These winter almond sugar cookies are the perfect decorated treat! Lightly flavored with a hint of almond and vanilla flavor and decorated with easy icing and your choice of sprinkles and edible decorations.
I don’t make a ton of cookies around Christmas but cut-out cookies are still one of my favorites!
Last year I shared my soft gingerbread cutout cookies which are a HUGE hit in my family but this year I want to share with you my favorite light almond flavor cutout cookie.
These almond sugar cookies are lightly flavored and go perfectly with simple royal icing and sprinkles.
The best part is you can get as fancy or simple as you want with these cookies.
They taste great plain but if you want your cookies loaded with icing – go for it!
Even though I’m not Ina Garten I am going to recommend that you use a good quality flavoring for your cookies. It results in a perfectly-tasting cookie!
I really like Nielsen-Massey almond extract and it’s what I used in these cookies.
Ingredients needed for almond sugar cookies
- Unsalted butter – The base to a lot of cookies. I like to use unsalted butter so I can control the exact amount of salt used in the recipe. You can use salted butter but I might add less kosher salt later in the recipe.
- Granulated sugar – This is the sweetener of your cookie. Granulated sugar is another word for the classic white sugar.
- Large egg and yolk – This makes your cookies soft and delicious and the extra yolk adds richness.
- Almond extract – Flavoring! If you’re not a fan of almond replace it with more vanilla extract.
- Vanilla extract – Just a touch as I like both almond and vanilla in my cookies.
- All-purpose flour – I liked to use unbleached all-purpose flour but bleached flour will work as well.
- Kosher salt – You know my rules. A touch of salt brings everything to life!
- Baking powder – This helps the cookies rise.
Ingredients for royal icing
- Powdered sugar – This is the base of the icing which holds it together and brings sweetness.
- Meringue powder – This helps bring stability to the icing and will help it set up so you can stack cookies without fear of the icing smearing. You can typcially find meringue powder at craft stores in the baking aisle, online, or in specialty baking shops.
- Water – Water helps thin the icing to your desired consistency. More water makes a running “flooding” icing and less water gives you a better icing for borders and lines.
Where do I find meringue powder?
You can typically find meringue powder in craft stores in the baking/specialty cake aisle, baking stores, or online.
If you find it in-store it’s usually sold in smaller-sized cans or bags.
Unless you’re making a lot of cookies (on a regular basis) I wouldn’t buy a huge container as it will just sit around for a year waiting to be used again.
How do I use royal icing?
I think squeeze bottles are the easiest option BUT you need to make sure the squeeze holes are large enough to work but not so large the icing just pours out of them.
A thicker icing (like used for the cookies with just the snowflake lines) is what you’ll need to border cookies or draw on lines.
A thinner icing is what is used to fill in borders and “flood” the cookie.
Can I use a different type of frosting?
A traditional buttercream frosting will not look the same as royal icing but it will taste great!
In fact, you can use whatever type of frosting you think will pair lovely with the soft almond flavor of the cookie.
A few of my favorite frosting recipes:
- Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
- Espresso Dark Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting
- Easy Whipped Chocolate Frosting
- Fluffy Toasted Coconut Vanilla Bean Frosting
How do you store cutout sugar cookies?
I store all my cutout cookies in my cold front bedroom in an airtight container.
For optimal taste, I like to eat them within a week BUT they can last much longer stored in an airtight container or frozen.
Love these almond sugar cookies?
Why not try a few of my other delicious holiday cookies?
- Craving a classic holiday cookie but with a mint twist? Try my Peppermint Kiss Cookies.
- Love a good spiced cookie? Try my Soft Gingerbread Cutout Cookies.
- Need a chocolate peppermint combo? Try my Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies.
- Want spice mixed with a bit of sweetness? Try my Molasses Ginger Raisin Cookies.
For almond sugar cookies:
- 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For royal icing:
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 4-5 tablespoons water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar, on medium speed, until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of the bowl.
- Add egg, egg yolk, almond, and vanilla extract beat until completely combined.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
- Turn the mixer down to low and add flour mixture, beating until just combined. If there are any leftover dry ingredients on the bottom of the bowl, use a rubber spatula to fully incorporate the last bits of flour.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.
- Roll out each part of the dough on a sheet of baking paper to about 1/4 inch thick, lightly dusting the surface as you roll if needed to prevent the dough from sticking to your rolling pin.
- Transfer the rolled dough with paper onto a baking sheet, and stack the second dough (with paper) on top, cover lightly, and refrigerate for at least 1 -2 hours or overnight.
- Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and use a cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
- Transfer to the baking sheets and bake, one sheet at a time, for 10 minutes until very lightly colored on top and around the edges.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
- Cool completely before icing.
- For the icing, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and meringue powder.
- Add water, 4 tablespoons at first, and mix until smooth and glossy.
- Add 1 more tablespoon of water if the icing is too thick. It should be runny with a consistency of a bit thinner than glue.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag with a small round tip for piping thin lines and decorate cookies as desired.
- Sprinkle with sprinkles of your choice
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 170Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 29mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 0gSugar: 21gProtein: 2g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.