When we tested these gems, we had some fun with the piping bag and tips, forming the dough into S-shaped cookies, ribbons, and rosettes as well as the U shape called for in the recipe.

Cook to Cook: Be sure to use pure almond paste, not marzipan, in this recipe.

From Milk & Cookies: 89 Heirloom Recipes from New York's Milk & Cookies Bakery by Tina Casacelli (Chronicle Books, 2011). Copyright © 2011 by Tina Casacelli. Written with Judie Choate. Foreword by Jacques Torres. Photographs copyright © 2011 by Antonis Achilleos. All rights reserved. Used with permission of the publisher.

Although they're called "horns," these cookies are shaped more like a horseshoe. They can be piped into any shape, however, such as the familiar rosette with a little piece of maraschino cherry in the center. The almond paste and egg white combination gives them a wonderful chewy texture.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

3-1/2 cups (13 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (3 ounces) cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
1-1/4 cups (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3 ounces) almond paste
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
1 cup (3-1/2 ounces) confectioners' sugar
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (4 ounces) sliced almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Line two baking sheets with nonstick silicone baking mats or parchment paper. (Alternatively use nonstick baking sheets or lightly butter conventional baking sheets.) Set aside.

3. Combine the flour, cornstarch, and cardamom in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

4. Combine the butter and almond paste in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat on low speed to just blend. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 2 minutes, or until completely blended.

5. Add the granulated and confectioners' sugars and continue to beat for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

6. Reduce the speed and add the egg whites, one at a time, and beat to incorporate, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. This must be done slowly so that the almond paste does not become lumpy. Beat in the vanilla until blended, then slowly beat in the dry ingredients. When the dough is just blended, remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape the paddle clean.

7. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with the #5 tip. Pipe out U-shaped cookies on the prepared baking sheets, and sprinkle the tops with the almonds.

8. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and moist in the center.

9. Remove from the oven and, using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.

10. Store in layers separated by waxed paper, airtight, at room temperature for up to a week.