I don’t actually know why I thought this, but I thought I needed a cookie that would stack easily for a gift. It’s not like I was mailing them, so I really didn’t, but that was my thought process. I gave them as gifts to my hair gal and an old pal of mine from work. Flo Braker’s original recipe didn’t include any salt, so I rectified that.
So the original yield is 80–90 cookies, but I only got about 55. I just couldn’t slice it thinly enough. You need a really thin, really sharp knife—which I thought I had, but apparently it wasn’t quite thin and sharp enough. Honestly, I think you need like a meat slicer for this.
What I did with my scraps and mis-cuts was to roll them out super-thin between some parchment and cut rectangles from there. You get a difference in how the almonds interact with the dough (they’ll be flat instead of cut across). They won’t look as interesting, in my opinion, but it is an option. I didn’t notice them getting tough because of the extra working of the dough, which is good.
You may notice after a few days that the cookies soften (and depending on the humidity, it could be the very next day). To crisp the cookies back up, I slid them into my toaster oven for a couple minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
Excellent with tea! Aren’t those cute mugs?
1 stick butter, cubed
1 1/3 cup coarse golden sugar (demerara, washed raw sugar, or turbinado—I used Sugar in the Raw)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup water
2 1/3 cup AP flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup sliced almonds
Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat with the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and water. Stir until the butter just melts and remove promptly from heat. Don’t let the sugar dissolve.
Mix the butter mixture with the flour, baking soda, and almonds until combined. Press the dough into the prepared loaf pan. Cover with additional plastic wrap, pressing it down onto the dough and smoothing the top. Chill until firm. (I found that a refrigerator chill was not enough to keep the shape while slicing, so I had to freeze it nearly solid.)
Line baking sheets with parchment (don’t use a silpat, they won’t get crisp enough). Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Using a very, very sharp and thin knife, carefully slice the loaf into pieces narrow as possible. Place on the baking sheets about 1/2–1″ apart (they will spread slightly due to the baking soda—I foolishly thought they wouldn’t and my first batch had a couple merge into each other). (Also see above for my solution to scraps.)
Bake for 10–15 minutes, then carefully flip the cookies over with a spatula and continue baking for an additional 10–15 minutes (the time will depend on how thin you were able to cut the slices). You want them to be a deep golden-brown. Cool completely on a rack.