Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr, Jan Gautro
4 dozen (serving size: 2 cookies)

Don't substitute marzipan for the almond paste, because it's a bit too sweet for this buttery, lightly spiced cookie. Look for the almond paste in tubes, such as Odense brand, or in cans, like King Arthur brand.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare cookies, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking soda, cardamom, and salt in a food processor; process until blended. Add almond paste and butter; process until blended. Combine juice and oil. With processor on, slowly pour juice mixture through food chute; process until dough forms a ball.

Step 2

Divide dough in half. Working with 1 portion at a time, gently press dough into a 4-inch square on heavy-duty plastic wrap. Cover with additional plastic wrap. Roll each half of dough, still covered, to a 1/4-inch thickness. Chill 1 hour.

Step 3

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 4

Working with 1 portion of dough at a time, remove top sheet of plastic wrap; turn dough over. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter into 24 stars; place stars 2 inches apart on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375° for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks. Repeat procedure with remaining half of dough.

Step 5

To prepare icing, combine 2 cups sugar and milk, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Spread about 1 teaspoon icing over each warm cookie; chill 1 hour.

Ratings & Reviews

nory61's Review

December 04, 2013
This recipe has promise. Since several people thought it was bland and with no orange flavor, I kicked it up with 3/4 tsp. cardamom and instead of orange juice, I mixed equal parts OJ concentrate and water to make 1/3 cup. This helped a little. Also, the edges started to brown after 6 mins. @ 375º, so after my first batch, I lowered 350º for 8 mins. Only got 3 dozen cookies, don't know how this recipe could possible make 4 doz.

WilmingtonDC's Review

April 22, 2013

teafortwo's Review

February 13, 2012
These cookies are so delicious-especially with an afternoon cup of tea. I make them for Christmas and cut them out as stars and for Valentine's cut as hearts. I added a bit of cardamom and grated orange to the icing for a punch of flavor; I highly recommend it.

wonderwab's Review

December 17, 2011
These are easy to come together and taste delicious- I gave them away as Christmas presents. You definitely need to chill the dough before rolling out so it won't be sticky. Also, I rolled these to the directed 1/4 inch thickness, and with re-rolling the excess dough several times after cutting out stars, I only got about 3 dozen. The icing is too runny to make it look like the picture, so I just drizzled it over the stars, which looked pretty

voilacake's Review

December 15, 2011
These are delicious!!!

lindafs's Review

December 11, 2011
Does this really make 48 cookies? It doesn't seem like enough dough.

gunnercade's Review

December 23, 2010
I forgot the almond paste, so rather than face the crowds on Christmas eve ground almonds and a bit of sugar to a paste. That may be why my dough did not have the right texture. It was so sticky that I soon gave up on making the stars, rolled it into a log and cut it up. This being said, the cookies were just delicious. They were slightly softer than I expected, but I will be making these again. I added a bit more cardamom, because we are big fans of the stuff, and used orange flavoring (in my experience, orange juice taste tends to disappear in baking).

blindpig's Review

December 11, 2010
This displaced all my other Christmas cookie recipes as my all-time favorite. Dough is super easy to work with and the flavor is subtle but so yummy! We use regular icing and decorate them with sugars etc instead of the glaze.

jodiemaki's Review

December 01, 2010
This is one of my favorite cookies to make at Christmas. They are worth the extra work of rolling out the dough. The almond paste and cardamom are a great combination. Be careful not to over-bake or they get dry.

smith3576's Review

December 28, 2009
No one liked these cookies despite being so pretty; we threw them out. They tasted really bland. I think the almond paste you use might make a big difference. Our spices were fresh, so I know that wasn't the problem. I had to use marzipan instead of almond paste, but it was 60% almonds so I thought it should be fine. After baking them I found myself wishing it had more sugar (for some taste) so I don't think the marzipan was the issue either. I won't try them again to find out.