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almond butter cookies rolled in white coarse sugar and red and green sanding sugar on cooling rack

Almond Butter Sparkle Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These almond butter cookies sparkle with a roll in coarse sugar or colorful sanding sugar sprinkles! They’re deliciously thick and the crunchy sugar coating contrasts perfectly with the pillow soft centers.


Ingredients

  • 1 and 2/3 cups (210g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (128g) creamy unsalted almond butter, at room temperature*
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (about 105g) chopped almonds* (optional, see note)
  • 3/4 cup (150g) coarse sugar or colored sanding sugar sprinkles*

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine. Add the almond butter and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, pour in the chopped almonds if using, and beat on low speed until combined. The dough will be soft and thick. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes and up to 3 days. I recommend just a quick 30 minutes. (Note: If chilling for longer than a couple hours, let dough sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes to slightly soften. Otherwise cookie dough balls may not spread.)
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. Pour coarse/sanding sugar in a bowl or, if using multiple colors, a few separate bowls.
  6. Roll balls of cookie dough, about 1 heaping Tablespoon of dough per cookie, then roll each ball in the coarse/sanding sugar to coat. Place each dough ball 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes or until edges appear set. (Note: If cookies are not spreading by the 8-9 minute mark, remove baking sheet from oven and gently drop/bang baking sheet on the counter a few times or gently press down with back of a spoon. This helps initiate a bit more spread.)
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for 1 week.
YouTube video

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. See step 3. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving. Unbaked cookie dough balls (without sugar coating) will freeze well for up to 3 months. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, preheat oven, then roll in sanding sugar. Bake as directed. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Almond Butter: If using a new jar of almond butter, pour out excess oil and stir it well to fully combine the thinner top layer and thicker bottom layer. Use creamy almond butter. If you decide to use crunchy almond butter or if your creamy almond butter is particularly thick, the cookies may not spread as much– but gently pressing the coated cookie dough balls down (like we do with the sugar cookie version) before baking would help.
  3. Almonds: You can use roasted, salted, raw, or unsalted almonds. I like using roasted salted almonds because the sweet/salty contrast is delicious here and a roasted flavor pairs nicely with cinnamon and sweet brown sugar. The almonds will slightly soften in the baked cookies– they do not stay hard/crunchy.
  4. Sugar Coating: You have some options for the coarse sugar coating. I like using white “sparkling sugar” and it’s usually sold as sprinkles in the baking aisle. You can also use sanding sugar sprinkles, which is what I used in the pictured red and green cookies. If you’re shopping online, I like (affiliate links) these multicolor, these white, these green, and these red. You can also use turbinado sugar or just regular granulated sugar, a convenient ingredient already in the cookie dough.
  5. Gluten Free/Almond Flour: We have not tested this recipe with almond flour instead of all-purpose flour. For a gluten free version, I recommend these almond butter chocolate chip cookies. You can leave out the chocolate chips and roll the cookie dough balls as best you can in sugar/sanding sugar sprinkles. If you love almond flour, try these almond butter coconut macaroons.

Keywords: almond butter sparkle cookies