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chocolate dipped almond orange butter horns


 My Danish grandmother would have loved these traditional Scandinavian almond orange butter horns dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with chopped almonds.  She was born in Denmark and immigrated with her family to the United States when she was a very young girl.  Her name was Louise, she loved to bake cookies and especially to share them with loved ones.  She believed, as I do, that Christmas time was a time to bake cookies.  My butter cookies are made using both chopped almonds almond paste which makes them especially rich and flavorful with the orange zest and the almond coated melted chocolate on the ends.

Ingredients and Recipe for Chocolate Dipped Almond Orange Butter Horns
Makes 3 dozen

3 & 1/2 ounces almond paste, crumbled
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 egg, room temperature 
Zest of one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 & 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped sliced almonds, divided-1/4 cup for the chocolate dipped ends
1 10 ounce bag Ghirardelli dark chocolate flavored melting wafers

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the almond paste, powdered sugar, butter, egg, orange zest, extracts and the salt.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
Beat in the flour and 3/4 cup of the almonds, just until the dough comes together.
Cover the bowl and chill for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F
Line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpats
Pinch off rounded teaspoons of dough and gently roll into 2 & 1/2" logs.
Place on baking sheets, they don't spread very much so I put 18 on each sheet and baked one sheet at time on middle oven rack.
Bake for 10 minutes, they should be overall light in color with light brown edges on cookie bottoms.
Cool on metal racks.
When the cookies are cool, melt the chocolate according to package instructions.
Dip the ends or edges in the melted chocolate and immediately sprinkle with the chopped almonds.
Cookies can be put in the refrigerator for a few minutes to help set the chocolate.

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