Chewy Almond Cookies + Giveaway!

These Chewy Almond Cookies are like the anti-thesis to the usual treats I make. They’re gluten-free, low-fat, no butter, no flour, no egg yolks, no chocolate.

You know me – usually, my best creations are rich and buttery delights. So I had my doubts about these cookies.

But these cookies turned out beautifully. Fluffy, chewy, lemony little rounds – they taste like a macaroon, but sweeter and softer. I received compliments upon compliments, requests for another batch, even thank you emails from friends and co-workers who tried these.

It was my first time baking with almond paste, and it’s not going to be the last. I loved how these marzipan cookies stayed chewy for days, and how the almond, vanilla, and lemon flavors blended so well together.

I used the most premium vanilla for these cookies: Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract.

Nielsen-Massey vanillas are considered one of the world’s finest vanillas. I’ve tried many different brands in the past but this premium vanilla makes my baked good taste richer, lending a warm and sophisticated flavor.  The folks at Nielsen-Massey generously sent me some samples, and one lucky reader will win a few bottles, too! Read along for the giveaway instructions at the bottom.

I was inspired to make these Chewy Almond Cookies after my first bite of the Flourless Amaretto Cookie at Sportello. I immediately liked how it was slightly crisp outside, but moist and chewy inside. It was light and airy, unlike other flour-less baked goods I’ve tried, which are more decadent (think flourless chocolate cake). I’ve made plenty of gluten-free treats, too, but they often include peanut butter or chocolate, so I’m glad I’m able to add a bright and light cookie to my repertoire.

I’m immediately adding these cookies to my favorites list, along with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Rice Crispy Cookies and Double Chocolate Cookies with Boozy Cherries (both of these cookies benefit from good vanilla, too.)

Yield: 20 cookies

Chewy Almond Cookies


12 oz almond paste
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
confectioners sugar for sprinkling on top


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine almond paste, sugar and salt. Mix until crumbly.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy.
  4. Gradually add in egg whites, mixing until the dough becomes a thick but smooth paste. Stir in vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  5. Using a standard cookie scoop (or a heaping 1 tablespoon of dough), portion out the dough and place evenly on two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle generously with confectioner's sugar.  Bake for 15 minutes or until cookies are lightly brown around the edges. Cool right on the pan before serving.

recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour's Almond Cloud Cookies

And now for the giveaway! I picked three bottles from Nielsen-Massey to giveaway to one of you guys. You’ll win a 2 0z bottle each of the Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, Mexican Pure Vanilla Extract, and Pure Chocolate Extract.

These are super premium vanillas and flavors, and would add warmth and richness to your sweet and even savory dishes. If you’d like to learn more about these wonderful vanillas, check out the Nielsen-Massey website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

To enter the giveaway:

1) Leave a comment on this blog post telling me about your favorite dessert with vanilla.

For additional entries, do one of the following and leave another comment for each thing you do:

2) Like my Confessions of a Chocoholic Facebook Page and post something on the wall about your favorite cookie or a recipe link.

3) Follow me on Twitter (@biancagarcia) and tweet:

Confessions of a Chocoholic @biancagarcia is giving away three bottles of @NielsenMassey vanilla on her blog!

4) Follow me on Pinterest and pin something from Confessions of a Chocoholic

5) Follow me on Instagram and like or comment on any of the pictures

This means that you can enter the giveaway up to five times, but remember to leave a comment for each entry.

You must live in the United States to be participate in this giveaway.

The contest is open until 11:59 pm EST on Monday, July 8th. I’ll pick the winner next week and you’ll receive the Nielsen-Massey products in the mail. Good luck!



48 Responses to “Chewy Almond Cookies + Giveaway!”

  1. #
    Kathy posted July 3, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I’ve been obsessed with Neilson-Massey Vanilla Paste recently and have been adding it to everything, most notably quick tapioca.

  2. #
    Kathy posted July 3, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Also – you can usually find their vanillas at Homegoods on the cheap, which is pretty great. #notgonnalie

  3. #
    Shannon posted July 3, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I just got an ice cream maker and think good vanilla will be key for making great ice cream.

  4. #
    Melanie posted July 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Vanilla buttercream is pretty much my life! :)

  5. #
    Melanie posted July 3, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Just tweeted :)

  6. #
    Melanie posted July 3, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Pinned an amazing looking pie on Pinterest!

  7. #
    Melanie posted July 3, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Liked a photo on instagram too :)

  8. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking posted July 3, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Homemade vanilla cake, for sure! NM products are the best, I use them often. Thanks for the giveaway, Bianca! These cookies look delicious!

  9. #
    Natalie posted July 3, 2013 at 10:25 am

    These cookies look so amazing!! Wish I could enter but I’m in Canada :(

  10. #
    christina posted July 3, 2013 at 10:31 am

    My favorite dessert is definitely chocolate chip cookies and good vanilla is essential for good cookies, imo!! :)

  11. #
    christina posted July 3, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I like you on facebook!

  12. #
    christina posted July 3, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I follow you on twitter too :)

  13. #
    Lara posted July 3, 2013 at 11:01 am

    I add vanilla to a lot of things! Pancakes, waffles, banana bread, a little in the coffee maker with the beans to add vanilla flavor :)

  14. #
    Monica posted July 3, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Bianca, I made these cloud cookies a couple of months ago – added chocolate to half the batch, too! I love almond paste almost as much as chocolate (almost) and these flourless almond-paste cookies are one of our favs that I make all the time. : )

    I also use this vanilla and I could use some since I go through it like water. I guess the best bet is to use it, with their vanilla bean, in a batch of homemade ice cream. But I also love a dash in an egg custard…really rounds everything out and gives it a unique sweetness. Enjoy the 4th!

  15. #
    Molly posted July 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Hi-Rise Bakery, right outside of Harvard Square, towards Porter, sells a vanilla bean loaf that makes me want to buy up all the vanilla beans in the world so I can have a lifetime’s supply of the baked treat. If you’re in the area, make sure to get an end piece.

  16. #
    Rosa posted July 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Lovely cookies! They look really irresistible and addictive.



  17. #
    Michelle Collins posted July 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    What a fun giveaway! My favorite dessert using vanilla extract is traditional chocolate chip cookies. Using a little more vanilla than a recipe calls for goes a long, long way.

  18. #
    Megan posted July 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    These look amazing!!! I love almond cookies — and I LOVE elegant extracts!

  19. #
    Happy Valley Chow posted July 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Beautiful almond cookies, they sound and look delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  20. #
    Emily aka The Three Bite Rule posted July 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    I love vanilla in granola!

  21. #
    Honey What's Cooking posted July 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    looks divine.. bookmarking this.
    where can I find almond paste though?
    do you think Trader Joe’s will have it?

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted July 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      I haven’t seen almond paste at Trader Joe’s but I always see a can or a tube at Stop & Shop, Shaw’s, and Whole Foods!

  22. #
    Shannon posted July 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    ooh, these sound amazing!! i’ve been throwing vanilla into everything lately, but the best was a rhubarb jam with vanilla and ginger :)

  23. #
    Shannon posted July 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    ps- you can also make your own almond paste- it’s pretty easy!

  24. #
    yummychunklet posted July 4, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Chewy cookies are the best!

  25. #
    Joanne posted July 4, 2013 at 6:45 am

    That chewy almond flavor in the cookies sounds amazing! Almond paste-infused treats are some of my favorites to make and eat!

  26. #
    Megan posted July 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Definitely homemade vanilla ice cream. Great giveaway!

  27. #
    Rhonda posted July 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I definitely love a good and simple vanilla ice cream. So perfect!

  28. #
    Michelle posted July 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    I once had a house-sitter who emailed: “There’s nothing to eat here by almond paste! I’ve never seen to much almond paste!” Yes, I had overdone. But one doesn’t want to be without! :) Your cookies look wonderful.

  29. #
    CCU posted July 6, 2013 at 12:14 am

    These cookies look the most delicious :D
    So chewy and nice!

    Choc Chip Uru

  30. #
    Eileen posted July 6, 2013 at 8:01 am

    I have to try this recipe! I love the almond cookies from Italian bakeries. As far as my favorite vanilla dessert, it has to be a creme brûlée! I could eat it every day:)

  31. #
    Taryn posted July 6, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    I don’t think I could possibly pick my favorite dessert to eat with vanilla, but I LOVE vanilla making vanilla pastry cream – really lets good vanilla shine through!

  32. #
    Taryn posted July 6, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Already like you on FB :)

  33. #
    Taryn posted July 6, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    And follow you on Twitter

  34. #
    Taryn posted July 6, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    AND follow you on Pinterest!

  35. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted July 8, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Mmmm love how simple these cookies are. Almond paste is so under-rated! Vanilla is so versatile but especially helps cakes and frostings pop with a little extra flavor!

  36. #
    Nicole posted July 8, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    My mom’s traditional filipino chiffon cakes :) YUMM

  37. #
    Nicole posted July 8, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Repinned this recipe :D

  38. #
    Katie posted July 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Homemade chocolate chip cookies with real vanilla – great giveaway!

  39. #
    Katie posted July 8, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I follow you on Twitter:)

  40. #
    Meghan M. (@TraveleatloveMM) posted July 8, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    These look beautiful! I love almond paste.

  41. #
    Yvonne @ bitter baker posted July 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Yum!! These are so cute! I’ve never tried Nielsen Massey extract but I’m definitely putting it on my shopping list!

  42. #
    Samantha posted July 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I love making vanilla bean cupcakes!

  43. #
    Christina posted August 6, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    With the egg whites, is it better to whisk until soft peaks form? Will this step make them light and fluffy?

  44. #
    Claire Fisher posted April 14, 2016 at 8:17 am

    These are actually a southern Italian cookie. A long time favorite in my family! So easy and so tasty! They also freeze well. Keeps me from eating a plate-full!

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