- In a small food processor or blender combine 1/2 cup of the sugar, the almonds, and the 3 tablespoons rosemary leaves. Cover and process or blend with on/off pulses until nuts are finely ground (but not oily) and rosemary is pulverized.
- In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the remaining 1 cup sugar, the baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, milk, vanilla bean paste, and almond extract until combined. Beat in ground almond mixture. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or until dough is easy to handle (dough will still be slightly soft).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a well-floured surface, roll one portion of dough at a time until 1/4 inch thick. Using a 3- to 4-inch tree-shape cookie cutter, cut out dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. If desired, press very small rosemary sprigs onto cutouts.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or just until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.
From the Test Kitchen
Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Pretzel Tree Cookies:
Prepare dough as directed using an oval-shape cookie cutter. Bake and cool as directed. To decorate, spread glaze-consistency white Royal Icing in the center of each cookie. Press one small pretzel stick into center of icing. Break three pretzel sticks into pieces. Press them into the icing to look like tree branches. Pipe green-tinted icing onto branches for accents. Use a pastry bag and star tip to pipe yellow-tinted icing stars at tops of trees.
Triangle Trio Tree:
Prepare dough as directed using a triangle-shape cookie cutter to cut dough. On the cookie sheet, overlap three triangles to form a tree. Bake and cool as directed. To decorate, melt green candy coating discs according to package directions. Toss frosted cornflakes with melted candy coating. Spread green icing or frosting on trees. Press coated cornflakes into icing. Pipe dots of red-tinted icing or frosting as accents.
Prepare dough as directed using a scalloped teardrop-shape cookie cutter to cut shapes. Bake and cool as directed. Place icing or frosting into four different bowls; tint frosting in each bowl a different shade of green. Leave frosting in one bowl white. To decorate, spread swaths of each color on each cookie. Break a milk chocolate candy bar into sections. For the trunk use frosting to attach each cookie to a section of chocolate.
Nutrition Facts (Rosemary Trees)
- Per serving:
- 148 kcal ,
- 7 g fat
- (3 g sat. fat ,
- 1 g polyunsaturated fat ,
- 2 g monounsaturated fat ),
- 24 mg chol. ,
- 90 mg sodium ,
- 20 g carb. ,
- 1 g fiber ,
- 12 g sugar ,
- 2 g pro.