Almond Spice Cookies
Ingredients for basic butter cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
4 oz slivered almonds (1 cup)
Step 1Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, almonds and salt in a small bowl.
Step 2Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer (preferably fitted with paddle attachment) or 6 with a handheld. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Step 3Form dough into a 12-inch log (2 inches in diameter) on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll up dough in plastic wrap. Chill dough on a baking sheet until firm, at least 4 hours. (To roll cookies into balls, see cooks' note, below.)
Step 4Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375°F.
Step 5Cut enough 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick slices from log with a heavy knife to fill 2 ungreased large baking sheets, arranging slices about 1 inch apart (chill remainder of log, wrapped in plastic wrap). If garnishing with coarse sugar, sprinkle slices with it.
Step 6Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes total. Cool on sheets 3 minutes, then transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely. Make more cookies with remaining dough on cooled baking sheets.