1 cup butter
1 1/4 c powdered sugar
1/4 Tbsp. vanilla extract or grated rind from 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 c ground almonds or hazelnuts
3 c flour
Cream butter and gradually add sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla or lemon rind. Beat well, while gradually adding the nuts and flour. Knead the dough briefly.
To form the cookies, use a piping bag or cookie press with a tube fitting of the desired shape. Press the dough through the bag or press onto a baking sheet 1 inch apart in the form of discs, rings, sticks, or S-shapes.
Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes or until light brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Variation: Add 3 oz. grated dark chocolate or 2-3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder to the dough to produce a chocolate cookie.
from German Traditional Cooking by Tony Schmaeling