Mandel-Halbmonde (mahn-del-hahlb-mawn-dch) are simple German biscuits, shaped into crescents and rolled in ground almonds. Stored in an airtight tin, they loill keep for several weeks.

8 oz. plus

2 teaspoons butter

8 oz. sugar eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoons sour cream

10 oz. flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1½ teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

1½ oz. blanched almonds, chopped

2 tablespoons castor sugar

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C).

Grease two large baking sheets with the 2 teaspoons of butter. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the remaining butter and the sugar with a wooden spoon until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in two of the eggs and the sour cream. Sift the flour and cinnamon into the bowl. Add the lemon rind and mix well.

With your hands, pat and lightly knead the mixture until it forms a dough. Pat the dough into a ball. Cover the dough and put it into the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.

Place the remaining egg in a saucer and set aside. Combine the almonds and castor sugar on a plate. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refriger-ator. Pinch off a small amount of the dough. Roll it into a cylinder and form it into a crescent shape. Continue making crescents in the same way. When all the dough is used up, dip the crescents first into the egg and then into the almond and sugar mixture. Place the crescents on the baking sheets, well spaced.

Put the baking sheets in the oven and bake the crescents for 10 to 15 minutes or until they are firm.

With a palette knife, transfer the crescents to a rack. When they are com-pletely cool, serve or store in an airtight tin.

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