Pastel Butter Cookies

Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins

Powdered sugar is naturally tinted with finely ground freeze-dried fruits (we used blueberry, raspberry, and mango) to give these almond shortbread cookies the pastel treatment.


  • 1 cup whole blanched almonds

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for pastel sugars

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Freeze-dried fruits in various colors, such as blueberries, raspberries, and mangoes


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet; toast until golden and fragrant, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely.

  2. Transfer almonds to the bowl of a food processor; add flour, salt, and cinnamon. Process until nuts are finely chopped, about 1 minute.

  3. Beat butter with confectioners' sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add vanilla; beat until combined. Slowly add almond mixture; beat on low until just incorporated.

  4. Line baking sheets with parchment. Using a 1 1/2-inch (1-tablespoon) cookie scoop, drop dough onto prepared sheets. Bake, rotating halfway through, until edges are just turning golden, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer sheets to a wire rack; let cool completely.

  5. For each desired color, place 1/2 cup fruit with 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar in food processor; blend until smooth and evenly tinted. (Sugars can be stored in airtight containers up to 1 month.) Sift tinted sugar over cookies as desired. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

    pastel butter cookies
    Anson Smart

Cook's Notes

Freeze-dried fruit can be found in the snack section of many grocery stores.

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