Heavenly Sand Tarts| Christy Rost
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds, ground
- Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1/3 cup sliced almonds on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven 3 to 4 minutes until they smell fragrant and turn light brown. Remove them from the oven, pour them onto a plate, and set them aside to cool completely. Once they are cool, grind them in the bowl of a mini food processor until they are fine.
Reduce the oven to 325 degrees. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add ground almonds, vanilla, almond extract, and water, and beat well.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour and salt, and gradually stir them into the creamed mixture to form a soft dough. Using lightly floured hands, shape the dough into 1-inch balls, place them on ungreased cookies sheets, and flatten them slightly with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until the cookies are set, but not browned. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, dredge them in confectioners’ sugar. To store, place the cookies in an airtight container with parchment or wax paper between each layer.
Chef’s Note: These cookies bake beautifully at high altitude. Adjust the oven rack to the upper third of the oven and increase the baking time to 18 to 20 minutes, or until the top of the cookie feels set when touched lightly with a finger.
Yield: 3 dozen 3-inch cookies