Cream butter and sugar, beat 10 minutes. Add water and flour a little at a time, beating after each addition.
Roll very thin on lightly floured board. Cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter. Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with ground almonds. (For a Christmas touch, place a red or green maraschino cherry half on each cookie.)
Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are light brown, in a preheated 400° oven on ungreased cookie sheets dusted with flour.