Charleston Shortbread Cookies
30 blanched whole almonds
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
4 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Place the almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
Set them aside, and leave the oven on.
Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly with an electric mixer until fluffy.
Add the flour and salt, and mix well.
Blend in the vanilla.
Roll the dough into small balls and place them on a lightly greased or non-stick baking sheet. Flatten each one with your fingertip, and place an almond in the center.
Bake the cookies on the middle shelf of the oven until they take on just a bit of color, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool them on a rack, and then store in an airtight container (these keep superbly).
Makes 25 to 30 cookies