Day 17 of the Free Press's 21 Days of Holiday Cookies features Mandel Kager. We will be publishing one cookie recipe every day -- Monday to Saturday -- till Christmas.
Winona Rempel of Winnipeg has been making these Danish spice cookies, taken from a Good Housekeeping recipe, for almost 50 years. Her family loves them, but she only makes them at Christmas, to keep them special.
227 g (1 cup) butter
125 ml (1/2 cup) white sugar
400 ml (1 2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking powder
15 ml (1 tbsp) cinnamon
2 ml (1/2 tsp) cardamom
125 ml (1/2 cup) lightly toasted almonds, diced
1 egg yolk
15 ml (1 tbsp) water
Whole almonds for decoration
With electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and egg. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and spices. Add almonds. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat on low speed until combined.
Gather dough into a ball and chill for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 190C (375F). Shape dough into 2.5 cm (1 inch) balls, place on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly.
Beat egg yolk with water and brush tops of cookies. Top each cookie with almond and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on racks.
Tester's notes: These rich, buttery cookies get a wonderfully complex spiciness from the taste of cardamom. My first batch scorched a little on the bottom, so I lowered the temperature slightly and kept a careful watch on the second.