April showers bring May flowers -- and these buttery strawberry blossom cookies are among our favorites.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup blanched almonds, processed to a fine meal
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup strawberry preserves
Cream the butter and confectioners' sugar. Blend in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, almonds, salt, and baking soda. Stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture in two stages. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Roll small pieces of dough into 3/4-inch balls. Arrange 5 balls in a circle, just touching, on ungreased cookie sheets, leaving only enough room in the center for a pinky to fit through. Repeat for the rest of the dough, leaving about 3 inches between each cookie. Refrigerate the sheets for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake the cookies for 20 minutes, or until the bottom edges begin to brown. Cool on the sheets for 1 minute, then transfer to a rack to cool. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoonful of strawberry preserves into the center of each cookie before serving.
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