they are still warm. You can use a long knife or a pizza cutter to make slices about 3/4 of inch apart.
A TIP TO MAKE CLEAN UP EASIER
If I decide to add the almond icing drizzle, I put the cookies on a cooling rack, after they are cooled. I place the rack directly over the sink and let the icing drip down. Then it is quite easy to clean up the icing dribbles that have fallen right into the sink, instead of scraping it all up off of the counter.
I made both crispy and soft versions; soft ones have the icing drizzle, and the crispy ones are plain. You can see the difference in color between the soft and crispy version. I must admit that the crispy ones are great dunkers in coffee, tea, or even in dry red wine. Store the cookies at room temperature in a tightly covered container.
- 1 3/4 Cups Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 Cup butter, softened
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds
- 1/2 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
- 1/4 Teaspoon Almond Extract
- 2 Teaspoons Milk
Stir together flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat till fluffy. Add the egg and the 1/2 teaspoon almond extract; beat well. Add flour mixture and beat until thoroughly mixed. Divide the dough in fourths; roll each portion into a roll about 11-12 inches long.
Place 2 rolls on an ungreased cookie sheet, spacing them about 4 inches apart. Flatten each roll till it is about 3 inches wide. Repeat with remaining rolls. Brush each flattened roll with a little milk and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of the slice almonds. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 14-15 minutes or until edges are barely lightly browned. While still warm, cut crosswise at a diagonal into strips about 3/4 of an inch wide.
Cool completely on the cookie sheet. Transfer to a cooling rack. Stir together the powdered sugar, the 1/4 teaspoon almond extract and the milk to make a thin frosting. Drizzle frosting lightly back and forth over strips.
Makes about 54-60 cookies.