Soft Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing

almond sugar cookies
Noah Fecks

This recipe, from blogger Lillie Auld of Butter Me Up Brooklyn, appeared in our 2012 Cookie Advent Calendar. Lillie says: "It wouldn't be the holidays without my Aunt Carole's sugar cookies. She cranks them out of her kitchen and brings them wherever she goes for the entire season. The dough is scented with lemon and the frosting is spiked with a touch of almond, for an unexpected combination."

Soft Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing
The dough for these soft sugar cookies is scented with lemon and the frosting is spiked with a touch of almond for an unexpected combination.
Yield: makes 4 dozen

FOR THE COOKIES:

  • 2 12 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 12 tsp. baking powder
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 12 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 12 cup soft margarine, such as Gold n'Soft
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 tsp. lemon extract

FOR THE ICING:

  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp. half-and-half, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 14 tsp. almond extract
  • 14 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 34 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Multi-colored sprinkles, for decorating

Instructions

  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda and powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside. In another bowl, beat sugar, margarine, and butter on medium-high speed of a hand mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add egg and yolk and both extracts, and beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Transfer to a work surface and shape into a disk; wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Heat oven to 350°. Transfer dough to a floured work surface, and using a rolling pin, roll until ¼" thick. Using a 1 ½"-wide star cutter, cut out cookies, and place 2" apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until edges are lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the frosting: Combine butter, half-and-half, both extracts, and salt in a bowl, and beat on medium-high speed of a hand mixer until smooth. Add sugar and beat until smooth and spreadable. Spread icing generously on each cookie, and decorate with sprinkles.