The Thrifted Kitchen :: Chocolate-Dipped Almond Fingers

Being that it's five days until Christmas (!!), I am in full holiday cookie mode, much to my oven's dismay (ha). So far I've made some classic chocolate chip cookies from Dorie Greenspan's baking book (which I highly recommend), and they were so good; the perfect combination of thin and chewy, and they stayed that way for the short time they lasted in our house (hee-hee).

Then last night I tried a new recipe from an old book: Good Housekeeping's Complete Christmas Cookbook, published in 1967. I tend to lean toward the shortbread-type cookies during the holidays, and these almond fingers are certainly on that track. I really loved them more than I thought I would; they're light and a little crunchy, with one end dipped in delicious chocolate. I also added some crushed peppermint on top of that to make them a bit more festive. Now let's just hope they make it to Christmas! :)

One word of warning: This is one of those recipes where the dough has to refrigerate for a while (3 hours, or overnight), so plan ahead. And if the dough is pretty hard when you take it out, just let it thaw a bit on the counter until it's at a workable consistency. I also found a scale made life a lot easier since they have to be shaped into fingers and I wanted to make sure they were the same size. So I weighed all the dough and then divided it by 60 (the recipe makes 5 dozen) to see how much each one should weigh (which was about 0.4 ounces, I think).

As far as topping, you could also change things up by using melted white chocolate, white chocolate with crushed peppermint mixed in, and top it with sprinkles, flaked coconut or maybe even some disco dust? Possibilities are endless, my little bakers, so have fun with them!

Toasted Almond Fingers (or Chocolate-Dipped Almond Fingers)
Courtesy of Good Housekeeping's Complete Christmas Cookbook, 1967
Yields 5 dozen two-inch cookies

1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sifted regular all-purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped slivered almonds, toasted
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons shortening

In a medium bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in milk, vanilla and salt. At low speed, beat in flour. Then stir in almonds. Wrap dough in wax paper; refrigerate until cold, or overnight, if desired.

Start heating oven to 325 degrees.

When dough is cold, shape into 2-inch fingers; place on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

In a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water, melt semisweet chocolate with shortening, stirring to blend. Carefully dip one end of each cookie into mixture; let dry on wire racks. Store in loosely-covered container at room temperature.

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