These cookies are traditionally served during the Christmas and New Years Holidays, but Mom would make them for us anytime of the year.
I have modified Moms recipe by using ground clove instead of the whole clove which is traditionally placed in the center of each cookie before baking. I do this for 2 reasons one, I never liked biting into the cookie and chewing on a whole clove, secondly in my mind I think it is unsafe for little kids to have a whole clove hidden under all that beautiful powder sugar.
3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
3/4 pound butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons Metaxa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners' sugar for decoration
Sift flour with baking powder and spices. Set aside.
Cream butter and gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, brandy, almond, and vanilla. Beat again until very light.
Add flour to the butter mixture and almonds, mix well but don’t over work the dough. Chill 30 minutes or until it can be handled easily.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Shape level tablespoonfuls of dough into crescent-shapes. Place 1 inch apart on cookie sheet line with parchment paper. Insert whole clove into center of each. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light...do not brown.
Cool the cookies on the sheets for a few minutes roll them in powdered sugar while they're still hot. You can roll several times to create a thicker coating. Cool the cookies completely, Dust generously with more confectioners’ sugar.