1Preheat the oven to 300°F. Grease 2 baking sheets.
2Beat 1 cup (1/2 pound) lard or vegetable shortening (at room temperature) with 1 cup granulated sugar until creamy. Beat in 1 tablespoon almond extract and a pinch of salt, then beat in 3 cups all-purpose flour, a little at a time. The dough will be crumbly.
3Shape spoonfuls of dough into flat, round cookies about 2 inches in diameter. (The edges of the cookies will have cracks.) Transfer to the prepared pans.
4Beat together 1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water and brush it atop the cookies. Press a whole blanched almond into the center of each cookie.
5Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully. Store in an airtight container. Makes 4 dozen.
Gail Simmons gives us her list of pantry must-haves. Ingredients you should always have around to enhance and boost the flavor of all your meals. It's the little things that keep life interesting. Read more here.
Chefs Joanne Chang and Karen Akunowicz from Myers + Chang in Boston, show us how to use lemongrass. It's the central ingredient in their Green Monster, infusing the stir-fry with unique bright, citrusy, and floral-herbal fragrance. Read more.