DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have a couple of recipes for you to share with others. They are special because we only make them for the holidays. I hope you enjoy them. Thank you for all you do. I’m a fan. — No name, no town

Ischler Cookies from Vienna from the kitchen of Harolyn Zaldumbide:

In a large bowl stir together 1 2/3 cups finely ground, blanched almonds, 2 1/4 cups flour and 2/3 cup sugar. With fork or pastry blender, cut in 1 1/4 cups butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Turn dough out on smooth surface and use your hands to form into a ball. Flatten dough slightly using the heel of your hand, starting at one end of dough. Push off small pieces smearing them against work surface away from you. When all the dough has been pushed off, reform the dough into a ball and flatten slightly. Repeat this procedure again. Reform dough into a ball then divide in half.

Slightly flatten each half between two sheets of wax paper then roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Slide onto cookie sheets and chill thoroughly.

Peel off top layer of wax paper. Cut out circles with 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter.

Place one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes till lightly golden. Cool on racks. Spread a thin layer of preserves (1/2 to 3/4 cup) on half of the cookies and sandwich with another cookie, pressing together gently. Set aside.

Melt a 6-ounce package of semisweet chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons shortening. Dip each cookie sandwich half-way in chocolate and place on a baking sheet covered with wax paper. Chill until chocolate is set. Store in refrigerator or freezer. Makes 24.

Rainbow Walnut Slices:

Cream together 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 2 eggs, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Sift 3 cups flour with 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder. Blend into creamed mixture.

Divide dough into thirds. Tint one pink, using 6 to 8 drops of red food color, blend in 1/4 cup chopped red candied cherries and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Pack into a waxed paper lined 8 1/2- by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. This is the first layer.

Tint second portion of the dough with green food coloring and mix in 1/4 cup chopped green candied cherries and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Set aside.

Melt a 1-ounce square of unsweetened chocolate. Blend melted chocolate into remaining dough and mix in remaining 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger.

Spread chocolate portion evenly over pink layer. Top with green dough. Cover pan and chill thoroughly in freezer.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove loaf of dough from pan and slice thinly with a large, sharp knife. Cut slices in halves. Place cookies on lightly greased baking sheets about one inch apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes just until done but not browned. Cool on racks. Makes about 100 small cookies. Dough may be wrapped in foil or plastic and kept in freezer almost indefinitely. Slice off and bake just a few cookies at a time if desired.

ANSWER: I can’t wait to try these! Thank you for sharing.

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