Almond paste cookies are a holiday staple among the many Italian, Jewish, Polish and German bakeries in upstate New York, where I was raised.
I have long been a fan of almond paste cookies in every form because almond plays well with a lot of other flavors. That leaves a lot of room for customization and innovation. At any holiday cookie tasting, I crave something surprising, and almonds are a perfect tableau for such experimenting. Almonds and chocolate? Check. How about almonds and fruit? Check. Almonds and spice? Triple check.
Almond paste cookies are also categorically easy to assemble, and will always look stunning and professional in a holiday cookie swap.
To prove just how simple and rewarding an almond paste cookie can be, I’ve dialed up my favorite Jewish bakery cookie — the almond horn, or Mandelhörnchen, as it’s known in German.
These cookies, even when dipped in chocolate, come together in less than an hour, leaving you lots of time to dream up variations.
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