Easy Almond Shortbread Cookies
These small bites satisfy a sweet tooth with minimal sugar and the added benefit of protein from the almonds.  What's more, the dough can be quickly mixed by hand with minimal ingredients.

Yields 16 cookies.


  • 1 cup (112 grams) blanched almond flour (not the heartier meal with dark pieces of skin in it)
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter (very soft but not melted)
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, mix all of the ingredients until a cohesive dough forms. I find this easiest to do with a dinner fork.
  3. Separate the dough into fourths and then into fourths again. You will have 16 pieces. My son usually eats one at this point. : ) Roll into balls (they will be about 1” in diameter) and place on the prepared baking sheet. Leave a little space between the cookies for the next step, although they will not spread too much during baking.
  4. Use a fork to flatten each cookie to about 1/4″ thick, making a crosshatch design.
  5. Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, or until they have a hint of golden brown color on top. (Check a minute early and watch carefully until you know how long they take in your oven. Like whole nuts, nut flours tend to brown quickly at the end.)
  6. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before serving or, once completely cool, place in an airtight container for storing.


  • *Variations and tips from bakers of the original recipe:*
  • You can bake these cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet instead of the parchment-lined sheet. Just be sure to transfer the cookies to a rack about 2 to 3 minutes after they come out of the oven; they’ll still be warm and fairly fragile, but if left to cool on the ungreased pan too long, they’ll stick.
  • *For thumbprint cookies:* Instead of creating a crosshatch design with a fork, use your thumb to press an indentation into the center of each ball of dough. Fill the hole with about 1/4 teaspoon jam. Note: too much jam will boil out during baking.
  • *For Maple Pecan Shortbread Cookies:* Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, and 1/3 cup diced pecans to the dough. Shape the dough into a log, chill, slice, and bake; or bake as directed above.
  • *For Chocolate Pistachio Shortbread Cookies:* Substitute 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder for 2 tablespoons of the almond flour; and add 1/8 teaspoon of espresso powder. Stir in 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios. Shape the dough into a log, chill, slice, and bake for 12 minutes, give or take a minute or two; or bake as directed above.
  • *For Cranberry-Orange Shortbread Cookies:* Add 1/2 teaspoon orange zest and 1/4 cup dried cranberries to the dough. Shape the dough into a log, chill, slice, and bake for 12 minutes, give or take a minute or two; or bake as directed at right.

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