Orange Cardamom Almond Flour Cookies dipped in chocolate make a beautiful addition to a holiday cookie tray. Great for cookie swap parties, too! Or use this recipe to make Cranberry-Almond Shortbread Cookies, too!
These Orange Cardamom Almond Flour Cookies are full of buttery goodness! They have hints of holiday flavours: subtle spice from cardamom, a citrusy tang from orange zest, and a mild nutty flavour from almonds.
They're a delicious twist on traditional shortbread cookies, made gluten-free using almond flour.
These cookies have a crisp bite and they're soft and tender inside. Not only that, they're dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with a orange zest for some festive flair. These gluten-free almond flour shortbread cookies are a favourite for holiday baking or for cookie swap parties!
Everyone has their traditional recipes that they bake during the holidays. Besides these shortbread cookies, we have several favourites! Nana's Butter Tarts, Butter Tart Squares, Gluten-free Maple Walnut Squares, Cranberry Lemon Oat Bars, No-Bake Chocolate Almond Snowballs, Roasted Almond Chocolate Truffles, Cranberry White Chocolate Macaroons and of course, Gingerbread Cut-out Cookies. And I almost forgot a family favourite: Crispy Salted Coconut Cookies!
But shortbread is a classic and these gluten-free Cardamom Orange Almond Flour Cookies will be on our holiday cookie tray this year!
You can whip up a batch of these slice-and-bake almond flour cookies in about 20 minutes or less. Let's get started.
Ingredients for Slice and Bake Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies
almond flour: blanched, superfine ground almond flour. I use either the Kirkland Brand from Costco or Bob's Red Mill Superfine Almond Flour.
butter: unsalted is best for baking. It must be softened, but not melted, as I've explained below.
confectioner's sugar: aka icing sugar or powdered sugar. Using confectioner's sugar makes a light, melt-in-your-mouth cookie.
salt: just a hint
vanilla extract: pure
ground cardamom: a warm intensely-flavoured spice that gives these cookies just a hint of spice.
orange zest: this tiny bit adds so much flavour to these almond flour cookies!
Why do I have to soften butter first? Is it really necessary?
Cookies are usually made by creaming softened butter and sugar together. Creaming forms air pockets which fill with steam while the cookies are baking, resulting in a tender crust and airy texture.
What does softened butter look like? It should be firm enough to hold its shape, but when you poke it, it should leave an indentation. You can pick up a piece in your hands and it will be pliable.
If you've forgotten to take the butter out of the fridge ahead of time, (and who hasn't done that?) the best way to soften it is to leave it unwrapped on the counter at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
If you just can't wait, microwaving it is possible, but usually not a wise choice! It only takes a few seconds to turn butter from hard as a rock to melted. So if you must, you can try microwaving it for 8 - 10 seconds, no more, or you'll regret it!
How to Measure Almond Flour
This recipe calls for 2 cups of finely ground blanched almond flour. If you simply scoop it directly from the bag, you may find you have too much, as the flour gets packed.
I use the spoon and sweep method: Use a spoon to fill a measuring cup with flour until you have roughly the required amount, then level it with a knife.
I scoop roughly two cups, sift it, then scoop again, levelling it with a knife scraped across the top of the measuring cup. The most accurate way to measure almond flour is with a digital scale. Two cups of almond flour weigh 192 grams or 6.8 ounces.
How to Make Orange Cardamom Almond Cookies
This is a quick and easy recipe for holiday cookies.
- Cream the softened butter and sugar in a medium bowl.
- Add the almond flour, salt, vanilla, cardamom and orange zest and stir to thoroughly combine.
- To make slice-and-bake cookies, place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log about 8 inches long.
- Chill for 2 hours or even overnight, then slice and bake.
- Alternatively, you can scoop the dough with a cookie scoop, flatten slightly on a baking sheet and bake. If you don't chill the dough, the cookies will turn out slightly larger and flatter, but they still hold their shape and are delicious this way. Your choice!
Variations on Almond Flour Shortbread
Instead of using the slice and bake method, you can use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough and flatten it slightly with your fingers or by making a cross-hatch pattern with a fork.
Try these flavours:
Cranberry-Almond Shortbread Cookies (shown below). Substitute 1/2 tsp pure almond extract for the vanilla extract and add 1/4 cup finely chopped dried cranberries to the dough. Sprinkle with a few sliced almonds before baking.
Cardamom Orange Shortbread Cookies with Cinnamon-Sugar Dust. Follow the original recipe but don't dip in chocolate. Combine 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon sugar and sprinkle on top of the cookies before baking.
Cranberry-Pistachio Almond Flour Cookies: add 1/4 cup finely chopped cranberries and 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios to the dough.
Or simply leave out the flavour additions and make them deliciously plain!
How long will these cookies stay fresh?
Store them at room temperature for 3 to 5 days in container. After that, I would refrigerate or freeze them.
Can I freeze these Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies?
These cookies freeze beautifully. Cool completely on a wire rack, then pack into an airtight freezer container. They will last for 3 months or more.
If you'd like, you can also freeze the dough before baking. Form into a log, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Then thaw, slice, bake and have fresh warm cookies in just a few minutes!
Orange Cardamom Almond Flour Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350° F. if you plan to bake the cookies right away. If using the slice-and-bake method, wait until the dough has been chilled to preheat the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, cream softened butter and sugar together.
- Add remaining ingredients (except chocolate) and stir until well combined.
- At this point, you can roll small balls of dough in the palm of your hand, thrn flatten slightly on the baking sheet. Cookies made this way will spread a little more than those made using the slice-and-bake method.
- To make slice-and-bake cookies, place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap. Form into a log approximately 8 inches long. Roll in the wrap to make it round. Chill for 2 hours or longer. You can freeze the dough at this point.
- Slice the chilled log into cookies 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350°F. for 8 - 10 minutes or until very lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes until firm, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Melt chocolate over, not in, hot water. To make tempered chocolate, melt 2 oz. of the chocolate, then remove from heat and stir in the remaining ounce.
- Dip the cookies, one by one, part way into the melted chocolate.
- Return to the baking sheet to set. Sprinkle with remaining teaspoon of orange zest. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Helpful Kitchen Items to make this recipe
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