Preheat oven to 350° F.
Toast the almonds on a baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes, just until they begin to brown and smell fragrant. Remove from oven and allow to cool (oven can be turned off at this point). Put almonds along with 2 Tbsp of sugar in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground. Add remaining sugar and process until the mixture is uniform.
Add egg whites and almond extract and pulse until evenly combined. Scrape mixture into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight or for several hours to stiffen up batter.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter 2 nonstick baking sheets or cover baking sheets with buttered parchment. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle and pipe batter into 1-inch stars onto your baking sheets. Bake cookies for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned around the bottom edge and top ridges. Cool on wire racks.Servings: 4 dozen