Easter Basket Cookie Centerpiece
- 1 1/4 cups blanched almonds or walnuts
- 1 1/2 cups butter , softened
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 3 3/4 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped M&M's plain chocolate candies
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- About 2 tablespoons warm water
- Cookies: Toast nuts at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Process nuts in blender or food processor until ground; set aside.
- Beat butter and sugar until fluffy; beat in extract and eggs.
- Stir in flour, salt and nuts, mixing well to form dough.
- Stir in chopped candies.
- Form 1/2 cup dough into a 5 inch solid circle, 1/2 inch thick, on greased
cookie sheet to form the bottom of basket.
- Roll small handsful of dough into 1 inch ropes; form ring, 6 inches in diameter,
on greased cookie sheet.
- Repeat with remaining dough forming four additional rings, 7, 8, 9 and 10
inches in diameter.
- Pat each ring 1/2 inch high, 3/4 inch wide.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are light golden.
- Carefully remove to wire racks to cool.
- To assemble, place solid circle on 12 inch serving plate, drizzle glaze
around edge of circle.
- Place smallest ring on circle; drizzle with glaze.
- Top with next largest ring; glaze.
- Continue with remaining rings and glaze.
- Decorate, if desired, with additional candies.
- Decorating Glaze: Gradually combine onfectioners' sugar
with about warm water, mixing until smooth and of desired consistency.
Yield: 1 centerpiece
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