These soft and sweet almond sugar cookies are a delicious twist on the classic sugar cookie. They get their flavor from both almond extract and toasted almond crumbs. Decorate them like little snowman faces or add chocolate snowflakes for a cute wintery look. And of course you’ll need sprinkles!
The most important thing about this recipe is the chilling time. The cookies will spread too much if you skimp on the chilling stages.
Note: I originally created this recipe for Sprinkle Pop, who generously compensated me for my time.
Start by toasting the slivered almonds. Once they’ve cooled slightly you’ll grind them into fine crumbs using a food processor and then whisk the crumbs with the flour, baking powder and salt.
Cream the butter, Crisco and sugar while the almonds are cooling. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated. Then mix in the extracts.
Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture on low speed. Then cover and CHILL the dough in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
Here are a few tips for rolling out sugar cookies:
- Always roll cookies out on a lightly floured surface, like a pastry mat or a marble pastry board.
- Dip an offset cookie spatula in flour before transferring the cutout to the prepared baking sheet. You can also dip the cookie cutter in flour.
- Keep the dough you’re not using in the refrigerator.
- Don’t put more than 12 cookies on a pan, which should be lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
The number of cookies this recipe yields depends on the size cookie cutter used. And of course you can use multiple cookie cutter varieties!
Bake for no more than 6 to 7 minutes. Don’t worry if the middles look a little soft. They’ll firm up once out of the oven. But what you don’t want is wet and doughy centers.
Customize the frosting according to your almond tastes. I used 1 ½ tsp of almond extract, but you could do a little more or less. I also recommend chilling the cookies in the freezer before decorating. (In fact, I always store decorated sugar cookies in the freezer, in between layers of wax paper.)
To make the snowmen, use a star piping tip like Wilton tip #21 and chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth. Use a small round tip to pipe the nose, and sprinkle with Sprinkle Pop snowflake confetti.
For the snowflakes I used small candy snowflake molds and melted white chocolate chips. Pour the melted chocolate in a ziplock bag and cut off the tip. Squeeze the chocolate in the molds and chill in the refrigerator until set. The snowflakes should pop right out of the molds. I used Wilton tip 1M for the blue rosettes and topped with snowflake confetti.
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Tag me @rosesandwhiskers on Instagram if you try these almond sugar cookies and use the hashtag #rosesandwhiskers. I’d love to see how you decorate them!
Happy baking! 🙂
Almond Sugar Cookies
- 2 1/2 cups gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour or substitute all-purpose flour for gluten-full cookies
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds toasted and ground into fine crumbs
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 6 tbsp butter-flavored Crisco
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Almond Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup Crisco
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp whole milk
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 to 2 tsp almond extract to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. They’ll be slightly browned and you’ll be able to smell them. Set aside.
- Cream the butter, Crisco and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated. Mix in the extracts.
- In a food processor, grind the almonds into fine crumbs. Then whisk together with flour, baking powder and salt.
- On low speed, mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture in three batches, until just incorporated. Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least two hours. You can also chill the dough overnight, but it will need to sit out for about 15 minutes before you can roll it.
- Roll out half of the chilled dough on a floured surface until 1/8 inch think. Keep the rest of the dough in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and transfer them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Don’t put more than 12 cookies on a pan.
- Re-roll the scraps until you’ve used up the dough and then roll out the remaining chilled dough. The number of cookies this recipe yields depends on the size cookie cutter used.
- Chill each sheet of cookies in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 6 to 7 minutes. The middles should look soft but not wet and doughy. Larger cookies will need 7 minutes and smaller cookies will only need 6.
- Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
- Make the frosting while the cookies are cooling. Cream the butter and Crisco until smooth. Mix in half of the powdered sugar on low speed. Then add the milk, heavy cream, 1 tsp of almond extract and the remaining powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until just combined and then beat on high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add up to 1 more tsp of almond extract, according to taste. I used 1 ½ tsp. Double the frosting recipe if you plan on using large piping tips like Wilton tip 1M to decorate. Add food coloring as desired.
- Decorate as desired and store in an airtight container in the freezer for optimum freshness.