Italian Nut Balls

Italian Nut Balls
Combine and blend:
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup butter or margarine
2 egg yolks (reserve whites)
½ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. almond extract
Blend in:
2 cups flour, or slightly less.

You can use one whole egg and one egg yolk in the dough, but your cookies will be softer, and less like shortbread. You may need to add 1 Tb. of milk if the dough is too dry. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Dip balls into beaten egg whites, then into finely chopped nuts. You can cover the whole cookie with nuts, or just the top. 1 cup of chopped nuts will cover the tops of about 45 1-inch cookies. Place on cookie sheets and make a deep impression in center of each cookie with fingertip. If you want the optional jam in the centers, fill the impressions before baking.

Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes.

After baking, if you didn't fill them with jam, fill the centers with almond-flavored butter frosting or almond flavored cream cheese frosting.

Melinda's Note: (12/12/2011) It may seem like more work to get out a pastry bag and pipe a little flower into the center of the cookie, but it is a lot easier than picking up a cookie, getting a knife full of frosting, putting a dollop on the cookie, picking the nuts off the knife, and repeating the process. You can frost a whole tray with a pastry bag in about 1 minute. And they look pretty.

Eliza's Note: (12/29/2011) I baked these for 20-25 minutes and liked the way they turned out--more like a shortbread, but still not hard or crunchy.

Comments

  1. We had these at a party once, and one of the guests had an Italian background. She immediately identified these as Italian without knowing the name of the cookie!

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