½ cup blanched almonds
2 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ t baking powder
1 cup butter,cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1 T milk
1 T vanilla
8 candied red cherries
16 candied green cherries
Grease cookie sheets; set aside. Place almonds in food processor. Process using on/off pulsing action until almonds are ground, but not pasty.
Place almonds, flour, sugar, and baking powder in large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.
Beat egg, milk, and vanilla in small bowl with fork until well blended. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir with spoon until soft dough forms.
Spoon dough into pastry bag fitted with medium star tip. Pipe 3" rings 2" apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Refrigerate rings 15 minutes or until firm.
Preheat oven to 375°F Cut cherries into halves. Cut each red cherry half into quarters; cut each green cherry half into 4 slivers.
Press red cherry quarter onto each ring where ends meet. Arrange 2 green gerry slivers on either side of red cherry to form leaves.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Remove cookies with spatula to wire racks; cool completely.
Store tightly covered at room temperature or freeze up to 3 months.
Makes about 5 dozen cookies.