This almond shortbread cookies recipe is the perfect crowning holiday dessert! No good Christmas cookie tray is complete without a shortbread cookie and a treat packed full of that rich, delicately nutty flavor — so why not combine both into one of the ultimate almond cookies?
The first bite will have you hearing jingle bells and reaching for your best cocoa mug. Butter makes each almond shortbread cookies crumble in all the right ways while almond flour boosts that nutty flavor, and if you like, there’s even an icing you can add too!
Cookies craving kicked in yet? Let’s get these shortbread cookies baking!
My absolute favorite thing about Christmas cookies is the power they hold in such small, unassuming packages. One bite transports you to holidays past and thoroughly sets the Christmas mood. And my almond shortbread cookies recipe brings that nostalgic almond flavor that’ll sweep you off into a Winter Wonderland!
- Less than an hour start to finish
- Optional icing
- Balanced almond flavor and texture
- Buttery excellence!
If you’ve made holiday cookies before, you’ll start to recognize a lot of the ingredients over and over again. Butter, flour, sugars, etc. It’s easy to let them wash over you without really stopping to question why they’re included and what each brings to the finished product. I’m here to walk you through in a crash cookie course!
Almond Extract: This almond shortbread cookies recipe uses both almond extract and almond flour to give a fully-rounded flavor profile of everyone’s favorite holiday nut. I always recommend going for pure almond extract versus imitation — it comes with a higher extract to alcohol ratio, giving you a stronger, truer flavor.
Butter: I don’t know about you, but I never, ever, ever remember to leave my butter out to soften before I start a recipe. So many times, I’ve tried to use straight-from-the-fridge butter, which just ends up frustrating me and clogging my mixer. What’s a chef to do? My favorite tip is to grate your butter — yes, using your cheese grater! That gets your butter evenly distributed in your dough without sacrificing structure.
Salty: You may have heard that salted butter has a longer shelf life (since salt is a preservative), and salt is a great flavor enhancer, so why not use salted butter? While salt can be a great addition to recipes, the problem with salted butter is that you have no control over how much salt is in each stick.
Go with unsalted, which is pure cream, so you know exactly what your final cookie will taste like!
Sugar: The holiday displays at grocery stores are always such a fun reminder of the varieties available in the cooking world! Particularly for sugar. Sugar is differentiated by granule size (as small as confectioner’s sugar and as big as coarse sugar) and molasses content (as light as granulated and as dark as dark brown sugar).
For most cookie recipes, granulated sugar is a great middle-ground — small enough particles to dissolve easily with minimal molasses to not affect flavor.
You have a few options when storing the leftovers from your almond shortbread cookies recipe. Did you add the icing? Did you leave your cookies bare? Are there any leftovers at all? (No judgment if there aren’t — these are delicious treats, after all!) I have answers to all your questions!
Can You Freeze This?
Yes! Frozen cookies are one of my favorite post-holiday treats to brighten up those gray, frigid January days. Pop your cookies in an airtight container or sealable bag and store in your freezer for 6-12 months. I guarantee they’ll vanish long before then, though!
One trick I love is to write the date I made the cookies on the bag. That way, as the New Year rolls around, I don’t have to do worry how long these treats have been sitting in my freezer!
Make Ahead Tips
This almond shortbread cookies recipe has one very common make-ahead step: chilling the dough! Step 3 below has you chill the dough for at least two hours, but you can safely make your dough up to two days ahead of time if you’re going to bundle it in plastic wrap and store it in your fridge. You can even freeze raw cookie dough for up to three months!
Once you’re ready to bake, let your dough thaw in the fridge, and follow the remaining steps.
How Long Can You Keep This?
This is where you have a few options!
I left the icing as “optional” in the recipe below because I know everyone likes their cookies a little different. If you opted not to use the icing, your almond shortbread cookies will be just fine at room temperature (though sealed!) for up to three weeks.
If you did use the frosting, since it includes milk, you’ll want to be sure to store your cookies in the fridge only. They’ll last up to seven days in an airtight container.
I hardly need a reason to make cookies during the holidays, but I love seeing what new flavor combinations I can come up with! Here are some of my favorite alterations on this shortbread cookie.
What Other Desserts Can I Make With Almonds?
Have you ever tried theming your cookie tray? This almond shortbread cookies recipe is a perfect starting point for a whole almond arrangement! Chinese almond cookies will add a bit of international flair to your desserts while almond crescent cookies are the delicate, sugary cousin of shortbread.
What Other Shortbread Cookies Can I Bake?
Shortbread is wonderfully versatile! Chocolate chip shortbread cookies give a chocolatey crunch in every bite. Whipped Shortbread are slightly sweet, totally buttery and light as air. They melt in your mouth!
Can I Make This Recipe More Italian?
Almond flavoring and Italian baking go hand in hand! Italian wedding cookies harness the power of almond flour as well, while Italian almond cookies celebrate that iconic, soft flavor. And no Christmas coffee break is complete with my almond biscotti recipe!
Almond Shortbread Cookies
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 3-4 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour and the almond flour; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts. Stir in the flour almond mixture.
- Roll the dough into 2-inch diameter logs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Cut the dough into 1/4 inch slices and place on an ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven until edges are just beginning to brown, 30-35 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 3 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place completely cooled cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar, corn syrup, 2 tablespoons of milk, and almond extract until smooth. Add more milk, a little at a time, to thin icing to a drizzling consistency.
- Pour icing into a small ziplock. Cut off a small piece of one corner and drizzle each cookie with icing. Allow icing to set. Store cookies in an airtight container.
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There’s a wide, wonderful world of shortbread cookies recipes out there — Almond Shortbread Cookies was just the beginning! Go for the perfect Christmas season with:
- Caramel Shortbread Cookies – Creamy and smooth!
- Pecan Shortbread Cookies – Another nut, another treat!
- Whipped Shortbread Cookies – Light and fluffy and yummy.
- Chocolate Shortbread Cookies – Who doesn’t love chocolate?
- Springerle – A German tradition!
I don’t know about you, but this almond shortbread cookies recipe has gotten me thoroughly in the Christmas mood! Cookies are an integral part of holiday magic, and I’m honored you chose to sprinkle your celebration with some of these treats. Enjoy!
Do you like dipping your cookies in your cocoa or coffee? Let me know in the comments!