These soft, sugary Almond Meltaway Cookies are so light, they literally melt in your mouth. The simple almond glaze on top is the perfect finishing touch. Just one bite, and you’ll be hooked!
(Oh, and by the way – meltaway cookies aren’t just about almonds! If you like the look of these, check out my Lemon Meltaway Cookies, Vanilla Meltaway Cookies, and Coconut Meltaway Cookies, too.)
Just like the name suggests, these cookies quite literally “meltaway” in your mouth! Meltaway cookies are a bit like a shortbread cookie, topped with a light layer of icing. But instead of being firm and dense like shortbread, they’re super soft, with a delicate, fine crumb that packs a buttery, almond-scented punch.
For anyone in your life who has a sweet tooth, these would make the perfect treat. Even if that person is you! They’re great for cookie swaps and Christmas cookies, too. And if you’re hosting a tea party for the littles in your life, elegant-yet-cozy almond meltaway cookies are pretty much required!
What You’ll Need
With their sugary almond icing and soft almond centers, these meltaway cookies naturally have one ingredient that’s the star: almond (extract, that is)! Here’s everything you’ll need:
For the Almond Cookies:
- All-Purpose Flour: I’ve found that regular all-purpose flour works the best for these cookies in terms of texture.
- Baking Powder: For leavening.
- Flaked Sea Salt: I love the more mild saltiness of sea salt flakes, like Maldon salt or similar, for this recipe. However, you can substitute regular table salt if it’s what you have available.
- Butter: Unsalted, at room temperature. Opt for unsalted butter since there’s already salt in the recipe. This will still give these cookies all the buttery flavor without the extra saltiness!
- Sugar: Regular granulated white sugar is best.
- Egg: A single large egg for richness and texture.
- Almond Extract: This is where quality is key! I like this brand of almond extract because it has a great aroma and flavor.
For the Almond Icing:
- Powdered Sugar: Also known as confectioner’s sugar.
- Milk: Milk gives the icing a certain creaminess, but you can also use water instead.
- Almond Extract
Is Almond Extract Actually Made from Almonds?
Since almond extract gives these cookies their special flavor, you really benefit from using a good-quality extract that’s made from real almonds. Because some extracts are made from other ingredients, as it turns out.
Imitation almond extracts contain the same flavor “chemicals” that almonds do, but the quality and taste is not as good, because those compounds are either synthetic (made in a lab) or taken from other ingredients like peach pits. Look on the bottle for “bitter almond oil.” That’s how you know your extract is the real deal.
The most blissful thing about these meltaway cookies, aside from how heavenly the flavor and texture is? How easy they are to make!
- Make the Dough: Whisk together the flour and dry ingredients in one bowl. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar, and add in the egg and almond extract. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, about a half cup at a time, until everything is incorporated.
- Roll Out the Dough: Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and then gently press them into a disc shape. You can do this with your hands, or I like to use the bottom of a glass to get a more uniform shape. Place your dough discs onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake: Bake the cookies in a 375°F oven for about 8 minutes. Note that the cookies will not look browned when they’re done baking, but don’t leave them in longer! Once they’re out of the oven, the cookies will set up as they rest on the baking sheet.
- Ice the Cookies: When your cookies are completely cool, whisk together the icing ingredients until smooth. Use a spoon to carefully spread the icing over each cookie. Give the icing about ten minutes or so to harden.
Tips for Success
Cookie baking is fun, especially when you have a few helpful tips and tricks up your sleeve! These are my top tips for perfect almond meltaway cookies.
- Measure the Flour Correctly: If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you can use the spoon and sweep method to get the most accurate measurement. Instead of using your measuring cup to scoop the flour out of the bag, spoon the flour into the measuring cup, and then level it off with a knife.
- Don’t Over-Bake: These cookies will not look particularly “done” when they come out of the oven. That’s exactly what they should look like! Avoid over-baking these cookies as they’ll quickly dry out and become crumbly.
- Get the Icing Right: Aim for a consistency that’s thin enough to spread and settle, but not overly runny. To thicken icing that’s too thin, add extra powdered sugar. You can also add extra milk if the icing is too thick.
- Try Different Variations: To me, a perfectly simple cookie is the best, and that’s exactly what these are! But you can definitely have a little fun with your meltaway cookies to suit any occasion. Top them with toasted almond slivers or sprinkles, or add food coloring to the frosting for a pop of color.
Since the icing contains dairy, keep your almond meltaway cookies stored airtight in the fridge. They’ll keep for up to 2 weeks! Just take the cookies out of the fridge to come to room temperature again before serving.
Can I Freeze Them?
You can freeze these cookies for up to 3 months. Store them in an airtight container and use parchment paper to separate the layers.
These Almond Meltaway Cookies are a lot like shortbread cookies, with a sweet almond glaze on top. They're soft, sugary, and I promise you'll be hooked after just one bite!
For the Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
For the Almond Icing
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk (or sub water)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and almond extract, mixing until combined. Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until completely combined.
- Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into small circles and then press with hands (or with the bottom of a cup) into a disk shape. Place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 8 minutes. The cookies will not look browned or cooked, but they are! Remove from oven and let cookies rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To Ice: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and almond extract – until smooth. If your icing is too thick, add a splash more milk to thin it out.
- Using a spoon, smooth icing onto the top of each cookie and let set for 10 minutes, or until hardened. Store in the fridge, let come to room temperature when ready to serve.
Storage: Since the icing contains dairy, keep your almond meltaway cookies stored airtight in the fridge. They’ll keep for up to 2 weeks! Just take the cookies out of the fridge to come to room temperature again before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 67Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 30mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g
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Oh my, i just made this cookie. SO VERY GOOD!!! Lemon next time.
Thank you for sharing….
Hi! I’m not sure why, but following your recipe and using a one tablespoon cookie scoop, I ended up with almost 60 cookies. Were they supposed to be 2 tablespoons scoops?
They’re in the oven now and I’m just waiting for them to finish. I’m really excited!
So i decided to weight it out cuz its not exact, i got about 22.5 grams for my batch rn, my last i didnt weight and it did ot get the right amount either
These were so simple to whip together, but I found the rolling out and flattening to be quite difficult. Then I went back and read all the reviews. Now I highly recommend their suggestions to:
Put the dough in the refrigerator for ten minutes if the dough is sticky.
Roll the balls and put them directly onto the parchment lined cookie sheet. Cover with 2nd sheet of parchment paper. Press them down with a glass, and then remove the sheet covering the tops of the cookies.
My rolled balls were about 1” in diameter, pressed to 2” discs, which grew to 3” cookies in oven. However that only produced 24 cookies. I also had to add 2 minutes to the cooking time.
Can I use applesauce instead of butter?
I would not recommend that swap in these cookies, while it works well in cake, it would create a very different texture in these cookies.
Can these be made with gluten free flour. I noticed the inquiry above but there was no response.
Hi Deborah! I apologize, but I am not well versed in gluten free baking. I am a traditional baker. For guaranteed success, I would recommend googling a gluten free almond cookie recipe. I apologize that I am not more help, but I don’t want to steer you wrong and you not have success.
Yes, I make these all the time with gluten free all-purpose flour.
I added a bit more almond…but WOW! These are great! My friends and family gobbled them up!
Did not have good luck I made the cookies and they turned out almost raw and I cooked for 9 min
I would check your oven temperature or did you possibly use more dough then directed in the recipe?
These taste delicious even without the frosting. Mine did not stay plump like yours though. I flattened them with a glass and they looked as thick as yours do. Would you have any reasons why? Should I not have flattened them?
The recipe made 34 cookies for me.
Hmm, possibly might need to refrigerate the dough before baking if they spread too much!
Do you mean refrigerate them again after rolling into balls?
Yes if they are baking and flattening, I would chill the dough balls before baking. This dough recipe should not need to be refrigerated though. I would only do this if your dough is spreading for some reason.
Very easy and quick to make, it’s delicious and exactly as pictured when baked! I like the soft side of the cookie (in general) and it’s the first time that I have succeeded in it so well! Thank you soooo much for this recipe! I love it!
These cookies are so good. I put this recipe with pics of ingredient listing and prep instructions in my Notes in my phone. Delish.
These cookies were so easy, quick, and so tasty!!
Can I use vanilla extract instead of almond?
These look delicious and I’m going to make them for a cookie exchange. How many does it make? Thanks
I get 32 cookies using 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie!
Can these be made with almond flour, for gluten free version?
I am taking these to a cookie potluck at work. Am I okay to leave these out for an extended period of time? They will be sitting in a break room without a fridge.
Yes they will be just fine! :-)
I bake cookies and give as gifts, do I have to worry if this cookie which would be mixed with the other cookies, be left out of frig. I do not request that my cookies be refrigerated.
These cookies can be left out at room temperature with no problems as long as you use water or evaporated milk in the icing!
Evaporated milk would not need to be refrigerated the way using regular milk would?
I made these today and my mom said they are the best cookie she has ever had. I didn’t even ice them. They were good without it,
I ended up drizzling some of them though with the icing thinned out. Just made them that much more almond. Really wonderful.
So glad y’all enjoyed them Melinda! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! :-)
Made these today on a snowy morning and my husband loved them! These are a big hit! Will be my go to cookie from now on! Thanks so much!
I made this today. They were a big hit with the family! Thank you for sharing your recipe! It’s a keeper. I think with my next batch, I will try orange extract. :)
So glad you enjoyed them Susan! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!
How do you get the icing so perfect?
I added a little and spread it with the back of a spoon in circles!