A Hint of the Holidays


19th century scalloped cookie cutters.


I am thinking alot about the holidays.  The decorating I want to do, the things I want to bake and the gifts I want to give.  Standing in the check out stand at the grocery store, I spied a holiday cookie magazine and decided to give one recipe a try.  My lovely neighbor, Darlene and her family are always the recipients and by extension, the judges of my experiments.  Seems to be thumbs up all the way around for these delicious and festive Cherry Almonds Half Moons.  Looks like they will find a permanent place in my recipe files. Recipe after the pictures below.

Cheers to what lies ahead.

I hope you find some inspiration.



Chilled and freshly rolled.

A dollup of cherry pie filling.

Not neat, but lovingly home made.


Folded over, sealed and ready for the oven.

Almond glaze drizzled on the warm, just out of the oven cookies and topped with sliced almonds.

Warm pastry enveloping a sweet, cherry center.

A treat for the Holidays.

Cherry Almond Half Moons

1 c. butter, softened

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened

1 t. almond extract

2 c. all purpose flour

1/2 c. canned cherry pie filling or cherry preserves

2 egg whites

3/4 c. powdered sugar

1/4 t. almond extract

1 – 2 T. water or milk

1/2 c. of sliced almonds

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Beat in 1 t. of almond extract until combined.  Beat in the flour, on low, until dough comes together.  Divide dough in half.  Wrap each half in a disc shape in clear wrap and chill dough for about 1 and 1/2 hours or until dough is easy to handle. A couple of notes on the dough.  Once it is mixed, the dough is actually a little bland.  However, once it is filled with the filling, baked and add the sweetness of the glaze…it all seems to come together very well.  Secondly, if the dough is too hard once it comes out of the fridge, let it sit to soften a bit.  It needs to be somewhat pliable to roll out properly.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.  On a lightly floured surface roll half of the dough at a time to 1/8 inch thick.  Using a 3 – inch scalloped-edge round cookie cutter, cut out dough.  place the rounds 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

3. Spoon 1/2 t. of filling in the center of each round.  Fold dough rounds in half, enclosing filling; press edges to seal.  Whisk egg whites until frothy; brush cookies lightly with egg wash.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cookies are light brown.

4. In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, the remaining almond extract, and enough of the water or mil to make the icing a drizzling consistency. Sprinkle with almonds.  Let cookies stand until icing is set.  Makes 32 cookies. (recipe from Better Homes & Gardens)



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