1991 2nd place: oma's almond cookies

120 Servings
2 cups Butter, softened
2 cups Sugar
2 eaches Eggs
1 each Lemon, grated rind and juice
4 cups All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder
  Pinch salt
½ pounds Unblanched almonds, finely
  Ground or grated
  Colored sugars for garnish,

Preparation time: 30 minutes Chilling time: 8 hours or overnight Cooking time: 10 minutes

1. Cream butter and sugar in large mixer bowl of electric mixer.

Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in lemon rind and juice. Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture and ground almonds into butter mixture to make a soft dough. Divide dough into quarters.

Refrigerate dough, wrapped in wax paper, until firm, at least 8 hours or overnight.

2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Have ungreased baking sheets ready.

3. Roll out one dough portion on lightly floured pastry cloth with a rolling pin covered with stocking or roll between sheets of lightly floured wax paper to ⅛ -inch thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters. Return dough to refrigerator if it gets too soft. Transfer to baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired.

4. Bake until very light brown at edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Store in a covered tin.

This second-place winner, from Judy M. Drux of Dyer, Indiana, makes very thin, crisp, delicate cookies. The dough keeps well in the refrigerator if well-wrapped. This cookie was a tribute to her husband's grandmother, Antonia Drux, who emigrated to this country from Germany in 1923. (Oma means "grandma" in German.) The recipe has been passed down as just a list of ingredients. Drux added a few hints to help make baking them easier for future cooks. from the Chicago Tribune fourth annual Food Guide Holiday Cookie Contest December 5, 1991

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