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Walnut Football Cookies

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 45 min (includes chilling and cooling times)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: about 16 cookies, depending on the size of your cutter
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Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 cup ground walnuts 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 

1/2 cup light brown sugar 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1 large egg 

1 cup confectioners' sugar 

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier 

1/2 teaspoon orange zest (from 1/2 orange) 

Directions

Special equipment:
a football-shaped cookie cutter and a piping bag fitted with a narrow, round tip
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, walnuts, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl on medium- high speed, scrapping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and egg and beat an additional minute.
  3. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour in 3 batches, beating until the flour is just combined. Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and pat it into a round disk. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Dust the counter and dough with flour and roll the chilled dough to 1/4 inch thick. Using a football-shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough into footballs and place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between each cookie. Bake until firm to the touch and starting to get a whisper of golden brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, orange liqueur and orange zest. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a narrow, round tip. When the cookies are completely cool, pipe lacing on the footballs. Allow them to set up completely before serving. Store in an airtight container to prevent drying out.