Italian almond cookies are a traditional sweet treat, made with a combination of sugar, flour, and ground almonds, and are often flavored with almond or vanilla extract. They can be enjoyed year round but are especially enjoyed during the holidays. They make a perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea.
Over the years I have become a big fan of Italian cookies from simple Pasta Frolla cookies to traditional Cantucci to one of my favorite Stuffed Cookies and of course I can’t forget Lemon Cookies.
Italian almond flavor cookies are an easy cookie recipe and are quite versatile, they can be enjoyed on their own or served with your favorite ice cream or can be crumbled on top of fruit or yogurt.
Recipe Ingredients for Almond Cookies
- Flour – all purpose flour with at least 11% protein
- Almond flour – store bought or homemade
- Sugar – granulated sugar
- Egg yolk – room temperature
- Butter – room temperature butter
- Vanilla – vanilla extract or almond extract
- Salt – if you use unsalted butter then add a bit more butter
What is the best flour for cut out Cookies?
Be sure to use a high protein, at least 11.5 – 12%, my flour is about 12%, a low protein flour will cause the cookies to spread, and believe me refrigerating the dough will not help.
How to make homemade almond flour
If you like you can even make your own almond flour. I use blanched almonds to make my almond flour. Place almonds, 1/4 -1/3 cup at a time, in a food processor. Pulse until you have a flour-like consistency.
Then sift the flour into a container, any large bits pulse again.
How to store Almond Flour
Almond flour is best stored in an airtight container either in a cool dry place or the fridge. It will last four or five months in the fridge.
It can also be stored in the freezer, either in a freezer safe bag or container. It will last up to nine months in the freezer.
Almond flour isn’t a type of milled flour, it is just finely ground almonds.
How to make an Italian Almond cookie recipe
In a large bowl whisk together the flours and sugar then make a well in the middle and add the egg yolk, butter and vanilla, mix with a fork until almost combined. This dough is also very easy to make with a food processor.
Move to a lightly floured flat surface and knead into a compact ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Remove the dough from the fridge and on a lightly floured flat surface roll into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle, with your favourite cookie cutter cut out cookies.
Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet and bake until done, do not let the cookies brown. Let them cool on the baking sheet for approximately 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely, dust with powdered sugar before serving.
These cookies are a little like a buttery shortbread but with that extra taste of almond.
The perfect cut out cookie. And the best thing? You need just one bowl and a fork. And don’t forget to knead, this dough doesn’t come together in two seconds. A few minutes of kneading time is required!
What is the difference between almond flour and almond meal?
The main difference between almond flour and almond meal lies in their texture and processing. Almond flour is made from blanched almonds, which are almonds that have had their skins removed. The blanched almonds are finely ground into a smooth, flour-like consistency.
Almond meal is made by grinding whole almonds, including the skins. This results in a coarser texture with small pieces of almonds, giving it a slightly grainy or mealy quality.
Almond flour is often preferred for recipes that require a finer texture, such as pastries and macarons, while almond meal is commonly used in recipes that benefit from a denser texture such as pie crusts and certain cookies.
How to freeze Almond Cookies
If you aren’t going to freeze the cookies then store them in an airtight container and they should last up to 5 days. If you store them in the refrigerator they should last up to 8 days.
I would recommend freezing the cookies without the powdered sugar. Place the cookies in a single layer between parchment paper, be sure to store in an air tight container or a freezer bag.
Cookies will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
More Delicious Almond Recipes
- Chocolate Almond Biscotti
- Panettone Italian Christmas Sweet Bread
- Almond Crescent Cookies
- Almond Fresh Peach Bread
- Almond Cranberry Cake
So if you are starting to bake your cookies for the Holidays or just thinking about it I hope you give these Italian Almond Cookies a try. Enjoy!
Italian Almond Cookies
- food processor (optional)
- 1-2 baking sheets
- cookie cut outs
- 1 cup all purpose flour (at least 11% protein content)
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon almond flour (56 grams total)
- 1 pinch salt*
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk (room temperature)
- ⅓ cup + 1½ tablespoons butter* softened (96 grams total)
- ½-1 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract
*I use salted butter, if you use unsalted butter then add ¼ teaspoon of salt.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flours, salt and sugar then make a well in the middle and add the egg yolk, butter and vanilla, mix with a fork until almost combined. This dough can also be made with a food processor.
- Move to a lightly floured flat surface and knead into a compact ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180C), line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and on a lightly floured flat surface roll into a ¼ inch (½ cm) thick rectangle, with your favourite cookie cutter cut out cookies (I used mini cutters and got a lot of cookies, the first photo I used a medium round cutter and I got 15 cookies).
- Place cookies on prepared cookie sheets and bake for approximately 6 minutes (for mini cookies) approximately 8 – 10 minutes for larger. Do not let the cookies brown. Let them cool on the baking sheet for approximately 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely, dust with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!
Updated from November 25, 2018.
These biscuits look great. What is all purpose flour? Plain or self-raising Thanks
Hi Jan, all purpose flour is plain flour. 🙂
Tender, flavorful & easy to make. Going to make many more of these!!!
Hi Lorraine, thanks so much, glad you like them. Have a great week.
Can I use Gluten Free flour instead of AP flour? Will the measurement be the same? Cooking time the same?
Hi Sandra, I’m sorry but I never bake with gluten free flour, so I can’t really say.
Terry Santoro says
I have learned you can turn any recipe into a gluten free recipe by using one to one gluten free flour and measuring 140 grams of flour per cup. I have done it with numerous recipes and not been disappointed.
Made these in a food processor and it comes together beautifully. I used both almond and vanilla extracts. Very good flavor. I’m sending them as a gift. I’m sure they will enjoy them!
Hi Dorinda, thanks so much, I hope they enjoy them also. Take care.
These were great! I did almond instead of vanilla and loved the flavor! My only issue was they are fragile/break easily. Is there someway to combat that? Thanks!
Stephie Scaturchio says
Sooooo good!!! And easy to make. Another great recipe. Thank you !!
Thanks Stephie, glad you like them.
Just made these for a cookie party and they are pretty and delicious! They do take a little longer to knead than your average sugar cookie but it’s a relatively easy cookie to make. I didn’t taste too much of almond, but that could be because of the brand of flour I used. Thank you for sharing!
Hi Elsa, thanks so much, next time try adding a 1/2 teaspoon of almond flavouring it you want. Glad you enjoyed them. Have a wonderful Holiday Season.
These cookies are magnificent!! They are very easy to make and are truly delicious. The dough was not crumbly for me and seemed to be very easy to work with. I am not usually a fan of powered sugar but a light dusting worked well.
Hi Laurie, thanks so much, yes I make them often and it comes together, I think you just need a little elbow grease as they say. Have a wonderful Holiday Season.
I made these today and they are delicious! Thanks for sharing.
Hi Tonya, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed them.
Claudia Phillips says
I made these cookies today and they were really good. Not too sweet which is what I like. I used almond extract instead of vanilla because I love almond flavor. After reading the other comments I decided to use my food processor to make the dough. It worked really well. Although the dough was somewhat crumbly it was not hard to work with. These cookies would go really well with a cup of coffee or tea. I’ll make them again.
Hi Claudia, thanks so much so glad you like them, and the crumbly is interesting, since it is never crumbly for me, I am going to have to investigate this. Happy New Year.
They turned out great for me! Might be one of my favorite new Christmas cookie recipes. Thank you! Oh and I used Krusteaz brand almond flour. A little pricey, but worth it I think! Merry Christmas! 🎄
Hi Becky glad to hear it worked and you like them. Merry Christmas.
Hello Rosemary, I must say this recipe is definitely not for the inexperienced baker.I’m not sure they should be titled as fast and easy. The dough was not very easy to work with, it takes some time and patience getting it together into a ball to refrigerate. I was concerned about flavor so I added 1/8-1/4 tsp. of almond extract and am very happy I did. I really do like the cookie but am not sure if I will make them again. Rosemary would you consider posting a video of you making the dough, it may help everyone with making it.
Hi Ellen, just to let you know I posted a video and it came together fine for me. Sorry you had a problem with it.
Could we frost these using a sugar cookie icing?
Hi Janice, that sounds like a good idea. Let me know how it goes.
The dough was crumbly, never congealed fully after 8 hours in the refrigerator. I used the warmth of my hands, but it was a mess. Little to no taste and were extremely fragile. Disappointing.
Hi Lala, Im sorry the cookie didn’t work for you, but when I got your comment, the first thing I did was remake the recipe, because I take my recipes and my blog very seriously and I need to make sure that it does in fact work. And if you look at the first photo in the post those are the cookies I remade. So the dough works and comes together perfectly. I think that you used ground (finely chopped) almonds and not almond flour. 🙂
I had the same experience as LaLa. I used almond flour, not crushed almonds. I added more butter and it was better but still more difficult to work with than I’d like.
Hi Christine, well I have no idea why, I did a video I have made them numerous times, unless you all aren’t kneading it long enough. 🙂
Hi Lala, my experience with crumbly dough was similar to yours. I added an egg white and it became soft and sticky. Also added almond extract and some lemon zest. This batch I rolled into a ball. Next one I’ll roll and cut out shapes. Hope this helps.
Hi Cheri, I am at a total loss on why there is so much trouble with this dough, I have made it a number of times and it always comes together. Are you measuring your flour by spooning it into the cup measurement and then levelling it off with a knife? Because if you scoop it, you usually end up with more flour. Let me know.
Rose K says
Hi Rosemary, I am confused by the flour measurement. You list 1 cup AP flour at 140 grams which is consistent with the dip & sweep method, but in the reply above you advise to measure the flour by the spoon & level method which yields a lighter amount between 120 to 125g. Do you measure the flour by volume & if so, which method or do you weigh the flour using 140 grams as listed?
Hi Rose, I just reweighed it right now, using the spoon and level method and I got 138 grams, I have never ever gotten a weight of 120-125 grams for a cup of flour. So I don’t know.
Cheri, how long did you bake them for when you rolled them into balls?
Should almond flour or all purpose flour be used for this recipe? I saw instructions on how to make almond flour, but the recipe calls for all purpose. They look delicious!
Hi Nicole, there’s actually both all purpose and almond flour in the recipe. Thanks I hope you like them. 🙂