I bet I know what thoughts you’ve been having over the past few weeks. They have to do with the holidays, right? And more specifically – baked goods? You’ve been thinking that you haven’t eaten a cookie in awhile. Knew it!
It’s cookie overload eeeeverywhere! ‘Tis the season to loosen your belt a notch and triple your cookie consumption without judgment. I’m certainly right there with you and enjoying every second of
over-indulgence. But sometimes (juuust sometimes) my sweet tooth is ready to tap out and savor a lightened up dessert. You know, save that rich and fudgy peppermint mocha cookie cake for someone else.
Someone else as in me. Tomorrow.
These sugar cookies are loaded up with almond flavor and are seriously lightened up! By my rough calculations each cookie is approximately 80 calories. That officially makes multiple trips past the dessert table bearable. I know butter is in hot demand this time of year, but you’ll have no need to worry about careful butter budgeting with these babies. The whole batch uses just three tablespoons! Less butter + full taste = happy skinny jeans. Woooohoo!
Usually I’m all about thick and chewy cookies (see exhibit A, exhibit B, exhibit C), but these almond sugar cookies combine the best of both worlds. Right as they’ve cooled these cookies are slightly crisp, but become chewy and soft after a day or so. In either state they’re brimming with crunchy chopped almond slivers, which is a total win in my mind.
Side note: does anyone else randomly walk past the pantry and give the almond extract a big whiff?
In the interest of keeping things lighter, I decorated these cookies simply by dusting some confectioners’ sugar over top. In the interest of recipe development (and full disclosure) I also used these cookies as a vehicle for transporting a fab dessert dip into my mouth that you’ll see on the blog in the next few days. Y-U-M. If you’re looking to do a little festive decorating, these cookies would be the perfect candidates. They’re smooth and are sturdy enough to be handled without making crumbs – essential, right? Whichever route you go, these cookies are sure to please!
These healthier almond sugar cookies are light and super satisfying, making them a better-for-you holiday dessert tray options.
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp almond extract
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, chopped
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, honey, and lemon juice. Add sugar to bowl with butter mixture and mix until well-combined.
Pour wet ingredients into bowl with the flour mixture and stir until everything is just combined. Stir in chopped almonds until a cohesive dough has formed and all ingredients are mixed. If the dough is still exceedingly sticky, add additional flour a teaspoon or two at a time and mix in. Press dough into a rectangular shape approximately 1" thick and wrap snugly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a nicely floured surface (and with a rolling pin coated in flour), roll out chilled dough to an approximately 1/8" thickness. Cut out cookie shapes and place cookies on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush off any additional flour from cookies before baking.
Bake cookies for 8-11 minutes, or until edges have slightly browned. Let cookies cool on pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to wire rack for cookies to cool completely. Once cookies have fully cooled, dust with confectioners' sugar for serving, or decorate with icing.
Prep time includes approximately 2 hours for chilling.
Adapted from Skinny Heart-Shaped Sugar Cookies by Amy's Healthy Baking.