Timetable: 45 minutes*/Group size: small-mediumYields: 35 cookies*Since this recipe requires the dough to be refrigerated for about an hour, you may want to prepare the dough ahead of time.Toolbox:
Mask-shaped cookie cutter
¾ cup butter, or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
7 oz of almond paste, crumbled (made with 1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds with 1 Tbsp of sugar, ground into a paste)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
35 craft sticks
White cookie icing
In large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, and almond paste with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add in vanilla. On low speed, add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until blended.
Divide dough in half; shape each half into a ball and flatten slightly. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 4x1-inch mask-shaped cookie cutter. Place cutouts 1 inch apart and insert craft stick in the bottom of each cutout.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. While warm, reshape or cut out eyes again, if necessary. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack and cool completely.
Decorate cookies as desired with cookie icing (colored with food coloring), sparkling sugar, and candy sprinkles. Let stand until set.