Christmas Countdown: 14

Today is going to be one of the best days in the Christmas Countdown because you all are getting the recipe for what I like to call nut puff cookies. They are also known by many other names such as, Italian wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, and butterballs. No matter what you call them they’re sure to be a hit.


  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds (or chopped pecans)
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for rolling


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Cream butter or margarine in a bowl, gradually add confectioners’ sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add almonds and vanilla. Blend in flour gradually and mix well.
  3. Shape into balls (or crescents) using about 1 teaspoon for each cookie. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, and bake for 15-20 min. Do not brown. Cool slightly, then roll in the extra confectioners’ sugar.


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