speculaas-st. nicholas cookies

½ cup blanched and slivered almonds

¾ cup butter, room temperature

½ cup brown sugar, packed

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1½ teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons milk

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

finely grated rind of one orange

Chop almonds finely. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, spices and milk together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix to combine and scrape down bowl as needed. Add the almonds and the orange rind and mix to combine.

Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a log and using wax paper or plastic wrap, wrap tightly around the log. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375ºF. Remove one log from the refrigerator. Remove the plastic wrap, and cut the dough into ¼-inch slices. Place them 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.  Remove from oven, let cool on cookie sheet set on a wire rack. Makes about 48 cookies. Can be stored at room temperature for a week.