Ingredients

1 1/4 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/4 cup ground almonds
3 cups flour
A bowl of powdered sugar as needed for coating the finished cookies

Directions

1. Mix the sugar and butter with mixer.
2. Add the almond and vanilla extracts with the salt. After mixing, add the almonds.
3. Add flour to the mix and incorporate all of the flour. It should only take about 20 seconds and be crumbly to the touch.
4. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, about golf ball size. Place on a baking pan that is greased or use parchment paper. Place the balls about 1 inch apart.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes. (Makes around 60 cookies)
4. When they cool, roll them in powdered sugar.

Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Scala-McGrath, Cookies by Jenn, 2011.

This cookie is an Italian favorite and easier to make than you would think.  It is similar to a Mexican Wedding cookie, but it uses butter and almonds instead of the Crisco and pecans in the Mexican version. There are other versions of a similar cookie such as the Russian Tea Cake and the Snowball Cookies by Laurel Tarantino that won the first annual Good Morning Gloucester Holiday Cookie Contest.

Jennifer Scala-McGrath of Cookies by Jenn says that you can make the batter up to a few days ahead and refrigerate, but be sure to bring the dough to room temperature before rolling into the balls.

As with many experienced bakers, Jennifer uses a stand mixer but if you do not have one you can mix by hand or with a hand mixer. She also uses parchment paper instead of greasing the pans, but again that would be your choice.

Italian wedding cookie, very similar to the Mexican wedding cookie. The difference being is the Mexican wedding cookies has pecans and Crisco and the Italian wedding cookie has butter and almonds. The first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to cream the sugar and the butter.

And the reason I do this is so that when you actually make the batter for the cookies, their light and fluffy. And I'm going to use a paddle attachment with a kitchen aid. And you just put it on slow to start it up a little bit. You do it for about 20 seconds until everything's all light and fluffy.

Next, I'm going to add the vanilla extracts and the almond extract, a pinch of salt. So I added the vanilla and the almond extract. And it actually gives it a little color. Stir that up for about 10 seconds, and this is what it should look like.

OK, now I'm going to be adding almonds. And this is what it should look like after you add the almonds. So I'm going to be adding the flour. And then I'm going to stir it slowly because we don't want flour every where. You just speed it up as the flour incorporates with the nuts. I'd say about 20 seconds.

It should resemble, like, crumbly. It shouldn't be too moist and it shouldn't be too dry. This is perfect. Just like this.

So the next thing I do is I pinch about a small golf size. Now would be a good time to pre-heat the oven to 350. And we're going to bake these for about 10 minutes.

Once I'm done shaping the balls, I'm going to bake them. And when they cool, we're going to roll them in confectionery sugar. You can actually make the batter for this a few days ahead of time and then just bring it to room temperature, and you can roll the balls then and bake them.

I line my pans with parchment paper. If you don't have parchment paper, you can grease your can with either butter or PAM. I put them on the pan about an inch apart. You never know how big or little these are going to get, depends on the oven.

Now I'm going to bake them at 350 for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them at about eight minutes. And you'll be able to see after you make them a few times.

The final step of the Italian wedding cookie is to roll them in the confectionery sugar. And you're just going to roll them around gently. And don't do it too hard because you don't want the cookies to crumble.

And these cookies are great for weddings, that's what they originated for, and special occasions like baptisms and confirmations and communions and graduations. This is what they should look like all finished. They look delicious. They look perfect. Delicious. They're so easy to make. This recipe is really simple and it compliments any meal. You should really try making these. [SPEAKING ITALIAN ].

Italian Wedding Cookies
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