Italian Wedding Cookie Recipe

Italian Wedding Cookies

Posted on November 30, 2011

This Italian Wedding Cookie Recipe is  from my childhood.

The Italian Wedding Cookie Recipe makes it’s appearance at Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, and during the Christmas Holidays. They are easy to make and only require a few ingredients. The key to this recipe is using an unsalted European style butter and a really good vanilla extract.

Note: There is less water content in European Style butter therefore it adds more flavor to anything you are baking. 

During Christmas I like to package the cookies as gifts and deliver them to friends and family.

These cookies store well and freeze well. You can freeze them before you roll them in powder sugar. I layer them on sheets of baking parchment spaced apart inside a container. 

Servings: About 80 Cookies


1 1/2 Cups of Unsalted European Butter (I like to use Plugra 82% butter fat, awesome for baking!)
3/4 Cup of Confectioners’ Sugar (powder sugar)
1 1/2 Cups of Ground Almonds
5 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
3 Cups of Sifted All Purpose Flour
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
1/3 Cup of Confectioners’ Sugar for rolling (powder sugar)


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C)
2. Cream the butter in a bowl and gradually add the powder sugar, and salt.
3. Beat until light and fluffy.
4. Add the almonds and vanilla extract and blend.
5. Next add the flour and mix all together.
6. Shape into balls or what ever design you need. I use a spoon scoop out the amount I need to keep it all the same size.
7. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes.
8. It’s very important to let them cool before you roll them in the powder sugar. Otherwise the sugar will melt onto the cookie and get lumpy. 

Source: Provenzano Family Recipe

What Others Are Saying

  1. Cassandra January 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Where can you find European butter?
    This recipe sounds so yummy, definitely want to make it.

    • Carrie Pacini January 26, 2012 at 10:01 am

      Cassandra, I’ve found the brand Plugra at HEB, Kroger and Wholefoods. I’ve also seen some domestic brands with the phrase “European Style Butter” that you could if you can’t find Plugra. I hope this helps!

      • John-Christopher Ward December 25, 2014 at 10:37 pm

        Plugra is American “European-Style butter. Danish, English, French, and Irish are usually available at Whole Foods, Costco and specialty cheese and wine shops.

        • Carrie Pacini December 27, 2014 at 2:02 pm

          Thanks John!

  2. Sue March 21, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    I do not bake much but want to make these for a bridal shower. How do you cream butter????

  3. Carrie Pacini March 24, 2012 at 7:46 am

    @Sue – To cream butter you take the butter at room temperature and add the amount of sugar in the recipe.

    Use a hand mixer and start to beat the mixture. At first, it will be sandy but as you continue mixing it will become an off white color. Once it turns the off white pale color the butter is creamed.

  4. Maribeth DiPinto-Moss June 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe. My grandmother made these for all occasions, however, she never kept records of her recipes. They bring back so many memories of my childhood. I cannot wait to make for a family function and surprise everyone!

    • Carrie Pacini June 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Maribeth, I am so happy you found this recipe!

  5. Susan August 4, 2013 at 8:19 am

    How much in advance can you make these? can they be frozen without the powdered sugar?



    • Carrie Pacini August 6, 2013 at 6:14 am

      Hi Susan, You can make them 3 days in advance and you can also freeze them. I use parchment paper to create levels in a container for storing.

  6. Joyce September 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    How long do these stay good for on the counter/fridge before I should be freezing them??

    • Carrie Pacini September 3, 2013 at 9:58 am

      About 2 days and then I would freeze them.

  7. Laurie Roncone December 14, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    If you are going to freeze the cookies, do you still roll them in the powder sugar, or do you wait and do it after they thaw?

    • Carrie Pacini December 15, 2013 at 8:15 am

      Hi Laurie, For best results freeze them without the powdered sugar. Once you take them out wait until they are at room temperature before you toss them with the powdered sugar.

  8. colleen December 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Are ground almonds the same as almond flour?

    • Carrie Pacini December 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Yes and No, I like to ground my own almonds because I like it to have a bit more texture. The almond flour is very fine.

  9. Jen December 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    This is a great recipe! I made hundreds for my daughter’s wedding in the summer and now making for Christmas.

    • Carrie Pacini December 25, 2013 at 10:15 am

      I am so glad you like it!

  10. Oksana January 11, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Hi Carrie!

    What size is the cup in this recipe, so I could transfer it into grams?


    • Carrie Pacini January 13, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Hi Oksana, I am so sorry I don’t have this recipe in Grams, next time I make it I will measure it out in grams and update the recipe with it. For your notes I used 1 American Cup Measurement which is 240 millilitres. I hope this helps with the conversion.

  11. Mary Ann February 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Hi Carrie,

    Do I measure 1.5 cups of almonds, then grind them? Or measure 1.5 cups after grinding?

    Thanks! The cookies look delicious … can’t wait to try them.

    • Carrie Pacini February 10, 2014 at 7:08 am

      Hi Marry Ann, measure 1.5 cups of almonds then grind them. I will make a note of that in the recipe too. Thanks for asking that!

      • lori April 6, 2014 at 6:29 pm

        Hi Carrie do you measure the flour before you sift it?

        • Carrie Pacini April 19, 2014 at 3:08 pm

          Hi Lori, I measure it then sift it.

  12. Mary Ramirez June 25, 2014 at 10:16 am

    How long can you freeze the cookie dough before you even bake them?

    • Carrie Pacini June 25, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Hi Mary, you can freeze this dough for up to month.

  13. Pat July 17, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    If I can’t find the European butter, will any other brand be ok?

    • Carrie Pacini July 17, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      Hi Pat, If you can’t find the European butter you can use regular unsalted butter.

  14. Deb July 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I have made these many times but used pecans… I am thrilled to know that almonds can be used as they are so much easier on the pocketbook! I will be making these for a wedding at the end of summer! :)

  15. Wanda turpin August 31, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Love these cookies

  16. stacy September 29, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    I was wondering how to cut this recipe in half? Thank you

    • Carrie Pacini September 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      Hi Stacy, You can just cut the ingredients into half and continue with the preparation.

  17. stacy September 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Also if almond extract can be used in substitute for vanilla?

    • Carrie Pacini September 29, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      Hi Stacy, Yes you can substitute almond extract for the vanilla. Keep in mind that almond extract has a more pronounced flavor. So if you love it great, keep it the same amount. If you only want a hint of it then just add a little less of the almond since it is stronger than vanilla.

  18. Judy Scott October 7, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Hi Carrie, could I use Amish unsalted butter in place of the European butter?

    Thank you

    • Carrie Pacini October 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Hi Judy, Yes you can do that.

  19. Neil November 1, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Can you freeze the dough?
    (and bake off a few days later)

    • Carrie Pacini November 3, 2014 at 9:15 am

      Yes, this dough freezes and you can bake it 2 to 3 weeks later if you want.

  20. g.smith November 13, 2014 at 2:41 am

    What is the difference between European butter and regular butter?

    • Carrie Pacini November 13, 2014 at 9:30 am

      Hi There, European butter has a higher fat content while others have less which means they have more water. When you have more water in your butter it can act as a binding agent making your dough tougher which means a tougher pastry. I prefer the European Butter with the higher fat content for all of my baking. You can use the other one too it’s just personal preference.

  21. Margaret December 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Hi Carrie,
    I wanted to say thank you for the lovely cookie recipe which I just finished making. I got about 95 cookies out of this recipe. The taste testers in my home (my family), give it 2 thumbs up. This will now be my go to recipe every Christmas. Wishing you and yours a wonderful and blessed Christmas and New Year.

    • Carrie Pacini December 21, 2014 at 9:58 am

      Thank you Margaret! So glad you guys enjoyed the cookies. The kids and I are making them today too. It will be our 3rd run, we keep running out, lol ;) Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

  22. Lee O'Donnell December 20, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    My good friend made these every year for me. She passed in May and I never got the recipe from her. Thank you for the recipe. I still miss my friend, Anna Mae but now I can make her cookies and think of her.

    • Carrie Pacini December 21, 2014 at 11:45 am

      I am so glad you found this recipe and what a lovely memory of your friend Anna Mae. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  23. Cindy Todeschini February 13, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    I grew up with my Mom’s recipe similar to this but her cookie had a lemony taste so I’m guessing instead of vanilla extract she used lemon extract or squeezed a fresh lemon. I’ll experiment to see if it would be the same measurement as the vanilla.
    Thank you,


    • Carrie Pacini February 14, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Hi Cindy, I am wondering if she might of just put a bit of lemon zest. I would try a teaspoon of it and keep the vanilla extract and see if that works.

  24. Lucille Comarata March 5, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I am making your bread today let you know how it turned out

    • Carrie Pacini March 15, 2015 at 6:17 am

      Hi Lucille, Hope it turned out!

  25. Cheryl Middendorf March 16, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    I was wondering if you can add anise to this recipe and how much I should use. Thank you

    • Carrie Pacini March 17, 2015 at 9:50 am

      Hi Cheryl, You can add anise to this recipe. I would add 1 teaspoon and see how you like it.

  26. Lisa R June 13, 2015 at 12:10 am

    love these cookies and store bought do not equal the delicacy of these! Thank you for sharing such joy to us all.

    • Carrie Pacini June 15, 2015 at 6:55 am

      Thanks Lisa!

  27. Arielle October 13, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I’m going to make these for a friend’s wedding. where did you find the cute white boxes in the picture? thanks!

    • Carrie Pacini August 27, 2016 at 11:54 am

      I believe I bought them at a craft store, they have a section for baked goods. Might have been Michael’s Crafts.

  28. Linda December 13, 2015 at 11:49 am

    I made these a few years ago for my daughter’s wedding, and they were fabulous. Now, I do not remember whether I used toasted almond slivers, whole almonds, or raw almond pieces. Would it matter? Thank you.

    • Carrie Pacini December 14, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Hi Linda, I would stay away from toasted the whole almonds or almond pieces are fine just make sure to ground them!

  29. Jean December 14, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I just made these cookies and have already rolled them in sugar. Now the event has been postponed for a week. I know that I should not freeze them with the sugar on them but will they last a week if in a tin container?

    • Carrie Pacini December 14, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Jean, I would freeze them and then do another roll in the sugar when you defrost them.

  30. Rosie M December 19, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    If dough is in freezer do you recommend defrosting in frig or on counter? If defrosting in frig how long will it take before I can roll the cookies? Thank you.

    • Carrie Pacini December 20, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      Counter should work fine!

  31. Irene Jacobs January 19, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    So I am confused. As I need to triple this recipe & would like to make them ahead of time. Do i make them, bake them & roll in powdered sugar & then freeze? Or make, bake, freeze, defrost & then roll in powdered sugar? Also everyone says roll in powdered sugar when warm , do I reheat them before I roll in powdered sugar. Please for best freezing results how do I do it?

    • Carrie Pacini January 20, 2016 at 7:53 am

      Hi Irene, I would make, bake and then freeze them. Then when you are ready for them let them defrost and get to room temperature and then roll them in powdered sugar.

  32. Dina May 1, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Hi, I use pecan instead of almonds. The cookies turned out wonderful.

    • Carrie Pacini May 14, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      Thanks Dina!

  33. Joe May 28, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    It will be a week before the cookies are being served. Should we freeze them?

    • Carrie Pacini June 1, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      To keep them fresh you can freeze the cookies after you bake them (and they have cooled down) put them in air tight containers with layered parchment paper. The day before I would let them thaw out and then roll them in powered sugar.

  34. Tanya July 16, 2016 at 8:06 am

    How long do you need to defrost frozen cookies before baking? I don’t want them too soft so they stay in a nice ball shape.

    • Carrie Pacini August 27, 2016 at 11:37 am

      I would check on them after 30 to 45 minutes.

  35. Kirstyn August 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Curious if I could make this without nuts?

    • Carrie Pacini August 27, 2016 at 8:37 am

      You could try it without nuts and cut back on the butter. I’ve always made mine with nuts but I think with a little experimenting it would work!

  36. Michele October 6, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Ciao Carrie

    I am so glad I just found your site. Love it!! I too am from an Italian heritage.
    For this recipe of the wedding cookies could you sub hazelnuts for the same amount?

    • Carrie Pacini December 28, 2016 at 10:57 am

      You could try! I’ve always used almonds. Did it work out?

  37. Angela Haddad October 31, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Hi Carrie
    I remembering I think I do my Mom using walnuts with this recipe we called snowballs.

    • Carrie Pacini December 28, 2016 at 10:32 am

      Hi Angela, There are different versions of this cookie across different cultures. Some of them use different nuts. I’ve found across different regions of Italy a cookie can have variations depending on what’s used in that area.

  38. Diane December 5, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Can hazelnuts work in this recipe, and would tripling the recipe ruin it? That’s a lot of butter and extract to waste!! I’m a bit nervous!!

  39. Diane December 5, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Can hazelnuts work in this recipe, and would tripling the recipe ruin it? That’s a lot of butter and extract to waste!! I’m a bit nervous!!

    • Carrie Pacini December 12, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      Hi Diane, I’ve never used hazelnuts in this recipe but it would be fun to try it. I do triple the recipe and it works out!

  40. Carrie Pacini December 28, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Hi Gina, I caught up with your last comment about letting them cool. I will add a note to the recipe for this. A winter wedding sounds amazing!

  41. MayBe January 6, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Hi! Happy New Year!
    If I will use salted butter, will I be reducing the amount of salt? and is it okay to use almond meal, instead of ground almonds?
    Thank you.

    • Carrie Pacini January 15, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      I would reduce the salt and yes you can use Almond Meal, same amounts.

  42. Lorraine Luton November 2, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Hi Carrie, I am going to bake these and then freeze them. How long will they last in freezer if baked 1st? Thank you.

    • Carrie Pacini November 2, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Hi Lorraine, They can last up to 3 months.

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