Cookies for the holidays......part one.

I really, really wasn't ready to hear this, but April over at
Abby Sweets is starting a Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies with this adorable button.

After getting over the initial fright of reading 12 weeks until Christmas in print, I thought: what a marvelous idea! We can peruse cookie recipes and copy our favorites to use when we start baking for the holidays. I would so love to join April's group of cookie bakers, but I know I'll get side-tracked and skip a week.  Or two. So I'm going to sneak a peek each week at April's blog and follow her links to some yummy cookie ideas. If you want to join in, drop on over to her blog, she'd love to have you. I'm going to do the best I can and post some cookie recipes off and on, so with April's idea in's cookie recipe #1.

Rarely do I post an old recipe, but way back when I started blogging, I posted Giada's Apricot and Nut Cookies. It's a hands down winner. Not too sweet ( I almost feel healthy eating them) and that finishing touch of amaretto frosting can be as thick or drizzly as you want, adjusting the sweetness. Also, you can stick these in the fridge or freezer and slice them as you want to use them. I LOVE that!

Now don't let me hear any excuses like "I don't eat many cookies" or "I only like chocolate" or "my kids will never eat these" or "I'm on a diet". Remember, these are for the holidays! For family. For company. Everyone's going to love them. YOU'RE going to love them; it's become the most asked for cookie recipe at my house. That's why I'm telling you about it first!

Apricot and Nut Cookies with Amaretto Frosting
From Everyday Italian, Giada De Laurentiis, 2008

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
5 to 7 tablespoons almond flavored liqueur (recommended: Amaretto)

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg. Stir in the flour until just blended. Mix in the apricots, almonds, and pine nuts.

Transfer the dough to a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap and shape into a log, about 12-inches long and 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Wrap the dough in the plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut the dough log crosswise into 1/4 to 1/2 inch-thick slices. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly apart. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges, about 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

For the Icing: Place the confectioners' sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the almond flavored liqueur, until the mixture is of drizzling consistency.

Place the wire rack over a baking sheet. Using a spoon or fork, drizzle the cookies with the icing, allowing any excess icing to drip onto the baking sheet. Allow the icing to set before serving, about 30 minutes

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