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My Great Aunt Annie

Claire Stabbert - Columnist
Posted 5/27/21

I'll always have fond memories of my Great Aunt Annie. Baking and cooking were her loves and language. It runs in her family, as her daughter, Anne Marie ran the White Sulphur Springs Inn for …

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My Great Aunt Annie

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I'll always have fond memories of my Great Aunt Annie. Baking and cooking were her loves and language. It runs in her family, as her daughter, Anne Marie ran the White Sulphur Springs Inn for decades.

I know you're never supposed to reveal a woman's age, but at 94 she was sharp as a tack. A local pharmacist can attest to both points when she presented at her second vaccine appointment with an appreciative tray of assorted cookies.

Rumor has it she even made all the Stabbert sister's wedding cakes back in the day (a legend that could not be corroborated by the aforementioned pharmacist, though after sampling her baking skill firsthand he deemed it to be quite plausible).

But above all, in my book, she was known for her almond crescent cookies.

Below is not her exact recipe (still highly classified, unfortunately), but it's an almond thumbprint cookie, in memory of the cookies I'd grown up eating from Aunt Annie. We love you.

Pan: Cookie Sheets

Pan Prep: Ungreased

Oven Temp: 350

Baking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup finely chopped toasted sliced almonds

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm

1/4 cup sugar

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

raspberry preserves

apricot preserves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and move the racks into the upper and lower third positions. Sift together the flower and salt in a large bowl, then whisk in the almonds and set aside. Mix the butter in a separate bowl with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until smooth. Add the sugar and mix until incorporated, then add egg yolks and vanilla.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the dry ingredients in two portions, mixing just enough to combine after each addition. Do not over mix this dough or it will become oily. Roll the dough into balls about the size of a large walnut and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Make a deep indentation with the tip of a wooden spoon handle, no wider than 1/2 an inch.

Place the cookies in the oven for ten minutes, then remove them temporarily to re-press each indentation and fill the centers with preserves. Return the cookies to the oven to bake 4 to 5 minutes longer or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges.

Using a thin metal spatula, loosen the cookies from the pans as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Store in an airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper for up to two weeks. These cookies may be frozen.

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