Recipes and Cooking Almond Sugar Cookies and Mascarpone-Cocoa Cutouts Be the first to rate & review! Stick to the basic cookie cutter shapes you already have on hand to create jolly Santas with a little help from icing, frosting, and sprinkles. By Jessica Saari Christensen Jessica Saari Christensen Jessica Saari Christensen has been a food editor with Meredith Corporation for almost two decades. She now works as a senior food editor and content manager with Meredith Premium Media, juggling the Better Homes & Gardens portfolio of special interest publications such as Christmas Cookies, Bread Recipes, Pumpkin Recipes, Brunch & Breakfast, Soups & Stews, Farmhouse Cooking, and Veggie-Full. Jessica graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School Minneapolis/St. Paul at Brown College with honors in 2001, working in the restaurant and catering industry for more than two years before earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism with a minor in Horticulture from Iowa State University. She started as an intern with Meredith Corporation in the garden group of Special Interest Publications, where she wrote articles, researched plants and flowers, and assisted the editorial staff. She started her career a food editor with the Meredith Books Group, where she was the project manager for a dozens of holiday, authored, and special interest cookbooks. During that time, she worked as an editor on the 14th-17th editions of the iconic BH&G New Cook Book (i.e. Red Plaid), acting as the on-staff project manager of the 17th edition. Jessica now oversees the content development and editorial direction for all the Better Homes & Gardens branded special interest publication content—including annual issues such as Christmas Cookies, Bread Recipes, Pumpkin Recipes, Brunch & Breakfast, Soups & Stews, and Farmhouse Cooking. Learn about BHG's Editorial Process Updated on June 6, 2022 Print Rate It Share Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Carson Downing Hands On Time: 20 mins Bake Time: 8 mins Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins Servings: 22 Yield: 48 cookies Jump to Nutrition Facts Ingredients ¾ cup slivered almonds, toasted 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon salt 1 cup butter, softened ¾ cup sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla ½ teaspoon lemon zest Royal Icing Buttercream Frosting Royal Icing 1 16 ounce package (about 4 cups) powdered sugar 3 tablespoon meringue powder* ½ teaspoon cream of tartar ½ cup warm water 1 teaspoon vanilla Directions In a food processor pulse toasted almonds until finely ground. In a medium bowl combine ground almonds, flour, and 1/4 tsp. salt In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and lemon zest. Beat until combined, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour mixture. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle. Preheat oven to 350°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough at a time to 1/4 inch thick. Using 2 1/2- to 3-inch cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shapes. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Reroll scraps as needed. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until edges are light brown and centers are set. Let cool on cookie sheet 1 minute. Let cool on a wire rack. Decorate with Royal Icing and Buttercream Frosting. Royal Icing In a large mixing bowl stir together powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cream of tartar. Add the 1/2 cup warm water, and the vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on high speed for 7 to 10 minutes or until icing is very stiff. If not using immediately, cover bowl with a damp paper towel; cover tightly with plastic wrap (icing will dry out quickly when exposed to air). Chill for up to 48 hours. Stir before using. Buttercream Frosting In a large bowl beat ½ cup softened butter with a mixer on medium 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy. Beat in ½ cup powdered sugar. Add 1 Tbsp. heavy cream and ½ tsp. vanilla; beat on low until combined. Gradually beat in an additional 1½ cups powdered sugar just until combined. Beat on medium 5 minutes or until fluffy, scraping bowl as needed. Add an additional 2 tsp. heavy cream; beat on high 1 minute more. Makes 1¾ cups. Mascarpone-Cocoa Cutouts In a large bowl beat 1/2 cup softened butter and 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese with a mixer on medium 30 seconds. Add 1 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 1/4 tsp. salt; beat until combined, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1 egg. Beat in 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and as much of 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour as you can with mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Chill, covered, 30 to 60 minutes or until dough is easy to handle. Roll out dough, bake, and decorate as directed for Almond Sugar Cookies. Royal Icing In a large bowl stir together one 16-oz. pkg. (4 cups) powdered sugar, 3 Tbsp. meringue powder, and ½ tsp. cream of tartar. Add ½ cup warm water and 1 tsp. vanilla. Beat with a mixer on low until combined. Beat on high 7 to 10 minutes or until icing is very stiff (for piping outlines and details). For flooding, divide out some of the icing and beat in additional warm water (4 to 5 tsp. per 1 cup icing) to reach desired consistency. When not using icing, keep it covered with plastic wrap or a damp paper towel to prevent drying out. If desired, chill up to 48 hours; stir before using. Makes about 3 cups. *Note: Meringue powder is a mixture of pasteurized egg whites, sugar, and edible gums. It is the secret ingredient to making Royal Icing dry quickly with a smooth, hard finish. Look for it in the baking aisle of large supermarkets or in the cake decorating department of hobby and crafts stores. Rate it Print Nutrition Facts (per serving) 169 Calories 10g Fat 17g Carbs 2g Protein Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label Nutrition Facts Servings Per Recipe 22 Calories 169 % Daily Value * Total Fat 10g 13% Saturated Fat 6g 30% Cholesterol 31mg 10% Sodium 96mg 4% Total Carbohydrate 17g 6% Total Sugars 7g Protein 2g Vitamin C 0.1mg 0% Calcium 14mg 1% Iron 0.8mg 4% Potassium 43mg 1% Folate, total 26.2mcg Vitamin B-12 0mcg Vitamin B-6 0mg *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.