This Italian wedding cookies recipe is the messy, buttery cookie of your dreams! Six ingredients, less than an hour to make, and enough pillowy confectioner’s sugar to coat every fingertip and face have me making these almond cookies again and again.
It’s Christmas, so you expect to be bombarded with delicious messes, right? And if you get heavenly Italian cookies out of the deal, all the better! Gotta love these cookies!
Tie on your aprons (trust me, you’ll need them!) and let’s get whipping up a batch of Italian wedding cookies!
What’s not to love, honestly? This Italian wedding cookies recipe brings together all the best cookie ingredients into one holiday-ready bite!
- Quick prep
- Easy clean-up (even with the confectioner’s sugar!)
- Buttery crumble perfection
- Only needs 6 ingredients
The simple recipes still deserve focus and attention, so I’ve taken care to break down the ingredients in this Italian wedding cookies recipe!
Almonds: The perfectly balanced almond flavor in these cookies not from extract, but from almonds themselves! While you are more than welcome to grind your own almonds, you can also use almond flour to get the same chewy, nutty texture and taste!
Vanilla: Since there are so few ingredients in these cookies, it’s important to use the best of each. Go for pure vanilla extract in this recipe — “pure” vanilla extract is still a solution of vanilla bean extract and fillers like alcohol, but it has a higher percentage of bean extract.
Flour: Yes, this Italian wedding cookies recipe uses both almonds and flour! But be sure to use all-purpose flour. Why? All-purpose flour has a higher protein content than, say, cake flour, which means it will help give your cookies a firmer structure. Very necessary to stand up to the butter!
Butter: Did you forget to leave your butter out to soften? No worries! There are many ways to avoid clunking around a hunk of solid butter in your mixing bowl. My favorite is to actually grate the butter — yes, like in a cheese grater! It helps distribute butter throughout the dough evenly.
Confectioner’s Sugar: The finely powdered relative of standard sugar, confectioner’s sugar is used when you want smooth treats. We use it in this recipe to help play against the denseness of the butter and the coarseness of the almond flour. And once you coat these cookies in their final dusting of confectioner’s sugar, you’ll swear these are Italian wedding cookies with icing!
While I definitely could eat the whole batch of this Italian wedding cookies recipe, it probably isn’t the healthiest approach to leftovers. I’ve pulled together the best tricks for making sure your hard-earned treats last as long as possible!
Can You Freeze This?
Yes! Cookies freeze so well, and this Italian wedding cookies recipe is no exception. Toss your cookies into a Ziploc bag or airtight container and freeze for 6 to 12 months.
I love eating these straight out of the freezer! Something about the cold temps mixes so well with confectioner’s sugar. They make for excellent midnight snacks!
Make Ahead Tips
This recipe comes together very quickly once you start! And the butter’s consistency is necessary to the final product, so alas, there isn’t much you can do in the way of prepping ahead of time. But! The full prep only takes thirty minutes, with the final baking stretch capping off at fifteen, so you’ll be completely done in less than an hour. Promise!
How Long Can You Keep This?
Because these cookies only have a coating of confectioner’s sugar as their topping, they’ll be just fine at room temperature (though sealed to prevent getting stale!) for up to three weeks.
Moisture is definitely the enemy of cookies though, especially these — if you don’t seal them or they get too humid, the confectioner’s sugar will start to get sticky and unappetizing. Seal your precious treats, friends!
Already dreaming about how you can shake things up? I love playing around with a simple base recipe like this and seeing what I can come up with — here are some of my favorite alterations!
Can I Add Ricotta To This Recipe?
Ricotta cookies will be your new favorite treat if you haven’t already experienced this magic! I particularly love Lemon Ricotta Cookies — the tang of citrus enhances the bite of ricotta cheese and comes together in a perfectly mouthwatering cookie.
Can I Make These Drier?
Most everyone thinks biscotti when they think Italian cookies! My almond biscotti recipe is just the thing if you want to keep the almond flavor going. Or go fully rich and tasty with my chocolate biscotti recipe! I love dipping these in hot cocoa. Chocolate on chocolate!
Can I Add Coconut?
This Italian wedding cookies recipe is only one scrumptious ingredient away from being macaroons! Grab my recipe for chocolate dipped coconut macaroons, or even just roll these cookies in shredded coconut before you bake them. Tropical twists brighten the holidays!
Would These Make For Good Christmas Treats?
Yes, indeed! Italian Christmas cookies bring iconic flavor profiles to any cookie spread. Italian fig cookies are unexpected bites of deliciousness, like Fig Newtons but elevated. Or pair these Italian wedding cookies with a very similar treat: almond crescent cookies! The shape is just as endearing as the taste.
What Other Italian Cookies Can I Make?
Another holiday flavor that must be represented is licorice, and anisette cookies are the perfect choice for that! But if you aren’t a fan of anise, Italian butter cookies are simple and crunchy, while Italian almond cookies bring in a splash of flavor without being too unusual.
Italian Wedding Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups almond, finely ground
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cups confectioners sugar for rolling
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in salt, almonds, and vanilla. Gradually mix in flour and combine well.
- Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake for 15-20 minutes. The cookies will remain pale. If they brown they will be dry.
- Cool cookies for a couple of minutes then roll warm cookies in remaining confectioners' sugar and place on a wire rack to cool completely. When cool, dust with extra powdered sugar.
Can’t get enough of almonds during the holidays? You’re in good company! I’ve got a neverending array of joyful almond treats for you to bake up!
- Chinese Almond Cookies – Around the world in cookies!
- Almond Joy Cookies – The favorite candy in a cookie.
- Almond Shortbread Cookies – Tradition at its best.
- Almond Butter Cookies -What’s better than butter?
- Almond Joy Bars Layers of sweet magic!
Italian wedding cookies are a wonderful introduction to the ease and fun of holiday baking, especially if you want to throw in an international twist. Great to do with kids or by yourself, this is the recipe that will get you in the Christmas spirit!
What drink do you love dipping your holiday cookies into? Let me know in the comments!