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1. Beat 1/2 cup softened butter and sugar in large bowl until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until soft dough forms.
2. Remove half the dough to medium bowl; blend in ground almonds and almond extract, if desired. Add cocoa and melted butter to remaining dough; blend well. Divide each dough in half. Refrigerate doughs, if necessary, until firm enough to handle.
3. Between 2 pieces of wax paper, roll one portion almond dough into 8-inch square; repeat procedure with one portion chocolate dough. Remove top sheets of wax paper; invert almond dough onto chocolate dough. Peel off top sheet of wax paper; roll up lightly. Repeat procedure with remaining doughs. Wrap both rolls in wax paper or plastic wrap; refrigerate 4 to 5 hours or until firm.
4. Heat oven to 350°F. Cut rolls into 1/4-inch slices; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Bake 9 to 12 minutes or just until set. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
VARIATION: HOLIDAY CHOCOLATE-NUT PINWHEEL COOKIES: Stir 1 tablespoon finely chopped, well drained maraschino cherries into dough with ground almonds.
They tasted amazing when they were finally done! But I have a few complaints... You only need to refrigerate them for one hour, not three or four! And when I was rolling the dough up it was cracking every where! Therefore, my cookies were not so beautiful! Once again they tasted great, and I would recommend this recipe for sure!
Be forewarned - these cookies are good but a pain to make. PLUS you have to triple or quadruple the batch to make a decent amount of cookies. I have a family of four and like to share with other relatives so I always double the recipe. These had be to quadrupled. I refrigerated the dough for an hour, then rolled it out and baked it - turned out fine. Taste is great - i left out almonds and just used almond extract - worked wonderfully. Good flavor again just a lot of work. I also made chocolate dip and dipped them halfway into chocolate. Looked pretty and tasted very good!
Awesome cookies. They were hard to make, but the end result was fabulous!
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