Italian Amaretto Butter Cookies

Sunday, December 13, 2009
One of our favorites over the years for Christmas is Amaretto Butter Cookies. These melt in your mouth.

This is a favorite Cookie of mine and my niece Mary, we both are going to share our journey with you on this favorite cookie baking from our house to yours, at Christmas with the Colenzo Family Traditions. 

I hope you like this one as much as we do.

Every year I miss the family tradition of baking our favorite Christmas Cookies, as they all live in Utica, New York. 

Since I work in the Retail, there is no way for me to get time off from my job to fly home, so through the glory of the Internet, we can share some of our same cookie favorites with you.

One of my niece's, Mary, has the same favorite as mine, and that's what inspired this post. It is the Italian Amaretto Butter Cookies, that looks like a snowy cookie... much more suited for up North with all the snow they get!  

Well here in Florida, the closest we will get to snow would be creating this delicious little delicate cookie to remind us of it...My family who almost all live in NY gets to see real snow pretty regularly, throughout the holiday season. 

This cookie always gets me in the holiday spirit and reminds me when I lived there of the snow and the scenery was quite beautiful when it was new-fallen snow and these cookies taste as good as they look! 

There are many versions of these what we call " Snowball Cookies", ( Italian Wedding Cookies, Mexican cookie balls,  Italian butter balls) this became one of our favorites recipes.

Ingredients For Amaretto Butter Cookies 

  • butter, 
  • flour, 
  • powdered sugar, 
  • vanilla, 
  • egg yolks,  
  • nuts
  • Amaretto or almond extract

Mary my niece and my brother Luke (her dad) 

making these cookies on cookie day!

Italian Amaretto Butter Cookies

2 1/2 cups of flour

1 cup of butter

1/2 cup of powdered sugar

1 egg yolk

1 cup of chopped pecans, pistachio's, macadamia, walnuts or hazelnuts (if you have nuts allergies substitute with roasted pumpkin seeds crushed or sunflower seeds unsalted)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 tablespoons of Amaretto (or use 1 teaspoon of almond extract plus below (1 1/2 teaspoons total when omitting Amaretto)

1/2 teaspoon of almond extract

Soften butter and cream together with sugar beat together around 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk, and flavorings mix well. Add flour and beat again. Add nuts. Shape dough into walnuts sized balls and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Place on wax paper and cool 10 minutes, cover cookies in powdered sugar while slightly warm, then again when completely cooled.


  1. Your Amaretto Cookies look delicious! I was thinking about making a "snowball" type cookie and I think you just gave me the cookie to make! I'll be working in the kitchen tonight! :o)

    Also, if your family is in Utica, NY then they are not very far from me at all! I am about a 2 hour drive north of Utica!

  2. Well I hope one holiday very soon everyone can fly down to Florida for Christmas and cookie baking!! I love your amaretto butter cookies - when I lived in Brooklyn I would always be attracted to those kinds of sugar-dusted cookies at Regina's Italian Bakery, which was just a couple of blocks from my apartment. Mmmm, those were the days!

  3. Such gorgeous cookies! I would love to have one of those boxes filled with Amaretto cookies... I'm sure you'll be very busy these few weeks for the preparations huh! So, what are you asking for this X'mas? hehe....

  4. Those little balls look delicious indeed!

  5. I love the amaretto flavor, scrumptious cookies!

  6. That's such a beautiful spread of mouth-watering Christmas cookies. Must be awesome Christmas atmosphere in your house. I love that.

  7. you had me at amaretto! These look amazing.

  8. I love it when you share stories about your family! So warm and I feel I am in the same room with you guys~ -- - Miss you my friend

  9. I would pay a million dollars for a cookie tray from your family! These look wonderful, I love this basic recipe, I make something similar but the Amaretto really makes these special. I bet they smell wonderful when They're baking.

  10. Oh how tasty. I've never made these ... yet. Now I will. And - you can have our snow.

  11. Wow, these look amazing! Geez... another cookie recipe to add to the TODO list. Thanks Claudia! ;)

  12. This is one of my faves as well, Mother made these, sans Amaretto, but I know that could only improve hers...soory a day late, power was out last nite...

  13. What a great Christmas cookie. Very festive. I love the post and your two great nieces:)

  14. They look so scrumptious! Thanks for sharing!

  15. These snowball cookies with Amaretto are a delight...absolutely sinful, with all the batch :)



  16. I'm a California native (LA) so we never had snow either. My Christmases were filled with beaches and palm trees. It's refreshing to be living in MAnhattan now with a winter storm on its way!

    P.S. I totally need a Santa outfit when I cook in the kitchen! Love it :)


Thank you so much for your kind words and questions, I will try and reply to each of them. If you need help right away, contact me on Facebook or my email