In Ruby Among Us, Kitty makes Lucy’s favorite cookie. Here is the recipe that my friends Kim, Kathie, and Lynn used to make dozens of these delicious cookies for my launch party. Make them for your book club or just to enjoy. (The picture is of the actual mantecadas at my launch party. They tell me they used Almond Extract instead of the Anise flavored liquere)
Four dozen (about)
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more to sprinkle after baking
Pinch of salt
¾ cup chilled, good quality lard or unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (May also use ½ cup butter and ¼ cup lard)
2/3 cup toasted almonds, ground
1 teaspoon Almond Extract OR 2 Tablespoons anise-flavored liqueur
1. Combine flour, 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, and salt in food processor. Add lard or butter and pulse until the pastry resembles coarse crumbs. Blend in almonds, add liqueur, and process for several pulses more until dough just begins to come together. It should not form into a ball.
2. Place mixture in large bowl; press into ball. (If pastry is still too crumbly to stick together, wait a few minutes until the butter softens a little.) Cover ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1½ hours.
3. Line two cookie sheets with parchment. Break off walnut-size pieces of dough; briefly roll dough piece between palms to form 3-inch ropes. Bend ropes into crescent shapes and place on cookie sheets. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
5. Place cookie sheets in middle of oven and bake until crescents are light, golden (12-15 minutes).
6. Cool on wire rack.
To serve, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
Can store in airtight container in cool place for up to one week.