At traditional Italian weddings there is usually a dessert or sweet table with a cake and large trays of cookies. One of the typical cookies served is Italian Wedding Cookies. It is also common to see the same cookies referred to as Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes. They are all made from the same base ingredients including butter, confectioner’s sugar, flour, some type of chopped nuts and vanilla extract. The ingredients are mixed together and either rolled into small balls or shaped into crescent moons. Italian Wedding Cookies are also very popular Christmas cookies.
1 cup sliced almonds 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided 2 cups flour 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions: Place the almonds in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground but not pasty.
Beat the butter and 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup of the flour, vanilla, and salt. Beat until well blended. Add the remaining cup of flour and the ground almonds; beat to combine. Form dough into a ball, wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll pieces of the dough into 1-inch balls. Place the balls 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until pale golden brown. Let cookies rest on cookie sheets for 2 minutes.
Spread 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar on another baking sheet. Roll the hot cookies in the sugar. Sprinkle additional sugar over the tops. Allow the cookies to cool completely in the sugar. Sift more sugar over the cookies before serving. Store covered at room temperature.