Almond Bonbons

Makes about 60 cookies. Recipe is from King Arthur Flour.

For the dough:

1 cup unsalted butter

11/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tbl. vanilla extract

3/4 tsp. salt

21/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:

1/2 cup almond paste

1 tbl. unsalted butter

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup soft, fresh bread crumbs

For the glaze:

11/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2 tbls. unsalted butter

2 tbls. light corn syrup

Sliced almonds or sugar pearl decorations for topping, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or leave them unlined. Do not grease.

2. To make the dough, beat the butter until light in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the sugar, vanilla and salt; beat until fluffy. Add the flour and stir until a firm dough forms.

3. To make the filling, crumble the almond paste into a small bowl. Beat in the butter, extract and sugar. When the mixture is smooth, add the bread crumbs and mix until blended.

4. To shape the cookies, roll the filling into 1/4-teaspoon-sized balls. Break off a teaspoon-sized piece of dough and use your thumb to make an indentation in the center. Place the ball of filling in the indentation, then bring the dough up and over it, rolling in your hands to make a smooth ball. Place bonbons on a prepared baking sheet.

5. Bake the bonbons for 14 minutes. They won’t brown; it’s OK.

6. Remove the bonbons from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. They’re fragile when hot. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

7. To make the glaze, melt the chocolate in a microwave, double boiler or saucepan set over low heat. Add the butter and corn syrup, stirring until smooth and glossy. Dip the tops of the cooled bonbons in the glaze. If the glaze thickens, reheat it briefly, then continue dipping. Top each with almond slivers or sugared pearls.

8. Let the bonbons sit for several hours or until the glaze hardens. Store in an airtight container for several days or freeze for longer storage.