Almond Ginger Cookies are even better with a fluffy, ginger cream cheese frosting. There is nothing better than warming up with these flavorful cookies.
As seen on my appearance in The Food Network Christmas Cookie Challenge!
I always know that the holidays are just around the corner when I can smell warm ginger cookies baking in my oven. The classic ginger or gingerbread cookie is always a favorite, but I love a buttery sugar cookie as well!
Faced with a reality TV show challenge on the Food Network, I wanted to enhance this classic by packing in a lot more flavor and adding some delicious crunch. I was in the throws of a competition!
The competition called for using an ingredient often found in fruitcakes. There was a long list including dried fruits and nuts. I quickly chose sliced almonds.
I knew they would be tasty in cookies, and I hoped they would break up enough to cut with a cookie cutter when mixed into the dough.
Sugar Cookie Tradition:
Part of my childhood always consisted of cookie decorating, especially frosting Christmas trees as my family and I decorated our tree back at home. The cookie of choice, a soft sugar cookie with homemade frosting.
I knew this would be a tasty cookie for the judges to eat on this competition, and I wanted to spruce it up a bit.
I added the sliced almonds to the cookies and both fresh and ground ginger to the frosting and cookie dough. It really helped the ginger flavor shine, and the crunch from the almonds takes this cookie to the next level.
Sugar cookies with almonds can be cut into any shape. Make them for other holidays like Easter or back to school events!
For the TV show I used all different shapes of holiday cutters. Here I recreated it with my collection of Christmas tree cookie cutters. I love the different shapes and sizes.
Find your own tree cutters here.
Color cookie frosting:
It was really fun to tap into my inner artist and mix different shades of green into the frosting. I made the same palette here as I did on the competition.
A play on blue spruce colors. Greens with hints of blue makes these trees look festive, wintery and still gorgeous and appetizing. Just use gel paste food coloring to tint the frosting.
I played around with different piping tips for these Almond Ginger Cookies. Thanks to my friends Colette and Ayelet for decorating with me! It was so fun to get creative.
We used tips like open star numbers #16, #19, #20, and #35. Other fun tips were the ribbon tip #47, also known as the basket weave tip. Leaf and petal tips like numbers #69, #79, #102 , #103, #199 and #352.
We had such a great variety of Christmas trees - you know that no two trees are ever alike! Two of my favorite tips to use were #35 open star tip and #352 leaf tip, both gave a really artistic look to the cookies.
Any tip you want to use will work perfectly for these trees. Don't worry too much about your piping skills, you can always cover up mistakes by hiding them under sprinkles!
I used sanding sugar and non-parielles, little candy balls and chocolate candies with colored coating. No one ever hates a little glitz and glam on their cookies!
Don't forget to tap into your inner child when decorating these Almond Ginger Cookies. Have fun by using multicolored frosting and a variety of sprinkles and dragees.
Those crunchy almonds add great texture to these cookies, and get softer as the cookies sit for a day or two. They don't mess up the cookie cutter shapes either. Feel free to leave them out if you want.
Here's the delicious Christmas tree cookie recipe!
Almond Ginger Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Almond Ginger Cookies
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp sour cream
- ⅔ cup sliced almonds toasted
Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter softened
- 1 ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
- 5 cups confectioners' sugar
- Gel paste food coloring
- Sanding and Crystal sugar
- Whisk together the flour, salt, ground ginger and baking powder; set aside.
- In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in grated ginger, continue to mix for 30 seconds.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Continue to add vanilla extract and sour cream. Slowly add the flour mixture, followed by toasted almonds, scraping the sides and bottom of bowl until dough is formed. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Heat oven to 400ºF and line baking sheets with parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 3/8 of an inch thickness. Using 3-to-4-inch cookie cutters, cut shapes. Transfer to baking sheets and bake until cookies are just done, 8 to 10 min. Cool on pans. Repeat with remaining dough, re-rolling scraps once.
- While cookies are cooling, in an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add grated ginger and pinch of salt, until just combined. Slowly add confectioners' sugar, scraping the sides of the bowl. Continue to mix until fluffy.
- Divide frosting and tint with gel food coloring to desired colors. Fill pastry bags fitted with tips and decorate cookies as desired. Use sprinkles and sugars to decorate. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Makes about 3 dozen 3-inch cookies
- Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting makes about 4 cups of frosting
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Recipe and images Tara Teaspoon