Almond-Oat Crescent Cookies

Makes about 36 cookies

1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup softened butter or margarine
3/4 cup powdered sugar (plus more for dusting)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cup flour
1 cup oats (NOT the quick-cooking kind)
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

Heat the oven to 325°F.

Place the almond extract and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat thoroughly, sifting in 3/4 cup of powdered sugar as you go. The sifted sugar will make a fine dust that sweetly tints the smell of everything. Add the salt, then stir in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until smooth. Fold in the oats and almonds.

Pinch a little less than a tablespoon’s worth of dough into your palm and roll it into a ball. It should feel a bit greasy from the butter, and mealy from the oats and almonds. Rubbing the ball together between your palms, form the dough into a long, skinny shape, a little thicker than your pinkie finger, and bend into a crescent. Repeat for the rest of the dough. Space evenly on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 15–18 minutes, until they just begin to turn a golden brown and smell sweet and toasty. (Beware of overcooking! They can turn fast from fall-apart just-rightness to crunchy and dry if they’re left in the oven too long.)

Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and sift a generous layer of powdered sugar over them while they’re still warm. Eat one as soon as you are able, preferably with some coffee or tea.

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