These simple, elegant, melt-in-the-mouth cookies are an 'Id favorite.
Total time: 1 hour
1-½ cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter
1-½ cups confectioner's sugar
2-¼ cups flour
One blanched almond half per cookie
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Beat the butter until it is white and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time, each time beating until smooth. Stir in flour a tablespoon at a time; mix until you have a stiff dough. Knead the dough until it is silky smooth. Return to the bowl to rest for 10 minutes.
Roll a walnut-sized lump of dough into a ball. Flatten gently and press a blanched almond into the center. Or, roll a walnut-sized lump of dough into a 4x½ " "snake." Join the ends together in a circle, and press an almond over the seam. Place the cookies an inch apart on a baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes until the almonds just begin to turn golden but the cookies are still white. Do not allow the cookies to brown even slightly. Remove from the oven and leave to rest on the baking sheet for a minute before transferring them to a cooling rack.
from Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook