Almond Apricot Butter Cookies

serves: makes 4 dozen cookies

2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks), softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
⅓ cup apricot preserves
⅓ cup slivered almonds, toasted


In a bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until very pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes, then beat in egg and both extracts. At low speed, mix in flour mixture just until a dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with racks in the top and bottom thirds. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Pinch off heaping teaspoon-size balls of dough and roll into balls. Place balls on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake them until they are puffed, but not browned, about 8 minutes.

Remove baking sheets from oven and carefully make a small crater in the middle of each cookie using a teaspoon-size measuring spoon. Fill each crater with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon preserves and sprinkle a couple of slivered almonds in the preserves. Bake the cookies until they are golden brown on the bottom and edges, about 8 minutes more. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to racks and cool completely. Store in airtight container at room temperature.