Sometimes, I just get in that mood when I really have to bake something. Like really, really have to. Generally, these whims appear when there's almost nothing left in the house, so I've found it's best to have a couple of recipes that use only the basic ingredients. This cookie is a great twist on the shortbread cookie; the lower butter content and the addition of vanilla and a little water makes it really lacy and crisp.
The cookie itself is very light and crunchy, and would be pretty darn good to eat with a cup of coffee. They're also pretty delish by themselves!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the flour, sugar and kosher salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the almonds, the vanilla and butter, and combine with your fingertips until a loose dough forms. If the dough is not coming together, add the water a little at a time until the dough will clump together.
Form the dough into a ball and roll out to 1/4" thickness on parchment paper. Cut cookies out of the dough with a cookie cutter, and move them with a spatula to a nonstick cookie sheet, keeping the cookies about 3/4" apart. Repeat with the remaining scraps of dough until it's all used up.
Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for about 15 minutes. They're ready when they're golden brown on top.
Move the cookies to a cooling rack, and dust with confectioner's sugar.