Almond Butterwreaths

Course : Candy
Serves: 40 wreaths
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1 cup butter -- softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon rind -- grated
2 teaspoons orange rind -- grated
2 teaspoons anise seeds -- crushed in mortar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups ground almonds
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup candied cherries -- cut up
1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate
1 teaspoon butter

Preparation / Directions:

1. Cream butter with sugar; beat in peels, anise seeds and salt. 2. Gradually beat in ground almonds, flour and egg yolks. 3. Divide dough in half; beat cocoa into one half. 4. Shape dough into narrow ropes; cut into 6-inch lengths and form into rings. 5. Decorate with sliced almonds and cherries. 6. Place on greased baking sheet; bake in preheated 375 F. oven 8 to 10 minutes, or until light golden on bottom. 7. Cool on wire racks. 8. Drizzle Chocolate Glaze over cookies. Let dry. Chocolate Glaze Melt chocolate with butter in saucepan, stirring over low heat. NOTE: To grind your own almonds, start with 6 ounces whole blanched almonds (about 1 1/4 cups). Grind half at a time, stop-and-go fashion, in electric blender.

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