Pain d'amande Cookies

8 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted, cubed
1 1/3 cups coarse crystal golden sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup water
2 1/3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sliced almonds, blanched or unblanched

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat with the sugar, cinnamon, and water. Stir until the butter just melts but don't allow to boil: most of the sugar should not be dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the flour, baking soda, and almonds until well mixed. Line a 9-inch (23cm) loaf pan with plastic wrap and press the dough into the pan so the top is smooth. Chill until firm. Using a very sharp chef's knife, slice the dough crosswise, as thin as possible, into rectangles. If you can get them as thin as a coin, all the better. The thinner they are, the more delicate and crisp they'll be. Space the cookies on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cookies feel slightly firm and the undersides are golden brown. Flip the cookies over and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until the cookies are crisp and deep golden-brown on top. The baking times depend on how thin you cut the cookies. Cool completely, then store in an airtight bin until ready to serve. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325º (160ºC.)

*Storage: Once baked, the cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to three days. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days, or frozen for up to two months, if well-wrapped.