The best ever Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies
Moms who want to get in and out of the kitchen quickly, you’re going to love these vanilla almond sugar cookies! The texture of soft almond sugar cookies just can’t be beat and they are so simple to make.
As you may or may not know, I am not the girl who will make a recipe twice if it’s complicated. Not only that, but I tend to ruin sugar cookies. Yes, it’s true. They came out dry, thin, and don’t even get me started on the way my cut out cookies would look when they didn’t hold their shape!
Let’s just say the kids were not impressed. If you have a history of sugar cookie Pinterest fails like me – there is hope. These sugar cookies with almond extract are here to save your baking reputation.
Why I Love These Soft Almond Sugar Cookies
Recently I attended a holiday party at my friend’s house and she kindly passed the recipe to me when she noticed I couldn’t. stop. eating. them. Oh my gosh, the flavor!
They were perfect vanilla almond sugar cookies. Soft, thick, and just a little chewy. There are so many creative ways to decorate them too!
My favorite part of this recipe is that this dough doesn’t have to be refrigerated before cutting out cookie shapes – it’s perfect for impatient bakers like me! Or, you know, your kids. Ahem.
As soon as I got my hands on that recipe, I had to try making them myself. So easy. The kids loved making the different Christmas shapes and decorating them and the time spent together in the kitchen was a total mom win.
How to Make Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies
As I said before, the recipe was easy enough to make and we had a great time in the kitchen, but a little something was missing… it needed a touch of my favorite flavor to add to all of my homemade pastries, cookies and cakes.
That new secret ingredient? Almond extract. Mmmm… You just can’t beat that distinct flavor.
What is Almond Extract?
Almond extract is a flavoring that is most often used in baking. It is made from bitter almonds (the same kind that are found in the grocery store’s marzipan) and has a strong, sweet almond flavor which works well in cakes, cookies, pies and other desserts.
It pairs well with cherries, vanilla, coffee flavor, and of course makes an amazing almond extract cookie! You might also want to try it in your next batch of chocolate chip cookies!
How to Make Cut Out Sugar Cookies
When you mix together all of the ingredients for these yummy cut out cookies, the result is a thick, slightly chewy sugar cookie that is just the right amount of sweet.
But what’s the trick to make sure the cut out cookies come out perfectly? You have to roll the dough into a 1-inch thickness on parchment paper or a floured surface.
Nothing is more annoying than half of your dough sticking to the counter and messing up a perfectly good cookie.
To make baking even easier, you can pre-bake your almond sugar cookies and they’ll store nicely in the fridge or freezer.
Be sure to make a double batch, though. If you take these to a Christmas party or even to a cookie exchange, they WILL be gone quickly!
How to Use Royal Icing
And because all good cookies need a little icing, let’s talk about how to use royal icing. I know that the thought of figuring out how to flood royal icing can be overwhelming but I promised you easy cookies and I am here to walk you through all things icing related.
I found this great royal icing with meringue powder recipe that I used the first time I made these tasty cookies. I was impressed with how simple it was to whip up a batch of homemade icing.
To flood the rest of the cookies, I slowly diluted the icing to get the right consistency, then I poured my colors into these squeeze bottles and frosted.
I love mixing my icing in silicone bowls, which makes it super easy to pour them into the squeeze bottles or my piping bag.
If you’d prefer something easier, try this super easy, dippable royal icing recipe. It’s a total game changer and a great job for the kids!
Decorating Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies
This year I decided to try something different than the traditional Christmas red and greens, so I chose pastel pinks, blues and greens. I love how they turned out!
If piping decorations sounds cumbersome to you – you’re in luck. I’ve tried my hand at some recipe decorating ideas that take just minutes instead of hours! Because we all know that the goal is for everyone (including mom!) to leave the kitchen as happy as they came into it, right?
Watercolor icing is super fast and easy, and isn’t as detailed piping frosting. It’s also easier on little hands or for bakers who have a hard time squeezing a piping bag.
What could be simpler than letting the kids draw on your icing? We did this for our extended family Christmas and the kids had a blast.
Even better? They were stress-free and totally adorable. Just make sure to use food-safe markers to decorate them!
After making these, I think you’ll agree that they are the best vanilla almond sugar cookie recipe out there!
What is your favorite Christmas cookie recipe? Tell me in the comments below – I’m always looking for something new to try!
- 1 C. sugar
- 2 sticks butter, cold & cut into chunks
- 1 egg
- 3/4 t. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 t. pure almond extract
- 3 C. all-purpose flour
- 2 t. baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cream the sugar and butter. Mix in the egg and extracts.
- Combine the flour and baking powder, then add to sugar mixture and mix just until combined.
- Roll out onto a floured surface (I like to roll out my cookies nice and thick!), and cut into shapes.
- Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.
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