Brown-Eyed Susans

Before my mother wanted to go back to work, she baked quite a lot and was always game to try new recipes. Of all the goodies that exited our oven over the years, Brown-Eye Susan cookies were always our favorite. There was just something about biting into the buttery shortbread-like cookie with the circle of chocolate icing on top impressed with a whole almond. I’m sure there are many versions of this cookie but here is the recipe that produced my favorite.

1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoon cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whole blanched almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the extracts and blend in flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix until dough comes together.

Roll cookie dough into balls almost the size of a walnut and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. with your hand or the bottom of a glass, flatten the balls of dough slightly. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a light golden brown. Cool on baking sheet a few minutes before removing to cooling ra ck.

Mix together all the icing ingredient except for the almonds, until smooth. Swirl a round of icing on the top of each cookie and press in an almond.

Makes about 2 1/2 to 3 dozen cookies.