SPECIAL OFFER: - Limited Time Only!
(The ad below will not display on your printed page)
1. In a large bowl, beat oleo with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1 cup sugar and the salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour and the ground nuts. Divide dough in half. If necessary, wrap portions and chill for 30 to 60 minutes or until dough is firm enough to handle. Wash and dry beaters.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time to 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2-1/2-inch donut cutter,** cut out dough. Place dough rings 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Use dough circles from center of rings to make Duce Cookies (see recipe, below), if desired, or reroll to make more rings.
3. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with clean beaters with an electric mixer and beat on high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). If desired, tint egg white mixture with desired color of paste food coloring. Spoon egg white mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a small open star tip. Pipe the egg white mixture decoratively atop each dough ring, or spread egg white mixture atop dough rings using a thin metal spatula. If desired, sprinkle egg white mixture on dough rings with red and green sugar.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 16 to 18 minutes or until tops are very lightly browned and cookies are set under the meringue layer. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Makes about 40 Nut Rings and 20 Duce Cookies.