Betsy P. Race won first prize with these seasonal favorites in the 1989 Old Farmer’s Almanac Holiday Cookies and Bars Recipe Contest.
Cut butter into flour as for pastry. Stir in confectioners’ sugar, then 3 cups of the nuts. Add eggs, juice, and peel. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly, for at least 2 hours. Grease baking sheets and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Working with a small amount of dough at a time (keep the rest of the dough refrigerated), roll out to ¼ inch thick on a well-floured board, also dusting top of dough with flour to aid in rolling. Cut out with cookie cutters and transfer to baking sheets. (Dough may also be dropped by teaspoonfuls; cookies will flatten into brown-edged wafers as they bake.)
Brush cookies gently with egg-water mixture, and sprinkle with pinches of remaining ground nuts. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden.