1-1/2 cups butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons brandy or cognac
6 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons each salt, cinnamon, ground cloves
3/4 to 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup blanched almonds, chopped very fine
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Blend in syrup and brandy. Sift flour with salt and spices, add gradually to creamed mixture with cardamom, nuts and orange rind. Mix thoroughly. Dough should be stiff. Put in polyethylene [plastic] bag and chill overnight.
Roll out portion of dough directly on ungreased cookie sheet with floured rolling pin and a piece of waxed paper over the dough. Remove paper and cut with eagle or other cookie cutter; remove scraps of dough with paring knife. (This way you can get cookies thinner than if you cut on a floured board and lift to cookie sheet.)
Bake in moderate oven (350 F) about 8 minutes. Cool on racks. Decorate with frosting.
Makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies
Colored Vanilla Frosting
Beat until smooth: 1-1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons cream and 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract. To color, add a few drops of vegetable food coloring.