1/2 pound unsalted butter
1/2 cup superfine sugar
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cream
4 cups pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar. Beat eggs and add the cream.
Sift flour and spices together twice. Combine sugar and egg mixtures, then sift in the flour. Work this into a soft dough.
Dust the work surface with confectioners’ sugar and roll out dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut into diamond shapes with a tin cutter or pie crimper and set them on greased baking sheets. Bake 8 to 12 minutes, or until light brown on the bottom. Cool on racks. While the cookies are cooling, reset the oven to 200 degrees F and prepare the icing as follows.
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Almond extract or rose water
1/2 pound finely chopped blanched almonds
Beat egg yolks and water, then sift in confectioners’ sugar. Beat until the icing becomes thick and batter-like. If you prefer, you may at this point flavor it with almond extract or rose water. Using a small paintbrush, ice the tops of the cookies and scatter the chopped almonds over them. Return the cookies to the oven, and dry the icing for 5 minutes.