---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.05
  
       Title: 1986 Winner: Almond Thumbprint Cookies
  Categories: Cookies, Holiday
       Yield: 60 servings
  
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       2 c  Sifted all-purpose flour
     1/2 c  Sugar
     1/4 ts Salt
       1 c  Butter
     3/4 c  Grated unblanched almonds
       2 ts Vanilla
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            ------------frosting--- -- €
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       6 tb Butter
     1/3 c  Half-and-half
     2/3 c  Packed brown sugar
       2 c  Confectioners' sugar
     1/2 ts Vanilla
            Chopped pistachio nuts
            For garnish
  
     Preparation time: 45 minutes Baking time: 16 minutes
   
       1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. For cookies, sift flour, sugar and
     salt into bowl. Cut in 1 cup butter with pastry blender until mixture
     resembles coarse crumbs. Blend in almonds and vanilla. Work mixture
     with fingers until a ball of dough is formed. Then shape into 1-inch
     balls.
       2. Place balls on greased cookie sheets; make a depression in
     center of each cookie. Bake about 8 minutes; remove from oven. Dent
     again and bake about 8 minutes longer; cool.
       3. For frosting, blend 6 tablespoons butter, half-and-half and brown
     sugar in saucepan. Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly; remove from
     heat. Cool about 15 minutes, then stir in confectioners' sugar and
     vanilla. Beat until smooth and thick.
       4. Fill depressions in cookies with butterscotch frosting and
     sprinkle frosting with nuts.
       Winner Penney L. Haney of Kenosha described these cookies:   “Oh,
     the aroma! Dad knew his 'girls' had been baking as soon as he stepped
     in the back door, brushing snowflakes from his coat. He warmed his
     hands over the hot oven, slowly recovering feeling in his fingertips,
     numb from stringing red, yellow, blue, green and white lights in the
     pines in the yard. His chore and our special treat combined each year
     to mark the beginning of our holiday preparations.
       ”While chatting to Mom about trying to locate the single,
     burned-out bulb that had kept an entire strand out, he watched me,
     his tiny daughter, with not so dexterous fingers, shaping dough into
     big marbles. I had to kneel on a wooden chair to reach the table,
     with Mom’s brightly-colored apron wrapped around me nearly twice,
     held together in back by a giant safety pin." from the Chicago
     Tribune annual Food Guide Holiday Cookie Contest December 4, 1986
  
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