Almond Cut Out Cookies are super simple and easy to make and have a ton of almond flavor from almond extract! This sugar cookie recipe can be made festive with sprinkles, or just simple with the icing. They are great for the holidays and the whole family will have fun making them.
I love a good sugar cookie during the holidays. Not only are they delicious, but they're also festive and fun to decorate! The problem with some sugar cookies is that they just don't have a ton of flavor, but not this sugar cookie recipe! This almond cut out sugar cookie recipe is full of almond extract which means it's also full of flavor. Not only does the dough have almond extract, but so does the glaze. These almond cut out cookies are definitely a holiday favorite of ours!
The dough for these cookies comes together really quickly and is super easy to work with. To start, you'll need room temperature butter. I like to set my butter out for 30-60 minutes before I need it, or microwave it in increments of 5 seconds, turning each time, until it's softened. In a large bowl with an electric mixer or bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Next, add the egg and almond extract until well combined, scraping down the edges of the bowl as needed. Note, if you aren't a fan of almond extract, you could also use vanilla extract. Last, add the flour and beat until combined. Scrape the dough from the bowl and form into two balls. Wrap them in plastic wrap or put them in ziploc bags and refrigerate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Once they're chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin so the dough is approximately ½" thick, and cut them into shapes with cookie cutters. I kept thinks simple this time with a circle cookie cutter.
Place the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets and bake in the preheated oven for 9-10 minutes. The edges should be slightly golden. They will set up more as they cool. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Repeat until all of the dough is used.
Next, make the icing. You could use a favorite buttercream frosting, cream cheese frosting, or royal icing, but I like a simple powdered sugar icing. In a small or medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, two tablespoons milk, ½ teaspoon almond extract, and salt. If you'd like, add some food color to make the icing a fun color. Use a spoon or a knife to spread the icing onto each almond cut out cookie and then decorate as desired!
Use room temperature butter. I like to set mine out for 30-60 minutes ahead of time or microwave in increments of 5 seconds, rotating the sticks after each increment, until it's softened.
Chill the dough. Believe me, I really dislike having to chill dough, too, but I'm only asking for 30 minutes! I find if I chill my dough for an hour or two it gets too difficult to roll out. 30 minutes is all it takes for the dough to be easier to work with!
Decorate how you'd like. You can use lots of decorations or none for these almond cut out cookies! Sprinkles or edible glitter are super fun when you just use circle cut outs, or you can use holiday shaped cut-outs and decorate as you'd like.
Other flavors. If you want to switch it up from the almond extract, you can use vanilla extract, lemon extract (one of my favorites!), rum extract, coconut extract, or peppermint extract. If you use peppermint extract, crushed up candy canes are fun to sprinkle on top.
Make ahead. You can definitely make these almond cut out cookies ahead of time. I like to make a batch of the cookies and store them in the freezer until there's a good time to decorate them with the kids. Or you can decorate them and freeze them, as well.