Are you having a bridal party or baby shower? Italian wedding cookies are an excellent way to treat your guests. These Italian cookies are easy to prepare, requiring only six ingredients, including nuts, butter, ground-, and chopped almonds, and vanilla rolled in powdered sugar. The cookies have several names like snowballs or butterballs.

As Christmas is fast approaching, you can consider adding one more cookie to your plate. Your family and friends will relish in the perfect balance of sweetness and nuttiness. 

You won’t believe how easy it is to prepare these delicious cookies, as explained later in this article. With a handful of ingredients, it will take you around 40 minutes to have your cookies ready, even if you are a beginner.

Here, you’ll learn more about this Italian delicacy, its origins, as well as a basic recipe, and variations. After that, your holidays and parties will never be the same. Read further to find out more!

Almonds coated in chocolate and cocoa paste, Italian Wedding Cookies and How To Make Them - The Proud Italian

Italian Wedding Cookies Origins

Around the world, wedding cookies have different names. In some areas, they’re known as Russian tea cakes; some people call them Mexican wedding cookies or Polvorones. Italian wedding cookies are found at the dessert table or sweet table with the Italian wedding cake during Italian weddings.

The hallmark of a traditional Italian wedding is a dessert or sweet table with a cake and large trays of cookies. At some weddings, the Italian wedding cake is a pile of biscuits. 

During the Italian wedding reception, the bride and groom pilot their guests in a cake dance to the cookie table where they pick biscuits as they dance on. You’re even allowed to take a cookie home to those who didn’t make it to the wedding.

Apart from being celebrated at weddings, if you have the Italian cookie recipe, you can prepare it at home for your guests for any other celebration.

Sugar coated almond candy, Italian Wedding Cookies and How To Make Them - The Proud Italian

Italian Wedding Cookies Recipe

There are several Italian cookie recipes. This recipe is straightforward and quick to prepare. You can serve it as dessert. 

What’s more, the ingredients are readily available. The best Italian wedding cookies recipe is determined by the quality of the butter. If you can get good organic butter from pasture-raised cows, it will create a perfect blend with the nuts you choose to use. 

Here is a straightforward Italian cookies recipe to get you started:

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups softened, unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup sifted powdered sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup  finely ground almonds
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Sugar coated almond candies in a cup, Italian Wedding Cookies and How To Make Them - The Proud Italian

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven up to around 325 ℉,t, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
  2. Add the softened butter in a mixing bowl, and slowly add powdered sugar and salt. Beat the mixture until it is light and velvety.
  3. Add the ground almonds and vanilla extract to the mixture and combine until well-blended. Add flour gradually and keep mixing until all the ingredients are well mixed. You’ll need a spatula to scrape the sides and the bottom.
  4. Use a cookie scoop to shape the batter into balls. Place them on the parchment-lined cookie sheet. You can place them close to each other, but you must make sure that they don’t touch each other.
  5. Bake the Italian cookies for about 25 minutes until they are lightly browned. Please make sure that the cookies’ color does not turn to golden brown. Their color should be light for them to be perfect.
  6. Allow them to cool and dust them evenly with powdered sugar. After rolling the cookies, let them sit for a minute, then roll them again to get an excellent powdery coat.

Candy coated almonds, Italian Wedding Cookies and How To Make Them - The Proud Italian

Extra tips

  • After scooping the batter with an ice cream scoop, you can roll them with your hands to make them round.
  • If you choose to grind the nuts yourself, it would be best to leave some texture. Don’t make nut flour; ground nuts with some rustic texture is perfect for your wedding cookies.
  • Avoid applying grease on the cookie sheet as these are Italian butter cookies that are already perfectly coated.
  • Feel free to replace the almonds with walnuts and hazelnuts.
  • Ensure the butter is at room temperature before you start the preparation process. At room temperature, the creaming process is much more comfortable.
  • You can serve the cookies fresh from the oven or at room temperature.
  • Store your Italian cookies in an airtight cookie jar at room temperature for up to one week. Consider placing a piece of parchment paper after each layer to prevent the cookies from sticking to each other.

Variations of Italian Wedding Cookies

  • Nuts: you can use walnuts, pistachios, cashew nuts, or hazelnuts in place of almonds.
  • Extract: for a more robust almond flavor, you can use almond extract instead of the vanilla extract. Alternatively, you can use both the vanilla and almond extract in the cookie dough.
  • Vegan: use vegan butter instead of butter to make your cookies vegan.
  • Russian tea cakes: add pecans to make Russian tea cakes.
  • Mexican wedding cookies: add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the batter to make Mexican wedding cookies.

Almonds, cinnamon and chocolate balls, Italian Wedding Cookies and How To Make Them - The Proud Italian

Summary

Italian wedding cookies are an excellent dessert choice that your guests and family will enjoy thoroughly. The beauty of the cookies is that you can add a personal touch to the recipe to suit your preferences. 

For instance, you can replace almonds with other nuts like hazelnut- or cashew nuts. The secret is making sure your nuts are rustic to give your cookies some texture. You can also use a pile of these cookies to make an Italian wedding cake.

Now that Christmas is approaching, you can treat your family to a great Italian tradition by incorporating Italian Christmas cookies into the menu. You can also tailor your Italian cookies recipe to match your guest’s needs. 

For example, if they are vegan, you should replace the butter with vegan butter. Whatever recipe you choose, you can rest assured that if you choose to go Italian with your cookies, you’ll never go wrong!