Almond Cookies

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 cups almond flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill brand
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon finely grated lime or lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch salt
60 whole blanched almonds (see NOTE)

Combine the butter, sugar, the flours, lime or lemon zest, cinnamon, almond extract and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat at moderately low speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it into thirds. Form each piece into a log; wrap the logs separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until slightly firm.

When ready to bake, position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut two of the logs crosswise into 20 pieces each and roll each piece into a ball. Transfer the balls to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Use your fingers to flatten them slightly, then press an almond into the top of each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes on the upper and lower racks, then rotate the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pans again. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cookies are barely golden; watch closely so they don’t get dark. Let them cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then slide the parchment onto cooling racks. Repeat to cook the third log of dough. Let the cookies cool completely before serving or storing. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

NOTE: If you can’t find blanched (skinned) almonds in the store, blanch them yourself. Place whole almonds in a large heatproof bowl. Cover them with boiling water and let them soak for 60 seconds. Drain the almonds in a colander or strainer, rinse them under cold water, drain briefly and transfer them to several layers of paper towels to dry. When the almonds are cool enough to handle, squeeze them to slip off their skins. Dry them completely before using or storing.

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