Almond Whirl Cookies

Almond Whirls

A very Mary Berry recipe made a little bit more delicious.

I’m very into the Great British Baking Show, obviously. But you know what I’m not very into? Jam on cookies. Jam is for toast. Cookies are for chocolate and other delicious things. Not. Jam. So, with all due respect for the marvelous Mary Berry, I took her original Viennese whirls recipe and made it just a tad bit more … unrefined. I’m sorry for all of the things you need to use in both the icing and the cookies. Just read the instructions, and I promise everything will bake out okay.

Servings: 6-8
Time: 30 minutes


1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter (also known as three sticks of unsalted butter), divided per instructions below and softened (I know; I’m asking a lot.)
2 1/3 cups of powdered sugar, divided per instructions below
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of cornmeal
3 tsp of almond extract, divided per … (don’t kill me)
1/4 cup of cocoa powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 375, and get a piping back ready with a star nozzle. “WHOA WHOA WHOA.” What? “What?” Oh, okay. Here’s an example of what a star nozzle looks like. Buy some disposable piping bags, shove one of the star nozzle guys in, cut the bottom of the bag off so just the tip of the nozzle pokes out, then find a pint glass. Put the bag with the nozzle inside in the glass and fold the sides of the bag down around the cup. This will let you load the dough in much, much more easily. “Oh, okay.”

  2. COOL, now make some dough: cut one tablespoon off of one of the sticks of butter. Save the small guy for the icing, and put the rest of the butter in a stand mixer with 1/3 cup of powdered sugar.

  3. Beat the sugar and butter together until smooth, then add the flour and cornmeal. Mix until evenly combined, then add one teaspoon of the almond extract. Beat one more time around.

  4. Using a spatula, put the dough into the piping bag that you so brilliantly prepared ahead of time. Now comes the time for muscles.

  5. On a cookie sheet tray, pipe the dough into tight spirals, creating a nice circle with no holes. Think … cookie. You want an even number. I usually end up with 12.

  6. After you’ve done that, pop those babies in the freezer for a good 10 minutes, then into the oven for about 12-14 minutes or just golden brown. Set aside to cool while you make THE ICING.

  7. Do the whole piping bag prep trick with a new disposable piping bag and star nozzle. Set aside.

  8. In a stand mixer, beat the remaining short stick of butter and two cups of powdered sugar together until smooth.

  9. Add the cocoa and remaining two teaspoons of almond extract and beat until combined. This icing will seem realllllly stiff, but you want that. It needs to support a cookie.

  10. Slap that icing into your piping bag situation, then set aside.

  11. OKAY. Sandwich time. Grab two cookies that are similar in size. If you’re Mary Berry, any cookies you just made will do because they’re all perfectly identical. If you’re me, this is more of an exact science.

  12. Put the two cookies pretty-swirled-top down in front of you, then pipe the icing onto one of them in the same spiral shape you used for the cookie pattern. Put the second cookie on top of the icing (boring side down), and voila! Almond whirl complete.

  13. Repeat for all of the cookies, creating around six perfect cookie sandwiches.

The links in the above directions are Amazon Affiliate links. That means if you buy these products, I’ll get some dough. Thanks!