I fell in love with almond extract when Chelsea and I were younger and she introduced me to almond cake. I was instantly addicted and have been ever since. We’ve attempted a number of recipes with almond. Including Macaroons. Which to this day has been one of the biggest baking fails we’ve ever attempted (aside from Gluten Free Gnocchi).
But luckily, there have been way more triumphs than fails, like homemade almond angel food cake. And these almond shortbread cookies. I have a secret- out of all of the cookies I’ve made recently, these are my favorite!
I whip up the dough, place it in the fridge for at least four hours, roll it into balls (nice and smooth) and then place them back in the fridge for about ten minutes to make sure they get nice and cold again after they’ve been warmed slightly. If you try to bake this dough and it’s too warm they will spread all over the cookie sheet.
It’s also important not to over bake these cookies. In fact, it would be much better if you under-baked them if anything. There are no eggs in this recipe, so under-baked cookies aren’t a huge deal. They may look under-baked when you’re pulling the baking sheet out of the oven, but they will turn a gorgeous golden color around the edges while they’re cooling.
This recipe calls for them to be baked for 10-11 minutes. I found that baking them for 10 minutes, or just slightly under was the sweet spot for me.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 ounces chocolate candy coating optional
Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about one minute. Add the sugar, vanilla and almond extracts and beat on medium until combined. Scrape down the sides and beat on high for one minute.
Turn the mixer off and add the flour into the wet ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and beat until a very soft dough is formed, about two minutes.
Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least four hours or up to a couple of days.
When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough into about 1 tablespoon balls so they are nice and smooth. At this point, if the dough is too warm, place them on the baking sheets and put them back in the refrigerator for about ten minutes.
Bake the cookies in the oven for 10-11 minutes or until just slightly golden around the edges. If you want a flatter cookie, press down with a flat surface like bottom of a cup or measuring cup slightly. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
If you wish to dip half of the cookies in chocolate, melt the chocolate in a medium bowl. Allow cookies to cool for at least 30 minutes before dipping. Dip the cookies in chocolate and allow to cool on parchment paper until the chocolate is hardened.