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1986 Winner: Almond Thumbprint Cookies

COOKIES ==========================
2 c all-purpose flour,Sifted
1/2 c Sugar
1/4 t Salt
1 c Butter
3/4 c unblanched almonds,Grated
2 t Vanilla
FROSTING =========================
6 T Butter
1/3 c Half-and-half
2/3 c brown sugar,Packed
2 c Confectioners' sugar
1/2 t Vanilla
pistachio nuts,Chopped
For garnish

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. For cookies, sift flour, sugar and salt into bowl. Cut in 1 cup butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Blend in almonds and vanilla. Work mixture with fingers until a ball of dough is formed. Then shape into 1-inch balls.
2. Place balls on greased cookie sheets; make a depression in center of each cookie. Bake about 8 minutes; remove from oven. Dent again and bake about 8 minutes longer; cool.
3. For frosting, blend 6 tablespoons butter, half-and-half and brown sugar in saucepan. Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Cool about 15 minutes, then stir in confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth and thick.
4. Fill depressions in cookies with butterscotch frosting and sprinkle frosting with nuts.

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