- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup ground almonds, toasted if you want to (see Notes below)
- Extra powdered sugar, for coating the cookies
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. Add almond extract and beat well.
- Add flour, 1 cup at a time and then the almonds. Mix just until smooth.
- Gather into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Roll portions of cold dough between your palms to form balls. Place 1-inch apart on lined baking tray.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are a bit golden and cracked.
- Let cool on a wire rack. Roll in some extra confectioners' sugar to coat.
- These cookies freeze well unbaked. When you need them, just line them up on a parchment-lined or greased baking tray, thaw, and bake.
- I buy nonpareil because they are easily available and the best if you want to remove the skins. But you can use Marcona or any other you like.
- Powdered sugar: the amount is small but necessary for the melt-in-your-mouth quality of these cookies. Using granulated sugar will not give the same results.
- Mixing: you should be able to make this recipe by hand with a whisk, so make sure the butter is soft, at room temperature.
- Test run: I always recommend baking a couple of cookies first to check the temperature and baking time. All ovens are different, and the dough's temperature is also a variable, so you might need more or less time.
- Toasting the nuts: lightly toasting the almonds adds a lot to the flavor of the cookie. But they're still great with natural almonds. To toast them: put whole almonds on a baking sheet and bake in a 300°- 325°F oven for about 15 minutes, until the skin starts to crack and the aroma is nutty. Watch them closely so they don't burn. The time might vary depending on the oven.
- Storing: the baked cookies keep very well for a few weeks if stored in airtight containers, tins, or cookie jars.
- Make ahead: the dough is similar to shortbread, so you can freeze the unbaked cookie balls before baking for a month. Bake directly from the freezer.
- Variations: use different nuts. Add citrus zest (lemon and orange work very well). Add mini chocolate chips. Add a spice, such as ground cinnamon or cardamom.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Refrigeration + cooling down: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/24
- Calories: 157
- Sugar: 6.4 g
- Sodium: 1.4 mg
- Fat: 10 g
- Carbohydrates: 15.2 g
- Fiber: 0.8 g
- Protein: 2.1 g
- Cholesterol: 20.3 mg
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