Cinnamon-Almond Stars

Photo: Sang An
Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins



  • 1 cup (5 ounces) almonds, toasted

  • 1 ½ cups packed light-brown sugar

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 2 tablespoons Marsala


  • 2 ¼ cups confectioners' sugar

  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest

  • Gold pearlized sugar (available at baking-supply stores)


  1. Cookies: Pulse almonds with 1/4 cup brown sugar in a food processor until finely ground. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

  2. With a mixer on medium speed, beat butter with remaining 1 1/4 cups brown sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in egg and Marsala until combined. Reduce speed to low and add almond and flour mixtures, beating until just combined.

  3. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Let dough stand at room temperature until pliable. Roll out one dough disk on a lightly floured surface to just under 1/4 inch thick. Using a 3 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut out as many stars as possible, rerolling scraps once. Arrange stars 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.

  5. Bake, rotating sheets once, until edges are golden, 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool on sheets 1 minute, then transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool completely. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.

  6. Icing: With mixer on medium speed, beat confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons water, vanilla, and orange zest until smooth. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a small writing tip, or a resealable plastic bag with a corner snipped off. Decorate cookies with icing and sprinkle with pearlized sugar; let set about 30 minutes. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container, between sheets of parchment or waxed paper, up to 1 week.

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