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Almond Flour Sugar Cookies are sweet, buttery, and rich with vanilla flavor. A crown of coarse sugar gives them crunch and sparkle. They're a gluten free spin on the classic that all sugar cookie enthusiasts will love.
People tend to have a strong opinion about sugar cookies. Some like them thick and soft, others want them thin and crispy. This versatile recipe works beautifully for both.
Ingredients You Need to Make Almond Flour Sugar Cookies
- Almond Flour: Blanched, finely ground almond flour, not almond meal which has a coarser texture.
- Baking Soda
- Kosher: Or half the amount of fine salt.
- Sugar: Granulated white sugar.
- Butter: If you use unsalted butter, increase the salt to ⅓ teaspoon fine salt or ¾ teaspoon kosher salt.
- Sour Cream: Ideally full fat.
- Egg: One large.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract.
- Sparkling Sugar: For decoration, optional.
How to Form Almond Flour Sugar Cookies
With this sugar cookie recipe, you have a couple of options for forming the cookies. The easiest way, and my preferred method, is to scoop and flatten. Thicker for soft cookies, thinner for crispy cookies. Rolled and cut cookies are also an option, but you'll need very cold dough and to work quickly and with a light touch. This dough is softer than traditional sugar cookie dough made with wheat flour.
Tips for Success
- For thick, soft cookies I recommend baking just the number of cookies you want for that day. Overnight, the thicker cookies stay soft and delicious, but take on a chewier texture, similar to macaroons. The dough holds up well in the refrigerator for a few days, so you can bake fresh cookies as you like. It freezes well too. Just thaw in the refrigerator the night before you plan to bake the cookies. You can pre-shape the unbaked dough and refrigerate or freeze it so the cookies are pre-portioned and ready to go! (see photo below)
- Thin crispy cookies stay crispy for days, stored in an airtight container at room temperature. So make as many as you like!
- Instead of sparkling sugar, top with colorful sanding sugar.
- Drizzle with Sugar Cookie Icing or spread on Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.
- Add more almond flavor by replacing ½ of the vanilla extract with ½ teaspoon almond extract.
More Almond Flour Treats
A few more delicious options for gluten free baking.
- Moist, honey sweetened Almond Flour Pumpkin Bread
- Thick, fudgy Almond Flour Brownies
- Almond Flour Muffins
- Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins
How to Make Almond Flour Sugar Cookies
- Step 1: Make the dough: First cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and sour cream and mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. To scoop and flatten cookies, cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 3 days. To roll and cut cookies, transfer dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap on a work surface and press into a 1-inch thick disc and freeze 2 hours until dough is very cold, but still pliable.
Step 2: Shape cookies, two options.
Option 1 - Scoop and Flatten: Scoop 2-tablespoon portions of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. Flatten each portion with a wide drinking glass into ½-inch thick rounds for soft cookies or ¼-inch thick for crispy cookies. (Use a folded piece of plastic between the dough and the glass to avoid sticking as pictured below.) Sprinkle cookies with granulated sugar if desired.
Option 2 - Roll and Cut: Turn out dough onto work surface floured generously with almond flour and shape into a disc. Sprinkle top with almond flour and roll into a ¼-inch thick circle. With a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut dough. Remove scraps and carefully transfer rounds with thin metal spatula or dough scraper to parchment lined baking sheet 1-inch apart. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar if desired.
Step 3: In an oven preheated to 350˚F, bake 9 to 12 minutes for thick and soft cookies, 10 to 14 minutes until golden brown at the edges for thin and crispy cookies. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack and let cool for a few minutes before carefully transferring cookies directly to rack to cool completely.
Almond Flour Sugar Cookies
For the Cookies:
- 3 cups blanched almond flour 336g
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter 57g, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sour cream
- sparkling sugar optional
- In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter at medium speed until fluffy and granular, 2-3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add sour cream and mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix to combine.
- If scooping dough, tightly cover mixing bowl and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. If rolling out and cutting dough, transfer to a large piece of plastic wrap on a work surface and wrap to cover dough completely, shaping into a 1-inch thick disc. Place in freezer for 2 hours - you want the dough to be as cold as possible, but still pliable.
When ready to bake:
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To Scoop, Flatten and Bake (easiest method):
- Fold a piece of plastic wrap into a ~3-inch square (to prevent drinking glass sticking to dough).
- Scoop dough out into 2-tablespoon balls (this cookie scoop is ideal) and place on baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each ball. Place plastic wrap on dough ball and flatten with a wide bottomed drinking glass, ½-inch thick for soft cookies or ¼-inch thick for crispy cookies. Repeat with remaining balls. (There should be at least an inch between each cookie when they're all flattened.) Sprinkle cookies generously with sparkling sugar if desired. (You can gently press sugar in with the bottom of the drinking glass or your fingers to ensure that it adheres.)
- Bake 9 to 12 minutes for thick and soft cookies, 10 to 14 minutes for thin and crispy cookies. (recipe note #2) Transfer baking sheet to wire rack and let cool for a few minutes before carefully transferring cookies directly to rack to cool completely.
To Roll Out, Cut and Bake
- Generously sprinkle almond flour on work surface. Place dough disc in center and sprinkle generously with almond flour. Working quickly, roll dough into a ¼" thick circle. Cut with 3-inch round cookie cutter; remove dough scraps around cookies. With dough scraper or thin metal spatula, carefully transfer to prepared baking sheet leaving at least 1" between cookies as they'll puff and spread. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar if desired (gently press sugar into each cookie with your fingers to make sure it adheres). If desired, gather dough scraps into a disc; roll and repeat process.
- Bake 9 to 12 minutes for soft cookies, 10 to 14 minutes for thin, crispy cookies. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack and let cool for a few minutes before carefully transferring cookies directly to rack to cool completely.
- The thin crispy cookies will stay crisp at room temperature for a few days. However, the thick soft cookies are best eaten the day they're baked. Overnight they get chewier (more like the texture of a macaroon), though still quite tasty. To avoid this, scoop and flatten the dough on a baking sheet, sprinkle on sugar (press to adhere), and transfer to freezer until solid. Once frozen, transfer dough discs to a freezer safe plastic bag in single layers separating each layer with parchment paper. To bake, arrange frozen discs 1-inch apart on baking sheet and add let thaw at room temperature while you preheat your oven (15-20 minutes). Or, the day before you plan to bake, arrange frozen discs on baking sheet. Cover and let thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as recipe directs.
- Note that cook time is the maximum per batch so will be longer if you bake multiple batches in a single day.