Italian wedding cookies have been served in my house for as long as I can remember. Tender, crumbly, delicious little powdered sugar covered gems that are perfectly flavored with almond. Six ingredients, less than an hour to make, and you, too, can join our family tradition and whip these up.
We serve these cookies year-round. Everyone loves them and it wouldn’t be a family gathering without them. They’re especially popular at Christmastime. Christmas cookies are big in our family.
Let’s bake some cookies!
What’s not to love, honestly? This Italian wedding cookies recipe brings together all the best cookie ingredients into one holiday-ready bite!
- Perfect with coffee
- They’re tenderness
- They’re buttery-ness
- 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.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Generally, homemade cookies can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 months.
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 Italian wedding cookies 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!
- Add more spices. These cookies are so tweakable! Ground ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg are just a few of the spices you can add to transform these cookies. With the extra spices, they would be similar to my pfeffernusse cookies or soft gingerbread cookies.
- Skip Powdered Sugar & Add icing. You can make these like Italian wedding cookies with icing. Instead of rolling these cookies in confectioners sugar, check out this lebkuchen cookie and use the same glaze look or drizzle the icing as I do with my almond shortbread cookies.
- Change the shape. Get the kids involved in shaping these cookies! Square, triangle, or crescent-shaped cookies like my vanillekipferl and almond crescent cookies, whatever the shape is, make sure to maintain the 1-inch dough portion for even baking time.
- Almond Biscotti Recipe
- Chocolate Biscotti Recipe
- Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- Ricotta Cookies
- Anise Cookies
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.
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